K. Hollan VanZandt Interview and Give@way

1. Please tell our readers a bit about Written in the Ashes.
This is the story of the events that led up to the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria, Egypt. It also chronicles the life and death of Hypatia, who was the first female philosopher/scientist in history.

2. Why did you pick this era to write about?
It really picked me. I was searching for something to write a novel about and never considered historical fiction until I started dating an Egyptologist who opened a whole new world to me. I became curious about the Great Library, and found there was a lot of interesting history there to explore as a novelist. So it was a love affair that led to another kind of love affair.

3. What is your favorite scene from the book? Why?
There is a sex scene between two characters that the entire story hinges on. I must have re-written that one scene a hundred times over ten years. I wanted to make sure it was poetic and not graphic. But it also had to be hot. Hopefully, readers will agree the scene is transcendent. 

4. What projects do you have planned for the future?
There’s a second book in this same series, which is called The Mediterranean Trilogy, that I look forward to writing. I will be traveling to the Canary Islands for research sometime in the next two years. (I just had a baby, so the entire story is more in my mind than on the page.) I want to spend more time with Alizar, who is the aging alchemist in Written in the Ashes, so the next book in the series has him as a central character.

5. Where is your favorite place to write?
I need hustle and bustle to concentrate, so I love writing in busy cafes during the day.

6. What do you do when you're not writing?
I’m a single mom, so my life revolves around my son. We go to the beach, to grandma and grandpa’s, to the zoo. Recently I bought an entire Ancient Egypt Set of pyramids and the Sphinx and for him. It will be such fun to introduce him to the historical world I love!

7. What was the last book you've read?
I often read autobiographies, so the book I finished last night was Then, Again by Diane Keaton. I loved hearing about her artistic explorations. She’s a woman I admire. I admire quirky people, non-conformists.

8. What is your favorite time of the year?
I love the summer when the water is warm enough to swim in and I can relax on the beach. I live beside the Pacific Ocean, so the rest of the year it is too cold to enjoy. I also realize that I don’t relax often enough during the year, so summer recharges me and reminds me to enjoy the simple beauty of nature. Sometime, however, I hope to live where there are seasons. 

9. Who inspires you?
Powerful women. I appreciate women of beauty, talent and power who live in the world unapologetically for their brilliance. I appreciate them of long ago, and I appreciate them now. I think I like to watch Oprah for that reason, because she is one of these women, and she often has other women who are making fantastic contributions to the world on her show. We are really entering a new era for women where we have not just the capacity, but the responsibility for turning our world around. I think more women should be telling their stories in film and on stage and in writing. It is time for women to speak up!

10. Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Woody Allen. No, I’m kidding. It’s a bizarre and very American question, but I guess it’s fun to think about. Who wouldn’t like a movie made of their life? I would probably be played by someone like Gwyneth Paltrow. Not because we look particularly alike, but our energy is similar and we’re the same age. There’s a brooding and rather serious side that paradoxically shares a body with a whimsical and playful side. Ask me again if my book does as well as Harry Potter!

Thanks to K. Hollan VanZandt and Premier Virtual Authors Book Tours, I have an e-copy of Written in the Ashes to giveaway to a lucky reader. You can read my review of Written in the Ashes here. This giveaway is open internationally. You must be at least 13 years old to enter. Please fill out the form below.


  1. I really enjoyed the interview. I don't think we can ever learn with enjoyment enough about the Egyptians. Reading about the Library of Alexandria would be quite the experience.

    Thanks for entering me.


  2. Great interview!! I have always found the Library of Alexandria interesting and I am really excited to read your book!!


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