Today we’re super excited to introduce you to one of our newest members, Tara Sim, and her YA Historical Fantasy Timekeeper which is slated to release Fall 2016!
- First and foremost, Timekeeper is a historical fantasy. Tell us a bit about the time period in which the book takes place, and what sort of research you did to bring this moment in history to life!
Timekeeper takes place during the Victorian era, in 1875. The first book focuses on London, but the second book explores India during this time period. As you can imagine, the research was extensive! I read a book called What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Darwin Knew to gather some interesting details, and other Victorian-based books to immerse myself in the era. I also read a bunch of books about the British Raj, the Indian Mutiny, and took a trip to India earlier this year (which was mostly for family reasons, but it was cool to do some research too!) But I really wanted to make this alternative world my own, so I tweaked a bunch of the conventional Victorian ideals. For instance, women can work as car mechanics or *gasp* wear trousers.
- What was your inspiration for Timekeeper?
I studied abroad in London in 2010, and while I was there I was kind of overwhelmed by the city. I love it, but it’s chaotic. I went to the Embankment often for school-related reasons, which is right across from Parliament–and Big Ben. I’ve always loved that clock tower for some reason. When I looked at it I felt this weird sense of wonder, and I felt calm. Three years later, I was driving to work and trying to think of an idea for a story. I looked at my Big Ben keychain and wondered: what if clock towers actually controlled time? What would happen if they broke? Would there be mechanics to fix them? And then everything sort of snowballed from there.
- Why did you choose the setting for your book? Did you draw from any real places to create your world?
I chose London as the focal point mostly because of Big Ben. It’s the most famous clock tower in the world, so it made sense to base a story about clock towers there. Trilogy-wise, I chose India as the setting of book two because it’s important to me culturally (I’m half-Indian on my mother’s side) and because this was a fascinating time period in terms of the British Raj. Adding magical clock towers to that was just icing on the cake.
- Which character in Timekeeper do you identify with most, and why?
Probably my main character, Danny. He’s an awkward, anxious, stubborn creature, and I totally identify with that.
- What was your favorite part about writing Timekeeper?
The time magic! I think there’s a universal sense of awe when it comes to thinking about time, so giving it an actual source/way to control it was really cool.
- What was the hardest part about writing Timekeeper?
Describing the clock towers. I am in no way a clock mechanic, so figuring out how clocks work and their internal components and how a clock tower is shaped on the inside was totally intimidating. I took a little license in that this is an alternate history, so maybe they had a slightly alternate way of building clock towers!
- What’s one thing you want readers to know about Timekeeper?
This is a book about time, not time travel. My characters do not travel back or forwards in time, but they manipulate it like crazy.
- Describe the type of reader you hope picks up this book when it’s on the shelves.
It’s hard to pick just one type of reader to perfectly fit Timekeeper, but I hope this book finds its way to people who feel lonely, who may have lost someone dear to them, who have given up hope on something, who feel lost in life, or just want to see more diversity in fantasy stories.
- If you could put together a playlist that represented Timekeeper, what are some of the songs that you would choose?
These are some of the songs that best represent the trilogy to me:”Shatter Me” – Lindsey Stirling
“Circles (Acoustic)” – Passenger
“Who We Are” – Imagine Dragons
“My Blood” – Ellie Goulding
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – Lorde cover
- Who is your favorite rogue character from a book, TV show, or movie?
Strider (aka Aragorn) from The Lord of the Rings. Badass and swoon-worthy.
Tara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera. To find out more about her and her books, check out her website: tarasim.com. Follow her on Twitter: @EachStarAWorld.