I follow rabbit trails when I am writing because they often end up in the most unusual and interesting places.
Here’s a few tidbits I learned writing about an unnamed woman who was married to one of the most famous men on Earth:
*The oldest story known is from the Middle East (Babylon) and predates the Hebrew Bible. Written on stone, the Epic of Gilgamesh tells a tale with many parallels to the story of Noah and the flood.
A man named Utnapishtim survived a flood that destroy the earth after being warned to build a boat and gather his family and animals because the gods were unhappy with mankind—not because of sin, but because they were too LOUD! Utnapishtim sent out a dove (the ancient symbol of the Mother Goddess) to try and find dry land.
*The earliest known deity was female! The role of the feminine in the divine was entwined with early Judaism and keeps reappearing throughout history.
*The explorer Ballard got money from the U.S. government to hunt for the wreckage of a secret Russian submarine in order to pursue his true desire to find the wreck of the Titanic. He found both. He also discovered the remains of an ancient flooded settlement about two miles into the Black Sea, preserved because of a lack of oxygen in the depths.
Writing Noah’s Wife was an adventure (with many rabbit trails) that took four years. I don’t regret a minute. The characters are still in my mind and come alive every time someone picks up the book. Despite its controversial challenges to traditional interpretations, it won “Book of the Year” for Historical Fiction and—more importantly to me—readers continue to let me know how much they loved it.