Hey, everyone! Let’s take a deep breath in. (Breathes in.) And a long, cleansing breath out. (Breathes out.)
Romance is exhausting. Even we authors have to take a break from it sometimes. Playing yenta and making everyone we write about fall in love is mentally taxing. So, today at the blog I’ve got a bit of palate cleanser, if you will.
Sharon Ledwith is here to answer the 5 W’s about her May 2012 middle-grade novel The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis. Did you know that 55% of YA book purchases are consumed by adults? With gorgeous, evocative covers like hers, you can see why. Hang tight for Sharon.
WHO are your main characters?
While dreaming up The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, the first novel in a time travel series for middle grade and young adult readers, five kids — all with different backgrounds and cultures — emerged from my mind to take me on. Whoa, was I surprised! So, out of necessity, I bent to the whims of my characters and gave each one their own book in their point-of-view to keep them placated. The first book is in Amanda Sault’s POV. Here’s a character sneak-peek:
Amanda Sault is the Scribe of the Timekeepers. She receives each mission in the form of an arcane riddle laden with clues to decipher what they need to do to keep time from changing. Amanda is half-Native American, loves to write poetry, and takes no flack from the other Timekeepers.
Jordan Jensen is the blond-haired, blue-eyed athlete of the group. Sports are his life. But he rarely has a chance to have fun and hang with his friends to go skateboarding or play video games. Jordan’s a born leader who sometimes takes himself way too seriously, and most often takes one for the team.
Drake Bailey is the brains of the Timekeepers. A prodigy at ten, he’s the youngest and smartest of the group, and at times has trouble relating to them. Drake is of Jamaican descent, and is still having hard time dealing with his mother’s death a year ago.
Treena Mui is the cheerleader of the Timekeepers. She’s focused on becoming an award-winning actress, regardless of her larger body size. Treena is from a rich, well-to-do family who own and operate the only Chinese restaurant in White Pines.
Ravi Sharma is the master illusionist of the Timekeepers. His right hand was amputated after it was crushed in machinery at his father’s company a year ago, so he copes by creating a reality that he is comfortable with. Ravi is of East Indian descent, and speaks with a discernible accent. He dreams of becoming a make-up artist for horror movies.
WHAT tropes do you utilize in the story?
Honestly, I had to look up the word ‘trope’! LOL! I think the trope that would seem to fit this series would have to be good always triumphs over evil. At least in my stories it does!
WHEN is the story set and how long does it take to resolve?
This particular Timekeeper adventure takes place on May 1st, 1214. The Timekeepers must solve the riddle written in the Timekeeper log by that date. In this instance, they arrive a day early, and only have until the next day to complete their mission. No pressure there!
WHERE is the story set and why’d you choose that setting?
The story is set during the medieval times, in Nottingham, England. Since I was writing about Robin Hood, the choice of setting was a no-brainer. However, in doing my research there were dates ranging anywhere between 1189 to the 1320s. That’s a huge gap. The crusades had to factor in, as well as other well-known myths about this legendary bowman. So I created a fictional world using the parameters of historical facts.
WHY did you write this story?
To bring laughter and happiness into the world, while giving readers a thrill ride. I have always been drawn to legends and myths — the unexplained, the mysterious. The legend of Robin Hood and the myth of Atlantis seemed to be such an original idea, how could I not write it? Both the idea and inspiration came to me through a dream I had around 1998. In this dream, I saw seven arches, and there were seven people (five kids, two adults) carrying crystals in their hands, and walking up to these arches. It definitely had an Indiana Jones feel to it. So, I thought I’d challenge myself and write a novel — a series — that would appeal to my son, who at the time was the target age of my audience. I’ve always loved the time travel genre, so I imagined the arches I saw vividly in my dream as time portals. The rest — pardon the pun — is history.
HOW is this story different than the last one you wrote?
Well, I started out writing paranormal romance — about a Native American shapeshifter and a New York detective. That’s where I thought I was heading in my writing career when I began putting pen to paper in 1995. Boy was I dead wrong. Switching up genres and writing for a completely different age group was quite a challenge for me, but as I mentioned, I wanted to create a book series for middle grade/young adults that had a different slant to the time travel genre. There are many time travel series out there, but nothing that has roots leading back to Atlantis—at least what I know about and have read. And since there’s no concrete evidence that Atlantis did exist, then that left the door (or arch) wide open to possibilities.
About The Last Timekeepers
When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they’re given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn’t a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.
Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers–legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial–Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don’t, then history itself may be turned upside down.
Buy The Last Timekeepers now
About Sharon Ledwith
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.