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Author Interview: Nicole Sallak Anderson
Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
What’s weird is how quiet I am when I’m alone. Around other humans, I’m chatty and loud. I was always the girl whose teachers said I talked too much. But alone, I’m silent. I meditate. I pray the Rosary. I read. Sometimes I do a Tarot reading. And mostly, I write when I’m alone. I have found that I need several hours a week alone in my house to feel balance, which hasn’t been easy during the covid era.
What is your favorite quote and why?
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
To me, this is the recipe to living well and to writing. What we feel, what we catch from the ethers of the cosmos, this is the place where all stories are born.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Too hard to answer. I love many authors for many reasons. Stephen King because he makes horrible things happen to normal folk like no one else can. JoJo Moyes because her love stories are adorable. Anne Rice because her vampires are the best vampires ever. Oscar Wilde because “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” is the story of our time (he was well ahead of his time) and his plays about wealthy society are spectacular.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
I love to drop into another world and get lost, so world-building is key for me. I also want to love and hate the characters, so when an author knows their characters well, then we know them well.
Where did you get the idea for this book?
While researching rebellions in general for a work of science fiction I was writing in 2013, I stumbled upon a Wikipedia entry about Ankhmakis and his father and the Great Egyptian Revolt of 200 BCE. As I read the four sentences in the entry, I felt a chill run down my spine and knew I had to pen his story.
by Nicole Sallak Anderson
GENRE: Historical Fantasy
This is the lost story of Lord Ankhwenefer, known to the Greeks as Chaonnophris the Rebel, the last native Egyptian Pharaoh. The brilliance and heartache of his rebellion weave a tale that history has forgotten.
In the year 205 B.C., after centuries of Persian and Macedonian occupation, a rebel king rises from the south to take ancient Egypt back unto native hands. He will battle the Ptolemy line for twenty years, and rule almost eighty percent of Egypt, yet in the end, history will never mention his name.
Born Prince Ankhmakis, the last in a line of native Egyptian kings, he is raised with one purpose—to help his father reclaim Egypt from the Macedonian occupiers and return their country to dynastic greatness. Fate, however, has its own plans. For lies and deceit live in the hearts of all involved, from his family to the priesthood, and the Greeks aren’t the only ones who seek to destroy him.
Natasa is in training to become the High Priestess of the temple of Isis. Her task is to strengthen the royal family with the magic of the goddess through love and pleasure. She never thought the connection between her and Ankhmakis could be so strong, or carry a power coveted by those lurking in the shadows. Nor did she know that the child they would create would have her own great destiny to fulfill.
Together, Ankhmakis and Natasa must defend the potential of their love from those who would seek to use it for their own gain. Theirs is a world of magic, power, riches, and lust, and there are those within the court who would do anything to keep Ankhmakis and Natasa apart. Between mystical forces, murder, and illicit schemes–only the gods know if they’ll survive.
Before sunrise on the final morning of their journey, Natasa woke to the sound of gentle music. She slipped away from her snoring father, who was, of course, sleeping beside her and made her way up to the deck. There she found Iu-Amon standing in the shadows. He was watching Ankhmakis, who stood at the bow playing his pandura, unaware he had an audience. Natasa smiled at how beautiful and noble the prince looked, singing to the rising Sun God, Ra.
“What’s he doing?” she asked Iu-Amon.
“He’s played this song every morning since Alexandria,” Iu-Amon whispered.
“It’s beautiful,” she sighed.
The sky turned purple, and streaks of pink and gold paled the horizon.
“Why does he do it?”
“Well,” Iu-Amon said, smiling as bright as Ra himself, “it’s been my experience that only one thing compels a young man to sing to the sunrise.”
“What?” she asked.
“I think the prince is in love.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Nicole Sallak Anderson is Computer Science graduate from Purdue University, and former CTO for a small Silicon Valley startup, turned novelist, speaker, and blogger, focusing on the intersection of technology and consciousness. Her essays range from AI and Zen to direct democracy to the loneliness of modern parenting (https://medium.com/@NSallakAnderson/pretty-birds-in-pretty-cages-could-the-nuclear-family-be-the-reason-were-all-miserable-46126d573263) — featured as a top twenty story on Medium. In addition, her work on Universal Basic Income has been included on 2020 presidential candidate, Andrew Yang’s, website: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/the-freedom-dividend/.
Her latest project, The Song of the King’s Heart Trilogy, is a series about the last native Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and his quest to take back his ancestral kingdom from the Ptolemaic Empire. The first two installments, Origins and Blood and Chaos, are available on Amazon. The last novel in the series, Civilization’s End, will be released October 2021. You can keep up with all her latest writing on her website nicolesallakanderson.com or by following @NSallakAnderson on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NSallakAnderson/) , Twitter (https://twitter.com/NSallakAnderson), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nsallakanderson/) and Medium (https://nsallakanderson.medium.com/). Feel free to contact her, she almost always answers to any query or comment!
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Amazon Buy Links: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Nicole+Sallak+Anderson&ref=nb_sb_noss_2