Dear readers, today I have the opportunity to introduce you to a new voice in Young Adult literature, Tara Sim! I have had the chance to read her novel, Timekeeper, a few weeks ago and I immediately contacted the author for an interview. I was that delightfully surprised by it. You can read my review HERE.
Timekeeper by Tara Sim
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Point of View: 3rd Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk, LGBT, Mystery, Family, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Romance
Two o’clock was missing.
In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.
And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.
But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
Tara grew up in California, but braved the elements of Virginia to study English/Creative Writing at Hollins University.
Half-Indian and full geek, she eats too many samosas and awkwardly dances to Bhangra music.
TIMEKEEPER (Sky Pony Press, Fall ’16) is her debut YA novel.
Hello, Miss Sim. Thank you for joining us today. Please tell us a little about yourself… Who are you when you’re not writing?
Thanks for having me! When I’m not writing, I’m typically a booknerd/Netflix addict/baker/video game player/chaser of cats.
Do you have any favourite LGBT-themed stories you would love to recommend to readers out there?
Definitely: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, The Abyss Surrounds Us, Of Fire and Stars, Carry On, George, The Song of Achilles, I’ll Give You the Sun, Fans of the Impossible Life, The Raven Cycle books, and More Happy Than Not.
Can you tell us a little about the process you went through to have Timekeeper be published? Is this the very first book you’ve ever written?
Timekeeper isn’t the first book I’ve written (it’s actually the 10th), but it is the first YA book I’ve ever written and the first that’s being published. After I wrote the first draft about 3 years ago, I went through a lot of revising until I came across Pitch Wars a year later. Pitch Wars is an online writing contest where aspiring authors are mentored to make their stories even stronger, and by doing that, the story eventually caught the attention of my now-agent. After going on submission for a bit, my editor at Sky Pony made an offer for the trilogy.
What inspired you to include mystery, mythology and steampunk into your debut fantasy first-in-a-new-series, Timekeeper?
I love multi-layered stories—and I love fantasy. When I first thought of Timekeeper, I was intimidated because I wasn’t used to writing historical fiction or steampunk. I suddenly had to figure out how to balance a world made up of both magic and technology.
The mythology was something I developed over a long period of time as I fleshed out the world more and more, and to bring context to the time magic, whereas the steampunk elements were more a tie-in to the clock towers. The mystery element was a direct consequence of the plot. I knew something was going to be revealed at the end, and I needed to plant seeds here and there for the reader. I studied a lot of Agatha Christie books!
Is LGBT a theme you find very important as an author? Do you plan on exploring it in your future series/novels also?
It’s an extremely important theme to me, not just as an author, but also as a reader. As someone who never saw myself in the books I read growing up, I know how meaningful it is for someone in a marginalized group to see themselves as the hero of a story. I absolutely plan on exploring it more in my future works.
What character would you say gave you a hard time, meaning that writing them was harder than the rest?
Danny gave me quite a headache sometimes, but I actually think Daphne was the most challenging to write. In her first conception, she was completely different than the character who’s on the page now. It took a while to fully understand her personality, her motivations, and her background. But now I know her very well, and I love writing her.
Between Danny, Colton, Cassie and Daphne, all important characters of the story, which one resembles you the most personality-wise?
Based on personality, I’m probably going to have to go with Danny. I have my Colton/Cassie/Daphne moments, but Danny has the type of grumpiness that is written into my DNA.
What made you decide to write a trilogy and not, for instance, a duology or a stand-alone?
The first book was originally intended to be a standalone, but like with most of what I write, the characters wouldn’t leave me alone afterwards. I really love trilogies—it’s my go-to structure—so I built the books like layers, revealing more and more with each one. Book one is an introduction to the world, but the next two will expand it.
Since the next book in the series will be published in 2017, can you give us mild hints of what it will contain, what to look forward to?
Action! Adventure! Romance! Airships! More explosions!
Timekeeper in three words?
Clocks, magic, boys.
Thank you for your time, Miss Sim!
Interview by Hit or Miss Books.
Well, you know me. I like my interviews long and with juicy information. I find Tara Sim very inspiring. The fact that this is her 10th novel shows how difficult writing is but also how one must not give up too easily!
I really hope you will give this book a chance when it will come out. It is truly worth your time.
Thank you for reading!
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