Friday, September 4, 2009

CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER: Author Interview & Giveaway

GIVEAWAY ENDED

BY MICHELLE MORAN
ABOUT THE BOOK:

The marriage of Marc Antony and Cleopatra is one of the greatest love stories of all time, a tale of unbridled passion with earth-shaking political consequences. Feared and hunted by the powers in Rome, the lovers choose to die by their own hands as the triumphant armies of Antony’s vengeful rival, Octavian, sweep into Egypt. Their three orphaned children are taken in chains to Rome, but only two—the ten-year-old twins Selene and Alexander—survive the journey. Delivered to the household of Octavian’s sister, the siblings cling to each other and to the hope that they will return one day to their rightful place on the throne of Egypt. As they come of age, they are buffeted by the personal ambitions of Octavian’s family and court, by the ever-present threat of slave rebellion, and by the longings and desires deep within their own hearts.

The fateful tale of Selene and Alexander is brought brilliantly to life in Cleopatra’s Daughter. Recounted in Selene’s youthful and engaging voice, it introduces a compelling cast of historical characters:

  • Octavia: the emperor Octavian’s kind and compassionate sister, abandoned by Marc Antony for Cleopatra
  • Livia: Octavian’s bitter and jealous wife
  • Marcellus: Octavian’s handsome, flirtatious nephew and heir-apparent
  • Tiberius: Livia’s sardonic son and Marcellus’s great rival for power
  • Juba: Octavian’s ever-watchful aide, whose honored position at court has far-reaching effects on the lives of the young Egyptian royals

Selene’s narrative is animated by the concerns of a young girl in any time and place —the possibility of finding love, the pull of friendship and family, and the pursuit of her unique interests and talents. While coping with the loss of both her family and her ancestral kingdom, Selene must find a path around the dangers of a foreign land. Her accounts of life in Rome are filled with historical details that vividly capture both the glories and horrors of the time. She dines with the empire’s most illustrious poets and politicians, witnesses the creation of the Pantheon, and navigates the colorful, crowded marketplaces of the city where Roman-style justice is meted out with merciless authority.

Based on meticulous research, Cleopatra’s Daughter is a fascinating portrait of Imperial Rome and of the people and events of this glorious and tumultuous period in human history. Emerging from the shadows of history, Selene, a young woman of irresistible charm and preternatural intelligence, will capture your heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michelle Moran was born in the San Fernando Valley, CA. She took an interest in writing from an early age, purchasing Writer's Market and submitting her stories and novellas to publishers from the time she was twelve. When she was accepted into Pomona College she took as many classes as possible in British Literature, particularly Milton, Chaucer, and the Bard. Not surprisingly, she majored in English while she was there. Following a summer in Israel where she worked as a volunteer archaeologist, she earned an MA from the Claremont Graduate University.

Michelle has traveled around the world, from Zimbabwe to India, and her experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction. A public high school teacher for six years, Michelle Moran is currently a full-time writer living in California with her husband. She is the author of the bestselling historical fiction Nefertiti and its standalone sequel, The Heretic Queen. Her third novel, Cleopatra's Daughter, will debut September 15, 2009.


AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Michelle Moran was so kind to do an interview with BOOKIN' WITH BINGO...even AFTER my computer crashed, she did it twice. Thank you, Michelle.
So first, what is the next or current book you are working on?

I am currently hard at work on my next novel, Madame Tussaud. She is proving to be quite a character, even in an time period filled with boisterous, standout personalities! Of course, CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER will be released September 15th.

What have you just finished reading?


C. W. Gortner's
The Last Queen, the beautifully-told story of Juana "la Loca" of Castille.


What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out?


I think that The Red Tent by Anita Diamant was probably the single work of historical fiction that drew me away from writing science-fiction/fantasy. The time period and that part of the world (Eastern Mediterranean) really spoke to me.

What gets you started on a new book? A character or story idea or….?

For me, an idea often begins with a journey or an experience that helps me establish a connection with a narrator. Whether I'm walking across the Palatine Hill in Rome, visiting Versailles, journeying to the Valley of the Kings, or scuba diving at Alexandria, I am constantly thinking of stories which would make great novels. Walking in the footsteps of my characters makes a tremendous difference: I don't know if I could write any other way.

What is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?


For a devotee of travel, I have an incredibly bad sense of direction! Also,
that I have an almost Imelda Marcos-like obsession with shoes!

What is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?

Keep writing. If at any point along the way I had stopped writing and said to myself, you know, I think book number eleven will be my last, I wouldn't be published. Writers don't like to hear this, though. I know when I was looking at writing advice and I would see this posted somewhere I would think, well that's helpful. I wouldn't have thought of that. But the truth is there's no good-ol-boys-club and there's no backdoor into the publishing industry (unless you're already a star). Good work sells, and if it doesn't, write another one, then maybe once you're a success they'll haul out all of your old books that weren't worth publishing the first time around, spruce them up a little, and voila, all of your previous efforts won't have been wasted! Or maybe you'll look back on those books and think, wow, they knew something I didn't. My work has gotten better. And then you'll hide those first eleven books in a closet somewhere (or a craftily labeled folder in My Documents so that no one ever finds them).

What is something you would like to share with us about writing your favorite genre in general?


Two things: firstly, how fun, surprising and unexpected the research portion of writing always is, and secondly, how much more there is to the "business" of being a writer than the novel-writing itself!


If you want to know more about Michelle Moran, check out her website at michellemoran.com. You will even find information in there about her national bestseller NEFERTITI: A NOVEL


76 comments:

holdenj said...

I thought it was interesting Michelle's next book will be about Madame Tussaud. I guess I knew deep down she might have been a real person, but I never really thought about it. Those unique characters are what draw me to historical fiction.
Thanks for the entry!

JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com

holdenj said...

+ I follow through Google Friend Connect!

JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com

Serena said...

No need to enter me in the giveaway. I have a copy...but I wanted to say that I LOVED GORTNER's BOOK. I'm glad Moran enjoyed it as well.

It's funny that she has no sense of direction.

Great interview.

DarcyO said...

We have two things in common: bad sense of direction and our love of shoes! I'd love to win this one!

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I was glad to read about all the research she did, because that is important to me with historical fiction. I have read a fair amount about the times of Augustus and it is so exciting in real life, I would be interested to know if it measures up in fiction!!!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

DarcyO said...

I follow with Google Friend Connect.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Zia said...

I loved hearing her advice to aspiring writers. I a current Google Friend Connect follower.

Zia
ziaria(at)gmail(dot)com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I follow as a Google Friends Connect.

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Sue said...

I loved how Michelle is inspired. Walking where her characters walked. I'd love to go there, too!!

Thanks for sharing it.

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

I'd love to be able to walk in the foot step of the characters too. How cool!

Dottie

gymmom_027@yahoo.com

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

I follow your blog

Dottie :)

gymmom_027@yahoo.com

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

I posted your contest on my blog sidebar.

http://myblog2point0.blogspot.com/

Dottie :)

gymmom_027@yahoo.com

JoanneR said...

Am a follower!

fitz12383 said...

I learned that Michelle has traveled all over the world and has been involved in archealogy.

Amanda
fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

fitz12383 said...

I am a follower.

Amanda
fitz12383(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carol said...

I find it interesting that she worked as a volunteer archaeologist.
Carol M
mittens0831 at aol.com

Brenda said...

Her bad sense of direction, my husband always comments loudly about my lack of map reading skills!

dancealert at aol dot com

Brenda said...

I follow through google friend connet!

dancealert at aol dot com

catss99 said...

It is interesting to hear that the author enjoys the research portion of writing
amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

Carol said...

I follow as a Google friend connect.
Carol M
mittens0831 at aol dot com

Debbie said...

I'm a follower with google.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

tawnda said...

I found it very interesting that she actually visited the sites she wrote about... Should make for a very interesting read

tawnda said...

I'm a google follower... but not 400... ;-)

throuthehaze said...

I love how she was inspired
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

throuthehaze said...

follower
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

thebookaddict said...

Michelle mentioned reading The Last Queen. I didn't know it was about Juana "La Loca"...she was the daughter of Queen Isabelle and King Ferdinand and I've always been fascinated by her. I'm going to have to get this book now. Thank you Michelle for mentioning it. I'm also looking forward to her book about Madame Tussaud!

Thanks for the contest!

miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

thebookaddict said...

I follow you in Google Friend Connect.

miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Amanda said...

I learned that Ms. Moran worked as a volunteer archaeologist in Israel.

amandarwest@gmail.com

Amanda said...

I follow through Google Friend Connect.

amandarwest@gmail.com

Nonna (Chèli) said...

I liked the fact that she said you just need t keep writing.

cyderry@yahooDOTcom

I follow you and J Kaye

Cheli
Cheli's Shelves

Denny, Alaska said...

I found it interesting that the author has an interest in shoes, a 'la Mrs. Marcos!

Please enter me in the book giveaway; thank you!

denny(dot)gill(at)gmail(dot)coma

Ryan G said...

I'm really intrigued by the upcoming book about Madame Tussaud. I've actually been to the museum and was simply amazed by it. Thanks for entering me in the contest!

fforgnayr@yahoo.com

Ryan G said...

I am a follower through google friend connect

fforgnayr@yahoo.com

windycindy said...

I adore this author! Her website is fabulous and her research is impeccable! I like her comment about how The Red Tent by Anita Diamant changed her focus of reading.
Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

windycindy said...

I follow your blog via Google Friend
Connect! Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Virginia said...

In your review, you let us know that Michelle's detailed research and captivating narrative style brought this story to vivid life. I am a subscriber and a Google follower. gcwhiskas at aol dot com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Extra entry: another thing remembered from your review:

...that Selene was allowed to study and learn.

(Do you ever notice, whenever they allowed girls to do that, they found out they could actually be smart?!!!) :--)

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Buukluvr81 said...

I follower your blog via google friend connect!

mollydawn1981(at)aol(dot)com

Buukluvr81 said...

I found it interesting that the author was not afraid to tell that she is bad with directions! She was honest enough to admit that and I admire that!

mollydawn1981(at)aol(dot)com

Buukluvr81 said...

extra entries:

I found from your review,that you, like me, love the cleopatra era! It is truly an amazing era and you make the book sound good! You, yourself also bring the book to "life" by explaining it well:

"So in reading this book, I got some great mental images of what the story "looked" like from the wonderfully written descriptive settings and character development by Michelle Moran."

That is what drew me to your review!

Mollydawn1981(at)aol(dot)com

etirv said...

I found it interesting that Madame Tussaud really existed and she will be the subject of Michelle's next book!

delilah018(at)yahoo(dot)com

etirv said...

Google friend connect follower!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

etirv said...

From your review of Cleopatra's daughter, I remember you had recommended this book to people who like historical fiction as well as a good story with just the right amount of romance.

I didn't know there was romance in this book, all the better!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kat Bryan said...

Like the previous poster, I found it interesting that you were able to visualize using your memories of Liz Taylor as Cleopatra. That certainly gives you a starting place towards understanding the story.

holdenj said...

I thought it was interesting that Octavia, the woman left behind by MA, was the one who had to raise those twins.

JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Debbie said...

I like the idea of twins and another child being the evidence of their relationship.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail.com

Amy said...

Your posts are always so interesting. I really enjoyed reading that The Red Tent by Anita Diamant inspired Michelle Moran to write something other than sci-fi/fantasy which is fortunate for her readers! (Although had Michelle Moran written sci-fi it would have been great I'm sure)

Aimala127@gmail.com

Amy said...

I am a follower and a google friend connect!

Aimala127@gmail.com

Amy said...

You wrote a great review of Cleopatra's Daughter, Karen and I learned that Selene is very intelligent and therefore was allowed to study many subjects from architecture to languauges which was quite unusual and rare in the times she gre up! I am so looking forward to reading this book!

Thank you!

Aimala127@gmail.com

thebookaddict said...

Bonus entry:

Great review! I remember you saying that you are not an Egyptian history expert. Honey, you don't have to be an expert to love all things Egyptian! All kidding aside, I have had a passion for Egyptian history since I was eleven years old.

Thanks again for this great contest!

miller4plusmore(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Happy to Be in Oregon said...

I think it was very interesting that The Red Tent had an influence on Michelle's writing. I thought it was an excellent book and I'm glad to see it played such a significant role.

oregonkimm(at)gmail(dot)com

Happy to Be in Oregon said...

I'm a follower via Google Connect too!


oregonkimm(at)gmail(dot)com

Happy to Be in Oregon said...

Good review. I've been following all the reviews on Cleopatra's Daughter with great interest. I definitely have this book as a must read on my list!

One thing that I remember from your review...is that I have to find out what happens to Ptolmey!

oregonkimm(at)gmail(dot)com

PS...great blog by the way. I'm a new follower, but I plan to stick around now!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Extra Bonus Entry:

"CATS WALKING LIE EGYPTIANS"

(I think you mean cats walking LIKE Egyptians but I did a cut and paste to follow the instructions! ) :--)

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Troy'sGirl said...

I am looking forward to reading about the twins. I was interested to learn about how Selene was able to become educated when most females could not :)

Thanks for the contest!
jennifer.fahie at hotmail dot com

Glenn said...

How Michelle's travels around the world including archaeological sites in Zimbabwe and India helped inspire her to write historical fiction. Thanks for the giveaway.

glenn_pessano AT yahoo DOT com

holdenj said...

"CATS WALKING LIE EGYPTIANS"

I cut and paste (it say to copy!) but it's like one of those eye tricks. I'm sure you meant "like"!!

Thansk for the extra entry for this great sounding book.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

Pam said...

CATS WALKING LIKE EGYPTIANS

melacan at hotmail dot com

DarcyO said...

From your review, I thought it was interested that Selene was allowed to get an education.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

Jo said...

+1 ENTRY: I found it interesting that volunteering as a achaeologist inspired Michelle Moran's writing historical fiction. I hadn't realized you could volunteer as an archaeologist. I'd certainly love to be able to travel like that.

jump_up_thrice[at]hotmail[dot]com

Jo said...

+1 MORE ENTRY: I follow via Google friend connect.

jump_up_thrice[at]hotmail[dot]com

Amanda said...

+1- Your review sounds good! I didn't know that Cleopatra and Mark Antony had children together.

amandarwest@gmail.com

CherylS22 said...

I found it interesting that Cleopatra had children - I had no idea! (I also found your graphics interesting.)
Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo.com

Congrats on your 400th follower.

CherylS22 said...

I'm a GFC follower
megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

CherylS22 said...

I appreciated your review. In your review you mentioned that the story of Selene is captivating & that the book is filled with rich characters.
megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

Mitzi said...

Michele's travels are so cool. I'm not surprised she is interested in history. Love the interview.

I'm a follower on Google friend, but I have no idea how to find out what number I am.

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

Mitzi said...

I read your review. I also love the movie of Cleopatra with Liz Taylor. I didn't realize that girls were ever educated like boys. Selene sounds like a very interesting person.

mitzihinkey at sbcglobal dot net

enyl said...

I find it intresting that the author doesn't rely soley on research, but "likes to walk in the footsteps of her characters".She's taking historical fiction in a new direction, normally I don't care for historical fiction,but I'm very intrested in both this one and the one about Nefertti.

enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

I'm a Google subscriber.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

Linda K said...

her journeys inspire her books

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda K said...

I am a new follower on google friend connect

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

The Giveaway Diva said...

i lvoe the fact that she takes characters in history who are relatively unknown and gives a voice to them!

nicolemarielum @gmail.com

Nancye said...

Something funny: when she compares herself to Imelda Marcos because she has tons of shoes, or that she loves to travel but has a terrible sense of direction. I wonder how often she gets lost?!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Google friend connect.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I thought it was interesting that she uses her "experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction."

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I think it is interesting that she uses "her experiences at archaeological sites were what inspired her to write historical fiction."

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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