Thursday, August 6, 2015

Unexpected Time Travel to Ancient Egypt in Vanessa MacLellan's THREE GREAT LIES

One of my favorite new markets for speculative fiction is the Dreaming Robot Press series Young Explorer's Adventure Guide. I was honored to share the 2015 table of contents with Vanessa MacLellan, and I'm further honored to have Vanessa as a guest today to discuss her new novel, Three Great Lies.

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When I was little I had three great fascinations: Dinosaurs, terraforming other planets, and Egyptian mythology. Sit for a moment and remember the focus you had as kids, when all you wanted to do was play ball, or teach your dog to fetch, or read about space aliens? Well, for me, those three were tops. I had plastic dinosaurs I'd play with in the mud; they built towns and had a government. Read sci-fi where human colonists turned desert landscapes into rolling fields. And I had this great picture book with pyramids and pharaohs and mummies in it, along with a description of what each god meant.

I've been fascinated ever since. So, back in 2008 when I was preparing for my fifth NaNoWriMo challenge, I began to ponder... how well would I survive in an ancient world, like, say ancient Egypt?

Thus the seed was planted and much research was tackled.

A major aspect of the book (the stray dog theme) sprang to life at an agility dog show. The midsummer day was baking hot and I had parked myself under a tree for the next show. A Jack Russell Terrier was looking at me with that intelligent tongue-lolling smile terriers have. Honestly, the dog was smiling.

And that was the original start of the novel: "The dog was smiling at her." It's since changed, but that line and scene are still in there, the theme planted throughout the novel. The story just unfolded from that one dog's smile. I thank the heavens for smiling dogs!

After that, sitting in the hot sun, I began writing long hand. Then moved the novel to my computer and it flowed from there. I wrote 50,000 words of a woman fumbling her way through ancient Egypt, being chased by mummies, crocodiles and slave masters. Of her using her vast knowledge from spy movies to infiltrate a spy ring and help a young woman find her purpose and a mummy find his soul. It was a good ride.

It is still a good ride. One that's just starting.

Blurb for Three Great Lies:

While vacationing in Egypt. . .
Jeannette Walker, a cynical scientist jaded by swarms of tour groups and knick-knack shacks, is lured by a teenage tour guide to visit a newly discovered tomb. No other tourists there! Inside the chamber, she tumbles down a shaft and 3000 years back in time.

Now, in a world where deities walk the streets and prophecy stinks up the air, Jeannette is desperate for normal and the simple pleasures of sanitation and refrigeration. However, a slave master hawking a cat-headed girl derails her homebound mission, and Jeannette—penniless in this ancient world—steals the girl, bringing down the tireless fury of the slaver.

Saddled with a newly awakened mummy and the cat-headed girl, Jeannette, through her unparalleled experience gained from watching spy movies, contrives a plan to free them from the slaver's ire, but will she have to dive into the belly of the beast to succeed?

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Follow Vanessa MacLellan on her websiteFacebook, and Google+.

You can purchase Three Great Lies on Amazon

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