Book Title: Why the Sparrow Cries
Series Title: The Sparrow Duology
Publisher: Mountain Brook Fire
Back Cover Copy: When Harper meets the Greek Dark Age teen, Homer, in the British Museum, she ushers him to her archeologist Uncle’s apartment to avoid the British authorities.
And, to figure out a way to get Homer back to his country, Palikari, before they break the space-time continuum or something she’d seen in an episode of Doctor Who.
Closed off to human interaction, due to an incident that happened back in Phoenix, that might have to do with her parent’s divorce right before her dad’s coincidental death, Harper finds herself opening up to her new Dark-Age companion.
Will she learn to love again? Or will an ex-archeologist turned loose snag the only person she’s felt safe around in years?
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: YA Time Travel
Release Date: February 15, 2024
Brock: What was your inspiration for writing this book or series?
Hope: Great question! It started when I studied abroad in London. As I saw so many artifacts and history, I began to wonder what it would be like if someone from a very obscure period of time came to our modern-age. I decided to pick the most obscure time period I could think of, where even writing didn’t exist.
Brock: Very interesting!
Brock: Tell us about the main characters. Who are they, and what makes them unique?
Hope: Harper is our POV character. She’s autistic, snarky, and prickly—but has a soft spot she doesn’t know about.
It happens because of Homer, our love interest. He’s a sweet teen from the Greek Dark Ages who had the misfortune of being a slave in a temple to the god of death.
Brock: Sounds like some great and interesting characters to engage with.
Brock: Give us one fact about each main character that no one else knows.
Hope: Harper doesn’t have the best hand-eye coordination.
Homer has a really weird running form. It’s like a frog.
Neither one would be the best to recruit for sports.
Brock: Ha ha! So neither for early Greek games.
Brock: In three sentences what is this book about?
Hope: A neurodivergent girl finds a teen from the Greek Dark Ages. It’s up to her to bar him from a tomb robber. And try not to fall in love in the process.
Brock: Do you outline the entire book before starting, or do you write as you go and let the characters take control of the story?
Hope: Most of the time I am an outliner. I will say, this was the very first book I ever pantsed.
Brock: I love that, I have found myself taking on different styles or writing for different books, based on the need. Sometimes I am so into the characters that I can't help but let them take me on side journeys.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Hope: The story is about opening ourselves up to being vulnerable. Harper and Homer have seriously traumatic pasts, but they’re able to find healing through listening to one another.
Brock: Being vulnerable, that can be a challenge for anyone.
Brock: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Hope: I don’t think I can pick one. I do have a really soft spot for middle grade.
Brock: My personal favorite zone.
Brock: How many books are planned for this series?
Hope:There are two books! The second one will take place in Homer’s time period, and it releases in June.
Brock: Any certain research required for the book, or is it all from your imagination?
Hope: For book two, it took four years of research. I think I would cry if I calculated all the hours.
Brock: WOW! That is a labor of love.
Brock: Can you give us a hint at the next book in the duology?
Hope: Without spoiling much, let’s just say that it pays huge homage to The Iliad and the Odyssey.
Brock: Are you a full-time or part-time author?
Hope: I so wish this could be full-time, but I’m a write-when-there’s-a-gap-in-the-workday writer. The full-time job pays the bills for now.
Brock: I get that, I search for windows of time in the evening and the weekend.
Brock: In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?
Hope: I think it’s a good reminder that God is having me do this for a reason. Publishing is tough, cutthroat, and often thankless. But I know he called me to this for a reason, and that’s why I continue to write.
Brock: Coke or Pepsi?
Hope: Coke, hands down. Especially with lime.
Brock: Nice touch with the lime!
Brock: Favorite season?
Hope: I’m a fall girlie.
Brock: I'd fall into the autumn category as well! Grew up in the midwest with colorful leaves and harvest in the fields!
Brock: Favorite color?
Hope: It’s somewhere between blue and purple, but I haven’t found it yet.
Brock: You had indicated in some of your social media posts that it was quite the journey to get this book contracted, can you tell me more about that?
Hope: Great question! It really did. I wrote this book 6 years ago. It was contracted twice, by publishers who ended up going under due to the pandemic. It received almost 40 rejection, one that explicitly said, “It’s perfect. There’s nothing wrong with it. We’re still not contracting it.” I got so much conflicting feedback. But I am so grateful it found a forever home.
Brock: That really is challenging, so grateful you found a home for the book!
Brock: Anything else we should be watching out for?
Hope: I should have my 20th title published later this year. It’s been a wild journey since the first book contract in 2019. A lot of ups and downs, and I’m currently in a down. So I am excited to see my journey go upwards again. Any encouragement from readers takes me a really long way.
Brock: Indeed, emails, comments, reviews truly fuel my fire to keep writing! Sometimes we just need a little kindling to get that fire really burning!