A couple of days ago, I revealed the book launch and an exclusive excerpt of Stealing Time by K J Waters. Click here if you missed it. I was so excited and intrigued by this book that I asked the author if she’d be kind enough to grant me an interview. She very kindly agreed so here it is:
Welcome KJ. It’s great to have you here. Are you ready for a grilling?
Thank you so much Carlie, great to be here. Yes, let’s put the shrimp on the barbie! Wait… you meant the other kind of grilling. Yes, hit me with it!
CC: Your book Stealing Time deals with time travel. How long have you been interested in this subject and what was it that attracted you to it?
KJ: When I was a kid my step mother would read to us on long walks in the woods. We would sit down on a bed of leaves surrounded by the sounds of nature, the smell of pine, and the view of a canopy of tall trees and lose ourselves in the book. It set the tone for our mystical and beautiful adventures with C.S. Lewis, J. R. Tolkien, Richard Adams and more. One of books she read to us was A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle and it really sparked my imagination, and believe it or not starts with the famous Snoopy line, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
I soon discovered that the possibilities were endless with time travel. When I began writing, it was even more magical because you can go anywhere and change anything you want to suit your needs and tell an exciting story.
CC: I agree, the possibilities are endless with time travel – there are so many places you can take your characters to! I was particularly interested that you featured Hurricane Charley in the book. I was actually in Florida when it hit and lived through it myself. Did you experience this first hand? If so, how were you affected by it?
KJ: We have that in common, Carlie. I hope nothing too dastardly happened to you. Hurricane Charley was my welcome to Florida. I moved there and just like in Stealing Time, three days later Charley paid us a visit. Rude, don’t you think?
I’ve grown up on the East Coast and it seems where ever I’ve lived the hurricanes chose that location to wallop us. The prior year I was in Virginia Beach where Hurricane Isabelle devastated North Carolina and Southern Virginia coastline. I have been in over 15 hurricanes and tropical storms in my life, so it was an easy subject matter to convey the terror and helplessness you feel as the storm is raging around you, dropping trees and tornados as Mother Nature throws her tantrum.
I was lucky with Hurricane Charley, and for that matter, Francis, Ivan, and Jeanne that same summer in Florida also hit, but didn’t sustain any real damage, mostly just a lot of clean up. The last hour of the last hurricane, Jeanne to be exact, a branch from a Loblolly pine dropped and pierced our Florida room roof. Other than that was just a messy clean up and the dreaded no power or cable service for a week or more after each storm. It was a hot summer anyway, but throw in no power and zero entertainment… well you were there so you know.
CC: I was actually quite lucky. I didn’t lose power or water. It sounds like you had a rough time there. Moving on though, one of your characters ends up in London – have you ever been to the UK or has all your information come from research?
KJ: I visited London with my best friend after I finished grad school. I have always been fascinated with English history and how people lived back before modern conveniences. The details and social issues I had to research, but I felt very natural writing in that place and time.
I’m definitely an Anglophile and loved visiting the castles and other historical buildings when I was there. We also visited Ireland and Scotland on that visit and I was equally enamoured with the land, the history, and the people.
CC: If you come back to the UK, we’ll have to meet up! Anyway, I’ve given away a few minor details about Stealing Time, but can you tell us more about it?
KJ: Stealing Time starts with Ronnie Andrews and her best friend Stephanie McKay watching news coverage about Hurricane Charley. Ronnie gets a call from her boyfriend to spend the night at his weather lab, he is monitoring the storm, and it’s her birthday. He shares a very special gift with her – a watch she found on her trip to London with Stephanie the month prior. The watch is a very important part of the story.
During the peak of the storm, Ronnie is thrown back in time to 1752 London, where she struggles to figure out what brought her there and how to return. She is a modern woman and the people around her start to notice differences in her speech and behaviour and accuse her of being a witch. Ronnie struggles to find her way out of the life and death struggle to return to Florida and save her neck from the witch trials that ensue.
Meanwhile, Steph heads back home and invites her hot friend Nick over so she is not alone when the hurricane hits. She and Nick are caught out in the middle of the storm a few times and quickly find everything is falling apart around them, and are faced with losing everything.
CC: I noticed it has Volume 1 on the cover. How many books do you plan to write in this series?
KJ: I started Stealing Time as one book, but as I got so detailed in the telling and found so many cool twists and turns I decided to turn it into a trilogy. I neatly ended Book 1 after the storm and will pick up Book 2 immediately after. The third book will be the final in this trilogy. If you ask my son, who is my helper on the ideas of the books, he has mapped out 3 more trilogies after this. I’ve no idea if I’ll want to move on to something different after the first three books or keep it up. We shall see.
CC: I’m so glad there’s another book in the works. Can you give us a few hints about what’s coming in the next book?
KJ: Book Two has been so much fun to write. I have Hurricane Francis approaching and if you were there, Carlie, you remember it was the size of Texas and a category 5 as it approached Florida. In Book Two, many of the same characters, and several new and quite colourful ones emerge as heroes and villains. To give you a quick 30 second snapshot of book two I’ll provide a list of highlights.
Stealing more time, seduction, rape, deceit, mud slides, Hurricane seeding and steering, drowning, suicides, Puerto Rico, Wild West shootouts, Hurricane Jeanne, the black plague, London 1666, and past life theories coupled with string theory, fifth dimension and other religious, cultural and belief systems to explain the time travel method I’ve invented.
CC: That sounds fantastic and maybe a little darker than book one. Changing the subject, I understand you also design book covers. How long have you been doing this and how did it come about?
KJ: Great question. I designed the cover to Stealing Time with a professional photographer friend of mine, Jody Smyers. A year later, I had several author friends approach me wanting to know who did my cover and if they would help them with theirs. I’m an indie author and I know the importance of having professional cover that captures the mood of your book – as you know everyone does judge your book by the cover. I’ve seen too many indie authors either pay way too much for a good cover or struggle to create their own without the marketing and editing knowledge on how to pull it off.
I talked to Jody and asked if he’d be interested in going into the business of book cover design and he was game. We started in January 2014 and you can see some of our covers here:
We offer the usual book cover services of design and we can use your photo, one you purchase or as a niche market that most don’t offer, we can create a custom photo shoot to capture the cover you want. You can see a mixture of these methods on the book covers we’ve done.
CC: What do you do when you’re not writing?
KJ: Well I’m a water lover so if it’s warm out I’m neck deep in some body of water, whether it’s my pool or preferably I’m on a trip somewhere awesome. This summer will be Cape Cod.
I spend a lot of time with my gorgeous children and help them with school, or develop fun learning things for us to do during summer with my Camp Waters, where I invite their friends over for learning, lunch, and swimming.
When it’s not warm out, I write about my love of water on my blog, Blondie in the Water (kjwatersauthor.blogspot.com) and you can see some of my water adventures here.
I love the gym and you can find me there 4 days a week, if I’m not too busy.
CC: What sort of books do you enjoy reading? Do you have an all-time favourite?
KJ: I like a lot of different genres, from Michael Criton’s science fiction to Dan Brown, but my all-time favourite is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She is the main reason I decided to write a book. Her stories are so rich in history, character development, humour and time travel, that it inspired me to create a story of my own with more modern tilt.
CC: Let’s have a few fun ones to finish off with.
Gold or Silver?
CC: Cats or dogs?
KJ: Dogs, although I really like cats, too.
CC: Sandals or bare feet?
KJ: Bare feet, unless it’s cold. Then boots!
CC: Summer or winter?
KJ: Summer a million times over!
CC: Witches or vampires?
CC: Hot or cold?
KJ: Hot! Hate being cold!
CC: Sweet or savoury?
KJ: I have a massive sweet tooth!
CC: And finally, pizza or chilli?
CC: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come and talk to me today. I wish you every success with Stealing Time!
KJ: It has been a pleasure Carlie! Thank you so much for having me on your blog!!
CC: You’re very welcome.
I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! KJ has kindly agreed to write a guest post on what inspires her so I’ll be posting that in a couple of days time. It’s another chance to learn more about her so make sure you keep checking the blog for the next post.
If you’re interested in buying Stealing Time, the buy links are on the launch post (see top of this page for the link to the post)