I’m very excited to welcom Geralyn Beauchamp, Author of Time Masters to Scribbler’s.
To begin, a little bit about the author herself.
Geralyn Beauchamp is a fantasy/romance/action-adventure/fractured fairy tale author who likes to spin whimsical yet epic tales! A book reviewer for five years, she read voraciously (why do you think she wanted to become a book reviewer? It was the perfect excuse to HAVE to read!) and, well, one thing led to another. Her first book, Time Masters Book One; The Call, was actually written at the urging of author friends, most of whose books she reviewed. So, on a dare from Julia Quinn that went something like, “Oh c’mon, I know you can do this, I DARE YOU!” (It was a simple yet effective dare) Geralyn went on to write her first book. That was in 1995. After which she simply proclaimed, “I did it!” Just to prove she could, and then stuck said book in a trunk where it sat… and sat …. and SAT… until Christmas eve of 2007, when it finally hit the book store shelves. Better late than never.
Geralyn’s dad was a homicide detective for 30 years and her younger sister is a professional race horse jockey. Geralyn divides her time between the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. Other than being a bibliophile, she’s a yarn dabbler, of the string variety, coffee lover and chocolate snob.
Thank you for joining us at Scribbler’s today, Geralyn!
What is Time Master’s about?
Time Masters is a twelve-book series done in sets of three. However, the way I designed it I can go beyond twelve books. I just figured I might be tired of working with it after twelve!
The Muirarans are actually an alien race forced from their own time and place/planet and who evacuated themselves to our time and place/planet. Their origins are only hinted at in Book One: The Call. In Book Two: The Prophecy, their story unfolds in much more detail.
The best description would be from amazon: “The year is 3698 and an unknown instigator has the threat of civil war not only brewing, but near boiling! Pressured by the rulers of the Known Lands, Kwaku Awahnee, Time Master of Muirara, must pass his Time Mastership to his pre-chosen successor, Dallan MacDonald, much earlier than expected. Undaunted, Kwaku enlists the help of Councilor John Eaton who must tell the unsuspecting Scot of his new office and all it entails. There are, however, a few slight problems. To become a Time Master, the Highlander has to willingly join with a Muiraran Maiden, who, stolen as an infant, hidden in another time, and now grown, must mate or die. Dallan’s job of convincing her that she is Muiraran, not human, and persuading her to fall in love with him is a small task compared to their impossible race against time. John’s job is to make sure the Scot is ready to listen. And then, of course, talk him into it along the way.”
In short Dallan is from the seventeenth century, Shona ‘The Maiden’ was raised as a human in the latter half of the twentieth century. Kwaku Awahnee’s group from the far future, and I have one grizzled little Scot from the eighteenth century. Put them all together and put them all out of their element, and watch the fun. That is Time Masters.
Does Time Masters have a central Theme?
Each book has it’s own ‘moral premise’ what the book is really about. For Time Masters Book One; The Call the moral premise would be: Purity brings great power but lust brings destruction and death. As to a theme, I would have to say the whole series is about relationships. Book one deals with purity and pure motive. Time Masters Book Two; The Prophecy deals with fear. Fears many of us deal with in the relationships in our lives.
What inspired you to write a time travel?
I love history and Time Masters gives me the opportunity to delve into quite a bit of it. To put a character totally out of his natural environment, and into an environment familiar to the rest of us makes for great entertainment. But to take a group of characters out of not only their natural environments, but also let them be unfamiliar with each others’ — for the most part — and put them all in one familiar to the rest of us, well, this makes for one wild ride! Sit back and enjoy the fun of watching all of them try to adapt and adjust to new and strange surroundings. Mix in a bit of romance, suspense, and danger and you have Time Masters.
What was your journey from first draft to publication like?
Ah, the million dollar question! Time Masters was actually written on a dare. Yep, a dare by author Julia Quinn whose books I’ve reviewed. I still remember when she said it. We were at a Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention. I was there as a reviewer and it was fun to meet many of the authors I’d been reviewing over the years. At any rate, I took her on. I had started a story back in the late 1980s entitled The Door To Muirara. I took elements from that story and added them to new ones I developed. But the full story line didn’t emerge until I created Time Master’s main character, Dallan MacDonald. I had a lot of fun creating Dallan. I worked on him off and on for a year along with the rest of the characters. The first draft I wrote in four months. And it was LONG. But hey, I was having fun. I was dared to write a book, not necessarily publish the thing, and I was really trying to put Dallan in a lot of different scenarios to see how he’d act. Then the cutting began. After about five more drafts I was happy with it, declared “I DID IT!” and then threw it in a trunk. That was all back in 1994/95. Several author friends whom I caught up with through My Space asked if I was ever going to do something with it. So I pulled it out of the trunk, submitted to a few small presses and voila! It hit the shelves Christmas eve of 2007.
What were your biggest obstacles.
Back then, just me. I wasn’t necessarily out to get published. I had three children I was raising. I figured I didn’t have time to be a writer as well. Years later when I did have time I was urged again by author friends to, as they put it: DO SOMETHING FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! These ladies weren’t exactly subtle, and so I did. But to go the traditional route with a big publisher, a small press or self? Self still had such a nasty stigma in 2006/2007. Small press was better as I was told they were more personal. But then as a newbie author you think, “what will they DO to my baby?” Oh shudder! Fear then became an obstacle to which the same group of ever supportive friends said, “Get over it.” And as luck would have it, I found a small press that had transitioned from a self-publishing hybrid to a full traditional press. They were fantastic to work with and I learned a lot about the publishing industry through them.
How about sharing an excerpt from Time Master?
OK, so here’s an excerpt I’ve never posted.
Julia was doing something at the rear of the car now, the sounds unfamiliar and frightening as Shona’s panic began to block her senses.
Julia got back in the car, started it and turned to Shona. “Don’t worry, this won’t hurt.” She raised the two open windows, closing one, but leaving the driver’s side opened a few inches, then got out and went to the back of the car again. After a moment she returned, shut off the engine and sat in the front seat, her eyes intense with anticipation. “Now, if you’re Muiraran, then I estimate you’d survive a good fifteen minutes or so longer than a human. If not, and you die quickly, then you really weren’t worth keeping to begin with.” She reached outside the car, picked something up and displayed it to Shona.
The end of a vacuum cleaner hose.
“Carbon monoxide poisoning is relatively painless, so I wouldn’t worry. You won’t feel a thing. I’ll try to catch it before you pass out. It’s the timing I’m after. Now that my real memories are coming back, I’ve been so curious to see the differences between your kind and my own.”
Ignoring the odd statement, Shona shook her head wildly and struggled again as Julia left the car. Dallan, help! She’s going to kill me! Help me please!
Julia, now outside the car, began to fumble with something out of Shona’s line of vision. She could, however, hear the loud sound of heavy tape being unwound from its roll and ripped. Julia began to run tape across the top of the open window, sealing the opening. Shona watched in complete and utter horror as her tutor of ten years stuck the end of the hose in the middle of the window and neatly taped it in place.
Shona was gong to die.
Dallan! God, please let him hear me! Oh Dallan, help! She’s going to kill me! Help me please!
But Dallan still did not answer.
Julia reached into the car from the passenger side and gave Shona a calculating look. “I’ll time it on my watch. I give you ten minutes, maybe fifteen. Hmmm, we’ll see what happens.” She switched on the ignition, smiled wickedly and slowly shut the door to lock Shona inside.
Shona screamed into the gag and fought with everything she had, then suddenly realized what the struggling would do and stopped, not wanting to breathe in the deadly gas any quicker than she had to. DALLAN! DALLAN! DALLAAAN!
Several minutes passed, five, ten, fifteen… Shona began to feel sick to her stomach.
Dallan, oh Dallan…
Are you a one genre writer or do you feel you will cross over to other’s.
I love the action/adventure genre and writing within the science fiction/fantasy realm allows for a lot of freedom to do things. Time Masters is a series that will be a blast to do and I purposely designed it so I can branch into other genres with it! Having been a reviewer of romance and mystery, I am also drawn to those genres and have outlined a Regency and a Western. I have also written a western comedy for the screen that was opted out at one time.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first book in the fifth grade. It was a whopping fifteen pages long complete with illustrations! Ah, my first masterpiece! After that epic thrilling first writing attempt (Pedro’s Zoo got an “A” from Mrs. Holloway, my fifth grade teacher after all) I went on to write whenever, wherever, and in whatever. Journals. Notebooks. Overly long essays in English class, that sort of thing. I wrote all kinds of stuff. Poems, short stories, essays. By high school I was in high demand for helping others out with reports and writing projects. Actually wrote a book for the town library on the history of the town. It was an assignment given by a history teacher I had in my senior year. My first non-fiction book. That was back in 1979 and the library still has it!
Do you have daily writing goals or do you set more far reaching one’s?
For my current project, about 45k to 50k words a month. I’m trying to get the first draft written in eight weeks. Then it takes another eight weeks to edit, cut, revise, all that fun stuff. Obviously with these goals this project is not as long as the first book in the series. Half the length in fact.
What’s your next project?
Time Masters Book Three; The Legacy which I hope to begin work on December 1st 2012. It picks up right where Time Masters Book Two; The Prophecy leaves off. TM2 will release this holiday season.
Who would your favorite fictional hero be to meet
Well, to be honest. Dallan MacDonald! After putting so much time into him, he’s one of those characters that is truly life like. I’ve even been adopted into the MacDonald clan because of him! Other than Dallan, probably Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.
What do you do to ward off writer’s block?
I don’t really get writer’s block. I’m very lucky in that way. A better question would be ‘What do you do to ward off time vampires?’ Those things that suck all your time away from you and get in the way of writing!
What is the strangest characteristic about yourself? (that you are willing to share)
Hmmm good question … which to choose? The only one that comes to mind is speech patterns. After working with Time Master characters over the years, and having several different speech patterns I had to learn in order to write them, I’d say the strangest characteristic I have now is I occasionally, without thinking, will talk in one speech pattern or another. Usually Dallan’s, especially when writing. I still to this day automatically spell the word ‘well’ as weel. And it be something that isna going to change any time soon d’ye no?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Torture my assistant Melissa who is sitting here watching me type this now! Seriously though, (Melissa is laughing at me) I love to read! When not writing I love reading. And of course researching which is almost as much fun as writing! And of course discussing books over tea! Melissa and I go to tea at least once a month.
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