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Interview: Fiona Ingram, Author of the Chronicles of the Stone Series

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Fiona Ingram’s earliest story-telling talents began at the age of ten, when she entertained her three younger brothers and their friends with tales of children undertaking dangerous and exciting exploits, with courage and ingenuity. Haunted houses, vampires and skeletons leaping out of coffins  were hot favorites in the cast of characters Ingram created. Although Ingram has been a journalist for the last fifteen years, writing her children’s book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, was an unexpected step inspired by a recent trip to Egypt. Ingram has recently finished the second book in the Chronicles of the Stone series, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur — a huge treat for young King Arthur fans — which is due to release soon.

As a mother of three, I have a mission to share books with parents that will help strengthen, support and challenge children academically, and bring the family unit closer together. Naturally, Ingram herself is a voracious reader and has been from early childhood. “Any parent who is an avid reader will have already thanked their parents for getting them started on the road to reading. Through the magic of storytelling, children learn, experience emotions, and begin to understand the world within as well as the world around them. Reading with your child, or sharing activities that involve reading is a wonderful pastime with so many benefits,” stated Ingram. However, her interests also include art, theater, collecting antiques, animals, music and films. She loves travel and has been fortunate to live in Europe (while studying) and America (for work). She has traveled widely and fulfilled many of her travel goals.

It was during one of those adventurous travels to Egypt where Ingram was inspired to write her first children’s book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, a middle grade adventure about Adam and Justin Sinclair, who are given a scarab by a scruffy peddler on their very first day in Egypt. However, the two boys are unaware of the 5,000-year-old mystery surrounding the scarab or the terrible danger awaiting them. Children, and their parents, will embark upon the adventure of a lifetime with two young boys, Adam and Justin — finding they will only have their wits, courage, and each other.

Intrigued by Ingram’s children’s book series, I asked her about the back-story surrounding this exciting tale. “It just ‘happened!’ My mother was the catalyst. Then in her late 60s, she had always wanted to visit Egypt,” stated Ingram. “My mother also invited my two nephews, then 10 and 12 to accompany us. It was an amazing trip, filled with interesting experiences. It proved to be the inspiration for the book. When I returned, after we’d admired the souvenirs and the photos, I thought I’d write a short story based on our experiences, naturally including myself (a journalist) an intrepid globe-trotting Gran, and two young boys. That was the beginning of it all. The short story became a novel; the novel became a children’s adventure series (Chronicles of the Stone) because at the end of the first book I realized that the story had grown into something quite spectacular.”

What I found interesting as I chatted longer with Ingram was learning she has never considered herself a born writer until now. She said because her writing work was largely editorial, reporting on events and dealing in facts; and she also edited other people’s work. Only when Ingram wrote her first children’s book did she realize she was born to write. “Even then, the book started out as a short story to amuse my two young nephews,” stated Ingram.

However, don’t let this journalist fool you. She was born to write and has not only created a wonderful children’s book series, but it is also one adults love, too. I asked Ingram what she thought about adults picking up her book, and she stated, “So many people have told me it makes them feel like a child again, open to adventure and the excitement of something fun and interesting. Although I have written an historical romance and collaborated on an adventure epic, I love my children’s book series. There is something unique about the world of children’s literature. It is magical, the possibilities are endless, and you’re limited only by your imagination. Imagination … if only we could keep our childlike imagination and beliefs as we step into adulthood.”

Stories for Children Publishing has be touring The Secret of the Sacred Scarab all month long in September 2011. You can find out more about Fiona Ingram’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at http://storiesforchildrenpublishing.com/FionaIngram.aspx.

In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children on September 26, 2011. The hosts will be chatting with Fiona Ingram about her children’s book series, writing, the publishing industry, and the trials and tribulations of the writer’s life. The show will be live September 26, 2011 at 2pm EST. You can tune in at the World of Ink Network site at http://www.blogtalkradion.com/worldofinknetwork.

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About VS Grenier

  • Thank you for a lovely interview! To all bookloving parents, just twenty books in the home vastly increases your child’s chance of being interested in a college education. Keep on reading!