Pharaoh's daughter cover

Not My Normal Novel

Mesu Andrews BFFs 8 Comments

Pharaoh's daughter coverMarketing plans are well underway for the March 17th (2015) release of The Pharaoh’s Daughter. I’ve secured three authors for possible endorsement (I can’t release their names, of course) who will be reading the manuscript in November, so if you think of it, please pray for the Lord’s favor.

At this point in the process, self-doubt begins to niggle, and fear of what reviewers will say can nudge aside my focus on God’s intentions for a book. In times like these, it’s important for me to refocus. So with you, my dearest and best supporters, I’d like to “try out” this sharing of my heart. I’d like to tell you why I wrote The Pharaoh’s Daughter, what’s different about it than my other books, and why I believe it has extended reach.

Why I Wrote TPD

The seedling idea for a dynamic plot twist in The Pharaoh’s Daughter originated from a single verse in Scripture. I don’t want to share the verse because I don’t want to ruin the plot twist for you. Let me just say this: the Scripture was obscure enough to send me scampering to several commentaries, and only one expert explained (and confirmed) the thought I had. This commentary was extremely reliable, and I felt it was sufficient to pursue more research. The deeper I delved into the history of Pharaoh’s daughter, the more excited I became about this elusive woman in Scripture.

What’s Different About TPD?

As you probably realize from my previous four novels, I enjoy researching the more obscure women of the Bible. Job’s wife/Dinah, the shepherdess of Solomon’s song, Gomer, and Jehosheba/Athaliah were relatively overlooked in Scripture’s grander themes, but each was part of a much larger story. Love Amid the Ashes swept through the entire book of Job and part of Genesis. Love’s Sacred Song included every word of the NIV Song of Solomon in its text plus the story of Solomon’s early reign in 2 Samuel and 1 Kings (and parts of 1&2 Chronicles). Love in a Broken Vessel and In the Shadow of Jezebel covered similar large chunks of God’s Word—used throughout the novel’s text and at the beginning of each chapter to introduce the scene.

The story of Pharaoh’s daughter is different because it’s told in ten short verses (Ex. 2:1-10), and she’s mentioned in only five of those verses. My normal writing process was further complicated because the primary male character—Moses—also has very little supporting Scripture about his early years. God’s Word is silent about him after he’s weaned until he flees Egypt (at age 40) and lands in Midian. I thought—for once—I could write a short book with few characters.

Not a chance. 😉

As I dug deeper into God’s Word and Egyptian history, a story emerged so intertwined and complicated, even I grew confused. When I was ready to give up, God settled into the project and showed me—once again—that without His intervention I couldn’t write this or ANY book. Once we got that cleared up…again… the process went much more smoothly. The result is a very different novel than I’ve written before.

Based on Exodus 1:1-2:10, The Pharaoh’s Daughter illustrates themes spanning the whole counsel of God’s Word, so the Scriptures beginning each chapter may quote Exodus or Hebrews or Isaiah or James. Rather than having less Bible to study and reference in this project, I was given the freedom to study and delve into every word and phrase in the biblical canon.

Why I Believe TPD Has Extended Reach

What do I mean by extended reach? I mean I think folks that wouldn’t normally pick up “Christian fiction” or a “biblical novel” might pick up The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Why? Let me count the ways:

  • Culturally accurate cover – Egyptians are typically darker skinned than Hebrews, and WBM chose a model that reflected that cultural (This in no way discounts the light eyes of the model on the cover of Love Amid the Ashes. I suggested light eyes for that model because of expert commentary that suggested Dinah’s mother, Leah, might have had light-colored eyes.)
  • The intriguing possibility that King Tut, a renowned historical character, and Moses, a famous biblical character, might have overlapped could prompt both Christian and non-Christian readers to pick up this book.
  • The story of Moses rescued from the Nile by Pharaoh’s daughter is familiar—yet a puzzle—to people of every age. Older readers remember Cecil B. DeMille’s movie, Ten Commandments, and younger readers remember the Disney movie, Prince of Egypt. It’s a timeless story of hope, courage, and redemption. Hunger for those themes crosses boundaries of race, religion, and gender.

Thankful For My Team!

Thanks for listening as I “refocus” my heart and mind about this book. As the release draws near, the jitters increase—but it helps having a team of folks to walk the road with me. A few weeks ago, I received the “ad copy” from my marketing partners at WBM. Someone had written this FABULOUS summary that you might see in a magazine or on Amazon or who knows where… I loved the way it describes the book:

Based on extensive biblical and historical research, Mesu Andrews breathes new life into the story of Moses from the perspective of the Egyptian princess who found him. You will meet the brave midwives who protected the sons of the Hebrews, the talented young Miriam whose singing soothes the heart of a Pharaoh’s grandson, and a boy becoming a man on the verge of choosing which god he will follow.

I couldn’t have written such a beautiful summary because I’m too close to the minutia of the story, but someone who read it with a fresh-tilled heart captured the overall picture. I pray this book will introduce you to the women in Moses’s life as you’ve never seen them before.

Tomorrow Night’s Webcast!

Maybe these thoughts stirred some questions for tomorrow night’s webcast. I hope so, and I hope you can join us for the fun!

Tomorrow night–Tuesday, November 18th at 7:00pm EST–WB/Mult. marketing director, Amy Haddock, joins us to moderate the exclusive BFF webcast on the password-protected BFF page on my website. If you need a reminder how to visit that page, please contact one of our co-coordinators, Angie Arndt or Renee Smith.

See you tomorrow night!

Today’s Questions:

  • Are you at all bothered by the lesser amount of biblical foundation for this novel as compared to my other novels? Why or why not?
  • What is most exciting to you about this novel?

Comments 8

  1. Mesu, thank you for sharing from your heart. I’m not concerned about the lesser amount of biblical foundation because I trust you and know that you do thorough research for all your books. I have never been disappointed. I pray that doubt doesn’t hang over you as you wait for feedback from your author friends. I’m really looking forward to getting this book in my hands.

    Keep up the good work
    Jenn

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      You’re such a wonderful encourager, Jenn. Thanks so much for your sweet words. Self-doubt is a familiar foe for me, and only by God’s grace do I hear His approval and the encouragement of others. Thanks for being one of those folks that whispers through the noise. You’re a blessing, dear one. 😉

  2. I loved this. Especially the “When I was ready to give up, God settled into the project and showed me—once again—that without His intervention I couldn’t write this or ANY book. Once we got that cleared up…again… the process went much more smoothly. The result is a very different novel than I’ve written before.”
    Because I can actually relate really well! The Lord has graciously taught me that lesson in my writing as well – without Him, I simply and plainly couldn’t write. At all. Wow. It is so humbling, yet soooo encouraging and even more amazing when He makes the writing go even smoother. Because He’s in charge. 🙂
    Can’t wait to read this book!!

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      Why do we have to learn that lesson repeatedly, Raechel? I had to learn it again with MIRIAM, and I’m guessing I’ll learn it again in the future. 🙁 I’m so thankful our God is patient with His kids. So incredibly kind and deliberate to silence our squawking when we crawl into His arms. 😉

  3. Mesu, I have I ever told you how much I appreciate your openness. I love when you share from your heart. It’s so humbling and genuine that it challenges me to do the same. I am not concerned at all about the “lesser amount of biblical fiction”. I know that God is who inspires you and helps you to write these novels and he has a purpose for each of them for those who he chooses to read them. I for one am excited that he has chosen me to read all of your novels so far. I am so excited to see how the story of Moses will jump off the pages of your book, which cannot come out soon enough to suit me, and touch my heart just as the Good Lord needs it to. I am always so proud to tell others of your novels because I know the extensive research that you do and your concern for biblical accuracy in each and every one of them. I love how God gives you the words and the artistic license to tell the story as you think it needs to be told. With God in your heart, how could that be bothersome at all! May God give you peace as this book is released into other’s hands. It is not man who’s judgment we are to fear. “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stand or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 Mesu, go and stand before your master!

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      1. I agree with Della, Mesu. I know that He leads and inspires you. I think that He is helping you to appeal to a broader audience and in turn you are winning more hearts to Him. Your books are wonderful and I don’t know how anyone who reads them could not be touched by them:)

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