The Crannig Castle release is just two weeks from yesterday. Two weeks, people? How did this happen? Well, since I posted my interview with Reuben for Kendra's tour yesterday and I have a book coming out in two weeks, I'm doing a regular post today. And I sat down to this post with a random premise and zero ideas, so let's see what I can come up with. ;)
1. Time Captives is the first actual fantasy story I've ever written. I'd done "historical" fiction, contemporary mysteries, animal stories, "silly monster" stories, and a good bit of science fiction (I even wrote aliens when I was under ten), but Time Captives is my first real venture into fantasy.
2. It's one story in three books. It was actually only supposed to be one book, but I kept finding things for them to do and it grew. However, it's still really one story in three parts, so start with one, then move onto two, then three (and I've got Night at the Museum quotes going through my head at that).
3. Like most of my books, Time Captives is about faith, family, and freedom. Growing up hearing a family friend who is now a congressman talk about those things all the time, you can hardly expect it to be otherwise, but faith, family, and freedom are very important to me.
4. It is Christian fantasy. Since being a Christian is a very important part of who I am as a person and as a writer, it's going to come naturally into my books. However, I haven't had anyone say the Christianity comes across as preachy. On the contrary, people say it fits in naturally.
5. Time Captives is clean and kid appropriate (after all, it's a middle-grade fantasy trilogy), but that doesn't mean it's boring fluff. It's actually quite deep and rather complicated, like many of my own favorite middle-grade books. I have readers who are children, teens, and adults.
6. There are several battles, but I try to keep it on a Narnia level. That is, Prince Caspian, The Horse and His Boy, and The Last Battle--there's rather more than is in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It's very hard to write a somewhat realistic PG battle, but that was my goal.
7. The world of Calhortea is a melting pot of different fantasy norms and historical eras. Basically, if I liked it and thought I could make it work, I threw it in. However, I was aware of the fact that I needed to take out things I couldn't make work, which is why talking animals had to go. I don't know why, but I can't seem to do talking animals without it being cheesy. Underground cities aren't officially out, but there was no place in Time Captives to explore the possibility.
8. There are a lot of characters. They gave me trouble at times, especially when they were in a big group together, but when I got to know them individually, they came to life. Hopefully they're all unique and well-defined enough for you to keep track of, but in case you suffer from poor memory and overwhelming-number-of-characters syndrome (like I do quite often, and yes, I did just make that up), I've provided character guides in each book.
9. The ending is rather bittersweet. I usually go for the happy ending, because I just like it better, but these characters have been through too much for things to just go back to the way they were. And maybe I've watched a few too many BBC shows...
10. The last book comes out November 7! There will be all kinds of fun posts and some awesome freebies to celebrate, so stay tuned!