Jennifer Amiel may be best known in town as the Director of Education at the but she has recently made her debut as a new author. Amiel released her first book, Chloe Diggins and the Eternal Emperor, on July 16.
"I am thrilled about this book," said Amiel.
Amiel says the novel came from her love for books, adventure and archeology. Always an avid reader, Amiel said she always knew she would write.
The main character of the book, a 12-year-old girl named Chloe Diggins, is a creation derived from Amiel's education and background in archeology combined with the goal of designing a positive role model for girls. A mother herself, Amiel wanted to have a book that would be for both boys and girls.
"We need a great role model for girls," said Amiel. "I am excited to have a character like her to promote. She's not sassy. She is smart and proud of who she is. Boys will respect her and parents will like her."
Originally from Los Angeles, Amiel went to college at the University of California Santa Barbara and holds degree in archeology and anthropology. After graduating, Amiel lived in Jerusalem and has been on archaeological digs in the Middle East and in the Channel Islands in Santa Barbara.
According to Amiel, the concept of the book was eight years in the making, with two years of active writing.
"The book went through a lot of changes," commented Amiel. "Originally, the book was more fantasy but it needed to be more authentic and realistic. Archeology can be really tedious working the field but it is amazing when a discovery is made."
Amiel says the adventure novel is written for children ages nine to twelve and is considered "middle grade content" although she says a lot of adults are reading it as well.
"The book is set in Peru and talks about Inca archeology and what it was like for the Inca people," said Amiel. "I want to expose a whole new world to children."
Amiel hopes her book will become a series. Her dream for her new book?
"I would love to be in some other city and see a young girl reading it and loving it," she said. "The next book will most likely be in Ireland and focus on underwater archeology."
Ameil has two children and says her husband has been "incredibly supportive" during the process. In fact, the dedication in the book reads, "No greater treasure than family."
The first on August 9 in Pleasanton.
The book sells for $9.99 in paperback and $7.99 for Kindle or Nook versions. Amiel says you can find the book locally at or on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online.
Do you know Jennifer Amiel? Give her a shout out in the comments section below.