Sorry I've been kind of inactive recently, I'm just coming off of a cold and going through that extreme busyness of the new year.
Anyways, I've been working with Of Tomes publishing and they presented the opportunity to interview Joel Lawrence, the author of Tears of Time. Tears of Time is an upcoming fantasy novel that is about a college freshman who also believes that she may be the reincarnation of a Bronze Age princess. I'll link it's Goodreads page here, but it sounds super interesting and I'm excited to read it soon!
On to the interview!
1. Who was your author idol as a child?
Tolkien was the first author I really really idolized. I fell in love with fantasy through video games and movies before I could read novels, and after Lord of the Rings I read the Hobbit and the the Silmarillion, then moved on to the broader world of fantasy fiction. Imagine my suprise to find dozens of great series just waiting to be read!
2. When did you realize that you wanted to become an author? When did you pick a genre?
Early on I thought it would be cool. I read Tolkien and Robert Jordan and thought, wow maybe I could eventually do this... eventually. I wrote short stories and did a lot of worldbuilding and mapmaking as a child, but sort of put the idea on hold until more recently. I think during high school I realized that actually writing a full novel would be a tremendous undertaking, and maybe I needed a little bit more life experience first. As far as genre, I've always loved fantasy and wanted to write fantasy. Harry Potter made me realize the fantasy audience was far broader than I'd realized, given the right story, and recent YA contemperary fantasy books like Red Queen, Obsidian, Twilight, The Mortal Instruments series, and many more. That's where the hybrid genre of Tears of Time comes from.
3. Were there any inspiration points for your book?
Oceanside, California was maybe the primary inspiration point for Tears of Time. Writing a story about the ocean sprang to mind, the ageless sea, combined with my desire to write a marketable contemperary story that still dealt with the fantasy elements I grew up loving to read. Atlantis and reincarnation are two topics I've always found interesting, so using them as inspiration to achieve the "two worlds" style of fantasy was a natural evolution. After everything meshed together, I just researched those topics and formed my own rules and mythology and the story flowed very well. Who would have guessed the beaches of Oceanside blended so well with Atlantis Mythology, but it worked out great!
4. What does your "writing time" look like for you? Do you binge-write or write whenever? Do you listen to music or sounds (I keep a soundtrack of cars driving in the background)?
I listen to music before I write, not during, but I totally understand the people who do listen to music while writing or programining or creating artwork. For me, it's always been about confort, relaxing, peace and quiet. One rule I've learned is for me, if I try writing for an hour or two and get nowhere, walk away for awhile and do something else. Often this helps me come back to the computer with a rejuvinated mind and then do the binge writing.
5. Did you do certain research/reference for your book, or did it all just come out of your head?
For Tears of Time, I actually found some cool books on dreams and the paranormal at a used bookstore, some of which can be seen in this picture.
Whether character or setting, I always try to start from real world reference/experience. For the fantasy elements of Tears of Time, I took pieces of history and mythology and combined them and created my own spin on things. For the real world, I've only visited Oceanside, but my sister lived there while I wrote the story, or on the neighboring Camp Pendlton to be precise, so she definitely helped fact check and answer questions and helped improve the authenticity.
6. Is there a specific place your character names come from, or a process you use for coming up with them?
Both settings of Tears of Time are based in the "real" world, though the Bronze Age setting is a fantasy/mythological version of an actual place, so for those names I used a very old language as a basis for names and places, as well as mythological names from that location, and changed them around a bit. For the real world, many of the characters have first names taken from the Old Testament, which will make some sense in context. I tried to match them to each character and their arc. For their last names, my sister Emily helped come up with some fitting ones. She's very good with contemporary names.
7. How did you find Ben and OfTomes?
Through the #MSWL website. I followed him and studied his buisness model and his books for awhile before submitting. He has a cutting edge strategy, using a popular social media platform to launch a micropublisher. I also quickly became a fan of his YouTube reviews.
8. What is your Hogwarts house and why?
A fun question! Now, probably a Gryffindor, because I'm assertive, focused, and a natural leader who goes out of his way to find new experiences. But when I was at the sorting hat age in elementary school, I was probably more of a Ravenclaw. I liked to read and learn, was and still am analyitical. A bit of a male Hermione, maybe?
9. What was your favorite book of 2015?
That's a tough one because 2015 was a huge year for YA, both debuts and sequels alike. Some runner ups might be Shadowshaper, Everything, Everything, Six of Crows, The Last Leaves Falling, but my favorite overall has to be Red Queen. I love it's unique hybrid setting of superhero/fantasy/a sprinkle of distopia, enjoyed Mare's POV, and liked the fast paced style. Just a great read and a wonderful world.
10. Sum up Tears of Time into 140 characters (a tweet).
Red Queen+XMen+Outlander+Twilight. A modern Atlantis retelling w/ romance, mystery, magical duels, & a lot of layers
A huge thank you to both Ben from OfTomes and Joel for setting up this interview! I had a ton of fun writing the questions and seeing the responses. I'm looking forward to possibly doing more of these in the future.
Make sure to follow both Joel and OfTomes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!
Follow me on Instagram @once.upon.some.fangirls
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Friend me on Goodreads www.goodreads.com/CaramelOUSF
Thank you so much for reading, and I'll talk to you soon!