Friday, January 8, 2016

Interview with TBF Author: Janet B. Taylor

Hello TBF readers,

I am delighted to share with you my interview with Janet B. Taylor, debut author of INTO THE DIM!

Miranda Reads: INTO THE DIM is part sci-fi, part historical fiction. What kind of research did you do to cover both aspects of the novel?

Janet B. Taylor: I have always been a huge history nerd. Yep, I’m one of those annoying American Anglophiles, who are totally fascinated by those cool (sometimes nutso) British kings and queens. I also travel a lot, so much of the historical research was done on location, which was amazing! I even spent a couple of nights at Fontevraud Abbey in the South of France, where Eleanor spent her last few years, and where she, Henry II, and their son Richard the Lionheart are buried.

The Sci-Fi part wasn’t quite as fun. Can’t really travel through a wormhole yet…YET…But it was still really cool. I researched of articles and papers by noted physicists like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Micho Kaku; all who believe there is some relevance to the theory of time travel.

Miranda Reads: In the story, Hope travels to Scotland where she discovers her aunt is part of a secret society of time travelers. Why Scotland? 

Janet B. Taylor: I am completely and utterly obsessed with the Scottish Highlands. Many of my ancestors came from that region, and I’ve been there several times. Now, I know this sounds bizarre, but…whenever I visit, I experience this weird sense of belonging. It’s almost as if I can hear my great-great great grandmothers calling to me. Plus—it’s the most incredible and breathtaking place I’ve ever seen. It has this raw, brutal beauty that’s still basically untouched by the modern age.

Miranda Reads: Eleanor of Aquitaine helps and interacts with the characters in INTO THE DIM. I have to say she was pretty hardcore both in history and the story. What made you choose to have Eleanor of Aquitaine in the story instead of another strong woman in history like Cleopatra VII or Queen Elizabeth I?

Janet B. Taylor: Weeelll…First, let me just say that their adventure with Eleanor isn’t the last for Hope and the gang. Book 2 of The Dim Series comes out Spring 2017, and we’re hoping that won’t be their last. *wink wink*

As for Into the Dim, I’ve been obsessed with Eleanor since I saw the movie, “The Lion in Winter,” (with the inimitable Kathryn Hepburn), years and years ago! Eleanor of Aquitaine was the richest heiress in the world. She was only fourteen when she became queen of France. And she’s the only woman ever to rule over both France and England.
Eleanor birthed ten living children. Advocated education for girls. Waged war against her own husband. And lived well into her eighties in an age when the average mortality rate for women was around thirty six.
She was simply the most fascinating, badass lady who ever lived, and I’ve always known that I’d write about her one day.

Miranda Reads: What three different time periods would you love to time travel to in history (excluding 12th century England)? 

Janet B. Taylor: Hmm…Well, without giving anything away…

I adore the energy of the entire Renaissance period.

The dichotomy of incredible wealth and terrible destitution that brought about the French Revolution and the beheading of Maria Antoinette.

I dig the spooky, gothic feel of the Victorian age.

As you mentioned above, I would love to one day ‘meet’ that most-fascinating queen, Cleopatra Philopater—last Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt.

And finally…I mean, who doesn’t want to go back in time and hang with those crazy Tudors?

Miranda Reads: Which author are you most excited to meet at the 11th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival?

Janet B. Taylor: You guys have so many amazing authors coming, it’s hard to choose! As a ‘newbie,’ I gotta tell you, it’s going to be hard not to hide my full-on fangirl mode. But I’ll likely embarrass myself most when I meet:

Sara Rees Brennan
Jennifer Donnelly
Mercedes Lackey
Scott Westerfeld
Suzanne Young

And I’m SUPER excited to hang w/my fellow Sweet 16ers, Anna Breslaw, Harriet Hapgood, & Jeff Zentner. The four of us together? The trouble….oh my, the trouble… ;)

Thank you so much Janet! Readers, keep your eyes open for INTO THE DIM which will be travelling to your local bookstore and library March 1! You can follow Janet on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads and Pinterest!

That's it for today! Check out the blog again for more book reviews and author interviews!

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