A few weeks ago, you voted for what secrets you’d like me to blog about regarding the Out of Time Series for the launch of A Time to Rise. You all chose “15 Random Facts about the Out of Time Series.” I have been particularly excited to write this blog post, though I went with only 13 random facts because
my brain totally mutinied of very good well-thought-out reasons.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
1. I first put pen to paper on October 20th, 2010
This is when it all started. The idea that wouldn’t let me do my grad-school homework. The research that did nothing for my studies in speech therapy. The days of picking up The New York Times and watching Ted Talks and reading about nanotechnology until I wanted to switch majors. 😛 Mid-month, mid-semester while in graduate school…A Time to Die took over my life. I couldn’t stop it. (Nor did I want to!)
2. Word counts:
For some reason, people want to know the word counts of my books. I totally get that. I always want to know the word counts of other people’s books. Here you are:
- A Time to Die: 139,626
- A Time to Speak: 133,050
- A Time to Rise: 117,287
I’m the opposite of typical YA authors. Each book is getting shorter instead of longer! 😂 Maybe this is just to prepare me for writing novellas. 😉
3. Parvin never actually says Skelley Chase’s name in front of Jude.
I’d be surprised if anyone noticed this when reading through A Time to Die. But if Parvin had said Skelley’s name, Jude would have recognized it and then all of his decisions and actions would have changed. He would have put two-and-two together. By the time Parvin says “Skelley Chase” in front of Jude, he’s dealing with the pirate chip and doesn’t recognize it.
4. The first line is exactly the same as the one I wrote 6 years ago.
Yup. The first line somehow came out perfectly. 😛 I don’t expect that to happen again. But I kind of obsess over first lines. I had the first line to A Time to Rise planned out waaaaay before I started writing it.
5. I’d originally planned to have the main character as a MALE.
Yeah. That would have been awful. It was going to be triplet brothers aaaaand…that’s about as far as that idea went. 😛 At the time, male protagonists were the thing. My friend said, “Why can’t the main character be a female? The male protagonists are so overdone!” So I changed the main character to a girl (Parvin) and then the entire YA world exploded with female heroines. LOL. So much for going against the trend, eh? 😉
6. A Time to Die…a standalone?
When I first had the idea for this book, I planned it as a standalone. Just think about that for a second. And then slap me.
7. Skelley Chase’s name means “Storytelling hunter”.
Isn’t that perfect? Mwahaha.
8. I had to research the agriculture of the entire US to figure out what food would be rare or considered a luxury.
This. Was. So. Hard. I had to make sure that Unity Village had the new world’s version of “peasant food.” Then I had to remember and keep track of what they had and would probably sell instead of eat. Phew!This picture only covers a teensy tiny nanobit of the research I did.
9. My agent technically wrote the last lines in A Time to Die.
I tweaked them, of course. But originally the last line was going to be …invisible Numbers. If you read the last page of A Time to Die, you’ll see that’s not how I ended it. And good thing, too! I love, love, love the ending. But it took a second set of eyes to help me get it there.
10. The albinos arose from a terrorist following.
One of the most frequent questions I get is…where did the albinos come from? This may be too much backstory for you all, but you’ll notice in A Time to Die that there’s mention of a space-tech woman who directed two meteorites into Earth. She was an extreme environmentalist who wanted to force the world to start over, from scratch, and give nature a chance to resume its “place” on our earth. She had a significant following of people who–after the disaster–spread throughout the world and set up villages that were dedicated to serving nature. (They were not terrorists. Just passionate about her cause.) This is where the albinos came from.
11. How long did it take to write these books?
It took me 3 years to write A Time to Die, 11 months to write A Time to Speak, and 8 months to write A Time to Rise. (These faster writing times WERE NOT BY CHOICE. 😛 I was under deadline. But I survived.)
12. I first saw Parvin’s name on a street sign.
Truth. And Blackwater comes from the name of a river near the town in which I was living while writing. But even though I got these names from seemingly random places, they have much deeper meaning to them.
13. Why tightropes?
The Preacher actually thought up the idea of tightropes. He prized the idea of physical activity and remaining healthy and aware of one’s body. Because of this, the inhabitants of Ivanhoe stay fairly physically healthy.
*stepping out of the story for a moment* I was inspired to include the tightropes after watching the documentary on Philippe Petit the high-wire artist. (Several movies have been made about him.) He could walk a highwire while carrying items, giving people piggy back rides, etc. I wondered what culture would be like if tightrope walking was the norm. If you’re raised to know no different, then it becomes a basic skill like riding a bike, swimming, etc.
And there you have it, folks! A mix of “inside the book” (secret story snippets) and “outside the book” (secret author snippets). 😛 For those who need more than 13 random facts, I did a whole series of “inside the book” two years ago. It is filled with fun secret insights into the Out of Time Series characters and the world.
What fact did you like the most?
What facts did I leave out that you wished I’d included?