Marilyn Holdsworth

Broken Pieces - Rachel Thompson

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Author Interview – Fiona Ingram

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp? I want to inspire young readers who enjoy my book with the idea that “You can do it. You can go to an amazing place and have an incredible adventure. You can be a hero and you don’t need a magic wand.” When the boys’ aunt admonishes them and says there’ll be no adventures, just a nice safe tour, Adam says to himself in Chapter One, “Anything can happen in Egypt.” Well, more than anything did happen! Life is an adventure so live it, is my motto.

The smallest of incidents in a new and unusual place can prove to be an exciting and elevating experience for a child. We have become cushioned and comfortable in a world with techno-amenities. We have forgotten how to really see/smell/touch/taste/hear the experience of life.

Any new and unusual location will spark a child’s imagination. It doesn’t have to be Egypt—it can be a wilderness trail, a national park, a countryside visit, a marine excursion, an encounter with animals, a totally different environment that stimulates the senses. My two nephews were 10 and 12 when we went to Egypt and it was amazing to see them react to the things they had only read about—such as monuments, mummies (yes!), camels, vast expanses of arid desert … When they returned they were certainly different. Their experiences changed them.

How much of the book is realistic? Apart from the character of the Scarab King, everything in the book is based on reality (history/geography/archaeology), but with a ‘magical’ twist. Egypt is such an exotic location and the adventure in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is so different from anything the average child experiences that it is definitely a way to transform their perceptions.

They’ll be reading about two boys their own age standing in front of the Great Pyramid, riding an uncomfortable steed (a camel) across a scorching desert, coming face to face with an angry giant cobra, and experiencing such unusual cultural traditions that it will spark their imaginations. The cities they’ll visit with Justin and Adam (the heroes) will be long-dead cities and temples of incredible magnitude, still impressive even in a ruined state.

The monuments won’t be modern statues—they’ll be gigantic effigies of long-dead pharaohs, queens, and tributes to the many Egyptian gods of days gone by. Now that’s the kind of reality that becomes magical for any young reader.

How did you develop your plot and characters? Believe it or not, but a family trip to Egypt with my mom and my two nephews inspired the book. We had a wonderful time, filled with exciting and memorable events, and on our return I decided to do something different. I decided to write my nephews a short story to keep as a souvenir of our holiday.

I had lots of inspiration from the country and from the interesting people that accompanied us on our tour. Some of them inspired my characters a great deal, if only they knew how much! Pretty soon that short story just ran away with me, and turned into a book, a middle grade adventure, filled with action, mystery, history, geography, archaeology, and all the kinds of hands-on/solving clues stuff kids love.  By the end of the book, I knew there was still a lot of story to complete. So, here I am with a book series facing me.


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Genre – Juvenile Fiction

Rating – G

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Fiona Ingram on July 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM said...

Thanks for hosting me!


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