Here is a bit 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 a children’s book, the first in the adventure series Chronicles of the Stone. The author is already immersed in 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.
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.
After winning the Emma Smith Scholarship to finance her university studies, Fiona Ingram graduated from the University of Natal, Durban with a double first in her B.A. (French & Drama). She won a Human Sciences Research Council Bursary, which enabled her to do her Honours in Drama at Natal. Fiona then went to the University of the Witwatersrand to do her Masters in French-African literature (the impact of colonial language and culture upon the development of African theatre and literary forms), a subject which has interested her greatly. Fiona applied for and won the Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship for further study. She studied drama at The Drama Studio in London and mime at L’Ecole Jacques le Coq in Paris. Upon her return to South Africa, Fiona immersed herself in teaching drama at community centres, and became involved in producing community and grassroots theatre with local playwrights and performers in Natal for several years. A move to Johannesburg took her in a new direction—that of journalism. She has written freelance for the last fifteen years
Good morning Fiona. Pull up a chair, grab a coffee and tell me, what made you write your first novel?
I come from a journalism background, but only wrote my first children’s book after a family holiday to Egypt. I had intended to write a short story and ended up with a book and a projected book series. I am busy with the second book right now.
Good luck with your next book, I’ll look out for it. Over the years, many things have inspired me to write. Who or what inspires you?
Once I had started my first children’s book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, I found I could not stop writing. I eventually gave up my full-time job to write. The story itself and the ideas for the series inspire me every day.
Wow, you really were brave to give up your job. So many writers wish they could do that. Me included lol What drew you to write your latest release?
Once my short story for my nephews turned into a book that was it for me—from then on I felt compelled to continue the saga of adventures.
I bet you never thought that would happen. Sometime things just gather momentum and carry us along, don’t they.
When you find yourself dreaming about your book, talking to your characters, and thinking about the plot most of the time, then you know the bug has bitten badly!
I’m dying to know about the book. While I sit back and relax, tell me a bit more about it.
The Secret of the Sacred Scarab is a thrilling adventure for two young boys, whose fun trip to Egypt turns into a dangerously exciting quest to uncover an ancient and mysterious secret. A scruffy peddler gives cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events. 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!
Isn’t that just like real life. Did you base your characters on anyone you know?
Absolutely! The two heroes are based on my nephews; the boys’ aunt is (of course) me; the boys’ grandmother is their real grandmother (my mom). We also met some fascinating people on our real trip to Egypt and you’ll find flashes of them lurking between the pages.
So where do you hide nowadays?
You can find me on www.FionaIngram.com or the book site www.secretofthesacredscarab.com or my blog http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com.
In my books I always have a favourite character. I have been known to even dream about them lol Have you got a favourite? Why is that?
My first book has loads of lovely characters, and of them, I like Gran the best. Feisty, unconventional, she says what no one else dares to say, and she doesn’t care what people think. I am just about finished the second adventure in the series Chronicles of the Stone. It’s called The Search for the Stone of Excalibur. There are many very appealing characters but I think the funniest is quite a minor character called Sidney Parrott, a sergeant in a small Scottish village. He is very funny, but has no idea of it; he closely and perhaps unfortunately resembles a parrot, and considers himself to be a hero who is not yet recognized by his superiors.
Oh dear, poor thing. But parrots are good, right!!! LOL I really do believe that a writer’s life can be a lonely one. How do you do to overcome the loneliness?
I don’t feel lonely at all as a writer. I enjoy the solitude of wrestling with ideas and characters who want to do unplanned things that I never dreamed they’d do. I find myself becoming quite tetchy when friends and family try to lure me out to social events. However, all work and no play isn’t good, so I allow myself to be lured.
So, have you got any advice for new writers?
Three things: 1. don’t give up; 2. make sure your book meets the industry’s exacting standards, and 3. do something every day to market yourself or your work. You cannot just write. You have to market, market, market....
Now thats good advice. Going totally off topic, What did you want to be when you left school?
I always wanted to be a nurse until I did a stint at the local hospital during a school holidays. Then I graduated in theater and theater studies and performed and produced stage productions; finally I started writing and now I am where I want to be—a published author. I am still working on the rich and famous part.
Aren’t we all! Let me know when you get there, I’ll want tips!!!! Lol You may be a writer, but you’re human too! What actor/actress gets your pulses racing.
Hugh Jackman (Wolverine in X-Men), Clive Owen (King Arthur in Arthur), Colin Firth (of course as Mr. Darcy!), Gerard Butler (300).
That’s it from Fiona today. She’s giving away a copy of her new release to a lucky commenter today. So leave her a comment. You have to be in it to win it!
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