Guest Post + Giveaway: The Mapmaker and the Ghost

In honor of the paperback release of one of my favorite reads of last year, I have Sarvenaz Tash here on the blog today! Make sure you check out my review of The Mapmaker and the Ghost as well. It’s a great story for any middle grade readers! You can enter to win a copy of the pretty paperback edition, cover shown below, while you’re here. Leave Sarvenaz some love too, because she’s a darling!

All About the Ghost in
The Mapmaker and the Ghost
by Sarvenaz Tash

The Mapmaker and the Ghost has – spoiler alert – a ghost in it. It’s not just any ghost however: it’s the ghost of my protagonist’s explorer hero, Meriwether Lewis of Lewis & Clark fame.

I went through an exorbitant number of drafts of this book before I got to the final published version – 28 by my last count. I can tell you that 24 of those drafts did not have a ghost in it at all. My 24th draft had a lot of similarities to the final version but it was too short and it just needed something to punch up the story…

The idea of the ghost of Meriwether Lewis came to me one night and, once I plopped him into the story, it was like he was always meant to be there. He truly was the missing puzzle piece to my book.

So why Meriwether Lewis? Well, Goldenrod’s heroes had been Lewis & Clark from pretty early on. I decided that she’d feel more of a kinship with Meriwether Lewis because, as she puts it, he’d had to deal with a name that was as equally ridiculous as her own. And in all honesty, I really liked his name too. It just sounded like something that belonged in my book.

Once I started doing research on Meriwether, I found all sorts of fun and interesting facts that just fit into the story. He was probably the most fun character to write and I actually had an easy time finding his voice.

I will say that one of the most interesting stories I read about Meriwether is how he died: he died of gunshot wounds and it has been widely debated whether it was suicide or murder. It’s all rather mysterious.

I so wanted to include some of that in The Mapmaker and the Ghost. After all, a ghost thinking about how he died would be logical. But, unfortunately, it was just too dark of a subject matter to have any place in my story. And, ultimately, Meriwether works more as a sidekick helping Goldenrod complete her quest then dealing with his own issues!

All in all, The Mapmaker and the Ghost owes a lot to the fascinating life of Meriwether Lewis. I immensely enjoyed learning about him and I hope the readers of my book learn a bit more about him too.

Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. The Mapmaker and the Ghost is her debut novel.


To purchase The Mapmaker and the Ghost:
Barnes and Noble
The Book Depository

Sarvenaz is offering a signed paperback copy of The Mapmaker and the Ghost for one of my U.S. readers! Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

9 responses to “Guest Post + Giveaway: The Mapmaker and the Ghost”

  1. It’s neat to hear how this story came together. Definitely interesting that in the first 24 drafts there wasn’t even a ghost! The progression of stories always fascinates me, something that wasn’t there became such a huge focal point in the story. I also really like the cover of this one, they all look rather menacing and like they are on the sneak from one another.

    • Christina says:

      Isn’t that cool? The earlier versions would have been SO different! I can’t imagine the story without the sassy ghost! 🙂

      The paperback cover is awesome. The hardback doesn’t have as many of the characters. Many of them are quite sneaky. 😉

  2. Amy says:

    What a great post. I love hearing about the back story of how a book came to be. This sounds like a really fun book. And wow, 28 drafts!! That’s so crazy, but it also shows how much work was put into this book to make it exactly how it is.

  3. Jessie says:

    This sounds so good – I love ghost stories, but add in adorable MG, great cover AND Meriwether Lewis? Be still, my history-loving heart. And what a journey for the author – that’s a lot of drafts. It’s nice to see how proud and happy she is with the outcome, though. It sounds fabulous.

  4. this sounds like a great book! any plans for more books?

  5. Bookworm1858 says:

    Wow-what a lot of drafts! Very cool to read how Lewis was incorporated and how he fit so well into the story.

  6. mackenzilee says:

    Wooo! I love Mapmaker and the Ghost – such a cute read! And such a great post!

  7. Thanks so much for all the comments, everyone!!

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