Fridays 5 with Embahra Maat

Embahra Maat is Hmt NTR (high priestess) of the Temple of Anu, an Afra-Kemetic spiritual house which focuses on cultural restoration. She serves as co-teacher for First Eye on Kemet, a course that introduces students to the Nile Valley tradition, and as head teacher of KMWT (Kemetic Women's Wisdom Training), preparing women for spiritual initiation using meditation, EFT, goddess altars, and new & full moon rituals. Embahra is a member of the Global Sacred Woman Village, a process she underwent while simultaneously enrolled in courses for fiction writing at the School of Professional Studies at NYU. Prior to the start of her Kemetic journey, she majored in English at Douglass College of Rutgers University, concentrating in Creative Writing. She recently published her first novel, Hidden By Moonlight, a retelling of the legendary Kemetic myth from the perspective of maligned and oft-ignored goddess Nebt-Het (Nephthys).

1.) When did you first get serious about writing?
A.) I really began to buckle down and be disciplined in college, when I enrolled in multiple creative writing courses, enough that it became my major concentration. I really pushed to have one of my short stories published, but to no avail. I also started a novel, but life got away from me and I never completed it. Even though I took a long hiatus, I knew the entire while that I would eventually come back and meet my goal of being a published author one day - and here I am!

2.) What is the hardest part for you about writing?
A.) Finding time, and then when I find the time, the hardest part becomes pulling away to do other things like sleep, eat, and shower. I know that writing will consume me if I get into it, so I am careful about when I dive in, because I have a tendency to go DEEP.

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It is time for the five immortal children of Nut to take their place in the world of men. Born on the days that exist neither in this year nor in the next, they are told to embrace the omen of their birth – except the youngest, who has only to sit back while her siblings earn praise and adoration for establishing civilization. She yearns to be recognized and remembered for a contribution all her own, but as she tries to make that happen, her choices threaten to damage and devastate everyone around her, and especially herself. Hidden By Moonlight explores the beloved epic myth of Ancient Egypt from the overlooked perspective of Nebt-Het, known by some as Nephthys. Reveling in the magnetism, mystery, and magic of the ancient world, Hidden By Moonlight is a reflection into the heart of a goddess to unveil what has long been concealed.

3.) How did you feel upon publication of your first completed project?
A.) I felt relieved, then anxious, then afraid. What if no one bought it? What if no one likes it?? But after a few deep breaths, I realized I was excited. And grateful. I finally made a dream come true. It feels so surreal to see my name on iTunes and Amazon.

4.) What is more important to you, story, or character? Why?
A.) Character, always. Story is great but if the character is boring then why should I care? I need the character to be someone who I care about, because s/he is amazing or awful, and preferably s/he will be some odd combination of amazing AND awful. THEN I need the story to be compelling, because now that I care about the person, I want to know what s/he is going through, and I want to go through it with him/her.

5.) What is a typical day like in your world?
A.)  Oversleeping as a result of staying up way too late... work at the day job, with a bit of Facebook and Twitter mixed in... phone calls on my lunch break with members of my Temple, confirming appointments, giving advice, organizing events, etc... leaving work to head home to teach a class or meet with someone for a counseling session... spiritual work in the twilight hours... squeezing in writing at various points in between.

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  1. Hidden by Moonlight sounds amazing. I've read a few books placed in Ancient Egypt and love the stories and how authors weave in the religion and gods.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Patricia, I've relayed your comment to Embahra.

    2. Thanks Patricia, I hope you'll check out Hidden By Moonlight (ebook is currently on sale) and I hope it stacks up to the other great books you've read!