Welcome to Day 7 of Fan Appreciation Week 2016! We're rounding out the week with the best gift of all: Q&A's from your favorite authors!
I speak on behalf of everybody here at HQ when I say that you guys are the BEST fans any fandom could ask for! Thanks for making our first annual Fan Appreciation Week a success!
Since we had SO MANY wonderful authors offering to participate, I couldn't possibly fit all of their interviews into one post. But never fear! Check out the links at the very bottom of this post to read Q&A's from Tui Sutherland, Jenny Goebel, Eliot Schrefer, and MORE!
And now, onwards to WE HEART AUTHORS Day!
The TombQuest series just recently wrapped up (mummy pun, haha). Was there a scene or line you always knew, even when still writing book #1, that you would include in the last book?
I always knew that the final battle would take place back where it all started: at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I even hint at it in the first book. One specific scene I always knew would be in Book 5 was when the Order army breaks through the big glass wall next to the Temple of Dendur at the Met. It’s hard to see a glass wall soaring three-stories high and not think, Man, what if something broke that? I don’t know if that’s human nature or just me—maybe it’s because most of us got in trouble for breaking something nice when we were little? All I know is that, if I see an expensive crystal vase balanced on the very edge of a table, my first thought isn’t what a nice vase! It’s someone should really scoot that thing back a few inches. So multiply that wobbly vase by about ten thousand and the fate of that big glass wall was pretty much sealed.
What was the most interesting fact you learned about ancient Egyptian mythology?
Ahh, this is so hard! Ancient Egypt lasted for 3,000 years, and it was built around a rich and complicated mythology. So of course I am going to pick something completely bonkers! (I can’t help myself.) To me, the most fascinating thing is the demigod Ammit, a.k.a. the Devourer :-o She had the head of a crocodile, the body of a lion, and the hindquarters of a hippo. That might sound like a weird combination now, but in ancient Egypt, those were the three largest and most-feared man-eaters. So Ammit was like an all-in-one All-Star team of ferocious predators. And she was incredibly important.
Ancient Egyptians believed that, after death, you would be judged in a ceremony called the Weighing of the Heart. If your heart was weighed down by guilt and bad deeds, it would be tossed to the Devourer. She would gobble it up like a pet dog would snap up table scraps, destroying the soul forever. Really, it was fear of Ammit’s jaws that kept an entire population on its best behavior (with some notably evil exceptions) for thousands of years. (And just FYI, I always knew Ammit would be in Book 5, too!)
Any advice for aspiring writers?
I have three pieces of advice (one of which I kinda borrowed):
1) Write a lot. Writing is like drawing or playing a musical instrument: It takes practice! I also think it’s a good idea to write about what really interests you, instead of what you think will be popular. Enthusiasm and originality matter more than trends and things like that. Write about things you think are awesome (or scary or weird or fun)!
2) Read a lot, and try to read widely. Don’t just read the same type of books or stories that you plan to write. There are a million different approaches to writing, and you learn more by being exposed to a range of styles and subjects. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction. Who knows what I’ll read next?
3) Finish what you’re working on, whether it’s a story or a poem or a book. Once you’re done, take the time to read it through carefully. Maybe even show it to some friends and ask for honest opinions. What worked well? What could be better? What wasn’t clear? Be honest with yourself and then work to improve it. Pencils come with erasers for a reason! My friend Rebecca Stead (who is an amazing author) always says: Finishing the first-draft isn’t the end of the story; it’s the beginning.
Check out more author Q&A's!
Tui Sutherland | Inbali Iserles | Eliot Schrefer | Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen | Jenny Goebel | Lauren Tarshis
Please tell us why you'd like to report this post