Paula Martin has a new novel out and she's here today to tell you about it. Wishing you success with it, Paula!
The Birth of a Novel
When I went to Egypt in the fall of 2010, I had no idea the trip would result in a novel. I was more interested in seeing all the places I’d always dreamt of visiting, especially the Valley of the Kings and the Abu Simbel temples, which exceeded all my expectations.
|Cruise ships on the Nile|
It wasn’t until the penultimate day of our Nile cruise that the first seed was planted in my mind. I was relaxing on the sundeck of our cruise ship which was moored at Aswan. There are so many ships that they have to be moored four abreast, and the sundecks of neighbouring ships are more or less level with each other. I started to wonder if it would be possible to vault across the short gap (about 3 or 4 feet) from one sundeck to another. Not that I had any intention of trying it, you understand. My days of vaulting anywhere are well and truly over!
That evening, I put the question to one of the friends we had made during the cruise. He walked across to the rail, studied the gap for a moment, and then said, “Well, I wouldn’t try it now, but I could have done it easily when I was in my twenties or thirties.”
First piece of research completed – it was possible. And I could envision my hero doing his death defying leap (slight exaggeration) to be with the heroine.
So what now? Are the hero and heroine guests on different cruise ships? But the cruises only last 5 or 7 days, so what would happen when they returned home? No, I needed to have them both living in Egypt. So maybe my heroine could be a tour guide on a cruise ship.
What about the hero? On a flight from Aswan to Cairo, I read an article in the flight magazine about an archaeologist who had explored a hidden tunnel leading from the burial chamber of one of the pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Hmm, maybe my hero could be an archaeologist in the famous Valley.
With the setting and the two main characters in place, it was time to start thinking of the complications and conflicts that would prevent the course of love running smoothly. What if the heroine had an Egyptian boyfriend who was pressurizing her to marry him? And what if the hero had lost the funding for his project after breaking his engagement to his sponsor’s daughter?
|Temples at Abu Simbel|
I wrote the first two chapters at the hotel in Luxor where we spent a week after the end of our cruise. The very nice Egyptian in the hotel bookshop acquired a notebook for me – I even managed to get him to understand what I meant by ‘spiral bound’! Writing in longhand reminded me of my early (pre-computer) writing days.
As well as writing, I also devoured the three books I bought at the bookshop, all about Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. This was only the beginning of my research. Once I got home, I transferred my scribble to the computer, and got on with the rest of the story, which ended up with far more twists and turns than I'd first envisaged. I wished I could go back to Luxor and explore the city more thoroughly, but by this time the revolution had started and Egypt became a no-go area for tourists for several months. Instead, I had to rely on websites - especially maps and photographs of modern Luxor and the west bank, cruise itineraries and ships, train and plane schedules, and even shisha bars. I also learnt so much about Ancient Egypt as I checked and re-checked my facts.
However, I never did manage to bring in the scene where the hero vaults the rails between the two cruise ships! But I did call my hero Ross, after the cruise-ship friend who told me it could be done.
Neve Dalton loves her job as a tour guide on a River Nile cruise ship as much as she values her independence. She isn’t ready to settle down with her Egyptian boyfriend, despite his repeated proposals and his father’s desire to see him married.
Nor is she ready to meet Ross McAllister, a compelling and fascinating archaeologist. She struggles against her growing attraction to him until she can no longer ignore what her heart is telling her. This is the man who sets her soul on fire.
After breaking up with her boyfriend, she starts receiving cryptic messages, and Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings is threatened, Neve has to make a heart-breaking and life-changing decision which seems to be her only option.
Can they discover whose enmity is forcing them apart before it’s too late?
Paula Martin had some early publishing success in her twenties with short stories and four contemporary romance novels, but then had a break from writing while she brought up a young family and also pursued her career as a history teacher for twenty-five years. She has recently returned to writing fiction, after retiring from teaching. and has had four romance novels published since June 2011.
She lives near Manchester in North-West England, and has two daughters and two grandsons. Apart from writing, she enjoys visiting new places and has travelled extensively in Britain, mainland Europe, the Middle East, America and Canada. Her favourite places are the English Lake District and Ireland. She’s also interested in musical theatre and tracing her family history.
Find all her books on Amazon