Saturday, January 24, 2009

In Detail With Mary Fagan

Title: AMMANON Book One, The Prophecy

Author: Mary Fagan

What inspired the book?

Good question! I’ve been writing books in my head, chapter by chapter, for 30 years or more – probably to escape the frustrations of motherhood! I have no idea where this particular story came from. When it started floating around in my daydreams we were well past the Cecil B. DeMille era and still a ways from the onset of Rome, Gladiator, Alexander the Great, Troy, and the like. I guess I was just in the mood for adventure, intrigue, romance and high drama and it played out in this sort of ancient Mediterranean-like setting.

What makes this book special to you?

Because when I was finally at a point in my life when I could sit down and write this was the first story to come pouring out of me. It’s an emancipation book, if you will; the relief and fulfillment of finally releasing this long pent-up urge to write. It was like I was finally doing what I was supposed to do.

What makes this a book that other people MUST read and WHY?

I’d be the last one to call it the obligatory “must read”! Any resemblance to actual relevance, living or dead, is purely coincidental! I have no agenda. None. All I ever knew were people out there doing good: ministers, missionaries, social workers, and community activists of every description. But me? Frankly, I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I didn’t meet the intellectual criterion. I couldn’t do it right. I’m the only one I know who could botch a sit-in. You’ll get no social commentary from me!

What people NEED to read this book and WHY?

Ah! Now we’re getting to the meat of it. Who needs it? Anyone who needs to get away. This is pure escapist fare. Be transported to another world. Meet exciting people you can believe and relate to. Lose yourself in the compelling drama of their adventures.

What sparks your creativity? Any tips to help others spark their own creativity?

My “spark” is simply the driving need to write. I’ve been asked to speak to a group of 4th graders who hate to write. I’m still planning my strategy, but I think the first thing I’ll do is ask each kid what turns him or her on. The trick is to just describe it with whatever words leap to mind. Tell me about it. Get excited about it. Spill it out and worry about structure later.

What has been the biggest stumbling block in your writing? Can you share some tips to help others get past similar problems?

My biggest stumbling block is not wanting to do anything else! Oh, I get my housework done and even cook occasionally. But I’d be so happy just to sit up here at my computer writing and researching. (My poor neglected husband!) BUT you can get awfully stale that way. If you want to keep your characters fresh and real you gotta get out there once in a while. Call your friends. Attend a gathering. Connect.

What do you think motivates people to become authors? What motivated you to get into this unusual industry?

I wish it was more unusual! I can’t find the Bowker statistic, but there are hundreds of thousands of books published annually.

The non-fiction author has something to say; something that needs saying. We fiction types are basically dreamers and storytellers. I’d be more interested to know what motivates us to tackle the publishing process! My reason was, after several years of hammering the keyboard; I saw that what I’d done was good. My sister, daughter and a friend agreed and kept at me until I did. There’s no feeling in the world like holding your first published book in your hands!

Tell me about the most unusual things you have done to promote any books?

Well, my husband came up with the idea of wandering through various bookstores or book sections and furtively placing copies on the shelves. I suppose it might generate interest, but if the retailer accosted my publisher I doubt he’d be amused.

FICTION - If there is a setting, tell us how you decided on that setting and what you did to create a complete and vivid setting for your readers?

I really didn’t decide the setting. It just came with the story! I started with sort of a teaser in the Prologue, describing details of the palace, the picturesque, cypress-lined road leading up to it, and the columned walkway by the sea just as incidental to the action.

But Chapter One opens with the morning sun sliding over the Sarrian Sea until it meets the rugged, black granite cliffs of Ephaeleon, the capital city of Ammanon. We follow the light as it finds the graceful white columns at the top, spreads across the Thoroughfare and starts up the tiers of the colorful city sprawling over the bluffs. I describe the tangy sea breeze spiced with cedar and juniper, the lapping waves, the seabirds, and the awakening flowers. The sun catches the white temple as a blaze of light; ditto the palace on its promontory. Then I figure the reader has had enough and hit the action again.

FICTION - What inspires you about the hero or heroine in your book? What makes them memorable for the reader? What motivates the hero and/or heroine? You can include information about both if you want.

The hero, Emperor Galan, is a marvel of mind and muscle. He is a giant among giants (Ephaeleons are the largest race in this world) and a fierce warrior. Fortunately, thanks to the determination of his father and priest, the prideful prince gains wisdom, insight and concern for his people before he is crowned.

The heroine, Eydain, inspires me because she is smart! She has studied in different countries and speaks many languages. She does tend to lose confidence, though, when she comes into conflict with the huge and fearsome emperor. What is most remarkable about her is that she can admire his qualities as a ruler in spite of the way he treats her. She has the ability to live in the present; to set aside the baggage and enjoy those moments when they do get along.

FICTION - Is there a villain or something that causes friction in your story? Tell us about what or who it is and how that contributes to the story. Any details about conflict and friction is good information to know.

The villain is King Niklos II of the tiny sovereign state of Partha. The Empire of Ammanon has always ignored them since the Parthans are mostly scholars and artisans and pretty much keep to themselves. Niklos, however, is so full of his own cleverness he sets out to bring down the armed might of Ammanon by wits alone. Good adjectives here are “sly”, “devious”, “wily”, “arrogant”, and, yes, “evil.” He covertly raises havoc until Eydain, who understands Parthan culture from her studies there, begins collecting clues.

If there's anything else you would like to share, this is the time and place.

I have to say I’m impressed by these questions. They’re intelligent and inspire interesting, conversational answers. You should train TV interviewers. Don’t you just cringe whenever you hear that mindless, insipid “Gee, Coach, how do feel about that last touchdown?”

By the way, I should not have registered as a follower. I mean, I am, but I’m not blog-savvy enough yet to fill in the info. How do I get myself out of there?

Thank you for visiting with me and in closing, give us your website address and a link to order your book.

My websites: and the publisher’s site:


An Epic and Spellbinding Tale of Good Versus Evil Welcome to Ammanon, the largest and most influential of all the nations surrounding the Sarrian Sea.

In Mary Fagan’s opening epic, Ammanon Book One – The Prophecy, a heroine and an
emperor race against time to rescue the great empire from a dire demise.

The threat arises in the tiny sovereign state of Partha. Sly and prideful King Niklos sets out
to prove he can defeat mighty Ammanon with cleverness and intellect alone. Meanwhile, an
unsuspecting Emperor Galan has all but forgotten a prophecy made early in his youth: that
in the seventh month of the seventh year of his reign, a woman would come to his side to save Ammanon from peril.

Now the time of fulfillment is past, and Galan is receiving alarms from a translator who has uncovered a plot to assassinate him. Where is this woman of the prophecy?

The woman is the translator, Eydain. When they finally meet, the lonely emperor finds that Eydain knows nothing of the prophecy and would rather run than wed. Bitterly he forces her to marry as his captive. The two now struggle with each other as well as the elusive King Niklos who will stop at nothing to overthrow the great Galan.

With so much against them can Galan and Eydain fulfill the prophecy or will Ammanon be destroyed? Fagan is a master of storytelling—her characters come to life with vivid, descriptive narration and sharp dialogue. This classic tale of good against evil with heart-pounding action will have you hooked from the very first page.

Publisher’s website:

About the Author:

Mary Fagan is now a fulltime writer. Ms. Fagan worked in media and communications
during much of her career and worked in the information technology division at United
Space Alliance. Later, working at the University of Houston, she gave in to her muse and the
five books of Ammanon were born. She is currently working on a science fiction novel and a
nonfiction book about her experience as a caregiver for her parents. Mary Fagan lives with
her husband in Friendswood, Texas.

For media inquiries, appearances, or other publicity — please contact:
Miranda Spigener, Director of PR/Publicist 832-452-6068,
AEG Publishing Group, Inc.
845 Third Avenue, 6th floor-6016 – New York, NY 10022 - -
1-888-808-6190 - Corporate Office

No comments: