Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
ABRACADABRA TUT is my latest book. I don't remember when the whole idea morphed into a story, but I can certainly recall what initially prompted my interest.
Years ago, when my son Cole was a kid, stage magic fascinated him. For birthdays, he asked for disappearing wands, handcuffs, silks and books about magic. Two of his birthday parties featured hired magicians, and he would sit in his room for hours, practicing tricks. Through a friend, we learned about the local Young Magicians Society, an organization of accomplished adult magicians who meet monthly with kids to teach them magic tricks. Thrilled, he joined up.
As Cole's interest and knowledge grew, I learned, too. One thing that interested me was the important role magic played in ancient Egypt. The priests wrote magical blessings on sheets of papyrus; they used various objects that had "magical" powers; and some say that there is a hieroglyph of "the cups and the balls," one of the oldest magic tricks in the book.
My research about magic led me to King Tut. Much has been written about the discovery of his tomb and the "mummy's curse," but in truth, to me the most compelling story was that of the Boy King himself, who was thrust as a child into his role as monarch and died under still questionable circumstances. Egypt was experiencing a lot of political and religious upheaval at this time, and Tut had few true friends or supporters other than Ankhesenamen, the bride chosen for him.
Somehow, I fit these two strands together, choosing a time travel format to allow a more accessible and modern point of view for readers. There was an enormous amount of research involved, and because I was busy with other projects, this one took years.