Devorah Fox, author of The Bewilidering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic fantasy series, co-author of the contemporary thriller Naked Came the Sharks, and author of “Turning the Tide,” one of six stories in Masters of Time, A Sci Fi/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology, had a chance to interview of the Masters of Time, a fellow writer.
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A Time Master Reveals All
Devorah: In “Turning the Tide,” you decide to change the past in order to alter the fate of two men you love. Didn’t you realize that, if you did, you might never meet them?
Time Master: I did realize it, although even that wasn’t certain. In time travel there are “inconsistent causal loops” and “consistent causal loops.” The inconsistent type are what’s called the "Grandfather Paradox" of time travel. According to that scenario, if a person travels back in time and kills her grandfather, her father would then never be born and neither would she. The paradox is that obviously she was born, so how else could she have traveled back to her grandfather’s day?
My time manipulation was a slightly different situation. It was more like a “consistent causal loop.” As I embarked on my time travel exercise, I believed that at any point in any of our lives there are different tracks we can follow, deliberately or reactively. I imagined that I would set Mike Finch and Ernie Dangelo on different paths, paths with positive outcomes. I knew the end result would likely be that we would never meet. I loved them both so much their happiness was more important. However, it’s also entirely possible that even though their lives took different courses as a result of my efforts we could still have met. There are so many roads with so many forks in them.
Devorah: You stated that you believed you could actually manipulate time because you’re a writer.
Time Master: I do believe that. I know that I influence the future. For example, at this moment, you don’t know King Bewilliam, the hero of the epic fantasy series I’ve written. Here’s a copy of The Lost King, the first book in the series. Take it home, read it. Then you will be acquainted with King Bewilliam. I have changed your future by bringing someone new into your life, someone you would not know had I not brought him into existence with my writing
Devorah: But your King Bewilliam is a fictional character. It’s not like you introduced me to a real person.
Time Master: He’s just as compelling as if he were real, though. People have become captivated by his predicament, want to see if he will get answers to his life questions, and eagerly await the publication of the next book in the series to see what King Bewilliam gets into next. He’s just as real to his fans as if he were alive.
On an even deeper level, I can influence the future of King Bewilliam’s fans who empathize with him and his difficulties. Because his experience is authentic enough to them, they may employ in their own lives the solutions to which he has arrived. Through my fiction, I can present tactics to fix the real problems of actual people and change their fate.
Devorah: Hmm, fiction is powerful.
Time Master: Indeed it is. I know you can recall books that made you laugh, cry, fear, think, books that transformed your life, books that have resulted in global changes. The writer imagined a certain outcome, described it in words, thereby making what was conceptual, actual. Readers validated that by acting on it, manifesting it in their own lives. Writers have always been and will continue to be agents of change.
Devorah: So, what’s next? Are there others whose pasts you’d like to alter?
Time Master: There are indeed: my parents. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
If you're interested in Logan 6's story, visit Devorah's interview about her short story at the Masters of Time Blogspot.
Masters of Time: A Sci-Fi/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology is available for just .99 onPre-order! So get your copy today.
I've decided to start something positive, which I hope will catch on: a day celebrating awesome ladies doing their thing and doing it well. My first inductee: my favorite singer, Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes. With fierce lyrics, a voice that can kill, soothe, growl, dip soul low or swing to the highest heights, this lady just has it. And I think that's rare: to just be this good at something, with practice, of course, but also with pure joy. If you've ever seen this woman perform, it's like you're not there. She loves where she's at, what she's doing and she does it exceptionally on stage and on albums.
There are so many women who doctor their voices, follow a poppy formula, slap on some sexy clothing and make money. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that formula, especially if your goal is fame and fortune. I'm not even saying that works for everyone who wants to do that, but it's a formula that is followed by many successful women, and I'm more than okay with it. It just isn't what I dig.
But when a woman comes along, a woman who makes faces like Dave Matthews, looks unassuming, even a geek-chic, and just belts out music with a fire that melts you...it's a treasure and a thing worth sharing. Brittany Howard is one of those women. For more about Brittany Howard, sAnger extraordinaire, see this BET interview or check out the Alabama Shakes website. But, really, seeing/hearing is believing, in this case. Please enjoy two of my favorite songs, embedded below, by the Alabama Shakes and #WinningWomenWednesday feature: Brittany Howard.
When I read, I gravitate towards the young adult aisle. Stories of firsts: first love, first crush, first failure, first adventure...these stories just appeal to my love of learning and re-learning. Even as a 30 year old woman, I feel like these books get what life is. My favorite authors come from all walks and genres, but the majority of them are young adult writers.
I've asked myself why, over the years, do these books make me so happy? Why do I gravitate towards them? Why do I enjoy reading them more than the adult fiction I pick up? And I think I have a few answers. First, I grew up a bookworm. So the smart, brave, adventurous, nerdy, complex young adults that populated the books I read made me feel like I, as a child and teen, could be those things. I could be important. I could do big things. When I read young adult books with characters who have all the zest and adventure that only young beings without fear can bring, I still feel like that young reader from years ago: able to do anything. Powerful.
Second, I am a playful person with a vivid imagination. I like the books I read to be open to change, fun, and playful. Not all young adult books are these things, but most are. Young readers don't come to the table with a box of rules, things they don't want to see a writer do and things they do want to see a writer do. Young readers are open to anything: genres shifts, fantasy smacking itself into realistic situations, animals talking, dystopian realities. Their brains are not yet trained to be serious. So, while the subject matter of many YA books are serious, they are often very open to playful plots, characters and situations.
Third, I enjoy the renewal of firsts. Young adult and children's literature makes me remember what it was like to have that first crush, that first date, that first big adventure, the first time I left the home, the first time I had to say goodbye to a loved one. They help me to remember that life is about the firsts. As a mother, I love the look on my children's faces when they suddenly realize something grand: their first word, their first step, their first lost tooth. Children's, Middle Grade and Young Adult literature captures these firsts like no other literature and lets the reader re-live or live it for the first time. I treasure the memories of all my wonderful firsts and find comfort understanding the more difficult firsts through a well-written author's eyes.
Lastly, I think young adult authors have a knack for honesty. It's not that there is no "gray" area in young adult literature, that YA writers see things in black and white. Young adult literature is extremely complex and varying. However, the characters see things the way a child, teen or middle grader would. The issues they are dealing with may be complex, but their reactions are often wonderfully honest because children and middle graders (and most teens I know) are very straight forward. Why would the characters representing them not be? Sometimes the adult literature I read reminds me of how much I over think every single thing. Maybe that's not a bad thing, but it's a little exhausting. It's kind of wonderful seeing life with young, untainted eyes.
These are just a few points in support of the wonderful authors creating a new breed of avid reader. I hope to see the world populated by bookworms in the future, raised on John Green, Deborah Wiles, Rowling, Collins, Halse-Anderson, Snicket, Alexie and others. I think a world like that will be a beautiful one.
So why haven't I written Young Adult books myself? Why am I stuck in the New Adult genre? Oh, don't you fear, young adult readers, I have two young adult stories a-forming. It is my first love, after all. It's just that every time I go to write that YA book, it sounds like an adult is writing it. I need to re-find that youthful voice, that persona, so that my characters are not little adults. Until the time when inspiration or perspiration pays off, you should read these YA books:
Flight and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie
Any book Tamora Pierce has ever written
Any book Laurie Halse-Anderson has ever written
Love, Ruby Lavender Deborah Wiles
Monster Walter Dean Myers
Any book John Green has ever written
The Mighty Miss Malone Curtis
Futuredaze and Futuredaze: Reprise Edited by Erin Underwood and Hannah Strom-Martin
Thorn Intisar Khanani
Any book Lloyd Alexander ever wrote (Rest in Peace, Lloyd)
Heartbeat or Love That Dog or any book Sharon Creech has ever written
Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn
Any book Trenton Lee Stewart writes
Any book Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) writes
The Gregor series or Hunger Games Trilogy by Collins
The Wondla books, Tony Diterlizzi
Any book Lois Lowry writes
Saavy and Scrumble Ingrid Law
Any Roald Dahl book, but especially Matilda
Any Kate Dicamillo book
The House of Scorpion Nancy Farmer
13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
-and so many more-
Please comment below and let me know what your favorite YA book of all time is.
A little video poem about adversity. When the days are not as bright, what does it bring out of you?
Sometimes I find it hard to write in prose. There are moments beyond comprehension in which the perfect line is a fleeting butterfly idea rather than a tangible reality. At those times, I reach for my poet's pen. At those times, I cannot even think of writing "a story" because I have to capture a snapshot, a raw, bleeding, or rapturous moment in time. I cannot think of what surrounds that fleeting emotion, that image that won't leave my brain, that anger that flares. If I do, it will die. That is when I write poetry. That is what makes a poem potent--when you can feel that the poet was slapped by inspiration and lashed back with her pen.
That's why I keep a notepad in my car, text myself jolts of inspiration on my cell during a run. I might forget what it's like to voice something that, before, I couldn't even comprehend. It's been an emotionally difficult couple of weeks for me. It is, at times like this, when logical reasoning fails and all is feeling, that I can't keep from reading poetry, writing poetry and sharing poetry.
I hear so many people being flippant about poetry, reading and understanding it. When I teach poetry in my college classes, people groan. I can't understand that. Poetry is emotion in motion.
Poetry is silly, fun and vibrant. Poetry is politically charged and angry. Poetry is endearing and lovely. Poetry is bold and brazen. It is not always easy. It is not usually easy because it attempts to paint rather than tell. But the challenge to understand is half the fun.
I cannot help but be swept up by a good poem. I feel the same sexy stirring for a perfect stanza as I do for a perfect kiss. I want to thank all the poets who made me feel something in a way I didn't know was right until I read their words: Neruda, Angelou, Plath, Donne, Behn, Alexie, Olds, Tennyson, Cummings, Myers, William Carlos Williams, and so many others. Keep going, poets of the world. Not every poem will be gold, but the poem that hits its mark makes a lot of difference to a reader in need of connection. So, to close, a poem that is my own. A feeling I'm not sure of, a stirring of many emotions vying for attention. Enjoy, or don't. It's going to live, either way:
Plastic coating, in a bejeweled case
a text message Tool,
firing words like shrapnel,
fixated with fixing cogs
on smoothly running machines;
to be greased by honesty.
Honestly, when you pick
at the scabs
from the blood you drew,
on a love you knew,
do you feel you're
waging war against a pool
reflection of you?
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.