About the Book
Title: Ghost Leopard (Zoe and Zak Series, Book #1)
Authors: Lars Guignard
Publication Date: July 21, 2012
Publisher: Fantastic Press
Recommended Age: 8+
Zoe and Zak are lost in exotic India, where gods and magic still exist. Before they can find their way home, they just have to do one little thing… …Save a mythical creature from an ancient evil that wants to rule the world. When Zoe Guire goes along on her mom’s business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. An elephant god speaks to her from the bottom of a swimming pool… She and her classmate Zak get locked in a trunk and shipped off to a strange city near the foothills of the Himalayas… and a crazy snake charmer tells them they’ve been chosen to protect a mythical creature called the Ghost Leopard from an ancient evil that wants to take over the world. As they travel deeper into the majestic mountains known as the Realm of the Gods, things get even weirder. If she and Zak want to make it back to their parents, they’re going to have to tap into powers they never knew existed. Because if they don’t, things will never be the same for any of us ever again.
Carpinello's Writing Pages is pleased to be part of the Ghost Leopard Blog Tour and honored to be able to interview the author Lars Guignard.
Why did you pick to write books for MG/YA?
I started writing Middle Grade because I have two children and they kept asking me questions about some of the experiences I had when I was younger, specifically what it was like to go to school in India. They asked me so many questions that I thought it was time to write a book.
What types of books do you like to read?
I read very broadly. All sorts of thriller and adventure books. On the kids' side, I'm a big fan of Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
Everything. Writing can be very consuming, so getting a break doing anything is great. I especially like to ski and kayak.
Tell us about Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard, and how the story came to be.
As I mentioned previously, I went to school for a time in India, and during that time I did a lot of hiking in the Himalayas. Once we hiked very high into the mountains and a snow leopard visited our camp at night. It left an impression on me. I would say that experience was the inspiration for Ghost Leopard.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
I have a spy thriller series for adults. The first book in the series is called Lethal Circuit and the next one is Blown Circuit. They're a bit of different take on the spy thriller genre as they follow a twenty-something backpacker around the globe. They're adrenalin-fueled adventure stories filled with conspiracy and intrigue. Think of a backpacking Bond and you kind of get the idea.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
The third installment in the Zoe and Zak series, Tiger Temple is being released this December. I'm working on the new Circuit book, Quantum Circuit, right now.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Read lots of books. Then write lots, but take some time before putting it out in the world. As with everything else, I think there's a learning curve to writing.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I attended the American Film Institute and then wrote for film and television for many years before moving onto books. I think the experience really helped me distill what makes a lean, exciting story. I'm thankful for that training.
"Awesome! ~ I am 11 and I liked the book because I love adventures. It was a different kind of adventure from what I usually read and it was funny too. " ~ 5-Star Review from J. Olsen, Amazon
"This was a fun read. This book was like a kid's version of Indiana Jones. It's also very educational as Zoe tells you real facts about what she sees and the history. I enjoyed it immensely. If you have a 10-12 year old child that loves adventure books, this is definitely a must read. " ~ 5-Star review from Simone Lilly-Egerter, Amazon
"I'm sure this book was written for children who are around the age of the two children in the book, 11 or so. But, this 35 year old loved this book! It had action, adventure and imagination galore! It was exactly the kind of adventure that a lot of kids that age dream of." ~ 5-Star review from The Novice Christian, Amazon