She applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Heretic Queen, and reported the following:
"I looked beyond the sycamore groves to the crests of dunes that vaulted one beyond the other. If the wind, which had only the power of breath, could make a hill, then surely Woserit could make a princess into a queen."Read an excerpt from The Heretic Queen, and learn more about the book and author at Michelle Moran's website.
My novel, The Heretic Queen, is the story of an orphan's transformation from an unwanted princess whose parents have died to a powerful queen of Ramesses the Great. The idea for writing the book began on a trip to Egypt where I visited Nefertari's magnificent tomb. At one time, visiting her tomb was practically free, but today, a trip underground to see one of the most magnificent places on earth can cost upwards of five thousand dollars (yes, you read that right). If you want to share the cost and go with a group, the cost lowers to the bargain-basement price of about three thousand. As a guide told us of the phenomenal price, I looked at my husband, and he looked at me. We had flown more than seven thousand miles, suffered the indignities of having to wear the same clothes for three days because of lost luggage… and really, what were the possibilities of our ever returning to Egypt again? There was only one choice. We paid the outrageous price, and I have never forgotten the experience.
While breathing in some of the most expensive air in the world (I figured it was about $20 a gulp), I saw a tomb that wasn’t just fit for a queen, but a goddess. In fact, Nefertari was only one of two (possibly three) queens ever deified in her lifetime, and as I gazed at the vibrant images on her tomb, I knew that this wasn’t just any woman, but a woman who had been loved fiercely when she was alive. Because I am a sucker for romances, particularly if those romances actually happened, I immediately wanted to know more about Nefertari and Ramesses the Great. So my next stop was the Hall of Mummies at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. There, resting beneath the heavy glass, was the great Pharaoh himself. For a ninety-something year old man, he didn’t look too bad. His short red hair was combed back neatly and his face seemed strangely peaceful. I tried to imagine him as he’d been when he was young – strong, athletic, frighteningly rash and incredibly romantic. Buildings and poetry remain today as testaments to Ramesses’s softer side, and in one of Ramesses’s more famous poems he calls Nefertari “the one for whom the sun shines.” His poetry to her can be found from Luxor to Abu Simbel, and it was my visit to Abu Simbel (where Ramesses built a temple for Nefertari) where I finally decided that I had to tell their story.
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