Historical fiction, young adult fiction
Date Published: October 27, 2020
Publisher: Empire Studies Press
An Egyptian girl fights amid intrigue and corruption for the completion of the world’s greatest man-made waterway.
Recent events have placed the Suez Canal in the global spotlight. One of the world’s most vital waterways, the Canal was originally hailed as a link between civilizations, between Western science and Eastern mystery. This adventure is set against the epic creation of the Canal.
Heroes coming of age... and changing history.
"Tom Durwood is the real thing."
-- Joe Weber, Honorable Enemies, Rules of Engagement
What is the hardest part of writing
Honesty!! in particular, honesty on
behalf of my characters. The easiest thing is dreaming up big ideas; the
hardest part is constructing a concise story with real inner life, with
integrity. If my characters do not make their own decisions, and help independently
to shape the story, then it’s all pointless. It’s just me spooling out words.
What songs are most played on your
Hah!! A hypnotic song called by ‘Only
You’ by Yazoo and the ‘Johnny Appleseed Suite’ by Mark O’Connor.
Do you have critique partners or beta
My faculty colleagues are good enough to
tell me where I go off-track.
In the new work, “The Colonials,” my
friend Maria asked if the Russian character could play a bigger part in the closing
action. That one comment ended up re-working the entire fourth (and current) draft.
It changed everything.
What book are you reading now?
“The New York Times Book of Mathematics”
and “The New York Times Book of Science.” These are compilations of 100 years
of their reporters’ writings. Great stuff!!
How did you start your writing career?
Fiction, not until my third year of
college. I took a creative writing course with an outstanding writer named Bob
That lit a spark.
On the heels of TBD, I am releasing an
ambitious trilogy set in the American Revolution. “The Illustrated Colonials”
is 370 pages, full color, 90 illustrations, with a foreword by historian Ray Raphael.
The premise is that the American War of Independence was a global event.
I feel that I have found my mission in
life – after parenting, and teaching – in capturing crucial ideas about history
in these teen adventures. I presently have two semi-epic novels, one novella
and nine illustrated stories in print.
As I continue to understand what I’m
doing, I can see how this approach could apply to any number of historical
I would love to continue delivering
these adventures to my readers with all the color art, but that may not be realistic.
The color pushes the books’ price too high.
World War II is next in line. Then
About the Author
TOM DURWOOD is editor of Empire Studies Magazine, an open-access journal posting over fifty scholarly features. He taught most recently at Valley Forge Military College, where he won five Teacher of the Year awards.
He is the author of Teddy’s Tantrum: John D. Weaver and the Exoneration of the 25th Infantry. His book Kid Lit: An Introduction to Literary Theory has earned favorable early reviews. “My favorite nonfiction book of the year,” writes The Literary Apothecary (Goodreads).
Foreword Author’s Bio
Fatima Sharafeddine is a writer and translator for children and young adults, winner of several awards and honor lists, among which the Etisalat Award for the best YA book of the year 2017 for “Cappuccino”, (Al-Saqi publishers), and the Bologna Ragazzi New Horizons Award for her book “Tongue Twisters” (Kalimat publishers). Her YA novel “Mila’s Pear” was 3shortlisted for the Etisalat Award 2019, and she was nominated 5 times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the last nomination being in 2020. She has written over 140 books.