Sunday, January 27, 2013

Author Spotlight with Book Review - D.H. Timpko - The Firma Twins and the Purple Staff of Death

About The Book: 
A Firma Twins Adventure 
By D.H. Timpko 

It’s Isis Illiana Terra Firma’s twelfth birthday. Last year her identical twin, Electra Morpheana Terra Firma, chose what they did on their birthday. So this year it’s Isis’ turn. She decides they’ll view the just autopsied mummy at the Institute of Ancient Egyptian Stuff, the newest Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC. But the mummy sits up and warns Isis, the logical, analytical twin, that she is the Chosen One who must protect the Squrlon by leading a battle against the Vympyrym. He tells her she must find the Purple Staff of Death and uphold the Firma honor. Who are the Squrlon and the Vympyrym? When Isis realizes that no one else, including her sister, heard the mummy’s message, she freaks. Is she going crazy?

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About The Author:

D. H. Timpko has wanted to write since she was three years old when she saw a blimp. At that time her favorite story was Henny Penny. She was filled with the desire to write and made no distinction between writing fiction and nonfiction. She currently works as a senior technical writer and has 41 years of writing and editing experience, working for corporations, associations, and publishing companies. At night, she writes fiction.

An inhabitant of northern Virginia, she looks forward to a future when time travel resolves the dilemma of not having enough time to do what she loves most—writing, reading, watching films, studying Egyptology, traveling, playing computer games, and spending time with her three intellectually challenged (but sweet) cats, devoted pug, family, friends, and wonderful husband. 

She has no regrets about not having time to clean house.

Author Interview:

Why are there twins in your book?
I find twins interesting, plus the preponderance of twins in the Firma family makes it an unusual family. Given its genetic heritage (being part-alien), the Firmas needed to stand out from the crowd. So I decided to have Isis and Electra Firma as the third generation of identical twins in their family. In other words, each of their parents was an identical twin and their parents were identical twins. 

Are there other reasons for twins?
It provides the opportunity to tell the stories in first person from different twins. In the first book, Isis tells the story. In the second book, Electra narrates. In later books, I plan to tell the story in first person from other Firma twins.  

Why are the Firmas part Native American?
I decided to retell the Pied Piper as an ancient story that actually predates the supposed original telling of the Pied Piper story in Europe. In my retelling, the Squrlon, whose spaceship crashed in Siberia 10,000 years ago, lead the paleo-Indians across the land bridge into North America. One of the Squrlon mates with a paleo-Indian woman whose child becomes an ancestor of the Firmas. 

The Squrlon ushering the paleo-Indians into North America provides a rich historical background for possible stories about early Firmas and Squrlon interaction. I plan to explore those stories in future books.

Ultimately, the Squrlon guide the Firmas to the eastern seaboard in North America where thousands of years later the story in the first book takes place.

Are there any personal reasons for Native Americans to appear in the stories?
Yes. Some of my ancestors were Eastern Blackfoot, a Sioux-based tribe that settled 10,000 years ago in the hills and mountains of western Virginia. I don’t believe there are any full-blood Eastern Blackfoot Indians left. In fact, most books about Native Americans don’t even mention the tribe, which is sad.

My paternal grandmother was one-quarter Eastern Blackfoot, making me one-sixteenth Native American. So, I’m honoring those ancestors.

How many other books about the Firmas are planned?
I’m in the middle of writing The Firma Twins and the Flute of Enchantment, which Electra narrates. I plan to publish that in 2013. The next book, The Firma Twins and the Paisley Egg, narrated by Isis, should be published in 2014. I plan to tell the story of Granddad Firma and his brother in a future book, The Firma Twins and Destiny. Other ideas for books are still in a planning stage.

Lynda's Review:

~ When the Egyptian mummy told me I inherited a job on my twelfth birthday, I wondered, "What's wrong with unemployment?" ~

And so begins this unusual, quirky, humorous, and totally enjoyable adventure. This is the first book in the Firma Twins Adventure Series and incorporates a little Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical, Suspense, Thriller, and Coming-of-Age Adventure. If this isn't enough to keep you reading, the hugely diversified character roster will be sure to hook you.

Personally, I loved the author's ability to make the absurd humorous; and her plotting was so kinked, I never knew what was coming next. Loved It! As soon as one secret is revealed, another pops into place. And the mystery elements are also layered. This read will make you slow down and keep track of where you've been and where you think you're going. And like all good stories, the ending is never exactly what you expected, but so much better.
I'm happy to give this book Five Stars!


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