Friday, 29 July 2016

In conversation with D. L. Orton

About the book:

When offered a one-way trip to the past, Iz sacrifices everything for a chance to change her dystopian future—and see her murdered lover one last time. 
• Race against the clock through a dystopian nightmare. 
• Climb naked into an untested time machine (carrying a seashell and a promise). 
• Wake up twenty years younger, buck naked and mortally wounded, with your heart in your throat. 
Across the infinite expanse of space and time, love endures. (Unfortunately, it’s not going to be enough.)

Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write the book?
I met (and fell in love with!) the man I'm married to when we were 28, and one of the first trips we took together was to attend the wedding of his best buddy from college. At the reception, I ended up seated next to my husband's ex-girlfriend(!), and the two of us hit it off! We started comparing notes on him (to his obvious horror), and at the end of the evening, she said something that stuck with me: I wish I would have met him at a different point in my life.

It was a very poignant moment for me: How would my life be different if she had held on to him? And if I had met him first, would I have let him go and been the one to leave the wedding that night alone, wishing things had turned out differently?

I don't know the answers to those questions, but the possibilities began to fill my head, and a book was born.

2. When did you realise that you wanted to write a book?
I grew up reading Asimov, Heinlein, Le Guin, Clarke, and the rest of the sci-fi greats. I loved their world building, and the glimpse they gave me of possible futures, both good and bad. But what I love most are the characters. I can never remember book titles, and a few years down the road I struggle to remember all the plot twists, but the good characters stick with you. They change you, became a part of you. I aspire to that with my writing.

3. Who helped you in writing the book and what are their contributions?

Every person I’ve spent time getting to know changed me in some way. Their life spilled over into mine, and that made my life richer. All of those people are in my books.
As part of publishing journey, I took full advantage of many talented pros. I list them all on the copyright pages of my books, but the one I lean on the most is my editior, Dave Taylor at theditors.com.

4. How is your book going to inspire readers?

In my mind, the characters are ordinary people thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Diego is NOT a rich, powerful, manipulative Alpha with a helicopter and a riding crop, nor is he a gorgeous, super-human vampire who sparkles in the sun. Nevertheless, his love for Isabel is a very powerful force in his life, and when required, he can do amazing things (like rescue her from a burning building or sacrifice his own life to save hers). Look around you, the world is full of ordinary, extraordinary people who step up and doing heroic things when given a chance.

5. What's the take-away from my books?

Don't take the one you love for granted. At any moment, he or she could be taken away from you, and time machines are pretty hard to come by. So go put your arms around someone you care about and just enjoy the moment. The journey IS the reward.

6. If you are given the chance to change one thing in your book what would it be?

I’ll let you know after I finish writing the last book in the series.

7.How do you find time to write and which part of the day is best for writing for you?

It’s a constant struggle to find time to write. Life keeps getting in the way of Isabel and Diego’s story no matter how much I plan otherwise. (But I think that’s how it’s supposed to be.)

8. Which books have inspired you the most, in the journey of writing this book?

When I was 6, Black Beauty changed my life. My grandmother read it to me, and I have loved books, horses, and seeing the world through other’s eyes ever since.

In 4th grade, my schoolteacher read A Wrinkle In Time to the class, and I fell hard for Charles Wallace and science fiction.

In middle school, I carried Richard Bach's Illusions around in my backpack and in my heart: "The world is your exercise book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, though you may express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write lies, or nonsense, or to tear the pages." I try not to tear the pages.

In college, Time Enough for Love and Childhood's End spoke to me (along with The Hite Report, lol).

Today, if someone asks what my favorite book is, the answer is likely the last book I read: It's a zombie story, and I NEVER read zombie books, but this one is so well done! The science in it is cool, and the women are kick-ass. It starts with this little girl locked up in a wheelchair...

9. What is the best advice, you would give for writers who are trying to write a book?
From Stephen King: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There's no way around these two things, no shortcut.”

And the next best advice: "Don't shoot the dog." Unfortunately, I received that advice too late.

10. What are your hobbies?

Hobbies? Those are things that people who don’t write books have. ;-)
After you finish work (so you can pay your bills), do the shopping, make dinner, clean up the dog barf in the den, do a couple loads of laundry, load the dishwasher, help with homework, tuck the kids in bed, pour yourself a glass of wine and reintroduce yourself to your spouse, there’s not a lot of time left in a day. And if there is, then you write. (It took me ten years to write the first book!)

11. What can we expect from you in the future?

Love is the most powerful force known to mankind: It wrecks kings, breaks down impassible barriers, makes us risk everything for a few stolen moments together. Love is stronger than the instinct to eat, sleep, or survive. It motivates us to kill in cold blood, die to save another, and rail against impossible odds. It brings out the best and the worst in us.

Love (and the lack of it) makes for great stories, and I intend to keep following Isabel and Diego until they finally get it right.

About the Author:

USA BEST BOOK AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR D. L. ORTON lives in the Rocky Mountains where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops. In her spare time, she's building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

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