Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fiona Ingram - The Secret of the Sacred Scarab - Author Interview

Author Interview

1. Who is your favorite character?
This is a really hard question because I have grown to love all my characters, even the bad ones. I guess my number one favorite is my young hero, Adam Sinclair, although he shares the limelight with his cousin Justin in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab.

2. Why is he/she your favorite?
I created the book from a short story I wrote for my nephews. The story was based on a family trip we made together to Egypt. I took my 2 nephews, then aged 10 and 12. I felt a particular affinity with my 10-year-old nephew, possibly the result of lots of babysitting when he was small. We did most of our sightseeing together so I experienced closely all that he felt during our trip. In my young hero I found many of the wonderful characteristics of my nephew: Eagerness to absorb every second of the trip; excitement and wonder when faced with the massive monuments of an ancient civilization; an unswerving belief in the possibility of amazing things happening to them while on the trip. I saw the magic and adventure though my young nephew’s eyes and it really moved me. I remember how I had felt at that age, when any and everything was possible. You just had to believe!

3. How did you come to create him/her?
My nephews both displayed the most incredible enthusiasm one usually finds in that 10-12 age group, when kids are off on the most exciting escapade of their lives. It seemed a natural progression when writing the short story (that became the book!) to base the adventure and the characters on the people who had shared the trip with me: Mom, my nephews and the people we met along the way. As I wrote I found the idea of two young boys merging with my two nephews, and the character just grew.

4. When did he/she first enter your mind?
I think right away because I had always intended the short story to feature the boys themselves. It was going to be something they could show their friends at school.

5. Where was he/she given life in the creative process?
That was not very difficult because as I wrote the adventure I kept seeing my nephews and imagining how the youngest one particularly would react when he found out he was to undertake a task of monumental proportions and in so doing save the world!

6. What do like the most about him/her and what do you dislike the most about him/her?
I love Adam’s fervent belief in the magicality of life, his unswerving faith in the fact that they were going to have an adventure because in Egypt anything could happen. He is also an honorable character, and will do the right thing because that’s the way he has been brought up, even though he might be very afraid, or place his own life in grave danger. However, he can also be a bit of a Moaning Minnie in that he gets easily despondent, sometimes feels he cannot do what is required of him, and after having asked to be someone special then thinks he actually just wants to an ordinary boy. Of course, by then it’s too late… the adventure has begun, the die is cast, and the only way is forward, whatever the future holds!

About The Secret of the Sacred Scarab

A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They survive terrifying dangers in a hostile environment (such as a giant cobra, as well as sinking sand), pursued by enemies in their quest to solve the secret of the sacred scarab. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out. They must also learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another!

Young explorers will enjoy an interactive journey through Egypt, following Justin and Adam’s exciting adventure on www.secretofthesacredscarab.com. Readers can also browse the first chapter of the book. Those who survive the journey and manage to translate the Curse of Thoth will be able to read the first chapter in Adam and Justin’s next adventure—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—as they hunt for the Scroll of the Ancients.

The Secret of the Sacred Scarab has received the following awards:

• Book Award Nominations & Wins:
• Finalist Children’s Fiction USA Next Generation 2009 Indie Book Awards
• Finalist Juvenile Fiction USA National Best Books 2009 Awards
• Winner Pre-Teen USA 2009 Readers’ Favorites Awards
• Number 2 in the USA Children’s & Teens Book Connection Top Ten Favourite Books of 2009 for Kids, Tweens & Teens
• Winner Silver Medal Teen Fiction 2010 Nautilus Book Awards
• Finalist Children’s Fiction 2010 International Book Awards
• Winner Bronze Medal Pre-Teen Fiction 2010 Moonbeam Book Awards
• Finalist 2011 Rubery Book Awards
• Winner Gold Award Mystery Pre-Teen 2011 Children’s Literary Classics Awards

Book Details:

• price: soft cover $17.95; Hard cover $27.95; e-book $2.99
• number of pages: 270
• Genre: middle grade/juvenile fiction
• Publisher: iUniverse
• release date: December 2008

Buy Links:

• Amazon: (Kindle) http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Sacred-Scarab-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B005CRRU5E/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1311106921&sr=8-3

• Amazon (hardcover & paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Sacred-Scarab-Fiona-Ingram/dp/0595457169/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322830100&sr=1-1

• All other purchase sites listed: http://www.secretofthesacredscarab.com/purchase.asp

About Fiona Ingram

Although Fiona Ingram has been a journalist for the last fifteen years, writing a children’s book—The Secret of the Sacred Scarab—was an unexpected step, inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. The tale of the sacred scarab began life as a little anecdotal tale for her 2 nephews (then 10 and 12), who had accompanied her on the Egyptian trip. This short story grew into an award-winning children’s book, the first in the adventure series Chronicles of the Stone. The author has already completed the next book in the series—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—a huge treat for young King Arthur fans.

Although Fiona Ingram does not have children of her own, she has an adopted teenage foster child, from an underprivileged background who is just discovering the joys of reading for pleasure. Fiona’s experiences in teaching her daughter to read has resulted in her interest in child literacy and in creating ways to get kids more interested in reading, as well as helping parents to instill a love of reading in their children.

Naturally, Fiona is a voracious reader and has been from early childhood. Her interests include literature, art, theatre, collecting antiques, animals, music, and films. She loves travel and has been fortunate to have lived in Europe (while studying) and America (for work). She has travelled widely and fulfilled many of her travel goals.

Fiona’s latest book is the middle grade adventure novel, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab – Book 1 in the Chronicles of the Stone series.

Connect with Fiona:

• Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-of-the-Sacred-Scarab/104933012497

• Twitter: http://twitter.com/FionaRobyn

• web site: http://www.secretofthesacredscarab.com

• blog: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

• video book trailer links: http://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?q=the+secret+of+the+sacred+scarab&init=q#!/pages/The-Secret-of-the-Sacred-Scarab/104933012497?sk=videos

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