Message From The Author
Suzanne Frank Delivers SUNRISE ON THE MEDITERRANEAN
Anxious fans who can't get enough of Suzanne Frank's exotic time-travel
trilogy can take heart.
The third book, Sunrise On The Mediterranean,
is a September release from Warner Books and is ready to carry readers off to faraway lands. The irrepressible modern-day Dallas artist Chloe Kingsley and her soulmate Cheftu are back for more adventures in the ancient world, this time traveling to biblical Canaan.
Chloe and Cheftu wind up in King David's court and they encounter RaEm, from the first book, and Dion, from the second, and once again find themselves looking at history being played out before them.
Readers were introduced to the time-traveling soul mates of Sunrise On The Mediterranean in 1997's Reflections in the Nile, which placed them in Ancient Egypt. Their exploits continued in 1998's Shadows on the Aegean, in the mythic Atlantis. Though she originally planned the series as a trilogy, Frank just signed a contract with Warner for a fourth book, tentatively titled Twilight on the Tigress, to be set in Babylon.
Says Frank, "In book three,[Sunrise On The Mediterranean] I tried to answer all of the questions and tie up most of the loose ends that people had asked me about via fan mail. I think the readers and characters needed some sort of a conclusion. But there's a little more adventure in store for Chloe and Cheftu before they retire."
Frank's deft ability at turning a magnifying glass on some of our rituals and acknowledged cultural truths to envision her characters? reaction to new environments leads to plenty of humorous exchanges. In Reflections In The Nile, Chloe and RaEmhetepet, an ancient Egyptian priestess, who is "evil, evil, evil, but deliciously so" as Frank describes, switch places, thrusting the greedy RaEm into Chloe's body for a gander at 20th century society and vice-versa. The results of this exchange procure chuckles in Sunrise On The Mediterranean as RaEm attempts to explain the big talking box known as TV and the beguiling process by which Ben Franklin discovered electricity with a bird (a kite in Egyptian is somewhat akin to a seagull), some string and a key.
"I really have an ancient mind. But it helped that the culture is one I knew almost better than my own," Frank explains.Of course, growing up in various countries such as Egypt and Israel left a lasting impression on the author.
"My parent's idea of babysitting was to leave me at the British museum," she laughs. "There's a great richness to be learned from history. Maybe that's from growing up in Europe, where it's given more emphasis."
Does she think American children are missing out by not having the same appreciation for history instilled in them?
"If everything we see is on a spectrum of brilliance and the more we know, the brighter it is, then ripping out history from that spectrum and only having the present, just makes the spectrum duller."
Since her own childhood, Frank has long felt at ease with ancient civilizations. "My stories, from the time I started writing in third grade up to Reflections In the Nile, always had the exact same theme of someone being in someone else's body and no one knowing it. I don't know what a psychotherapist would say about that."
Probably that she needs a vacation. While she does enjoy "any place with a beach," Frank confesses that in her off hours, she likes to write. In fact, she teaches an adult education writing course at Southern Methodist University.
"This is my escape. It's a world where you can control
everything. How many people can say they have that?" She laughs. "That someone pays me to do it and others want to know what happens next is just very nice and gratifying. But this is my passion."
She means it, too. Recently, Frank took a vacation, but that didn't stop her from working. "I plotted out the books I want to write between now and 2002 and there were about 15, everything from historical without time-travel elements to a murder-mystery series to contemporary romance."
Five books a year is a rather dizzying pace for someone used to one book a year. Frank, who recently started her first contemporary novel, can't really produce that many books in that short time, can she?
"Don't challenge me," she warns, good-naturedly.
"Of course, there's a huge difference between a book like Sunrise On The Mediterranean and one with a 30-something woman in your basic American town dealing with a job, boyfriend and a dog. You're already three months ahead (with the latter) because there's not as much research involved."
But 15 books in three years? Go ahead, Suzanne? We dare you! We can't wait to get our hands on your next work!
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