I finished reading Cleopatra's Daughter yesterday, but I haven't written up my review yet; this is one I'm going to need a little time. Let it sink in for a while.
In the meantime, I had the chance to ask the author, Michelle Moran, a few questions about the process of writing the novel, and about what she is reading today!
1. You’ve studied history, and even done archaeology, throughout your life, so you must be familiar with good source material for writing your own historical fiction books. What original historical sources did you use the most while writing Cleopatra’s Daughter?
I did most of my research on-site (in Rome, Alexandria) and in libraries. In order to describe the Palatine, I went there (not that this was necessary… but it was certainly fun!). To get a feel for life on Capri, my husband and I booked a week there and took several trips into the Blue Grotto (where you can no longer swim). I also used dozens of books and contacted scholars such as Duane W. Roller whose work on the life of Kleopatra Selene was invaluable to me.
2. What books would you suggest to someone who is interested in reading more about Egypt in the time of Cleopatra? Is there a good “primer” book for someone who doesn’t know much about the time period?
I highly recommend Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak. It was a wonderfully entertaining book, filled with fantastic tidbits and written as though it’s a modern a guidebook. Other resources I used included:
- The Complete Pompeii by Joanne Berry
- The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found by Mary Beard
- Chronicle of the Roman Republic (Chronicles) by Philip Matyszak
- Roman Life: 100 B.C. to A.D. 200 by John R. Clarke
- Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt
- Caesar: Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy
- Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome by Lesley Adkins
- Daily Life in Ancient Rome by Jerome Carcopino
- Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician by Anthony Everitt
- The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories by Herodotus
- Plutarch's Lives, Volume 2 (Modern Library Classics) by Plutarch
- Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley
- Cleopatra - A Biography by Michael Grant
- The Reign of Cleopatra by Stanley Mayer Burstein
3. Have you read historical fiction since you became a published author? What fiction have you been reading lately?
Her bio reads:
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.
Remember to visit her website: MichelleMoran.com for more info and PLENTY of extras, including more chances to win one of her books!
If you haven't done so already, don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE for the chance to win a signed copy of The Heretic Queen or Cleopatra's Daughter.