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Interview with Helen Davis

Interview with Helen Davis


Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED, which is an alternate history novel that re-imagines the history of the ancient world being altered by the triumph of Antony and Cleopatra, rather than Octavian, or Augustus Caesar, at Actium, which was an important naval battle in the First Century B.C. This book alternates between the first person viewpoint of Cleopatra herself, and that of her goddess and protector, Isis, goddess of motherhood, magic, and pharaohs.

Where can a reader purchase your book? 

My books can be purchased online at Amazon.com, of course, and directly from my publisher at www.savantbooksandpublications.com.
                                                      
Interview with Helen Davis
http://amzn.to/2b5nUDQ
What are you doing to market the book?   

Interviews, of course. I am also giving talks on Cleopatra, giving a brief overview of the true history of her life, with a hook into my alternate history series, also contrasting Hollywood’s portrayal of her with what the true facts of her life and character.

Who inspires you?  

Cleopatra herself, of course. She fought for so much and was a woman willing to sacrifice her life rather than surrender herself.  Also, being a fellow polyglot, I could always relate to her gift for being multilingual. I am also a big fan of Deborah, the only female judge in the Old Testament. She was powerful yet humble, a rare combination.

How do you research your books? 

I begin by reading everything I can about my protagonist—biographies, mostly. I also read other novels about them to inspire my imagination. I then watch both movies and documentaries—the documentaries for the facts and the movies to imagine being in the shoes of the protagonist. Then, if I can afford it or if it is feasible, I visit the lands that were dear to them. I have not yet been to Egypt, but I have been to Israel and I think that trip will bring to life the remaining three books in the series. 

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.

My works in progress have already been completed, I just await the go-ahead to publish them. They are as follows: CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS, which picks up where CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED left off, following Antony and Cleopatra after their victory at Actium as they attempt to rule the Roman-Egyptian empire, raise their children, and face foes. CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA follows the life of Antony and Cleopatra’s fictional great-granddaughter, Cleopatra X, who is queen of Egypt by right and birth and queen of Ethiopia by marriage. Lamentably, however, Pollio, the leader of Rome, has become obsessed with his cousin and kidnaps her. But is this the end? No!  This exciting saga continues in CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT, in which Cleopatra X is able to escape her cousin’s trap, reclaim her land and true husband and restore the victories of her great-grandmother.

Interview with Helen Davis
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?  

It kind of fell into my way by accident. I had an English teacher, Linda Van Meter, in high school, who loved the senior research project I did on Cleopatra as well as an essay I did on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. She encouraged me to turn my gears away from the sciences, which I was struggling in but thought I had to do to please my parents, who were both scientists, to writing, literature, drama and foreign languages, where my true talents lie.

Does your family support you in your writing career? How?

I have a very supportive family. My father has been my advocate for many years and he helped me quite a bit with this series. He also has been involved in business and marketing for many years and is helping me sell my series.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?

Jean Plaidy and her ‘Queens of England’ series was most influential on my writing style. Philippa Gregory, author of The Other Boleyn Girl, gave me encouragement when I was doubtful about my abilities. Her advice was ‘the best way to do it is simply to do it.’ Margaret George’s novel, The Memoirs of Cleopatra, was influential in my fascination with the Egyptian queen. Michelle Moran, who writes about ancient Egypt and France, two nations dear to me, was also a big influence and was kind enough to look at some of my earlier work

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time? 

I am a very sociable person. I like to spend time with friends and I also love to travel back to my home state of Ohio to visit friends there.  I also enjoy swimming, walking, and playing video games. I am very active also as a freelance journalist and love helping at church related charity events.



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