Saturday, December 19, 2009

GUARDIAN OF THE FLAME - T. L. Higley - Free Book

Welcome back, Tracy. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I’m excited to be writing novels set in ancient times, but outside traditional biblical fiction. By focusing on pagan cultures and characters, I hope to give readers a window into the ancient world through their eyes. So many of us are very knowledgeable about biblical history, and specifically the history of the nation of Israel. But we don’t always have clear connection points, tying those Old Testament stories with the rest of “World History” we learned years ago. Were the pyramids built when Joseph was in Egypt? What did the Jewish people think about Julius Caesar? How did displaced Jews worship in Greece before the time of Christ? I love having the opportunity to open up the rest of the ancient world for readers, but from a biblical worldview. And my goal with every book I write is to transport readers to that world. While they are on this journey with me, I hope to teach a little bit of history, entertain with a great suspense plot, and also provoke thought about the deeper issues addressed in the book, including what the gospel means for every person, in every time.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

That’s a tough question! There are so many points of joy along the journey, including marriage and the births of my children, and the moments of personal success like having books published.

How has being published changed your life?

Certainly it is validation that I have some skill with the written word, which is very nice. But more than anything, I would say it’s given me an even greater drive and desire to improve, to find creative and effective ways to share truth with people, to listen to what it is God wants to say through me. That desire grows with the readership.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading various books on Rome and Pompeii as research, The Apostle by Sholem Asch, and Veiled Freedom by Jeanette Windle.

What is your current work in progress?

I’m taking a break from the Seven Wonders Novels to write a few Lost Cities Novels. A novel set in the lost city of Petra will be out in September, and I’m currently writing one set in Pompeii, which was buried by a volcano in 79 AD. There is so much drama built into that setting, the research has been fun!

What would be your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would combine research/learning with leisure, and I’ve actually already taken several of these while researching my books. I’ve traveled to Greece, Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Jordan and Italy in the past few years, digging up research and having a great time.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

It’s actually the settings that fascinate me most, and are the place where I begin. I’m working my way through the ancient world, exploring each culture in turn, and the settings are choosing me!

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

Maybe Zahi Hawass, the Secretary General for the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt. I am fascinated with ancient Egypt especially, and this man is so knowledgeable, colorful, and interesting that I think an evening with him would be very cool!

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

Besides writing, I also run an internet retail company, selling craft and hobby supplies online. I enjoy working on the marketing, promotion, and analysis of the company, finding ways to improve. This year I’ve also taken up cycling, though it’s gotten too cold here to keep riding, so that’s on hold until spring.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

I think the toughest part most days is getting started. There are so many things, good things, to distract or suck up the time. And because writing is hard, I tend to stall, trying to avoid the effort that it takes. Some days I don’t overcome this obstacle! But mostly, it’s the deadlines that drive me to “just do it.”

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Learn, learn, learn! There are a multitude of opportunities out there, from books to conferences to other writers, that can help you learn about the craft of writing. You may have been born with talent, but you have to learn how to use it well. Work hard at learning, put the knowledge into practice by writing, and you will make progress.

Tell us about the featured book.

Guardian of the Flame is the third of the Seven Wonders Novels, although each of them is a standalone book and they can be read in any order. This book features the Lighthouse of Alexandria as the “wonder.” The story focuses on Sophia, the reclusive keeper of the lighthouse, and Bellus, the Roman soldier instructed to overtake it. Also making appearances are Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, whose infamous relationship in Alexandria, Egypt, forms a backdrop for the story.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Please visit me at ! I’ve filled this site chock-full with my travel journals to the locations of my books, plus videos and photos, lots of information on what’s fact and fiction in my books, and much more. My website also has links to my Facebook Page. I hope you’ll visit!

Thank you, Tracy, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book. When you use this link when you order, it helps support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

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memawof2 said...

Please enter me! I would love share this with my daughter!

collettakay said...

This series looks very interesting. I'll have to check it out.


Casey said...

I have heard good things about this book from Cara Putman and I would love to be able to read it! Thanks for the chance. :)

NcGrampsofBoys said...

Please enter me in this drawing! The interview was great!



Katy said...

I've seen this book a few times (Amazon keeps recommending it to me) and it sounds interesting! :) I'd love to give it a read!

Michelle V said...

I would love a chance to win this book. Please enter me.

HollyMag said...

I LOVED "City of the Dead" which really surprised me! But I couldn't put it down! I would love a chance to win this book. Thanks Lena for a great interview with a wonderful author!

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Wendy said...

Sounds like a good book. I like her other books.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview! Please enter me. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Please enter me into the drawing! I would love to win this book! ~Donna


Giveaway Lady said...

Please enter me. Thanks!!

Ivy said...

Wow! I am fascinated with anything Egypt so I guess I'm gonna look for the 1st 2 books. Please toss my name in the hat for the drawing. It would be fun to have this book. :)


Rosalie Patience said...

Please enter me in the drawing! I've read about this book and it sounds excellent. ~Abby

abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

Edna said...

please enter me into the drawing


Carole said...

I love this series' focus on ancient times and look forward to reading Guardian of the Flame. Thank you for the interview and chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Deborah M said...

I really enjoyed this interview. I have decided to keep an open mind and try genres I've not read. This would be the perfect opporunity. Please sign me up.
Deborah M.

Pat said...

The cover of the book makes you feel like you won,t put it down until it is finished.Please could I
be entered to win a free copy.
Pat said...

I would love to read this book!
Please enter me.

dancealert at aol dot com

Sarah R said...

This is a book I'd like to read. please enter me in drawing.

Carman said...

I would love to be entered! I really want to read these books.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me!!! Carmen sent me here!!


Anonymous said...

Your book sounds great! Thanks for the opportunity.
estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Anonymous said...

Sent by Carmen. Please enter me. Blessings.

Aimee said...

Wonderful! Please accept my entry for this great contest. Thanks!

Marla said...

This sounds very different than what I'm use to reading, but interesting. I actually think my husband would enjoy reading this. Thank you for the entry and Happy New Year!

Andrea Schultz said...

Lena - Carman made me aware of your contest. Please enter me!

Thanks & Happy New Year - Andrea


I am giving away a copy of Mark Batterson's book, 'Primal,' on my blog. Please come over and comment and follow for your chance to win!