News and Events
September 17, 2011: Madame Tussaud Miniseries
Since MADAME TUSSAUD'S release in hardcover last February, amazing things have been happening! First, there was the book-launch at the Madame Tussauds wax museum in Hollywood. Now, there is news that the book has been optioned for a miniseries!! Michael Hirst, who wrote the TUDORS for Showtime (and the movie ELIZABETH), will be adapting the book, and I could not be more excited!!! Hopefully... more great news to come :)
I hope everyone is having a wonderful Fall!
March 2, 2011: Madame Tussaud's debut!
So I suppose I should just admit to myself that I'll only be updating this page once every few months, given how much easier it is to update on Facebook (and please feel free to add me there!). So... after all this time, where do I even begin? Perhaps with the news that the Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum threw a fabulous book launch for Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution. Or maybe with the unbelievable fact that Cleopatra's Daughter is now in its 12th (!!) printing in the US!!! The start of 2011 really has been fantastic. Although there was sad news as well. The recent Chapter 11 filing by Borders didn't come as a shock to those in the industry, but it's still very disappointing. My thoughts are with all of the employees (and readers) affected by this.
October 24, 2010: Madame Tussaud
Last week I turned in the copyedits for MADAME TUSSAUD, which can only mean one thing - Debut Day is just around the corner!! All sorts of wonderful things have been happening ahead of MT's April debut. Library Journal gave a shout-out to the novel in their most recent newsletter, writing:
Having racked up some national best sellers (and LJ stars) with fiction about ancient Egypt (e.g., Nefertiti), Moran leaps to 18th-century France with this book about Madame Marie Tussaud-yes, the Madame Tussaud of wax museum fame. Here, Marie is asked to teach the art of wax sculpting to the sister of Louis XVI-an association that nearly costs her her head when the revolution comes. Moran is a sprightly and gimlet-eyed writer, so this should be fun-and a possible breakout.
And bestselling author Alison Weir very graciously took the time to blurb the book, for which I am 1000 kinds of grateful!
May 18, 2010: Italian Bestseller
Oh my gosh - has it really been five months since I've last updated my page here? Many apologies. Ever since I started with Facebook (and I invite you all to join me there!), I have woefully neglected this page. Well... no longer!
And there is lots of great news to report from the past five months. In January, I took a trip to Scandinavia to see Sweden, Denmark, and do some skiing in the Swiss Alps. When I returned, it was full steam ahead on my fourth book, Madame Tussaud.
I finally finished it, and there is even a pub date now: April 2011. We are in the process of choosing a cover, which is all very exciting and stressful at the same time. As soon as I see the final artwork, I will post it here!
In other news, I learned that Nefertiti is a bestseller in Italy and that Cleopatra's Daughter has made its way into Tesco, the UK's version of Target/Walmart/your local grocery store.
And now that it's almost June, I am preparing for a summer filled with research and travel for my fifth book. My hope is to be in the US for at least a few weeks in August. Apparently, The Heretic Queen will be making an appearance in Costco at that time, something I am very excited about! With every new market I am awed anew by the sales force both at Random House and Quercus (in the UK). I am very fortunate in my publishers!
January 1, 2010: Target Book Club Pick!
I could not be more excited to announce that Target has chosen Nefertiti as its Book Club Pick!!! The paperback is in Target stores today and has a brand new cover as well as bonus content inside. I also recorded a special video for Target discussing life in ancient Egypt, which you can see here. Thank you, Target! It's an honor.
September 28, 2009: Cleopatra's Daughter Book Launch
I would like to thank everyone who took the time to come on the first night of Rosh Hashanah (and battle the LA traffic on a Friday) to celebrate the launch of Cleopatra's Daughter. Here are a few photos from the signing:
Book Launch '09
There were friends and family and even treasure hunters who had discovered the Digging for Cleopatra's Daughter gift bag!
Now it's off to write book 4...
July 8, 2009: Sixth Printing
I hope everyone has been having an absolutely fabulous summer! Mine started off in rainy Cape Cod, where they were having the worst summer in years! Things got sunnier, however, as I headed south to do a tour of Revolutionary and Civil War sites around the country. I also made it a point to visit the homes of the early presidents. I managed to visit Monticello, Montpelier, Andrew Jackson's home, Coolidge's home, Roosevelt's... and so many others! The National Park Service in America does an amazing job at setting up tours and preservation.
And in book news, Nefertiti has gone on to its sixth printing! I am all kinds of happy about this. The novel will be on Barnes and Nobles' front table along with the paperback of The Heretic Queen when Cleopatra's Daughter is released in September.
And speaking of Cleo's Daughter, I am very excited to annouce that on September 15th, 60 Indie stores around the country will be participating in the "Digging for Cleopatra's Daughter" Treasure Hunt. I will post the treasure hunt news on my homepage in late August, with all of the fun details! Let's just say it involves decoding and discovering not only signed copies of Cleopatra's Daughter, but authentic Roman coins as well!
May 8, 2009: Fourth Book Deal
Okay, so this news actually happened in March, but as previously stated, I managed to delete all of my news for the past several months. So... in awesome March news, my incredibly amazing agent Dan Lazar negotiated a fourth book deal with Crown for a novel entitled Masks of the Revolution. As was reported in PM, the book will be "about the life of Madame Tussaud, in which young Marie Tussaud joins the gilded but troubled court of Marie Antoinette, and survived the French Revolution by creating "Death Masks" of the beheaded aristocracy." I'm so excited!!
March 15, 2009: The History Channel!
In the I-can't-believe-it's-really-happening category, The History Channel's show "The Naked Archaeologist" recently invited me to film an episode on Nefertiti and Moses. After flying me to Israel, we met on location at Ein Gedi and talked about monotheism, Aten, and the emergence of Judaism. I was interviewed by the Naked Archaeologist himself (he had clothes on), and he was a truly amazing (not to mention incredibly learned) man. Then, while I was in Israel, I popped over to Jordan to see Petra (yes, where they filmed Indiana Jones). Overall, it was an amazing trip!!! Of course, then I came home to a house full of movers and my whirlwind tour came to an end. Yes, I've sold my home and I'm moving - not sure where yet, but a new adventure is about to begin!
In a moment that was admittedly not my finest, I managed to erase all of my news for the past four months! I am trying to cut and paste from here and there to recreate what was lost— but I apologize for the mess. I guess these updates are better left to my web designer :]
November 11, 2008: Fourth Printing!
It's been a crazy month and a half since my last update, filled with all sorts of wonderful news, and all sorts of sloooow, painstaking editing! October began with great news from Danny Baror that both Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen will be published in Italian. Then, the news arrived from my wonderful editor in the UK this morning that Cleopatra's Daughter will be Quercus's lead title this July. I absolutely couldn't be more excited! And as if that isn't enough, Nefertiti has gone into its fourth printing here in the US! Now I'm rushing to put the finishing touches on Cleo's Daughter, which are due in three days. So what am I doing here updating my site? Procrastinating, of course. I hope everyone had a wonderful Veterans Day!
September 30, 2008: Second Printing!
It's been two weeks since The Heretic Queen's debut, and this morning my editor emailed to tell me that the novel has gone into a second printing!!! I absolutely couldn't be happier. Especially since this comes on the heels of a wonderful book signing hosted by Vromans in Pasadena. We sold out every book in the store, and there were still people left wanting to purchase some (don't worry — they were only family members. I told them to shoo and purchase theirs elsewhere! After all, fans first).
During the signing, I had the chance to meet some truly wonderful people. The parents of ex-students, the web designer of an amazing Egyptian forum, and the authors Karen Essex (whose hair I have an unnatural envy of), Robin Maxwell (whose upcoming book, Signora Da Vinci is the best book I've read in a very long time), plus the hilarious and charming Christopher Gortner (who has a new book on Catherine Medici which I can't wait to get my hands on). Thank you so much to everyone who attended.
The photo above was sent to me by my former student Ashley Williams, whose mother celebrated her birthday with us at the event. What an honor!
September 24, 2008: The Heretic Queen debuts!
Several wonderful things to report this month! First of all, The Heretic Queen debuted in stores on September 16th, and since then I've been trying to keep up with all of the interviews, online Q&As and drive-by signings (a huge thank you in particular to Historical Tapestry, which gave me my own week online!). My first official signing will be this Sunday at Vromans in Pasadena, so if you're in the area, I would love to see you there!
There's been good news from Danny Baror, who sold the rights to Nefertiti in Serbia. Yay! Now my family in Serbia (I'm a quarter Serbian) can read it ;)
I am also delighted to report that this month Nefertiti has gone to its third printing in the UK. It continues to be one of Quercus's best selling books since its debut in February. So a huge thanks to all of my wonderful readers in the UK!
Lastly, if you're wondering what that picture at the top is all about, it's a still shot from my new book trailer for Cleopatra's Daughter. The trailer is finished, but I probably won't be posting it for a while (given that my third book doesn't come out for another year!). However, when The Heretic Queen hoopla has died down (hopefully not for several months!), I will post the trailer here and on my blog.
August 27, 2008: I return!
As several readers have noted, I've returned from my long journey into the ancient world (thank you for emailing me)! I came back to find that my house was still standing, my cats still loved me, and pretty much nothing had changed!
Over the summer, I managed to travel (by Smart-Car no less) over 3000 miles through thirteen different countries. I've posted some of the photos on my website. I haven't yet gotten around to posting my favorite ones from Austria, Sicily and Germany, but here are a "few" I have managed to post:
You'll notice a theme to many of them, which is ancient history. When a pub date is set for Cleopatra's Daughter, I'll be posting more photos of Cleopatra Selene's life on my website (statues of her family, of the imperial family of Rome, etc). I hope everyone had a wonderful summer!!! It's great to be back :]
June 13, 2008: At long last!
Cleopatra's Daughter is finished, and I must say, I've never had so much fun writing a novel! Now that the hard work (or at least the first part of it ;) is over, I'm going on vacation! So please forgive the lack of updates between now and August 1st. We're heading off to Greece, Turkey and Italy to do some last minute research on Cleo’s Daughter. For the first part of the trip, we'll be joining the Archaeological Institute of America in retracing the journey of Odysseus, a purely fanciful trip that has nothing whatsoever to do with Cleopatra (although her family was Greek and would have known Homer’s legend well). For the second half of our vacation, we’ll be trouping around Italy - from Rome to Capri - photographing the sites where Cleopatra Selene lived after being taken with her twin brother from Egypt. A wonderful house-sitter will be watching my babies (ie cats... thank you, Laura!) until I return with lots of photos for an interactive map of Rome (showing the places where Cleopatra lived and visited). Until then, have a wonderful summer!!
June 1, 2008: Paperback debut, The Heretic Queen and BEA
Five days ago, Nefertiti had her debut in paperback! Needless to say, I've been running around like a chicken with my head chopped off trying to do publicity. Two days ago, I attended BEA, which was an absolute madhouse - in the very best way, of course ;] I signed copies of the newly released paperback Neferiti, as well as galleys of The Heretic Queen, which will be debuting in hardcover on September 16th. I also had the fantastic opportunity of speaking on a Library Journal panel with authors Lisa See, Broos Campbell, and editors Trish Todd and Laurie Chittenden. Hundreds of wonderful librarians were in attendance, and we spoke about the recent resurgence of historical fiction. The panel was a pre-BEA talk, to get everyone in the mood for the big event. I have to say that even though BEA was heaving with people and vendors and books, it was a wonderful time and worth every blister!
February 19, 2008: Foreign Rights and FuseTV
Tonight, the first episode of "10 Great Reasons" debuts on FuseTV. Although I shot eight episodes, I'm not sure how much of my interviews they'll be using. But the show is a good laugh, so if you have the time, check it out! Also, great news from Danny Baror, who sold Nefertiti in both Turkey and Israel.
January 3, 2008: Reviewers' Choice Awards!
Nefertiti has been nominated for a Reviewers' Choice Award in the Historical Biography category by Romantic Times! This is Nefertiti's first nomination for any award, and it's very exciting! Thank you, RT!
December 20, 2007: Fuse TV Interview!
All right. I haven't given everyone a writing update in a while, and while this isn't technically a writing update, you'll never believe where I was last night. A producer called me two days ago and asked if I'd be the historian on Fuse's new series "Ten Great Reasons". It's supposed to be a spin-off of "I Love The 70s" on VH1.
It was a great deal of fun, and I got to talk about such enlightening things as the Hair Metal movement, how the feud between 50 Cent and Kanye West was like Khrushchev's threat to Western Ambassadors, and how Elizabeth I's court was like N'Sync, with Justin Timberlake as Robert Dudley.
At first, I wasn't going to do it, because I thought, what the heck do I know about 50 Cent (apparently more than I ever realized). But really, how could I have missed the chance to wax poetic about Jonathan Edwards' hair making a My Little Pony envious?
Here's a photo of me on the sound stage. It was pitch black in there, and apparently they film in total darkness!
November 17, 2007: Cleopatra's Daughter!
My wonderful agent Anna Ghosh has just negotiated a very exciting deal with NY's finest editor— Allison McCabe. Allison has been my editor for both Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen (which will come out in the fall of 2008). She will now be my editor for a third book entitled Cleopatra's Daughter, which will follow the incredible life of Cleopatra's surviving children with Marc Antony— twins, named Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, and a younger son named Ptolemy. All three were taken to Rome and paraded through the streets, then sent off to be raised by Octavia (the wife whom Marc Antony left for Cleopatra). What an amazing story it is, especially since Cleopatra Selene and her brothers were raised in one of the most fascinating courts of all time. They would have met Ovid, Seneca, Vitruvius (who inspired the Vitruvian man), Agrippa (who built the Pantheon), Herod, his sister Salome, the poets Virgil and Horace... and so many others! I'm very excited about this book, as well as The Heretic Queen, which will be finished any day now!
August 2007: LA Times Bestseller
Tomorrow, Nefertiti will be debuting at #11 on the LA Times Bestsellers List!! This is such exciting news, especially since I've spent my entire summer visiting bookstores, introducing myself to managers, and giving away free books. A BIG thank you to Julie Nelson, Briana and Marie Harris, all of whom have flooded LA with Nefertiti bookmarks, handing them out at museums and bookstores alike. Obviously, Operation Nefertiti has been working!
July 26, 2007: Start the Presses!
Last night, just before my first book signing, my editor emailed to tell me that Nefertiti will be going back to press for a second printing! There are a few photos from the unofficial launch party and Thousand Oaks book signing here!
July 22, 2007:
It's been nearly two weeks since Nefertiti's debut across the country, and I've been trying to keep up with the interview requests, stock signings, and reviews. Not to mention a rather pressing need to finish the next book! Today, the Los Angeles Daily News is running their interview with me on why I wrote Nefertiti.
June 5, 2007:
A little over a month until Nefertiti hits shelves, and I'm racing to finish the stand-alone sequel tentatively titled The Heretic Queen. On June 2, Nefertiti was chosen as one the "hot reads for the summer" by the Chicago Tribune!
May 15, 2007:
Two months until the big debut, and there's already been some wonderful buzz happening. Library Journal has made Nefertiti an Editor's Choice Book of the Week for May 15, and over at Buzz Girl the NYC correspondent for Bookpage writes:
"100,000 1st printing. BIG and the only Ancient Egyptian beach read I’ve come across—the private life of Nefertiti revealed at last."
March 1, 2007:
The full color galleys arrived for Nefertiti and they look absolutely amazing. The cover, which was painted by Doug Fryer on a 10in x 15in canvas in oil, came out brilliantly, and I can't wait to see it in hardback (on a sidenote, I liked the cover art so much I purchased the original painting). My publicists Sarah and Dyana have put together press kits to send out with the galleys, and the press kits are works of art as well. They include a beautiful sticker of the cover, a printed map, a family tree, an author Q&A, and a wonderful letter to reviewers from Dyana and Sarah. I don't know how anyone can resist opening a press kit with Nefertiti's image on the cover. She's simply stunning!
Feb 25, 2007:
Prozoretz in Bulgaria has bought the rights to Nefertiti. That's thirteen different languages, sixteen different countries... and counting! And in just as exciting news, Nefertiti has been assigned two publicists at Crown. Publicity Manager Sarah Chance Breivogel and Dyana Messina. They're both amazing, and creative, and I'm very lucky to have them.
November 22 2006:
A second sale in China to Shanghai 99 which will print the book in simplified characters (Taiwan will be complex characters).
October 24 2006:
P.H.U. Sonia Draga in Poland has bought the rights to Nefertiti along with Locus Books in Taiwan. Taiwan makes the 12th foreign language for Nefertiti and the thirteenth foreign country!
October 11 2006:
The Frankfurt Book Fair has brought wonderful news. Danny Baror has sold Nefertiti to Politkens Forlag in Denmark and to Circulo de Leitores in Portugal. Russia's EKSMO Publishing also purchased both Nefertiti: A Novel and The Heretic Queen. This means that Nefertiti can be read in over ten foreign languages and counting!
September 13 2006:
In a deal that makes my heart flutter France's Presse de la Cite has purchased both books! Merci France!
August 31 2006:
Grupo Santillana Suma in Spain has purchased both Nefertiti: A Novel and The Heretic Queen.
August 31 2006:
Tyuto Alba in Lithuania has purchased both books! Wow.
August 31 2006:
More excellent news from Danny Baror. Slovart in Slovakia has purchased Nefertiti: A Novel and The Heretic Queen.
August 24 2006:
Objectiva in Brazil has purchased Nefertiti: A Novel and The Heretic Queen.
August 2 2006:
Quercus in the United Kingdom has purchased both Nefertiti: A Novel and The Heretic Queen in a two book deal. Thank you Quercus, and I look forward to visiting England again, this time on a book tour!
July 27 2006:
Good news from my foreign rights agent Danny Baror! Both Greece and the Czech Republic have purchased rights to Nefertiti: A Novel and The Heretic Queen. In Greece, Psichogios will be publishing the books, and Generights in the Czech Republic.
June 12, 2006
Both Nefertiti: A Novel and The Heretic Queen have been sold in a big two book deal to Allison McCabe at Crown Books, a division of Random House. Anna Ghosh of Scovil Chichak Galen negotiated the deal.