Karen Essex is an award winning international writer, journalist, and screenwriter. Raised in New Orleans she went on to attend Tulane University, Vanderbilt University, and Goddard College. Her list of published works includes Kleopatra, Pharaoh, Leonardo’s Swans, Stealing Athena, and Dracula in Love. These books have been published in 27 languages with one receiving the Premio Roma in Italy. She has also extensively appeared for many lectures on writing and women studies, which include The Field Museum of Chicago, University of North Carolina, and The Margaret Cunningham Women’s Center of Vanderbilt University.
Essex’s novels are rich in historic detail and portray leading female’s role in a different light. In each of her historical novels she has made powerful women shine instead of showing them as victims. Her motive to show how much women have changed the world is evident in most of her books. She brings charters to life with in depth descriptions and show glimmers of their thoughts as the each plot unfolds. As much as she puts her leading ladies on a pedestal she also makes them human by showing their at times shred flaws. Her writing style switches between past and present tense but is easy to follow and is most prominent in Pharaoh.
My favorite remains her first historical novel Kleopatra, which is deliberately spelled with a ‘K’ to emphasize the character’s Greek roots. The book begins with Kleopatra as a child and continues through her journey that made her into the woman she becomes. Having a natural gift of language she quickly becomes a translator for Pharaoh Ptolemy Auletes. Even after the death of her father and sisters she remains a strong political figure which leads her to house arrest and eventually exile by her brother. The book ends as Kleopatra offers herself to Caesar. The story is then continued in Essex’s next book, Pharaoh. Through out the book Kleopatra is portrayed a brilliant, clever and determined woman.
“About Karen,” http://www.karenessex.com/aboutkaren.html