Hey guys! I’m super excited to be here today for an interview with author Tara Sim and her upcoming debut, Timekeeper. Think: Victorian era, clocks and magic, and kissing boys. That already sounds like a recipe for swoons and fun! SST is hosted by Nori at Read Write Love 28.
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.
1. In the alternate universe in Timekeeper, time can be controlled via the clock towers. Throughout the time you were writing this book, were there any instances when you wished to stop time and rewind, and why?
The timeline for developing this book was really strange. I rushed through the first draft–I finished it in two weeks–and then spent the next year+ revising and rewriting. So if I could, I’d probably rewind back to when I was first drafting and tell myself to make a better outline and slow down.
2. As a clock repair prodigy, Danny probably has loads of useful skills. What are some things a clock mechanic need to know and be able to do in the world of Timekeeper?
Oh, this topic can (and does) fill up many manuals. The basics for what a clock mechanic needs, though, are these: the ability to sense and connect to time, to understand the fundamental theories behind time, how clocks run and the mechanics behind them, and how to repair a broken clock/clock tower.
3. I absolutely adore forbidden romances, so I can’t wait to see Danny and the clock spirit’s interactions in the book. What made you decide to feature such a star-crossed romance?
I actually got the idea right after a friend sent me a link to a story contest. The contest was asking for strange/unconventional love stories. So, as I was wondering what would constitute strange/unconventional, I had the idea for Timekeeper and who–or what–would be considered a strange match in this world.
4. Which character did you have the most fun writing, and why?
As much as I love writing Danny in all his grumpiness, I think I have the most fun with Colton. He’s very different than all the other characters, and the magic and mystery surrounding him were always delightful to pen down.
5. What kind of research did you have to do while writing this book, if any, and how would you recommend potential writers to go about creating alternate universes of a historical time period like in Timekeeper?
I had to do a bunch of research! Specifically, I had to research the Victorian era, how clocks work, terminology, geography, London and the town of Enfield (which is now a borough of London), and the timelines of certain technological advances. For potential writers of alternate history, I’d recommend getting a good grasp of the time period you want to use, and then figuring out what will change when you add a speculative element to it. So, for example, in Timekeeper I had to figure out how society changed with the clock towers and time magic.
6. What is the most enjoyable part of the writing process for you? Least enjoyable?
My favorite part is drafting. Although sometimes drafting can be a pain, especially when you’re not sure what happens next and the ideas aren’t coming, when the ideas do come it’s like a rush. I love that process of creating. My least favorite part is revising, because it takes forever and makes me grumpy.
Thank you so much for your time, Tara! There isn’t enough TIME to express how excited I am for Timekeeper 🙂
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