Thursday, 3 September 2009

Michelle Moran guest post

Why Cleopatra’s daughter?

It all began with a dive. Not the kind of dive you take into a swimming pool, but the kind where you squeeze yourself into a wetsuit and wonder just how tasty your rump must appear to passing sharks now that it looks like an elephant seal. My husband and I had taken a trip to Egypt, and at the suggestion of a friend, we decided to go to Alexandria to see the remains of Cleopatra’s underwater city. Let it be known that I had never gone scuba diving before, but after four days with an instructor (and countless questions like, “Will there be sharks? How about jellyfish? If there is an earthquake, what happens underwater?”) we were ready for the real thing.

We drove one morning to the Eastern Harbor in Alexandria. Dozens of other divers were already there, waiting to see what sort of magic lay beneath the waves. I wondered if the real thing could possibly live up to all of the guides and brochures selling this underwater city, lost for thousands of years until now. Then we did the dive, and it was every bit as magical as everyone had promised. We saw the blocks that once formed Marc Antony’s summer palace, came face to face with Cleopatra’s enigmatic sphinx, and floated above ten thousand ancient artifacts, including obelisks, statues, and countless amphorae. By the time we surfaced, I was Cleopatra-obsessed. I wanted to know what had happened to her city once she and Marc Antony had committed suicide. Where did all of its people go? Were they allowed to remain or were they killed by the Romans? And what about her four children?

It was this last question that surprised me the most. I had always assumed that Cleopatra’s children had all been murdered. But the Roman conqueror, Octavian, actually spared the three she bore to Marc Antony: her six-year-old son, Ptolemy, and her ten-year-old twins, Alexander and Selene. As soon as I learned that Octavian had taken the three of them to Rome for his Triumph, I knew at once I had my next book. And when I discovered what Cleopatra’s daughter lived through while in exile – rebellion, loss, triumph, love - I absolutely couldn’t wait to start writing. I can only hope that the novel is as exciting and intriguing as the research proved to be. It may be two thousand years in the past, but a great love story, as they say, is timeless.

About Michelle:
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.

Check out Michelle's blog
Visit the her webpage and have a look at the lovely trailer

If you haven't yet then enter in my Cleopatra's Daughter and The Heretic Contest HERE. Open to all and ends on Sep 10th.

Thank you Michelle for this guestpost, I sure didn't know that 3 of her children were taken to Rome. Very interesting, and sure makes me want to read the book to find out more


  1. Thanks for the great guest post Michelle! I can't wait to read this novel.

  2. A fun post! I never went scuba diving but I think that my worries would be somewhat similar to Michelle's ;)
    I have always been interested in what remained of Cleopatra's heritage and I am waiting impatiently to read the book.

  3. What a great post! So interesting. I'd never heard about her children and your travels sound amazing.

    I'd been diving in college, Cayman Islands where we saw ship wrecks, but nothing as amazing as what you saw.

  4. What a fun trip! I would be a little worried about scuba diving, too.

  5. What an interesting woman. And so dedicated to becoming a writer. She has the calling and good for her for keeping true to her dreams! I love it when authors take some real life from history and use it to build a story. Can't wait to read it!

  6. Ohhh... I would love to do a Cayman Islands dive!

  7. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for stopping by :)
    I who love history never knew about Cleopatra's children, fascinating story. I am so glad you decided to write about it

  8. That was a great post! I loved Cleopatra's Daughter, Michelle Moran certainly did the story justice. Can't recommend the book highly enough!

  9. Hi Blodeuedd and Michelle,
    These books have certainly piqued my interest and love this kind of history. In my youth I always thought history was boring and such dry facts but now I find it so intriguing, how they lived, loved and conquered.

    Thanks for this intriguing guest post Michelle and Blodeuedd, you're on a roll with me. First Hunger Games and now this author :)

  10. Wonderful guest post Michelle. I don't know of a single person who isn't captivated by Cleopatra and her life.

    Congrats on your upcoming release!

    ;) VFG

  11. Great post-Moran is one of my favorite authors-I love her books-you can imagine yourself walking through the streets of Egypt.

    chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

  12. Hi Michelle!

    Wonderful to see you here at B's. Your book is well researched indeed and I've learned something new about this facinating woman.

    I'm looking forward to reading your books.

    Best to you both.

  13. Leontine,
    That is what us bloggers is for, saving the world economy by getting everyone to by books ;)
    I must say that I did like my Hunger Games review, I hope I can write an equally good one for this book.
    As for history, I soaked it up even as a kid, I loved all the facts and places

    Happy to see you all here :D

  14. Hi Michelle and Blodeuedd!

    Thanks for the great guest post, I had no idea that her three remaining children had been spared, very unusual. Can't wait to read you book!

    Dottie :)

  15. Not sure if my comment went through or not...if it did please delete this one!! :)

    I liked the way the idea of the book came to the author. I have to read it because I love historical fiction and I know next to nothing about Cleopatra!!

    Great guest post!!

  16. It's here Staci :) Just the one.

    Thanks for everyone who stopped by.

    Cleopatra is sure fascinating, and to know about her children, that is even more interesting isn't it.

  17. Wow! What a great post. I loved Michelle's previous novels, and I can't wait to read this one. I actually did a happy dance when my copy arrived the other day. :)

    Diary of an Eccentric

  18. Anna,
    Me too, I missed Fedex and was so annoyed, but then they came the next day and yay I had a copy too :)



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