Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ancient Eygpt and Vikings

I finished Michelle Moran's "The Heretic Queen" yesterday. Good thing as it is due back to the library today! I really enjoyed Moran's first book, "Nefertiti" and her new novel was just as entertaining. Moran has a gift for taking the ancient and making it feel so contemporary. The political struggles, the relationships, the tough decisions ancient people experienced are really no different than modern society encounters. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Ramesses and Nefertari. By all accounts, they truly were a love match. I also found it interesting how Moran wove the Moses character into the storyline and the author end notes on Moses and his story were fascinating.

My only disappointment, and this is probably just a 'Liz' issue, I didn't feel the connection with Nefertari like I did with her mother, Mutnodjmet, the heroine of the first book. I liked "N" and felt sympathy for her, but "M" just spoke to me. This isn't a criticism of the novel, again, it could just be a circumstance where certain characters really find a way into your head and others don't quite talk to you in that way.

From ancient Eygpt, I am now moving forward in time to begin reading a Viking story. Judson Roberts has put out a YA trilogy about a young Viking set in 845. I devoured the first book in the Strongbow Saga, and the second one is starting out just as good.


Michelle Moran said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed THQ, Liz! It's funny, I felt the same way about Mutnodjmet versus Nefertari (and I'm the author!). Yet my husband likes Nefertari better, and so do all of my friends.

I can't understand it. Why do some characters speak to some people and not others?

This will bear some serious thinking about as I edit Cleopatra's Daughter!!!

Liz said...

I think it has to do with life experience....I've never lost a parent or been an orphan, but I am a sibling. Sometimes we bring to the book our own 'stuff' and when the character's experiences strike a chord, the deeper connection is made.

Interesting that you felt stronger for M than N....and how your friends/fam are just the opposite!

Good Luck on the edits with CD! I can't wait to read it:) Again, you are writing about an orphan....hmmmm that bears some thought.

Michelle Moran said...

Thank you, Liz. And yes, Selene is an orphan! Well, after the first few chapters anyway...

Something to definitely think about!

Liz said...

Hope you talk about the cool book trailer you did for CD in tomorrow's blog over at NB's place.

Wow. I was very impressed....did you come up with the concept or hire someone to do that? I keep seeing more of these trailers to promote books...some work and some, well, they just fall flat.

Did you feel it was risky to put a 'vision' of the characters out there and maybe mess with what your readers would imagine them to look like?

Michelle Moran said...

Hi Liz,

I gave a synopsis to the director, plus a short description of what I'd like to see and which scenes were most important, then he ran with it. I'm not too troubled by people being influenced by the casting, since it's such a short trailer (59 seconds) and more likely than not, they'll have forgotten about it by the time they start the book!

I have seen quite a few trailers sort of - well, not do much. I will be talking this tomorrow on Nathan's blog. Part of a trailer's effectiveness isn't just the visual aspects, it's what the author does with it as a promo tool. But it's a bit pricey.