Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Q&A with Michelle Moran, author of Cleopatra's Daughter

Upon writing your debut novel Nefertiti, did you know that you would be continuing with the story of Nefertari in The Heretic Queen?

Actually, it was planned as a sequel - I couldn't let that era go after Nefertiti, not with Ramses just over the horizon!

Nefertiti: A NovelThe Heretic Queen: A NovelThe Heretic Queen: A Novel

Are there bits and pieces that were cut in editing that you might ever share with your readers?

Each of my novels has ended up with about 100 pages worth of cuts. I trust the editors at Crown, and almost always agree with their edits. All the same, perhaps I'll save the extra pieces for the DVD box set someday!

Cleopatra's Daughter

What is your favorite scene from Cleopatra's Daughter?

Avoiding any spoilers, I would say the final scene - where many of these complex characters are able to reveal hidden pieces of themselves.

How would you relate your writing experience and research to some Creative Madness?

I've found that the most powerful ideas seem to begin with a single enriching experience. It's been this way with all three of my novels- including the most recent one, where a scuba dive in the submerged ruins of Alexandria put me within touching distance of the city Cleopatra lived and died in. It was magical, and worth the entire journey just for those few minutes. After that, the novel practically jumped off the keyboard.

Tell us about your blog and author interviews...

To be honest, the blog interviews are something I started for fun- I love meeting other authors, and hearing their thoughts about the writing process we all share.

What is something that you have never told anyone in an author interview?

I own a pathological number of shoes- over 170 pairs, in fact [DEEP BLUSH]

What is the one thing that you want to leave readers of Cleopatra's Daughter pondering over?

Perhaps they'll feel the same sense of tension I felt between how familiar some aspects of the ancient world seem to us, yet how radically different many of these cultures were. For instance, how could Roman modernity and culture coexist with a cruelty that seems foreign to us? Each historical novel is a chance to explore the oldest questions: What makes us who we are? Is there a human constant? Or are we just the products of the worlds into which we are born?

Please tell us about your next planned project...

I am currently neck-deep in work on Masks of The Revolution: A Novel of Madame Tussaud. After that: a return to the ancient world, but there are so many ideas rattling around that it'll be tough to finally choose the one.

Click here, to go back and read a previous Q&A with Michelle, and here for another with me.

Nefertiti --- Click here for my review
National Bestseller

The Heretic Queen --- Click here for my review
coming to paperback 9/01/09

The death of Cleopatra was only the beginning...
ON SALE 9/15/09

Check out Michelle's blog at

Cleopatra's Daughter trailer (start)


5 comments and creative thoughts:

Sheila Deeth said...

This sounds such a great series.

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Great interview! I'm currently reading Cleopatra's Daughter and loving every word! I've actually read the other two as well and enjoyed them very much!

CherryBlossomMJ said...

I'm almost half way through this one. It is funny that with Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen I was able to read them in full in a day or so, and now with this one it is taking me several days. Little five week old demanding food, diaper changes, and attention every two to four house. *grin*

Julie J. said...

Would you recommend reading Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen before reading Cleopatra's Daughter? I was sent a copy of the latter and this will be my first read by Michelle.

Great interview! :)

CherryBlossomMJ said...

Julie - I definitely recommend readings them all, but each novel is completely stand alone so you can read them in any order. Unless you happen to be one of those people who want to see how the author's writing improves or changes with each novel. But nope, you can read CD first.

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