First of all, Mr Schatt, welcome to FLY HIGH! How would you introduce your “Egypt Rising” to our readers in, let’s say, about 50 words?
An American archeologist's teenaged daughter finds herself caught up in the Egyptian revolution of 2011 and the target of Islamic extremists. She discovers hidden passages under the Sphinx that lead her to a secret that has been buried for centuries. She also discovers a frightening weapon that makes her a target for people willing to do anything, including murder, to possess it.
YA fiction is a very popular genre with several interesting series out there who have sold and go on selling millions of copies. A few of them have female heroines, just like your “Egypt Rising”. What is your personal approach to the genre?
I deliberately created a female heroine because I think young women can always benefit from them. I wanted to create a teen who considers herself very ordinary in an extraordinary situation that would force her to use the intelligence and courage she didn't know she had. Rather than fantasy, I wanted to have my heroine deal with some very real situations such as growing fundamentalism in Egypt.
Egypt is the setting you’ve chosen for your heroine’s adventures. Have you got any special anecdote linked to your choice? Is there any special reason for that?
My granddaughter was assigned a novel about Egypt, and I thought I could write one just as good. I had actually visited Egypt and have always been fascinated with Egyptian history. So, it was a natural choice for me to set the novel in Egypt.
You contrast to the huge popularity of the supernatural, the ugly truth of a real present day setting. No vampires, no werewolves, no dystopic worlds. Your heroine finds herself engaged in a fight against demons of our world: the brutality and the violence of extreme ideologies. Is there any special message related to that which you want to convey to your readers?
I wanted to show my YA readers what life is like for a Western woman or teen in a country where fundamentalism is growing. Most of my readers would never have experienced that kind of hostility, so I thought it would be a lesson worth learning.
My final question is from teacher to former teacher. What do you miss most of that part of your life and how much teaching to young people has helped you to write for them?
I loved every moment of my teaching experience, particularly seeing the look in students' eyes when they suddenly understand what you're trying to teach them. I received a couple of best teaching awards, primarily because I like to take complex information and try to present it in a form that students can understand. In the case of Egypt Rising, I took some very complex political conditions and hundreds of books on Egyptian history as well as some books on mythical history such as the subject of Atlantis and tried to make them come to life for my readers.
That’s all , Mr Schatt. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Best wishes for your writing and everything else in your life.
Some ancient secrets should remain buried. An American teenager in Cairo finds herself in the middle of the Egyptian revolution fleeing militant Islamic extremists. She leads her worst enemy and the boy she thinks about much too often on the adventure of a lifetime. When she discovers an ancient artifact that was buried for thousands of years, she learns that very powerful people will stop at nothing, including murder, to learn the secrets of a long-dead civilization.
From the first page, and quite possibly the first sentence, I was hooked on this refreshingly different YA read that is suitable and enjoyable for all ages! ~Dii
Stan Schatt has written thirty books on a wide variety of topics including a chapter book for children, a YA novel, biographies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and books on technology and career changing. His love for teaching is reflected in outstanding teaching awards he received from the University of Southern California and DeVry Institute of Technology. Rather than having one career, Schatt has had several. He has worked as an autopsy assistant, an English professor, a software trainer, a law enforcement administrator, a market research executive, and a sales manager.
Read an excerpt
I hurried down the long hall to a room that held a hospital bed and a table filled with prescriptions. Dad was unshaven, but his eyes were clear. He smiled when he saw me.“Do you have the book?”I handed it to him. His hand ran over the book in a very loving way, and then he placed it on the table beside him without a word. I just stared at him.“Doctor Gomar says it probably will be a couple more days. He wants to run some more tests, but he says I’m doing fine.”Dad finally noticed my face. My jaw was set rigid and my eyes glared at him.“What’s wrong? Did anyone give you a hard time?”“No. It’s not that. My whole life is a lie!”My voice rose. I was sure everyone in the house heard me, but I didn’t care.“What are you talking about? Keep your voice down!”“You’re not my father!”“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Make sense.”I took out the lab report and handed it to Dad without speaking. He picked it up and glanced at it. His face tightened. I waited for an explosion, but none came. He began taking rapid, short breaths. I worried he might have a heart attack. I noticed a couple of tears running down the corners of his eyes.“You never were supposed to see that. How did you find it?”
Blog Tour Giveaway $25
Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author.