1. What inspired you to write this book? Real life experiences. I love telling stories
and this story, simply, had to be told.


2. What exactly is it about and who
is it written for?
The story is about a large pearl. The reader follows its
history starting in 1508 where the Venetian Republic presented King Francis I
with a shell of a giant clam and the pearl to show their respect for his
support. The shell is now a holy water fond in the Church of Saint Sulpice in
Paris. The pearl disappears during the French revolution, reappear at the
battle of Acre in Palestine between the Ottoman and British Empires, but again
disappear in Cyprus under the protection of the Guardians of Aphrodite. In 1964
a search starts at a scientific meeting in France. Another pearl is discovered
in a ship carrying a pearl to Cyprus as an offering to Aphrodite from Alexandra
the Great. Mysterious things happen in the Troodos mountains. The Turkish
invasion of Cyprus in 1974 causes problems. Eventually, the pearl of
Saint-Sulpice is brought back to the church in Paris and the pearl of Alexandra
the Great is secured by the Guardians of Aphrodite at the bath of Aphrodite.
The book is written for a general audience interested in historical fiction,
but how much of it which is fiction is for the reader to discover. It is really
very little!


3. What do you hope readers will get out
of reading your book?
Excitement about
giant clams and their origin and the importance of knowing history to get a
true perspective of life.


4. How did you decide on your book’s title and
cover design?
Simplicity was the
key. The title is straight forward because the church became known by the book
and movie “The Da Vinci Code”. Nobody took any notice to the holy water fond. I
have known its existence from when I worked at a marine lab in Roscoff, France.
I did the cover design and took the photo in our garage.


5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have
for fellow writers – other than run!?
I will prefer to use a quotation (not the exact words) of
Dorothy Parker: ‘Give them a copy of “The Elements of Style” and then tell them
to go and shoot themselves while they are still happy!”


6. What trends in the book world do you see —
and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
Currently it is best described at chaotic.
“Indie” publishers are evolving as mushrooms while the conventional publishing
industry is fading. However, the “Indie’ publishers appear to be subsidiaries.
So, authors will have to pay to get their stories published. Women writers
dominate because men rarely read. Out of the chaos, a new publishing world
will develop where quality of writing matters.


7. Were there experiences in your
personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book?
 Absolutely. Changing from science
writing to fiction is a challenge. I am educating myself. I met a couple of
people who pointed out that science needs to be told as stories. One was a
professor in zoology in Alberta. The other was a cabin mate on a research
vessel. He introduced me to David Lodge and later developed a carrier in
popular science writing.


8. How would you describe your writing style?
Which writers or books is your writing similar to?
Hard one! I write in “Dinglish”
(Danish-English). The Vikings introduced that style and pushed Latin-English
back. Nobody today speaks English like Rex Harrison in “My Fair Lady” (except
for snobs, King Charles, and his mates). In my dreams, I hope to be like Karen
Blixen mixed with Ernest Hemingway – I have a long way to go!


9. What challenges did you overcome in the
writing of this book?
As a soldier in wars,
revisiting the memory of people who had passed away, and dealing with a
publisher whom I am not likely to use again.


10. If people can buy or read one book this
week or month, why should it be yours?
Because there is nothing like it — as far as I know.


About The Author: Ib Svane was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He
was drafted to the Danish army at an age of eighteen and served in the United
Nations forces in Cyprus. He has an academic education from the University of
Copenhagen and Göteborg, Sweden, graduating with PhDs in zoology and marine
biology. In 1998, he migrated to Australia to work at Flinders University and
SARDI Aquatic Sciences in Port Lincoln. During his scientific career, he has
published extensively in international scientific journals, popular magazines
and elsewhere. In fiction, he has published four books. Currently, Ib is living
in Port Lincoln, South Australia, with his wife and dog. For more info, please


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