Tag! You’re it!


Author Jeanie Franz Ransom recently invited me to join a blog hop. She compared it to a kids’ game of tag—she tagged me, now I answer her questions, then tag three more writers who will continue the game on their blogs next week. Swing by Jeanie’s blog to learn more about her and read her answers. What a fun way to get to know other bloggers and learn a few things about old friends, as well!

What are you working on right now?

An upper middle grade fantasy adventure called “The Amulet of Isis.”

While traveling in Egypt, four kids find a magical amulet that transports them back to ancient times. Before they know it, they’re swept into a whirlwind of murder plots, vengeful mummies and a perilous trip through the dark underworld.

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you probably saw last week’s post celebrating the completion of the first draft. Woohoo! Now I’m knee deep in the first round of edits.

How does it differ from other works in its genre?

I’ve seen a lot of time travel fiction that is almost entirely a product of the writer’s imagination—inspired by history, but not truly rooted in it. Those stories can be a lot of fun, but for me, this genre offers an unparalleled opportunity to whet kids’ appetite for history and mythology, firing their imaginations and making them want to learn more. I take plenty of artistic license to create a magical, fast-paced adventure, but it’s always grounded in the real history and mythology of the culture they’re visiting. Education can be fun!

Why do you write what you do?

I LOVE research. I completed most of a master’s degree in ancient and medieval history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Although I decided teaching was not my calling, I could happily spend days on end reading about the wonders of ancient civilizations. History is full of fantastic stories screaming to be told, and I want to bring them to life.

What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

I love writing in a middle grade voice, and with so many cultures to visit, I could spend many years writing about my time-traveling kids.

There’s something else, though, that I need to write someday—a set of adult historicals set in sixth-century Gaul. I spent years compiling research for this project. I envision novels combining the epic life-and-death political struggles of “Game of Thrones” with the intimate female characterization of Philippa Gregory’s work. They’re truly compelling stories that few people have heard.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about me and “The Amulet of Isis.”  Now I’d like to hear about you! Please drop me a comment sharing why you were drawn to your current project.

And don’t forget to check out the fantastic authors I’ve tagged for next week!

Beth Carter, July 24th at http://banterwithbeth.blogspot.com/

A. M. Buxton, July 26th at http://ambuxton.wordpress.com/

Virginia Lori Jennings, July 26th at http://www.virginialorijennings.com


22 thoughts on “Tag! You’re it!

  1. barbarabettis1

    Your books for younger readers are an excellent idea, especially judged by this first one. You do a great job of weaving history into the adventure and touches of time travel. But I’ll look forward to your series of adult historicals (of course 🙂 in sixth century Gaul. Good Luck!

  2. susan Keene

    S.D. Keeling, your idea is refreshing and original. It is written in such a way as to entertain and the children learn without actually realizing it. I so look forward to reading it as will millions (I hope) of children around the globe.

  3. Cara Bristol

    I commend your love of research. I wish I liked research! I don’t mind checking individual facts (I do that all the time), but to have to research an entire era? No way.

  4. Beth Carter

    I think your MG time travel sounds fascinating. I know it’ll be a hit with my niece who loves history. I’ll be buying one for myself and one for her! I’ve never tried writing time travel but think it would be fun. Good luck, Sharon.

    Thanks for asking me to participate in the blog hop. Guess I had better get my authors lined up!

  5. AMBuxton

    You already know I think your book is fantastic, and I’m super happy to find out you like researching mythology. I may need some pointers for my book. 🙂 You’ve got my interest peeked on your adult historical. I love historical!

  6. Shirley McCann

    I remember you reading a portion of this book to Sleuths’ Ink. It sounds absolutely fascinating. And the fact that you love research will undoubtedly impress agents and editors. Can’t wait for the finished product.

    1. S. D. Keeling Post author

      Thanks, Shirley! I’ve been regularly taking chapters to the Ozarks Romance Authors critique sessions, so lots of people have heard bits and pieces of it.

  7. clankids

    Your book sounds really interesting. I love the history of ancient Egypt. I review children’s books and MG on my blog. I would love to review it when it come out.

    1. S. D. Keeling Post author

      That would be fantastic! I probably have a long road ahead before it comes out, though. I’m planning to try the whole agent query route, after all. 🙂

  8. sarakayjordan

    I so admire your dedication to producing educational, truly well-written, and fun adventures for young readers. I have a lot of faith in Isis. It’s going to be great.

  9. VGS

    I also remember you reading some of this to Sleuths Ink. You did a great job on telling the story then, and I’m sure you have worked hard on the manuscript and will hone it to perfection. When it is done, I really want to read the story. Ancient Egypt and time travel are a perfect combination.

    1. S. D. Keeling Post author

      I got a lot done in January thanks to Sleuths Ink’s JANO challenge, including writing a first page, which I’d been avoiding up until then. Our local writers’ groups have been such a huge help!


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