I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.
In this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt, a 5000-year-old mystery comes to life. 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 learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. 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!
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1. What is your favorite book that is not yours?
That’s such a hard question that I can’t answer it. I have a number of favourites in a variety of genres. I keep rereading them. That worries me a bit… I am busy rereading an old favourite by Michael Crichton, titled Prey.
2. Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
I have a lot of fun writing Regency romances (historical) under a pseudonym, Arabella Sheraton. Arabella is not just a pseudonym; she has emerged as her own personality (also a bit worrying) and is a very prolific writer (8 books!) – more so than ordinary old me. She has had umpteen interviews and I am obliged to do all her marketing. Arabella’s books are a lot of fun – romantic romps, lots of witty repartee and many extraordinary capers that heroes and heroines of yesteryear are involved with.
3. When did you write your first book and how young were you?
Apart from writing nonsense poetry for family members and short stories when I was a kid, my first real book was The Secret of the Sacred Scarab and how I wish I had started it years earlier ... but my nephews wouldn’t have been born and they wouldn’t have been there to inspire me.
4. If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
Terry Pratchett, the author of The Discworld series. I have read them all, many times, and his creativity never ceases to inspire and amaze me. Plus, his subtle dry wit is also hilarious. He was a great observer of human behavior. I was devastated when he passed away. The world has lost a great writer.
5. How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
My first book/s (including Arabella’s) took a couple of years. Now I am better at organizing my research and writing so a Middle Grade adventure takes about 18 months, with research and editing etc., and a Regency romance takes about 8 months. My fastest MG book was my most recent one The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. My fastest Regency romance was Married at Midnight.
6. What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?
I like to enjoy the sunshine, the good weather, the feeling of being relaxed, sitting on the patio with something cold and delicious to drink, and a book, of course!
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