. Athena's Books: Happy Labor Day and Michelle Moran
Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day and Michelle Moran

Happy Labor Day to all you who actually do not have to labor today...I'm one of them. Well, I am completely alone at home today. I plan to visit my mom, meet my husband at Taco Bell, take a nap, and pick up my son from school. Then it's dinner, homework, and all kinds of sports. But, somehow, through all this I have to get myself together and do some major damage in my own homework schedule. Tommorrow I have to "pitch" my story idea for a feature film to my screenwriting professor and classmates.

Amazingly, I got a brainstorm Saturday morning. The picture above has got something to do with...a coming of age screenplay dealing with South Padre Island. It seems like too much to put here on my review blog...so go check out my live journal if you want to know more. I'm really gonna try hard to put anything to do with my aspiring career as a writer over on livejournal and not fill up Athena's YA Reviews with that, eventhough I have been doing a little of this. I'll still give tidbits here every now and then, but I don't want to lose the focus of this blog.

On to Michelle Moran...I have only read a piece of Cleopatra's Daughter, but so far I love it. How can I not, especially since I teach world history?

I don't have a review yet, but I do have a blog post by the author herself! Just keep reading...
Michelle Moran on Why Cleopatra's daughter?

It began with a dive. Not the kind of dive that people take into swimming pools, but the kind where you squeeze yourself into a wetsuit and wonder just how tasty your rump must appear to passing sharks now that it looks exactly like an elephant seal. My husband and I had taken a trip to Egypt, and at the suggestion of a friend, we decided to go to Alexandria and do a dive to see the remains of Cleopatra’s underwater city. Let it be known that I had never done an underwater dive before, so after four days with an instructor (and countless questions like, Will there be sharks? How about jellyfish? If there is an earthquake, what happens underwater?) we were ready for the real thing.

We drove to the Eastern Harbor in Alexandria. Dozens of other divers were already there, waiting to see what sort of magic lay beneath the waves. I wondered if the real thing could possibly live up to all of the guides and brochures selling this underwater city, lost for thousands of years until now. Then we did the dive, and it was every bit as magical as everyone had promised. You can see the rocks which once formed Marc Antony’s summer palace, come face to face with Cleopatra’s towering sphinx, and take your time floating above ten thousand ancient artifacts, including obelisks, statues, and countless amphorae. By the time we had surfaced, I was Cleopatra-obsessed. I wanted to know what had happened to her city once she and Marc Antony had committed suicide. Where did all of its people go? Were they allowed to remain or were they killed by the Romans? What about her four children?

It was this last question which surprised me the most. I had always believed that all of Cleopatra’s children had been murdered. But the Roman conqueror Octavian had actually spared the three she bore to Marc Antony: her six-year-old son, Ptolemy, and her ten-year-old twins, Alexander and Selene. As soon as I learned that Octavian had taken the three of them for his Triumph in Rome, I knew at once I had my next book. This is how all of my novels seem to begin – with a journey, then an adventure, and finally, enormous amounts of research for what I hope is an exciting story.