Last June, I interviewed author M. Tara Crowl and hosted a giveaway for her book Eden’s Wish. I welcome her back to chat about her second book, Eden’s Escape. Eden’s Escape is about of Eden’s adventures outside the lamp in New York and Paris, France. In this modern-day fairy tale, the protagonist, Eden, experiences adventures outside the lamp no human could ever imagine.
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Audience: middle-grade (8- to 12-year-olds)
Does Eden’s Escape stand on its own or will readers have a difficult time understanding it without reading Eden’s Wish?
Eden’s Escape continues Eden’s adventures on Earth, so it would be helpful for the reader to be familiar with the characters and events in Eden’s Wish. But I also think you could dive in and enjoy it on its own!
Did you have this story written out and ready before the first novel was published?
Last year when Eden’s Wish was released, I was just finishing Eden’s Escape. I turned in the first draft to the publisher a week after the release, then I did some revisions with my editor. The final version was done in February.
Eden escapes to Paris in this book – is that a favorite destination of yours?
Yes! Right before Eden’s Wish sold, I went to Europe by myself for a little bit of adventure and soul-searching. While I was there, I fell in love with Paris. I was completely enchanted by its beauty, history, and effortless style. I made up my mind that if the book sold, I was going to write a sequel and set it there. At the time, it felt like such a daydream. But when I got back to New York from my trip, I found out that Eden’s Wish had sold to Disney-Hyperion, and I was going to be able to write a second book in the series! So the next year, I went back to Paris for three weeks to write Eden’s Escape. I think it’s such a magical city, and it holds a very special place in my heart.
Your stories have such colorful characters. Were some of them inspired by people you know or observed?
Thank you! I rarely base them on someone intentionally. In Eden’s Escape, there is an exception: Pepper, the alum who is assigned to be Eden’s guardian on Earth, is inspired by a friend of mine. Like Pepper, my friend is an actress who has starred in several shows on Broadway. But for the most part, I think the characters are probably influenced by many different people I’ve met and observed. Of course, the characters inevitably develop into their own selves while I’m writing.
If a live-action movie were made based on Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape, who would be included in your dream cast?
This is fun to think about, but also really tough! For Eden, I have no idea! I think she might have to be someone new—a young unknown. Same for Sasha and Tyler.
Should we anticipate a third book in this series or are you working on something different?
For now, there is not a third Eden book in the works, but I’m hoping there will be someday! In the meantime, I’m working on something new that’s completely different from the Eden series. It’s challenging, but I’m really excited about it, and am having the best time writing it!
About the books
(Eden of the Lamp #2)
By M. Tara Crowl
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Eden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.
(Eden of the Lamp #1)
By M. Tara Crowl
Release Date: September 1, 2015
All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.
When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.
Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures–but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power–even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp’s magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.
About the M. Tara Crowl
M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.
Photos provided by M. Tara Crowl and Disney-Hyperion