Guest Blogger: Sharon Ledwith

The Care and Creation of a Time Travel Series

by Sharon Ledwith

My journey to publication started in the mid-90s. One evening while I was reading, I thought how simple the structure and dialogue was in this particular novel. You can write, you can do this, a voice urged inside my head. Let me tell you, I almost fell off my chair. But those words rang true for me. So, I decided to act on this truth, and took a writing course—Writing your Novel—where I met a great couple of like-minded would-be writer gals. Together we started a writing support group, and I wrote my first novel—a paranormal romance. This manuscript caught the eye of an agent, but I was hardly ready, and I see that now. What I needed to do was to hone my craft and get better and better with the process of writing. And that takes making many mistakes at the expense of your ego. In other words: lots of rejection, rejection, rejection! Ouch!

Then one night, during my writer’s group, one of my friends said something that floored me. She mentioned that I hit my twelve-year-old character’s voice bang on. So, this got me to thinking—how hard would it be to write a young adult novel? It was a stupid question. Of course it was hard! After thinking about what my friend had said to me, I decided I’d challenge myself and write not just a novel—but a series—that would appeal to my son, who at the time was the target age of my audience. Since I’ve always loved the time travel genre, it was a no-brainer for me.

The idea for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis came to me in a dream I had around 1998. In this dream, I saw seven arches, and there were seven people (five kids, two adults) with crystals in their hands, walking up to these arches. It definitely had an Indiana Jones feel to it. I wanted to create a book series for adolescents that had a different slant to the time travel genre. I love history. I also love myths and legends. There’s a few time travel series out there, but nothing that has roots leading back to Atlantis—at least what I know about or have read. Since there’s no concrete evidence that Atlantis did exist, then that left the door wide open to possibilities. I had to do a lot of digging into the legend of Atlantis, reading many books—especially Edgar Cayce’s psychic readings—and surfing the internet, until I had a fixed idea on how to present this in story form, and into a series of books.

The whole idea of the series is based on not changing our past, because it’s been written—a huge challenge for my time traveling characters who must keep time safe from an evil Atlantean force released back into the world. In the first book of the series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, the Timekeepers time travel to Nottingham, England in 1214 where they must find an adolescent Robin Hood and his band of merry teens before history is turned upside-down.

FYI—originally I had called the series The Timeliners, because their prime directive was to keep time in line. Then, it became The Timekeepers, and finally The Last Timekeepers, as the series became more evolved and developed.

It took 15 years of writing in the trenches—querying publishers and agents, writing more books, getting rejected again and again—before I finally signed a publishing contract with Musa Publishing for The Last Timekeepers series. And after all this time there was still one catch—I had to rewrite the entire manuscript in the point of view of only one of the characters. Originally, I had written the series with each kid having their own chapter throughout the book. My newly assigned editor Kathy Teel found this confusing and suggested I write the first book in only one of the character’s voices, starting with Amanda Sault. That way, the next book would feature another character’s point of view. However daunting a task this sounds, it was sage advice, and made the book stronger and fresher.

Now a year has passed, and under the tutelage of another fine editor by the name of Tricia Schwaab, the prequel of my series Legend of the Timekeepers is set to make its debut this August 30th. So get your time portals ready and put on your Babel necklaces! It’s going to be another thrilling, crazy ride into the past!

If you haven’t already checked out my young adult time travel read, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, here’s the blurb…

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.

To read an excerpt of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, please click HERE.

Check out The Last Timekeepers series Facebook Page.

BUY LINKS
Musa Publishing
Amazon Link
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

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.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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About marciboudreaux

Marci Boudreaux lives with her husband, two daughters, and their numerous pets. She is a freelance writer appearing monthly in a variety of local magazines as well as a content editor for several small publishing houses. Romance is her preferred reading and writing genre because nothing feels better than falling in love with someone new and her husband doesn't like when she does that in real life. Marci is currently working on her Masters in Publishing because she still has time to sleep.
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16 Responses to Guest Blogger: Sharon Ledwith

  1. Lizzie says:

    Love The Last Timekeepers!

  2. Hugs, Lizzie! And thanks for the plug, Marci! Honestly it takes a lot of thought to foresee a series. Hopefully those dreams keep coming!

  3. Vonnie says:

    I particularly like your point about not changing the past, because it has already happened. This is not something that all authors writing futuristic fiction get right (to my way of thinking). When they attempt to alter the past, it shakes me out of my reading and I get skeptical about the book. I think you have the balance just right for your YA books – but then, I’ve told you that before!

    • This is why your the Sage and I’m the Student, Vonnie. Wink. I know that the kids just being in the past alter time, but their task is to keep time from changing by decoding the Timekeeper mission riddle. Oh, the things we authors think about! Hugs for your support!

  4. Hey Sharon that was some dream you had! A great start to The Timekeepers. Loved reading about how your writing career started.

  5. sloanetaylor1 says:

    Wonderful post! Your imagination is great, Sharon, and long may it feed you terrific stories.:)

  6. Great post. I love hearing how people think of their stories. A time travel series where the are trying not to change the past is also awesome. Look forward to reading more.

  7. I didn’t know it all started with a dream – how cool. Loved the Last Timekeepers, Sharon. Have Legend on my TBR pile 🙂

    • Oh, you’ll love Legend of the Timekeepers, Eleni! It reveals a lot of back story for the series, and I even got a short story out of it with The Terrible, Mighty Crystal! Cheers!

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