Thursday, October 10, 2013

Quoth the Ravens of Solemano - meet the author!

I'm introducing some of my Christmas stories--all science and history and the Bible--over at today. 

Meanwhile author Eden Unger Bowditch is visiting me here with her fascinating series of books inspired by (real) science and magic. Have you heard of the Young Inventors Guild? Or the Ravens of Solemano?

Eden Unger Bowditch created the Young Inventors Guild series, inspired by her son's disappointment in the impossibility of the magic found in young adult novels. She wanted to tell a story about science—the kind of magic that’s all around, and the kind people can actually do. Growing up in Chicago, Eden later lived both in Los Angeles, Paris, Baltimore, and in Egypt with her husband and three children. She is the author of several nonfiction books about her longtime hometown, Baltimore, and has been a journalist, a welder, an editor, and musician. Her latest book, second in the Young Inventors Guild series, is Ravens of Solemano, which came out last month.

For more information, visit:
  Are you intrigued? I know I am. So I was delighted to be given the opportunity to interview the author. Thank you so much, Eden, for being willing to answer my questions:

ME:  Hi Eden. I read online that you've been a journalist, a welder, and an editor. Welding and modern science make me think of steampunk, so... are the Young Inventors' Guild novels steampunk? 

EDEN: Without intending to (since I learned the word steampunk from the artist who created the cover of both books) I stepped, or rather, jumped, into that world. Victorian era invention and creativity...yes, these books are definitely of that genre! I really love it.

ME: So do I. Your bio says you've lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Paris and Egypt. Do you think your travels have influenced the way your young inventors cross the globe? 

EDEN: Certainly. Living abroad gives you a different understanding of the world. You can see how things flow together or break apart. The third book will take place in Cairo.

ME: Cairo sounds great. And I agree about living abroad giving you a different understanding. We moved from England to the US when our kids were young. So, back to the books. Have you always had an interest in science, or did you develop an interest when you started writing this series?

EDEN:  My kids are a big influence on me. I have always believed that science is magic, real magic. I've learned a lot from my kids.

ME: Me too, from mine.  You mentioned once that the series came to you as a complete storyline. How much does that storyline change as you write the separate books and get to know your characters? 

EDEN: Truthfully, the first and third books were pretty clear in my head. The story, the big mystery and how and why...those things are very clear. But, as anyone embarking on a journey knows, even if you know where you're going, how you get there is something that unfolds along the way.

ME: That makes sense. The Young Inventors' Guild books are classified as Young Adult novels. I've heard a lot of people talking about Middle-Grade books. What's the difference, and which do you think more accurately represents your audience? 

EDEN: I've had adults say the books are for adults, university age people claim it is for them and kids in primary school find their place in those same pages. I never wrote it for any age, I just wrote the story the way it wanted to be written.

ME: I often think those are the best books--the ones that everyone wants to share. So now, a silly question to end with: Have you ever turned a shopping list into a poem? 

EDEN: Now look who's the creative genius! Funny you ask- we are always making up songs and singing to each other. Sometimes a shopping list becomes the centre of an operatic moment!

ME: And, since final's never final in our house... Is there something I've not asked that you'd really like to answer--something you really want readers to know about your book? 

EDEN: This trilogy is a grand adventure. There are weird things (double titles, odd mysterious men in black) that are not there by chance or arbitrarily. There are things that seem absurd but have a real place in history...or, at least, in the history reinterpreted by the Young Inventors Guild. And, yes, there are answers to come. 

ME: Very cool! I have a copy of Ravens of Solemano sitting in my to-read pile and I'm really looking forward to it.
More Info:

The Young Inventor's Guild series tells the story of five truly brilliant young inventors, the children of the world's most important scientists, whose lives are changed one day, when the mysterious Men in Black arrive. Whisked away from their homes to an abandoned farmhouse outside Dayton, Ohio, the children are put to work on an invention that will change the word forever.

The Ravens of Solemano, the children embark on a journey to Solemano, Italy, where they gradually learn more about the origin of the mysterious Men in Black. Where did they come from? Why do they wear such whimsical costumes and speak in seeming nonsense? Do they really protect the children from the foreboding evil of Komar Romak?

The Young Inventor's Guild series combines cutting edge science, fantasy, an an exciting dash of steampunk with the still greater wonders of friendship in a truly inventive, poignant, and fun adventure for young and old adults.


"This middle-grade book is perfect for fans of the Chronicles of Narnia series. Filled with intrigue, secrets, and of course, those mysterious men in black, the story is sure to distract homebound kids--for a little while, at least." --The Examiner

"The concept of the novel is original, ticklish, and more than a little terrifying...inventive and compelling, with something very sad and tender and allegorical at its core, Bowditch's debut gives us a world as rich and strange as childhood itself." --Baltimore Reads

No comments: