Author Interview – Eden of the Lamp by M. Tara Crowl + Signed Book Giveaway

Eden’s Wish
(Eden of the Lamp #1)
By M. Tara Crowl
From Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Ages 9-12

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.



Eden’s Escape
(Eden of the Lamp #2)
By M. Tara Crowl
From Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Ages 9-12

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.



“Crowl’s imaginative storyline rings with both perception and humor.”

Kirkus Reviews


“Middle grade readers will enjoy the children’s autonomy and Eden’s humorous difficulties in grasping how school works…Hand this to readers who like their magical fantasy combined with middle school drama.”

―School Library Journal


“An imaginative romp with a smart, snarky protagonist and a humorous interpretation of the world as we know it…[Eden] is also just plain entertaining, with a sassy attitude and a clever wit that saves her on more than one occasion.”




Author 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.

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Author Interview

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.


Last year, I got to meet and speak to a 7th-grade Girl Scout troop in my hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They were smart, hilarious book lovers who were quoting Eden’s Wish and cracking each other up talking about the funny parts. It was such a dream!



What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle



What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?


Pay attention to your life, and experience it as fully as you can. There’s so much to learn from your day-to-day experiences and relationships. It’s easy to undervalue what’s familiar to you, but those things give you the unique perspective that no one else in the world has ever had or will ever have.


What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?


“Stay the course.” –my dad



When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?


Mostly I wanted to be an author or an actress (or both), but I also went through phases when I wanted to be a lawyer, an astronaut, a pilot, and a pharmacist.



How did you know you should become an author?


I wanted to write books when I was a kid, but I changed direction in high school and decided to go to film school at the University of Southern California. After graduating, I worked in Hollywood for a producer and a literary manager, and then at a talent agency. That was when my childhood dream of writing books was reawakened. I dropped everything in LA and moved to Sydney for a Master’s program in Creative Writing. It was a risk, but I knew I’d always regret it if I didn’t pursue that dream. I didn’t know what would happen, but I knew I had to try.



Which authors have influenced you most and how?


Roald Dahl, for his delightfully absurd storylines and gleefully playful prose.

Patricia Highsmith, for the masterful way she builds suspense.

Madeleine L’Engle, for the way her stories shine with heart and imagination.



Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.


I wake up in my apartment in in New York City. My husband and I walk to his restaurant, Two Hands Restaurant & Bar, which is in our neighborhood, Tribeca. We eat breakfast and have a coffee, then we get to work. I’m the office manager at the restaurant, so I handle a lot of the admin and ordering. Depending on the day, I usually work until early afternoon, have lunch, and then walk home. There, I start my other work, which is writing or other book-related stuff. At some point, I usually try to go to the gym for half an hour—ideally, while catching part of Chopped on the Food Network. A lot of nights, I meet friends out for dinner, but sometimes I have dinner with my husband at home when he’s back from work. We go to bed, wake up, and do it again the next day.



Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And then the rest of the series.



Favorite places to travel?


Sydney, Paris, and New Orleans. Each one of those cities feels like a dear old friend to me.



Favorite quote from a movie?


“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” –Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Almost Famous



What drew you to writing this genre?


As a child and tween, I read constantly. The books I read played a huge role in shaping who I was and the way I saw the world. I think that has a lot to do why writing for middle-grade readers feels natural to me.



How do you come up with the characters’ names/personalities?


There are tons of immortal genie alumni in the Eden books, and they’re all female. I had so much fun coming up with their names! I wanted them all to be memorable and diverse. I’ve got Pepper, Valentina, Shadow, Barbara Jean, and so many more. They’re all names that I like, so it was a fun opportunity to use so many of them!


For me, the name has to follow the character’s personality—although sometimes they come to me at the same time. But there are times when I have a character and there are certain names that just wouldn’t fit. Sometimes it’s a hunt for the perfect name.



What book do you love that doesn’t get a lot of hype?


The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh. I’ve read it so many times—it was one of my favorites when I was growing up. But I don’t think I’ve ever met someone else who has read it.



What is next on your to read list?


My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante



Is there something specific you need as you write? Cup of coffee, pen, candy, certain room, etc.


The most important thing is silence. I love music, and when I’m brainstorming I find it really helpful at times, but when I’m writing, I can’t have it on.



Are you for or against books being made into movies?


For it! I’m a movie lover. It’s natural for me to want to see someone’s interpretation of the things you envision when you read.



Write a Haiku about your book


Eden of the lamp

Changed the rules when she escaped

Now she lives on Earth



1 signed copy of Eden’s Escape, US/CAN only

Ends 11/20/16


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