Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Character Interview - Merys Priestess of the Nile

Posted by: Veronica Scott

Today we're interviewing Merys, from Priestess of the Nile, Veronica Scott's debut novella. Merys will have some thoughts for us on our Here Be Magic February theme "Magic of Love." But first, a little bit about the story:
Egypt, 1500 BC
Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile God is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.
Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future—or love.
Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. When he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?
What was your life like growing up?
I lived in a small village close to the Nile. My mother died when I was young and my father remarried so I have half sisters. My stepmother was in poor health (and worse temper, I’ll admit that now!) so much of the housework fell on me. I’m descended from the hereditary priestesses of Sobek the Crocodile God’s temple, so I took my duties seriously there as well, trying to keep the abandoned temple from going completely to ruin. Singing the old songs was my favorite way to relax after a hard day’s work!
Before the action in the book, what were your plans/hopes for the future?
As I told Sobek when I first met him, all I wanted was to love a good man and be loved, to have my own household, children. Nothing too grand…but happy. I also wanted to pass down the temple lore, the songs and legends, to my own daughters someday. But there were serious obstacles to my ever finding my way to such a situation.
What changed that?
Meeting Sobek!
What one thing would you take to a desert island?
If I had to go into exile for some reason? My most precious possession is the crocodile amulet Sobek gave me as a symbol of his love and protection. I never take that off.
Where would you go on vacation?
Since Sobek is the Crocodile God, he relishes hot weather and sunshine, and he loves to be by the water, so we’d probably go on a cruise down the Nile. He knows I’ve always wanted to visit Thebes (not to dwell there – too many people for me) so I’m sure he’d arrange some time on shore for me to see the wondrous temples, the libraries…and shop in the bazaar!
What is your major skill or talent?
(Blushing) I’ve been told my voice is pleasing. I have an excellent memory for songs and in fact that’s how I met Sobek – one evening he heard me singing a very old tune he was fond of.
What’s your favorite color? Favorite food?
I love the blue shade of the lotus (and the sweet scent). Fish, cooked any way, makes an excellent dinner, with dates for dessert!
Do you have a favorite book?
Since the time I met Sobek and the adventures we had, I’ve learned to read. It’s one of my greatest pleasures, especially stories about magicians (which Sobek often defeats in the legends!). Next in my pile of scrolls to be read is the Book of Thoth, written by the god himself. After reading the first page it is said you’ll be able to enchant the heaven and the earth, the abyss, the mountains and the sea; and you’ll know what the birds and the beasts and the reptiles are saying. And when you have read the second page your eyes will behold all the secrets of the gods themselves, and read all that is hidden in the stars.
(Veronica sez: That’s quite a favorable review Thoth got! Probably 5 stars at least LOL!)
Who are your closest friends?
Aside from Sobek I’m closest to my half sister Tyema.
Is there something you’d like to experience that as yet you haven’t?
I would like to meet Pharaoh and his queen someday and hear from their own lips how he took the throne back from the woman who had usurped his family’s rightful place.
Any comment you’d like to make on our February theme: Magic of Love?
This is from a traditional poem I’ve often heard recited at festivals for Hathor, goddess of love:
For heaven makes your love
Like the advance of flames in straw,
And its longing like the downward swoop of a hawk.
That’s pretty much how falling in love with Sobek struck me, although he’s the Crocodile, not Hathor the Hawk! (Merys laughs)
And later the poem also says:
My hand is in his hand.
I wander together with him
To every beautiful place.
He makes me the first of maidens
Any parting thoughts for us today?
May the sunlight rest upon you every day!
So, Readers, what was it like the first time you felt the Magic of Love?

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