Bio: Mesu Andrews is an award-winning author and speaker who has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture. As the daughter of a Quaker and a Charismatic Protestant, Andrews’ personal testimony describes how her unusual spiritual heritage led her to initially reject God. Her life changed however, when an old high school friend shared with her the Gospel message and challenged her to begin exploring the Bible for herself.
As her desire for God’s Word grew, so did her passion for uncovering the truths found in Scripture. Andrews began teaching at Christian women’s conferences until chronic illness made frequent travel impossible. In that season of brokenness, she began digging deeper into the Bible, which stirred her curiosity about biblical characters and their stories. Andrews’ approach to writing biblical novels is wrapped in awe for God’s Word and a deliberate and careful examination of historical details. The result is a vivid and mesmerizing retelling of some of the most treasured narratives in Scripture.
Mesu Andrews’ understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for her readers. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author. Her three subsequent novels, Love’s Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, and In the Shadow of Jezebel all released to great reader enthusiasm.
In her highly anticipated fifth novel, Andrews transports readers to the fertile and often turbulent world of ancient
Pharaoh’s Daughter is an intimate and richly complex portrayal of the
woman who drew Moses out of the water and claimed him as her own. Its elaborate
detail will leave readers transfixed; its pace will no doubt leave them
breathless. Andrews says, “I love to write about the shadowy women of God’s
Word, those whom Scripture leaves nameless but who’ve made such an impact on
the heroes of our faith.”
Andrews has enjoyed 30 years of marriage to her husband Roy, who incidentally, was the old high school friend who rescued her with the transforming truth of Jesus Christ. They live in the
Northwest and have two adult daughters.
Welcome back, Mesu. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Lena, you’re asking me
to do something I seldom do—dream. The Pharaoh’s Daughter is the first
of two books in The Treasures of the Nile series.
Miriam (working title) is the second
book in the series, and I’ve just finished that rough draft. These books are
the first continuation series I’ve done and the last of my contracted books, so
I’m not sure what comes next. I’d love to pick up where Miriam leaves off (after the exodus and crossing the Red Sea) and
follow the Israelites to Sinai and into Canaan…but we’ll see what the Lord has
Tell us a little about your family.
My sweet hubby, Roy, is the academic dean at Multnomah Biblical Seminary, and we’re both big Indianapolis Colts fans. We’ve known each other since third grade—though we didn’t start dating until we were sophomores in college. He’s the reason I know Jesus personally, the one who led me to Christ (after we’d been dating for about six weeks. (We’re a testimony that dating evangelism can work. Tee-hee.) We have two married daughters and six grandbabies, who live entirely too far away, so we’re racking up frequent flier miles! I sorely miss my Rotti-pitbull, who died of cancer about a year ago, and I hope to get another four-legged friend this summer.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Absolutely! I had never read a biblical novel (any novel—except as required reading in high school) until I attended my first writer’s conference. I was a non-fiction gal, hoping to write and publish Bible studies and devotionals, using fiction as a tool like Jesus’s parables. In one of my conference critiques, the editor told me to write one or the other—fiction or non-fiction—and if I was going to write biblical novels, I should start with The Red Tent. It was one of very few biblical novels available in 2001 since few had been published in the Christian market, so I read LOTS of general market biblicals—and was horrified at what was done to God’s Word. Now, I read almost exclusively biblical novels in the CBA market and promote as many other authors in this genre as I can. It’s my prayer that readers won’t need to read a general market biblical novel to gain insights into God’s Word. It makes more sense to read authors who are guided by the same Holy Spirit that inspired the text of Scripture.
That is so true. What are you working on right now?
I’m working on Miriam, the second book of The Treasures of the
(Waterbrook/Multnomah). It has been such a fun challenge. When I first pitched
the project to my editor, she laughed and said, “Even I’m bored. How are you
going to make Miriam—an eighty-six year-old single prophetess—exciting?” Well!
I assure you…ten plagues and the confirmed-bachelor Eleazar (who meets a lovely
harem slave) spice up the plot with enough romance and spiritual lessons to
keep us on our toes. The research into the plagues has been fascinating, and
the realization that the Israelites—including Miriam—didn’t truly KNOW Yahweh
until He began revealing Himself through the plagues has been a wonderful
personal journey for me. I think that’s what I love most about writing biblical
novels. I learn as much or more than the characters in our familiar Bible
What outside interests do you have?
I love the mountains of the
Northwest. My husband and I had lived in the cornfields and flat
lands of Indiana our whole lives until he
accepted a teaching position at in 2007. A few
years later, the Lord plopped an amazing gift into our laps—a small mountain
property in the foothills. At age forty-seven, I camped in a tent for the first
time in my life. Granted, I had a battery bank to power a mini-refrigerator,
laptop, and a box fan, but hubby and I cooked over a fire and let the beauty of
University Pacific Northwest seep into our bones. I’m
hooked. We hope to someday build a cabin, but for now we’re enjoying the quiet
beauty of our little patch of NW foothills.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
The settings for my books are largely determined by Scripture; however, oftentimes archeologists disagree on key sites. As I read several resources on the geographical area in question, patterns form, and the setting for the story emerges as I study the historical accounts. For instance, in The Pharaoh’s Daughter, the excavated city of
is believed to have been the biblical city of Rameses. Recent archeological evidence offers
rough layouts for that city dating back to 1500-1200 BC. Using those rough
drawings, I added a little imagination to situate the slave villages of the
Hebrews to create the area our Bibles refer to as Goshen—sort of a pauper’s
community on the outskirts of the larger Egyptian metropolis. Is my setting
exactly as it was during biblical times? Probably not, but it simulates the
culture, the climate, and the geography of the time—and hopefully transports
the reader into ancient Egypt.
That’s the most important thing.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I think the Sunday school answer is “Jesus,” right? Wouldn’t we all love to see Him, touch Him, hear Him, etc.? Someday that will happen…but if I must choose someone other than Jesus, it would be one of two women—either Eve or Mary (mother of Jesus). Each of them knew God intimately in their human experience. They walked with Him, talked with Him, loved Him with a physical presence that I can only dream of in eternity. What would it have been like to “walk with God in the cool of the Garden” as Eve did—before she was marred by sin? What would it have been like to wipe a tear from Jesus’s eye when He skinned His knee, to comfort the One who would one day comfort all humankind? These women experienced God as no other human beings ever did, and I can’t wait to hear of their experience.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I had known the importance of each word in a story. A single word can set a mood, convey deeper meaning, or send a reader’s heart racing. Word choice is an art that the best authors hone with forethought and care. Some of my harshest reviews resulted from my careless choice of a single word or phraseology. God’s Word warns us that the power of the tongue can kill or destroy, and I’ve seen the power of a single word do the same.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
As I said, I learn the lessons of my characters, and right now I’m writing the rough draft of Miriam. One of the characters was trudging and complaining through the wilderness after crossing the
Red Sea. Then he looked at the
pillar of cloud ahead of him and felt convicted, thinking, if I insist on
viewing the holy as common, I’m doomed to a life of hopelessness.
This lesson hit me between the eyes. God’s presence indwells me through His Holy Spirit, so I experience little miracles everyday simply because of His constant Presence—whether I acknowledge those miracles or not. If I insist on viewing those holy encounters as common, I’m doomed to hopelessness. If, on the other hand, I recognize the holy in my daily existence, even the flight of a sparrow can offer hope on a difficult day.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Write something meaningful everyday. Whether it’s for a blog post or in a prayer journal, write something that demands clarity and the process of a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t let it become mechanical. Let it flow from the heart as the Holy Spirit gives you the words. Write it immediately after your quiet time with the Lord. When I stopped writing for publication, I got published. I began working on craft and gave up hope of EVER getting published—that’s when the doors opened. MY desire was to publish Bible studies and devotionals. God’s desire was that I write novels. When I let go of my agenda, He gave me the thing I never knew I wanted. Now, I love writing fiction and can’t imagine writing anything else! His ways are not our ways. They’re infinitely better.
Tell us about the featured book.
Anippe has grown up in the shadows of
god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her
siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother
during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever
bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but
quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the
heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must
launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered
by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile.
When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.
As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in
the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of
Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants,
the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The royal linen closet is a dark hiding place, but I’m a big girl—almost five Inundations old—so I’m trying not to be afraid.
I wonder…is it dark in the underworld? Was my Ummi Kiya afraid when she and the baby inside her crossed over this morning?
The priest ordered me and my little sister to the birthing chamber. Ankhe is only three. She wouldn’t go.
The priest was angry, so he came to our chamber and grabbed Ankhe’s hand. “You must see the beauty of Tawaret—goddess of childbirth!”
Instead, we saw Ummi Kiya’s blood poured out on the straw under her birthing stool. Her light-brown skin was white as milk. The midwives pulled out a baby boy, but he was as gray as granite.
The angry priest wasn’t angry anymore. He knelt before Ankhe and me. “Anubis, god of the underworld, has stolen their breath. I’m sorry.”
I ran from the birthing chamber, screaming, before Anubis could steal my breath too.
I’ve been hiding a long time because Anubis might still be hunting. He knows my name, Meryetaten-tasherit. It’s hard to understand, but I’m called a decoy—named after Queen Nefertiti’s daughter Meryetaten to confuse Anubis should he prowl the palace grounds. If I stay in this linen wardrobe all day and night, perhaps the dark god will take the Great Wife’s daughter instead.
Nefertiti, the Great Wife, hates me because Abbi Akhenaten loved my mother. Ummi Kiya was his Beloved Wife, and she gave him a son—my brother, Tutankhamun.
Intriguing. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Author Website: http://www.mesuandrews.com/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MesuAndrews?ref=hl
Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/MesuAndrews
Author Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mesuandrews/
Thank you, Mesu, for sharing your life and this new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.The Pharaoh's Daughter - Christianbook.com
The Pharaoh's Daughter: A Treasures of the Nile Novel - Amazon
The Pharaoh's Daughter: A Treasures of the Nile Novel - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: