My first Story Plant novel, The God’s Wife, came about for the oddest of reasons. The book, a historical fiction/fantasy, basically follows the induction of a 16-year-old girl into the role of God’s Wife of Amun, a real position in ancient Egypt.
However, the book was first sparked by a movie I saw years before I wrote one word of The God’s Wife. I had seen a movie called The Double Life of Veronique, a French/Polish film by Krzysztof Kieslowski, at an art film venue. Double Life, starring Irene Jacob (who won The Best Actress Award for her role at the Cannes Film Festival), is about two women, one French (Veronique) and the other Polish (Weronica). Both look alike, are involved in music, have similar events happen in their life, and share a heart problem.
By the film’s end, it was obvious to me that they shared the same soul, for when one of the girls died, the other was completely lost, feeling that a part of her was gone. I thought that someday I’d write about two characters sharing a soul, but the opportunity didn’t come up until I had all the research down for a book on the God’s Wife of Amun.
“Why not give the God’s Wife of Amun a twin soul and make this other woman live in contemporary America?” I thought. So I got to work, and soon I had the Egyptian character of Neferet, having dreams and near encounters with Rebecca, a young dancer who was slated to perform a dance version of Aïda, an Egyptian-based opera. As the characters get closer and closer together, pressures from the outside world become increasingly difficult to bear. Neferet is threatened by her half-brother, who wants to marry her and be in line to become Pharaoh. But Neferet hates the man.
Rebecca is hounded by an Egyptian man, Sharif, who wants to tear her from her boyfriend, Jonas. Eventually, Sharif locks her in a room and threatens her and her younger sister with death.
How is a soul split between millennia? I offer the scientific theory of multiple universes to let the reader chew on those possibilities, but I never truly say how a soul splits and how it travels across thousands of years. I like the idea of keeping things mysterious and letting the reader make up his or her mind.
I was thrilled that Story Plant accepted my novel, because it is just the sort of publishing company that publishes odd and mind-bending work by people like myself. Publisher Lou Aronica never once questioned how the events in my book could have happened, probably because he has a love for fantasy and science fiction himself.
It was great fun writing The God’s Wife. I even went to Egypt to research the book. From reviews I got, others read the book with delight also.
Lynn Voedisch is the author of three novels, including The God's Wife and Dateline: Atlantis, published by The Story Plant.