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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Next Big Thingy: About the Book

So my fellow author friend Joseph Schwartz, who penned the exciting novel The Crossover Test (check it out at his website: as well as the upcoming sequel, passed along a chain-letter-style questionnaire so you can all learn a little more about The Scholar, the Sphinx and the Shades of Nyx. I normally don't like opening my brain up to let people peek inside, but Joe asked nicely so here ya'll go!

1. What is the working title of your book?

“The Scholar, the Sphinx and the Shades of Nyx” is the finalized title (although the working title for years was “Kidnapped Through the Curtain,” but this sounded too much like a mystery thriller rather than a young adult fantasy adventure). I’m currently working—very slowly—on a sequel currently titled “The Scholar, the Sphinx and the Hunt for Fenrir.” Where the first novel focuses on Greek, Japanese and Native American mythology, the second will have elements of Norse, African and [possibly] Australian Aborigine mythology. 

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

It actually was first a short story I submitted for a contest, but it was so different back then—the basic premise about a young man being abducted by a gypsy caravan, which is led by a mythological creature, remained the same, but the characters themselves transformed over time (the creature changed from a small wyvern to a sphinx) and the plot changed drastically to include the goddess Nyx as well as various world mythologies. The main character, David Sandoval, is inspired heavily by my own David (my husband) and how he was when he was 16 years old—although honestly I don’t think much has changed about him since then. *wink*

3. What genre does your book fall under?

Young Adult Fantasy (yes, I jumped on that bandwagon), with a little historical fiction mixed in as well.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

My husband, being an aspiring filmmaker, has had many a talk with me about this...and honestly, I don’t know if I ever liked the thought of celebrities being in the roles. Funny enough, I had definite choices for voice actors who would voice the CGI creature characters, such as Yofune Nushi the Japanese sea dragon (Ken Watanabe from “The Last Samurai” movie). And maybe Tom Hiddleston (Loki from “Thor”) as the bad guy, Nico the Teumessian…if he can pull of being a humanoid fox-creature.
But I know who I would want to direct this…Julie Taymor, no question!

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In 1852, a young Spanish boy crosses paths with a gypsy caravan headed by a living Grecian Sphinx, and he is taken through the Curtain into the realm of myth and folklore to help stop the night goddess Nyx from using her Shades to destroy the denizens of the unseen world, including the Sphinx herself.

6. If you plan to publish, will your book be self-published or published traditionally?

The first book (and hopefully its sequel) will be published by Knox Robinson Publishing , a small traditional publishing house in London, to be released in May 2013.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

A little under a year, I believe—about 9 or 10 months? And I wasn’t working on it every day.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I believe I started writing it when “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” was new and a bit hit. Thus why this book is also mythology-oriented.

9. Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As I mentioned before, my husband David was a main source of inspiration for the main character. Where the rest came from, it’s hard to pinpoint it. I’ve just always been drawn to folklore and myths. Oh, and I was sick and tired of vampires in everything (still am!) so I purposefully chose a mythological being that doesn’t show up in too many novels.

10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

A shape-shifting badger…an otherworldly inn full of self-eating zombies…a dragon battle…our hero gets caught in a buffalo stampede…confrontation with a primordial goddess…
Any of that sound interesting?


  1. Those pre-t.v. brains certainly thought up some amazing characters, and it sounds like you've taken a number of them to the next level. Your story sounds brilliant. I especially like the sound of the self-eating zombies. May I ask the length of the book? Thanks for opening your brain for a peek.

  2. The book is roughly 300 pages (or will be when printed, I believe). Thanks for reading the interview (and passing it along to Joe to pass to me ;) )

    1. Hey, I didn't pass anything on, but I would have:)

      The reason I asked is because as a reader, I like fantasy, but am not so fanatical (as I know many readers are) that I'm inclined to read a 600 pg, seven-books-in-the-series type of thing. YA's that do this impress me immensely.

      Anyway, I look forward to David's interview if you agree to Joseph proposition.

      Have a wonderful Christmas.

  3. Alison,

    I would like to interview David and post it across the universe. Are you interested? Is he available?