Misplaced takes a glimmer of historical fact and weaves a story of conviction, unlikely friendships and mysterious forces at work in the Land of Enchantment.
What are misgivings of a young woman compared to the needs of the greatest nation of the ancient world? Khara’s life has been spent preparing for the day when she will become Egypt’s first ruling woman. A dutiful daughter, she embraces a future already written in stone. Until the day of her coronation, when her father is brutally murdered, plunging the House of Pharaoh into what history will come to know as “70 rulers in 70 days.”
To save her life, she is unwittingly thrust into the future where she lands in the Mal Pais of the American Southwest. Confused and alone, she crosses the Mexican border illegally where she is rescued by Victoria Barron, a well-meaning if not emotionally misplaced immigration attorney. Together they must outmaneuver the artifact smuggler bent on keeping Khara, the find of a lifetime in the present for his own gain. Can they find a way to return Khara to the past to claim her destiny? What happens to history as we know it if they fail?
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author S.L. Hulen whose book Misplaced thrilled and captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love fantasy but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for S.L., a biography of the author and an interview between me and S.L. will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful S.L. Hulen!
Ms. Hulen, a cross-genre fiction novelist was born to an American aerospace engineer and a Mexican homemaker who met in the flower shop of the famed Hotel Sylvia’s in Ciudad Juarez. Raised in El Paso, Texas, Hulen experienced the unique cultural atmosphere, rich history, and mysterious legends that still abound in the Southwest.
After a career in corporate sales, she pursued her dream of becoming an author. Her first novel, Misplaced, is a time-travel story of an Egyptian queen, determined to return to her pivotal place in history. Her work combines historical fantasy with current archaeological events, with strong elements of multi-cultural and women’s fiction.
She presently lives with her husband in Phoenix where the flavors, traditions, and soul of the southwest continue to inspire her.
Now, how wonderful does S.L. sound?! S.L. is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of S.L.’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and S.L., I hope that you enjoy S.L.’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
Victoria Barron, a young attorney trying to put a painful past behind her, dedicates herself to re-uniting families across borders. When a young woman claiming to be an Egyptian princess from the year 2181 BC, is left at her office, Victoria reluctantly steps outside her normal life to aid the imperious Khara. With time running out, the desperate pair explore the legend and history in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, as the last hope of returning Khara to her pivotal role as Egypt’s first woman-ruler. Relentlessly pursued by a disgraced Egyptologist for Khara’s coronation bracelets, the two must form a bond that transcends the millennia separating their lives if they are to succeed.
My inspiration for this story came from a dream more than twenty-five years ago, in which I stood at the coronation of a young Egyptian woman. I felt so strongly that I had been there! I have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt. That dream led me to researching the year 2181 BC, when Pharaoh Pepy II died unexpectantly, plunging Egypt into the chaos history calls ’70 rulers in 70 days’. Because of the missing gaps in this period of history, I decided to weave a story around what we knew and put a modern spin on it.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
If only a good idea for a story was enough! Writing is a craft, a skill, like painting, music, or the culinary arts. You begin with a dream, but that dream requires discipline and instruction. I learned that every part of becoming a better writer has been intensely fulfilling. From my critique group, to technical and creative writing classes, to the publication process, each phase has taught me something valuable.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
Editing! In my office there’s a quote that reads, “Write with abandon, edit without mercy.” It took a while to accept that some of my favorite scenes and characters were drowned in a sea of red ink. But in the end, I’ve learned that any part can go, as long as it results in a better story. Writing teaches humility.
What is your writing process like?
My stories have strong historical and archaeological threads. I like including paranormal components as well, or as Khara, the Egyptian would-be-queen in Misplaced, is fond of saying, “There are no answers, only questions.”
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I did years of research for Misplaced without really intending to. Once I began writing, certain elements simply appeared. The best example is when I was doing research for one of the main characters, Nandor, who is a Nubian mystic. The very next week, National Geographic came out with this wonderful edition about the Nubians, and their many mysteries and contributions. I love that there’s an organic element to research. Sometimes information presents itself in such a way that you can’t turn it away. Almost like it was meant to go into your pages.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Because I’m trying to finish my second novel by the end of this year, I’ve adopted the ‘time in the chair’ method. Sadly, nothing happens until I get to my desk and start working. I write for about 3-4 hours a day, beginning with a review of yesterday’s pages. Early in the morning is best, I feel fresh, am well-caffeinated and the phone isn’t ringing. I like starting about seven in the morning. Afterwards, I still have a good chunk of my day left.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Right now, I’m not reading as much as I’d like to, but I love that Dan Brown’s books make my head spin! I so admire Barbara Kingsolver’s lyrical writing and beautiful imagery. One of my first literary idols was Alice Walker. I saw the world differently after reading her books, and isn’t that the best compliment? On a more international level, I adore Carlo Ruiz Zafon’s “The Shadow of the Wind”.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
As I said before, I’m working hard to finish my second novel, “Misled”. It’s another archaeological mystery for Victoria Barrón, this time, surrounding the Aztecs. When I learned that the Aztec Sun Stone, discovered in 1790, has never been deciphered, and that the exact information contained, remains a mystery, well…
There is such an emergence of strong women characters today. Can you tell us a bit about Victoria and Khara?
Though separated by thousands of years, both Khara and Victoria are strong women, and as such, have much in common. They are both committed to ideals that did or will change the world for the better.
Khara’s entire life has been spent preparing to rule the most advanced civilization of her time, Egypt. She is a mathematician, an astrologer, and a fearless combatant who is accustomed to being worshipped as a deity. Imagine her surprise when Victoria, a thoroughly modern, yet common woman regards her as an equal. Though physically misplaced, Khara is keenly aware of who she is, and what she must do.
Victoria, on the other hand, is a woman with few boundaries when it comes to helping her clients. Her every resource goes into her Center For Help, providing help to those seeking a better life in our country. She is relentless, intelligent, and dedicated. Though she lives in a world of her own making, she is often emotionally misplaced. I loved writing the contrast between these two women, especially as their friendship deepens.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with S.L.! If you have liked what you have read about S.L. and are interested in learning more about S.L. and reading S.L.’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,