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Interview with M. Tara Crowl, author of Eden’s Wish + book giveaway!

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Available: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Audience: Eden’s Wish is a middle-grade novel, for 8- to 12-year-olds

Eden’s Wish is a story about a young genie perusing her wish to escape the lamp and dealing with the consequences of her actions.
M. Tara Crowl is the author of Eden’s Wish. She studied film at USC and completed the master’s writing program at Macquarie University. In between her educational pursuits, she worked in various facets of the entertainment industry.
Westside Mommy (Ruby Hunt):

How you did you come up with the idea for Eden’s Wish. Was it a story you’ve always wanted to write, or something you’ve been working on for a while?

M. Tara Crowl:

I came up with the idea for Eden’s Wish a few years ago while I was on a plane. For some reason I was thinking about genies, and I started to imagine what a genie’s life would be like. Charmed and enchanted, naturally. But when I really thought about it, the reality of being trapped inside an oil lamp and only being able to get out when someone rubbed the lamp seemed terrible–not to mention, you could only stay out for long enough to grant three wishes for whichever random person might have found it.

I was intrigued by the irony of having the power to grant other people’s wishes, but being so powerless within your own life. Then I started to dream up the character of Eden, a twelve-year-old girl who loves the world, and hates being a genie. And the story took shape from there.

When I came up with the idea, I was working at a talent agency in LA but preparing to move to Sydney for grad school. I started to write the book during grad school. I turned in what would eventually be the first section of Eden’s Wish as my thesis for my Master’s program. After a year in Sydney, I moved to New York and finished the book while working lots of odd jobs to support myself along the way.

Westside Mommy (Ruby Hunt):

What were some of your favorite books and movies growing up, and how did those influence your style of writing?

M. Tara Crowl:

Growing up, I read all the time. My favorite book was A Wrinkle in Time, and I read everything I could find by Roald Dahl. Another of my favorites was a book called The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh, about a family of living rag dolls. I loved how all of those books were rooted in reality, but with fantastic twists – things that could actually possibly exist in our world, if you let your imagination run wild.

But then, I also loved the Babysitters Club books. I had a complete set – my dad tracked down every single one. He’d hunt through used bookstores when he traveled to find the ones that were out of print.

Movies have always been really important to me, and they’ve taught me so much about storytelling. I actually studied film as an undergrad, at USC in LA. As a kid, I loved Beauty and the Beast, and also The Little Mermaid, which was a huge influence on Eden. Like Ariel, Eden has a life you might envy until you look more closely. And she yearns for the world she can’t quite be a part of.

I also loved musicals when I was young – I had a big plastic box of VHS tapes of them. My Fair Lady, Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, Singin’ in the Rain – I’d watch them over and over again. You’ll see that in Eden’s Wish too.

Westside Mommy (Ruby Hunt):

The book cover art is beautiful, and Eden looks a little like you 🙂 . How much input did you have in the design of the character and art, if any?

M. Tara Crowl:

It’s funny, a few people have said that she looks like me! I’m not sure whether the artist has ever seen a photo of me, or if it’s just a coincidence. She does look like I described her in the book, I think.

I had a few conversations with my editor at Disney Hyperion about the cover design. From the beginning we had a similar vision for it (which, I’m happy to say, is how it’s been for most things as we’ve gone through the publication process). They hired an amazing artist named Erwin Madrid, and I was so happy because I think his style really captures the book’s whimsical spirit. He did some sketches, then the team at Disney gave some feedback on them and I was able to weigh in too. Then there was an initial cover, which is actually what’s on the ARC (Advance Reading Copy). That was really gorgeous, but then after some more feedback from everyone involved, the artist created a new and equally beautiful version which is what’s going to be on the book.

Relevant Links

Official Website of M. Tara Crowl: mtaracrowl.com

M. Tara Crowl, Author on Facebook: facebook.com/mtaracrowlofficial

WIN an advance reading copy of Eden’s Wish before it’s released! Enter using the widget below.

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