Posts filed under ‘The Red Mirror Odyssey’
When I wrote The Red Mirror, I held an image in my mind of the interior of an Egyptian temple far different than anything I’d ever seen in photos or real life. The walls pulsed with a color palette so vivid that the strange giants with human bodies and animal heads with mystical crowns leapt from the stone to dance in the still air.
Here’s a quick excerpt from Chapter Three – The Temple:
Simmering hieroglyphs in colors bright as neon exploded from every surface. Giants with mystical crowns or the heads of animals performed strange rituals in soaring murals painted in vibrant red, yellow and blue.
I resisted leaning my head back to take in the vast ceiling with its elaborate geometric designs, absorbing as much as possible without being obvious. But I couldn’t stop my eyes from traveling everywhere at once.
As if in answer to my imagination begging for manifestation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York recreated by magic of light projection what archaeologists believe are the original colors of one vignette in the Temple of Dendur. The scene couldn’t be closer to what I saw in my mind’s eye when my character, for the first time, walks back in time through the shadowy incense-fogged chambers of a temple on the Nile. Of course, in my vision, every square inch of the walls and ceiling throbbed with the same bold colors as you see in the photo.
Although the beautiful Egypto-Roman Dendur Temple relocated from Egypt is about 500 years “younger” than my temple in The Red Mirror, it reflects the stature and majesty of the setting in my novel. There, among the polychromatic neon gods and goddesses, Isenkhebe Nefrusobek (Isis) experiences her first encounter with Egyptian mysticism and sacred sexuality.
See the New York Times article here: NY Times article on Metropolitan Museum of Art Color the Temple Scene I
First came the New Year’s resolution to DO SOMETHING in the way of marketing the trilogy to which I gave so much of my time, energy and soul.
It was in the predawn not long ago that I awoke with a sudden thought that I should concentrate on marketing the first book — and that I should return to the sensuality and mystery of the Isis eye. What you see to the left is a rework of a cover I created a couple of years ago but abandoned in favor of the more abstract cover that fit the trilogy theme.
To remind you, or in case you don’t know.
The Red Mirror — time travel between now and the past in Pharaonic Egypt.
The Emerald Tablet — continuing present day story with time travel to Greek Ptolemaic Egypt.
The Black Scroll — ongoing modern storyline with travel back to Roman Egypt.
If you look below, you’ll see the cover I replaced. I like the cover. I created it. But it doesn’t pull me in the way of the new one. How about you? Agree or disagree?
I’ve been struggling to put together a TV mini-series or movie pitch for the Red Mirror Series. To be perfectly honest, writing the 1000 page trilogy was a whole lot easier than condensing the complex and intricate saga into a few words.
What genre of film would it be? A mystical Indiana Jones quest for magical artifacts? A coming of age heroine’s journey on the path to empowerment? A love story with the quest for Mr. Right? A time-travel thriller with good guys vs bad guys? A tale of the clash of great civilizations? A sexy romp through ancient history with rich roles for actors and actresses?
Log-line: Reality shatters when a Vegas party girl buys an antique red mirror and a circle of edgy lovers and villains tangle in multiple lifetimes.
Genre: epic romantic time-travel adventure
Once a restless Vegas woman gets a taste of her sumptuous past in ancient Egypt, she wants more. Mystical objects, deadly foes and four powerful lovers appear in shifting roles on both sides of the Red Mirror. Isis goes back to save herself and others, but who can she trust in glamorous and gritty worlds, now and long ago?
Pharoanic Egypt – Red Mirror: A sensual odyssey down the Nile goes all wrong when a desert hunt ends with capture by a Persian General and Isis is forced to make terrible choices to survive. Ancient lovers, allies and villains start to show up on the Las Vegas Strip.
Greek Egypt – Emerald Tablet: A Royal commission to build a pleasure Temple with Antinous of the Library of Alexandria is complicated when Athena is taken at sea by the pirate Black Falcon. The circle of lovers, friends and foes intrigue in the past while their modern counterparts clash in New York, Copenhagen and Tahoe.
Roman Egypt – Black Scroll: A Roman sex slave in ancient Libya rises to Nile love goddess with help from a Berber sorceress. Hektor betrays Elektra, and the General proves an unlikely protector. Vegas Isis leads a rescue mission to militia-torn Libya that climaxes with the reincarnating circle facing off in a London showdown.
I’ve had a joyful time putting vignettes from my Red Mirror Trilogy under one cover. This is the final of my goals that I set for myself when I started the Isis Odyssey four years ago.
First I wrote Isis, then Athena. Then I redacted Isis into Isis Erotica and Isis Beachread. Some people might not understand why I would recast the same story for different audiences. Let’s just call it a personal challenge to see if I could manipulate the characters, scenes and language, all the while keeping the essence. Maybe it is also a strong belief that the saga of Isis is one so compelling that it can be told in a variety of ways and still capture the adventure and mystery of a woman on the path to empowerment. A good, old-fashioned heroine’s journey.
The third novel in the series was to be titled Elektra but after several marketing sessions, we decided to re-title the three books as The Red Mirror, The Emerald Tablet and The Black Scroll with an eye to communicating the adventure slant of the trilogy.
This last step of creating Lovers of Isis Red Mirror Vignettes has been pure pleasure. I started out to grab all the sex scenes from the three books but found myself including other scenes of intense romantic and emotional impact that developed the characters of her lovers. I’ll freely admit that I adore all of these men for different reasons. When their reincarnations through three books and four lifetimes are telescoped in 300 pages, I believe it’s pretty clear why Isis loves them, too.
June 24 was the day I “finished” The Black Scroll. I put ‘finished’ in quotation marks because I’m starting the edit.
But the story is told. It is out of my imagination and now exists in the concrete world of words down on paper. Paper in this case is a digital format, but you get what I mean.
Whew! What a mind-bending experience. I had to pinch myself this morning. I did it! I wrote the trilogy that I’ve envisioned since 2010. The stories of Isis, Athena and Elektra.
There’s been months of hiatus here and there. The Arab Spring starting with Egypt and continuing through Libya. The remix of Isis to Isis Erotica and Isis BeachRead. Family trials and tribulations of late. You know – life getting in the way.
More intricate and involved with a much wider scope than The Red Mirror and The Emerald Tablet, The Black Scroll took a tremendous expenditure of psychic energy to tell. The Romans weren’t nice people. I was juggling memories of four lifetimes with recurring characters. I wanted to wrap everything up – cross all the t’s, dot all the i’s, tie up loose ends.
It’s a longer book, which may or may not remain so after the editing. But I have a feeling it will. The story is complex and action-filled. At least I hope so. It is in my mind, anyway. A fellow author said satisfyingly, “The monumental third volume.” I like the sound of that.
I’ve promised a couple of people to be first readers, and I haven’t forgotten that pledge. I’ll do an edit and then print a few draft copies for distribution.
In the meantime, I’m gonna savor my thrill. There’s not many moments in a lifetime like this.
All of us have seen beautiful works of art from ancient Egypt. Here I’d like to share some photos I’ve taken that give you a feeling for the daily life of my Isis of The Red Mirror. These are actual artifacts, thousands of years old.
If you’re like me, you love to imagine the hands that poured jasmine oil from glass flasks – or shaved heads and mounds with copper blades. Each object has a story – tales of love and disappointment, tragedy and triumph. And each object has a history that begins with the man who wrought it into being and those who used or wore it, then continues through the lives of all who have held the object in their own hands over the centuries – and finally to those who gaze upon it in wonder today.
I have set the beginning of The Black Scroll in Leptis Magna, just outside of today’s Tripoli, Libya. When you look at these splendid images by Jason Hawkes of some of the world’s best extant Roman ruins, you will understand my passion to visit. Unfortunately for myself and others like me, the politics of Libya have kept tourists at bay for decades. Fortunately for the ruins, they remain virtually undisturbed ghosts of the distant past.
As fortune would have it, these photos came out shortly after I started writing The Black Scroll (Feb 11 my start date – Mar 05 publication of photos). I am pleased to say that the LM (Leptis Magna) of my fantasy is remarkably like the one in the photos below.
For more wonderful shots of Leptis Magna and Sabratha, the second of the three ancient Roman cities (Tripolitania) as well as some of modern Tripoli (Oea), please click on the link at end of post to go to The Telegraph page with 24 aerial photos by Jason Hawkes.
click link for more aerial photos of Leptis Magna, Sabratha and Tripoli by Jason Hawke published in The Telegraph Apr 03 2013: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/9909936/Roman-ruins-in-Libya-aerial-photographs-by-Jason-Hawkes.html?frame=2500368