a paranormal romance guest author day
Please welcome my guest author, Veronica Scot, to Jessica Aspen Writes. Veronica has been writing for several years now and I remember when I first heard of her Egyptian based series. It was a combonation of “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that!” and “Wow, I can’t wait to read it!” Please join me in welcoming talented and multi-published romance author, Veronica Scott.
And don’t forget to leave a comment to enter the giveaway for a copy of MAGIC OF THE NILE
Thanks for having me as your guest today! I write both science fiction romances and paranormal romances set in ancient Egypt. I try to work myth and mystery into the novels of either genre, although in the Egyptian stories, I use the actual legends and beliefs of the time as much as I can. I always wanted to write tales set thousands of years ago along the Nile but I wanted to have the gods and goddesses actively involved in the day to day events, much as the Egyptians believed and hoped they were. MAGIC OF THE NILE includes a number of the deities, from Sobek the Crocodile God to Tawaret the Hippo Goddess. My heroine and hero are the main actors driving the story but the gods are integrally involved.
- What is your writing environment like? I write in a corner of my bedroom, at a desk that belonged to my great grandmother. I like the feeling of family continuity! I use a laptop and of course my cats are always supervising whatever I’m doing. They insist I take periodic breaks to throw their toys down the stairs. One of my cats has as his main goal in life to shred my ergonomic writing chair so I regularly have to deflect him. I prefer to write in the morning, since I’m definitely a lark, but with the day job, I’m more likely to be getting in a few hours after dinner. I keep an ever rotating variety of action figures and knickknacks on top of the desk for inspiration. I have my book covers in frames on the wall above and I also have a framed poster for the 1950’s movie “Princess of the Nile.”
- How do you respond to someone who says, “You write WHAT?” In fact, I recently revealed to my co-workers that I was a romance writer, which was fun. They were quite blown away that I have seven books published and more in the works, have won some awards, etc. The fact that my first two books were released by Carina, an imprint of Harlequin, made an impression on everyone. Even the guys have heard of Harlequin it seems! And if I could tell that the person I was talking to about being an author really didn’t “get” that I was seriously pursuing my writing career, I’d mention my USA Today column on the Happily Ever After blog and THEN they’d nod and be impressed. (I write about science fiction romance 2-3 times a month for them.) Funny anecdote – some not-so-savvy internet users looked me up to find out more after I revealed my writing career, but they’d gotten the name wrong and searched on “Veronica Mars”…! They were really confused by the results LOL! I have to say everyone at has been supportive overall. My day job is at a heavy duty rocket science kind of place so it’s nice that people are respecting my genre choice and that I’m following my dreams. The world always needs more romance!
- What do you love about writing? Hate about it? The thing I love most is being able to share my stories and hope readers are enjoying them. There’s nothing like receiving an e mail from someone who says they can’t stop thinking about your book, or meeting a reader at an event who’s read all of the books in the series and wants more. I don’t hate anything about writing but it is frustrating to me to have so many stories and bits of ideas in my head and not enough time to write them all. Sometimes it’s hard to pick which one to work on next. I usually go with whichever story is energizing my creativity the most.
- What two things do you wish you had known before you started writing? First of all, I wish I’d understood the need to be active on social media sooner. The day I received The Call that Carina was buying my first story, I had no social media presence at all. Looking back, I can’t believe it! I quickly established my blog, got on Facebook and Twitter, but I think it would have been good for me to have been blogging and tweeting sooner. It’s fun and you connect with so many wonderful people all over the world. The second thing I would have done is joined my local Romance Writers of America chapter sooner and probably the RWA Fantasy Futuristic & Paranormal Special Interest Chapter as well. I did do both eventually and there are so many terrific people there who are willing to share lessons learned and encourage others.
- What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict? I usually start with the hero and heroine in my head, the opening scene, the ending and three or four major scenes along the way. I don’t plot, outline, use Scrivener or other tools…I’m strictly a write as I go person. I’m very superstitious about my Muse and how she works! I don’t examine my process too closely. I’ve also found that if I do too much prethinking about the story before I dive into writing it, then I’m not likely to ever write it, because in my mind, it’s been told. Usually I’ll print out the first draft once or twice while I’m still writing, read through it and think about what scenes might be missing. What do I know about the characters that I really haven’t shown the Readers in enough detail?
- What made you choose to go the indie route and what are some of the things you love about it? Challenges? As I mentioned above, my first two ancient Egyptian paranormal novels were published as ebooks by Carina Press. I didn’t set out to be a self-publisher, but I had a novel nearly complete, which was loosely based on the sinking of the Titanic, set in the far future on a spaceliner. It dawned on me in early 2012 that the 100th anniversary of the sinking was right around the corner and I needed to get my novel out there. I didn’t have time to go through the submission process, not even with Carina, so I hired an editor, a cover artist, and a formatter and got WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM released myself. The book did very well, won several awards…and my career in self-publishing was launched. I love the control of self-publishing, being able to write exactly what I want, pick my own covers and to release my books on my own schedule. I wouldn’t mind being a hybrid author, perhaps have some books released by a publisher in the future but for now I’m focused on the self-pub route.
- Did you have a favorite scene? One scene I particularly enjoyed writing was when the hero Sahure takes the heroine Tyema for a drive to town in his chariot. With her permission, he gives the horses their heads and they gallop down the road. She’s never gone anywhere so fast in her life and she revels in the sensations, deciding she has to get a chariot for herself. Sahure is pretty surprised by that! I had many readers tell me they were quite struck by the scene and that it really placed them in the ancient time frame, when not too many people went anywhere at a pace above walking speed. And women, even high priestesses, didn’t drive chariots. So one of the subplots is whether Tyema will or won’t get her chariot. Tyema is also suffering from anxiety relating to events in her childhood (which happen in PRIESTESS) and when she’s “flying” in the chariot, she feels free of all the cares and problems in her daily routine.
- Is this a series? Will there be any sequels to this book? MAGIC OF THE NILE is my fourth novel set in this general time frame. It’s the latest entry in the “Gods of Egypt” series, which is a connected series, revolving around the same Pharaoh or events set in motion by him. MAGIC is a sequel to my first book, PRIESTESS OF THE NILE, but it’s a standalone. You don’t have to have read PRIESTESS first to enjoy the action and romance in MAGIC. There are some mild spoilers for PRIESTESS in this new book though. I’m currently working on GHOST OF THE NILE, which is set in the same general time frame, same pharaoh on the throne, but is standalone. I usually alternate, writing a science fiction romance and then one set in ancient Egypt.
MAGIC OF THE NILE
After a childhood spent scorned and ignored by her family because of her crippled foot, Tyema was magically healed then installed as the High Priestess of his temple by Sobek the Crocodile God. But Tyema is still haunted by her memories, scarred by the abuse she endured. Despite Sobek’s protection, as an adult she’s become a near recluse inside the temple grounds…
Until Captain Sahure arrives in her remote town, sent from Thebes on an urgent mission for Pharaoh, requiring High Priestess Tyema’s help. From that moment on, her quiet, safe life is upended in ways she never could have expected.
But after a whirlwind romance with Sahure, the two part as Pharaoh orders him to undertake another assignment on Egypt’s dangerous frontier, far from Tyema’s remote town.
Heart-broken, Tyema is ready to return to her life of loneliness, official duties and, now, regret. But the Crocodile God has other plans for his priestess: she must uncover the sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh’s life with black magic. Soon enough, Tyema finds herself thrown into the chaos of Pharoah’s court, neck deep in intrigue and danger. Just when she thinks she can’t take the pressures of a very public court life and her secret investigation for the Crocodile God any longer, Sahure re-enters the scene.
But is her former love there to help or to hinder? Can they resolve their differences and work together to find the dark sorcerer who threatens Pharaoh and Egypt?
MAGIC OF THE NILE is a paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt. Self published, this novel is 115,512 words long and was released in March 2014. ISBN: 0989590364 The book trailer can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0skxQ0kmJM
Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories. Winner of the 2014 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award and two SFR Galaxy Awards, she is also the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.