I’d like to welcome B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree J.D. Faulkner to talk with me today about her book, Mirrored Time. J.D. lives in Seattle, Washington. She spends her time reading anything she can get her hands on; studying Greek and Roman mythology; and avoiding the rain whenever she can. MIRRORED TIME is her first novel and book one of the Time Archivist Novels.
Hello, J.D.! Thank you for chatting with me today. Tell me, how did you discover indieBRAG?
As a self-published author, I spend a honey-bunches-of-crazy amount of time researching ways to promote my book. I discovered indieBRAG on one of my searches and thought: “Hey, what could it hurt?” I’m really honored to have been chosen to receive an indieBRAG medallion.
Please tell me about your book, Mirrored Time.
I stumbled upon the idea for Mirrored Time almost by accident. I was just finishing law school and was trying to think of what I wanted to do after graduation. So, I was imagining my dream job and I thought “Doesn’t everyone really just want to find out that they are special in some way?” And then Gwen walked into the Time Archives.
Mirrored Time is a story about a girl who is just trying to find a job but, instead, finds out that she is part of a time travelling order. There are dangerous secrets, an imprisoned god, an ex-gladiator thief— you know, normal things. I really wanted to tell a story that I’d enjoy reading. But at the heart of it, it is also a story about trust, and family- the one you are born with, and the one you chose.
What are some of the challenges in writing Time Travel?
I wish I could say that I haven’t tossed and turned in my bed in the small hours of the night, figuring out the theory of time travel. But that would be a lie. More than once, I wrote myself into a corner. In order not to end up with a gaping plot hole, I had to perform some pretty impressive mental gymnastics. There are rules to the world of time travel that I have created, but then there is also a god involved. And he doesn’t necessarily play by the rules. So it gets complicated.
What are some of the periods the story jumps around in? Which one is your favorite?
With my college major focusing on Greek and Roman history, those are my favorite time periods. The majority of Mirrored Time is set in some modern universe (I purposefully kept it vague so people could fill in the blanks as they wanted). But not everyone is what they seem at first glance, and certainly not everyone is from this modern age. The next installment takes place a large part in Ancient Egypt, and I can’t wait to play in that world.
Tell me a little about Gwen Conway. What are her strengths and weaknesses?
Honestly, I struggled a little bit with Gwen. Out of all the characters, she’s the one into which I poured the most of myself. She isn’t fully me, but she is a piece of me. I think most authors would admit their characters come from a part of themselves. Gwen is meant to be somewhat difficult: She doesn’t trust easily, which is a weakness that both gets her in trouble, and one that is exploited. But I also tried to make her very loyal. It might take her awhile to open up to people but, when she does, she is fiercely protective of those she cares about.
I think your premise is extraordinary and very unique. The idea of an ancient force being imprisoned behind a mirror-made-prison is fantastic! What was your inspiration for that?
Mirrors intrigue me. Ever stare into a mirror that has the reflection of another mirror inside— and the two reflect off each other in an infinite repeating pattern? I’ve always been fascinated by that. The imaginative part of my brain always wondered what would happen if I stared into the pattern for too long. Or when you catch a mirror in the corner of your eye? Ever expect to see something there that shouldn’t be?
So, to me, the mirrors naturally became a portal through time. It’s what a lot of my characters use to time travel. It also felt right to be the prison for my half-mad god. If a mirror could take you anywhere in time, how awful would it be if it could also imprison you in one single space?
What are your favorite Greek and Roman legends? What is an example on how they play a part in your story?
I do like playing with Greek/Roman themes of the myths; fitting little hints/nods to my favorite myths in my writing is always fun. Maybe I’m the only one who notices, but I enjoy it!
Mirrored Time was part homage to the myth of Pandora’s Box. There is this struggle to prevent a dangerous force from being released upon the world, but it still focuses on the idea that there is always hope.
In the current book I’m working on, Fractured Time, I’m playing with a few different myths. But I’m especially exploring the story of Persephone and Hades (maybe a more PC friendly one). In the myths where Hades is cast in a more positive light, a kind of romance can be found. I’ve wanted to write my own version of it. I like that conflicting love between a creature of dark and one of light. I think it makes a love story more interesting and more tragic.
Where in your home do you like to write and what is your process?
I am lucky to be part of an amazing writing group called the WorldWiseWriters. Most of us like to refer to ourselves as seat-of-the-pants-ers. Although I usually plan to stick to an outline and write during certain hours, by a certain spot, that gets thrown out the window. When the motivation hits, I have to write. Sometimes I’m lucky and I’m at my desk (usually with my two cats avidly watching me). Most of the time it’s in less convenient locations— anyone else get the writing bug in the middle of the night?
Please tell me what WorldWiseWriters is all about.
The WorldWiseWriters started as a group of mostly unpublished writers who all entered the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. We’ve never met in person as we all live in different places (Washington, Idaho, Vancouver BC, Georgia, and England), but we all connected and quickly grew to depend on each other. I would recommend every independent writer out there to find a support group. It helps so much to have a constant source of encouragement. I know that my journey as a writer would have ended long ago without these amazing women. If you want to learn more about us, we have a website: http://www.worldwisewriters.com/
Who designed your book cover?
The amazing Rebecca Sterling designed both my first cover and the new cover, which I absolutely adore. She is very talented, very reasonably priced, and so patient to work with. She was able to perfectly capture my vision for a book cover and I can’t sing her praises enough.
How fantastic! Does she have a website you can share with us?
I would love to! I’m always willing to brag about my spectacular designer; I’m so honored to have worked with her. You can find her site here
What are you working on next?
Currently I am working on what will probably be a novella in my series, the Time Archivist Novels. One of the character’s backstories has kind of morphed into a complex knot that is becoming a bit difficult to unravel. I think writing it out in its own story will give it the room to shine that it needs.
Do you stick with just one genre?
I don’t really consider genre when I’m writing. Ultimately I just write the story that I feel needs to be told. Struggling to fit the story into the appropriate genre box comes later. It could be because I love reading books of all genres: There are so many great ideas out there, how do you limit yourself to just one?
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview J.D. Faulkner who is the author of, Mirrored Time our medallion honoree at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Mirrored Time, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.