Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Interview with T.W. Fendley, author of The Labyrinth of Time - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The Labyrinth of Time Title: The Labyrinth of Time
Author: T.W. Fendley
Publisher: Silent Partner Publishing
Pages: 226
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Can Jade restore the Firestone’s powers before the First Men return to judge humanity? 

 Spending spring break in Peru with her grandmother isn’t sixteen-year-old Jade’s idea of fun. She’d much rather be with her friends at Lake of the Ozarks. Then she meets Felix, a museum director’s son. Jade discovers only she and Felix can telepathically access messages left on engraved stones in the age of dinosaurs. Following the ancient stones’ guidance, they enter the Labyrinth of Time and–with a shapeshifting dog’s help–seek a red crystal called the Firestone. But time is running out before the First Men return on the night of the second blue moon.   

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What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? 

I have two grown daughters who are wonderful people, as well great mothers and wives. One is an  architect and the other is a CPA.  I’m proud for whatever I did to help them become the women they are today.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

My mother encouraged reading and introduced me to some of the “New Age” influences that sent me on the spiritual path I’ve taken as an adult. These included the sleeping prophet Edgar Cayce, Oxford’s author and philosopher C.S. Lewis, and actress and reincarnation guru Shirley MacLaine.

When and why did you begin writing?

I got mad.

Back in the mid-90s, I was working as a corporate communications manager for a three-state area. When it came time for my annual review, my boss said, “You’re just not creative enough.”

I’ve always prided myself on having a great imagination, so I set out to prove how wrong he was. When I got accepted by one of the top writers’ workshops for speculative fiction--the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop—my boss not only had to change his tune, but he had to find someone to do my job when I took the six weeks vacation I’d saved up. He appreciated me a lot more when I came back, and I got a good start on my education about how to write fiction.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

Surprisingly, my older sister told me she always knew I would be a writer. Recently she gave me a folder of some of my early stories and poems. How sweet was that! Like many young girls, I collected Breyer model horses. Some of the first stories I wrote were about them, inspired by Walter Farley’s THE BLACK STALLION series. In Middle School (we called it Junior High), I won a national youth essay contest about tuberculosis that featured my first imagined character, Timothy B. (T.B.) Mouse.

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

College taught me the mechanics of writing professionally. I have a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Before I started writing fiction full-time, I earned my living for twenty-five years in journalism and corporate communications.

What inspires you to write and why? 

Some of my ideas come from dreams, but many evolve from trying to puzzle out “what if” problems. “What if” only two teens could access messages embedded in stones in the age of dinosaurs? “What if” the stories engraved on the stones were truly warnings? Like many things, I think this tendency to play with possibilities has to do with my personality type – I’m an INFP (Introverted/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceiving) on the Myers-Briggs test.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? 

I enjoy the freedom of writing speculative fiction, plus that’s just how my mind works. I have a talent for making strange connections between unrelated things, and that usually gets the creative wheels turning.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

During the last week of the Clarion workshop, I was in the library hunting for inspiration when I came across some magazine articles about recent archeological finds in the Yucatan.  They had recently uncoded the Mayan language, and everything experts thought they knew about the culture was being revised. I’ve always been a history buff, and this was a newly opened door to the past. I soon learned the cultures of ancient America—Inca, Maya, Aztec, etc.—at least equaled the Greek, Roman and Egyptian cultures I’d studied in school.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? 

I had the good fortune to be able to travel. I finished writing ZERO TIME before I went to Machu Picchu in 2008, but I definitely viewed the ancient citadel from my characters' perspective. When I got home, revisions began in earnest. I’ve also been to several archeological sites in the Yucatan and American Southwest. I’ve taken courses and read many books on history, archaeoastronomy, and writing. I belong to several writing organizations, too.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? 

I’m a pantser, so I tend to write myself into bottlenecks. That slows things down a lot. I’ve tried outlining, but so far that just doesn’t work for me. I must like being surprised.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? 

The characters in THE LABYRINTH OF TIME taught me a lot allowing things to happen and then paying attention to why they happened. Since I’m a pantser, they surprised me from time to time, particularly the dog Jade called Boss Lady. I had no idea why Peruvian Hairless Dogs kept showing up until halfway into the book.

Do you intend to make writing a career? 

I’ve been writing full-time since 2007, when I took early retirement from my corporate job.

Have you developed a specific writing style? 

My writing generally weaves science with fantasy, and mythology with history. I often write about cycles and the ancient Americas.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? 

My imagination is my greatest asset. I tend to look at the world differently than other people, which still surprises me—I used to think everyone thought the way I do.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

It feels weird to say it, but I’m nice. In other words, I care about other people.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 

Being nice often complicates my life. A lot. Still, I wouldn’t want to be any other way. People first!

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? 

I don’t have a favorite quote, but I love a lot of the quotes attributed to Albert Einstein, such as: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” I like it because Einstein is the epitome of a “real” scientist, yet he often spoke about the value of looking beyond what is known.

TW Fendley T.W. Fendley is an award-winning author of historical fantasy and science fiction for adults and young adults. She began writing fiction full-time in 2007 after working twenty-five years in journalism and corporate communications. In October 2011, L&L Dreamspell LLC published her debut historical fantasy novel for adults, Zero Time. She fell in love with ancient American cultures while researching story ideas at the 1997 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Since then, she’s trekked to archeological sites in the Yucatan, Peru and American Southwest.

When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. She currently lives near St. Louis with her artist husband and his pet fish. Her latest book is the young adult fantasy, The Labyrinth of Time.

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T.W. is giving away two $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins November 17 and ends on December 12.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 15.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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