The above is an excerpt from my recent review of The Wizard of Time by indie author, G.L. Breedon. Impressed with the story, I decided to contact the author for an interview.
D.M. Andrews: First, tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live? What do you do? What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to read?
G.L. Breedon: I grew up in small town in Michigan and I now live in Brooklyn, NY with my wife. I work freelance as a production coordinator for corporate events to pay the bills while slowly I figure out how to write for a living. I studied theatre and film in college and have directed several plays and two independent feature films. I’m also an ordained interfaith minister and will be publishing a non-fiction book about spirituality and globalization at the end of the year.
These days, most of my reading tends to be research. So, since one of the settings for the second Wizard of Time book is the Middle Ages, I’ve been reading Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose and Connie Willis’s Doomsday Book as well as histories and anthologies about the Middle Ages. A Time Traveler’s Guide to the Middle Ages was particularly fun and informative.
D.M. Andrews: That’s some diversity! I like it when research involves fiction books So, why do you write fantasy? Would you write in other genres? In The Wizard of Time the protagonist is thirteen years of age and the book is suitable for all confident readers. Do you feel it’s important to make fiction to accessible to a wide audience and age range?
G.L. Breedon: Interestingly, although I grew up reading science fiction, I never read much fantasy until about ten years ago. However, all of the ideas I have in my notes files are for science fiction and fantasy stories so, with the exception of the occasional non-fiction book, I suspect that will be largely all I write. It’s what I feel most drawn to and interested in since I was a kid, so it feels right. I must say, I’m happier writing sci-fi and fantasy stories than any of the other things I’ve written.
As for writing for a wide range of audience ages, that was actually a very conscious decision I made with The Wizard of Time. My first novel (The Celestial Blade a sci-fi YA that will be out sometime this summer) largely followed the story of three kids with limited adult characters. I wanted WOT to be a novel that could appeal to adults as well as kids, so I made sure there were adult characters that older readers could identify with. But it also worked with the story.
In my other YA fantasy series, The Young Sorcerers Guild, there really aren’t many adult characters that feature prominently in the stories, but I’ve tried to write them in a way that anyone, of any age, who likes a good adventure can enjoy. The important thing is tell the story the way it wants to be told rather than forcing something arbitrary into it in order to appeal to what someone imagines as a wider audience. I think that is why the Harry Potter books were such successful cross-overs with adult readers. They were clearly written for a YA audience and adults read them for those YA qualities, not because Rowling did anything intentional to attract older readers.
D.M. Andrews: Yes, there’s something about books that have a wide appeal, but I agree that it must be natural. In The Wizard of Time you’ve chosen a theme of time travel, albeit with magic rather than technology. As an author, I’ve avoided that theme, for the simple reason that I think it would confuse me! How do you deal with the added complexity of having to deal with timelines as well as the standard storyline? Do you keep lots of complex charts?
For some reason I’ve always had a knack for keeping time travel stories straight. When I’m watching a show or reading a book about time travel, I start creating a mental timeline to keep track of everything and I rarely get confused. I actually enjoy it, because if the writer of the time travel story is really good, then it’s like trying to assemble a puzzle. It’s one of the reasons I like watching Dr. Who. The writers are really good at creating these little ‘time puzzles,’ like the storyline with River Song. That said, I still plot everything out in advance and spend days and days making sure it all makes sense.
D.M. Andrews: There are Dr Who fans everywhere! Do you have an interest in science? Do you think time travel possible?
G.L. Breedon: I love science. The first hardcover book I ever bought was Carl Sagan’s Cosmos when I was 12. I was addicted to watching Sagan’s PBS series, so when I discovered that there was a book based on it, I insisted my parents take me to the book store so I could plop my allowance down and buy it.
After that, for several years I wanted to be an astrophysicist. Then I realized how much math that required. I’m not awful at math, but it never came as easily as writing. As for time travel being possible, I’m not entirely sure, but I suspect that if it is, it’s not possible for any mechanical based technology (baring forward travel via relativistic effects). I would guess that time travel would be something only a species that had managed to transcend physicality might be able to manage. It would require being able to bend the laws of the universe, to reshape reality to confirm to one’s will. Essentially, you’d need God like powers of consciousness. Basically, magic.
D.M. Andrews: I remember Sagan’s deep American accent on the TV from my youth – probably about the same time Gabriel was taken out the time line (spoiler!). The Wizard of Time references various historic time periods. Do you like history? What periods do you find most interesting?
G.L. Breedon: I do like reading about history. I am absolutely addicted to DK Publishing’s series of large illustrated history books. I don’t have a particular time period that I prefer. What I enjoy is looking at not just the events of a time period, but the artifacts – the art, the weapons, the daily items, the writings poems, diaries, plays, religious texts, philosophy, etc. Unfortunately, I rarely ever have time to do as much research as I would like. There’s always more writing to be done.
D.M. Andrews: One of the great things about historical novels is that the reader can learn a bit of history in a far more pleasurable way than they often do at school. Although I’m no fan of preachy or didactic fiction, I do think a reader can learn a lot when such information is presented well and appropriately. Did you intend for The Wizard of Time to educate people about history?
G.L. Breedon: That was the hope that kids (and adults) who read the books would be interested not only in the story, but the places the story is set in. The difficultly is keeping a balance between enough information to set the scene, and give some historical background, without going into unnecessary detail. I needed to find a similar balance with the information that sets up the magical world the story takes place in. What’s even more difficult is trying to make the historical settings integral to the story, so that they are not merely backdrops, but essential to the plot.
D.M. Andrews: Perhaps you could tell us about your sequel to The Wizard of Time and your other fictional works (published or not)?
G.L. Breedon: Actually, I’m not sure I want to say much about WOT #2 yet, as it’s still being written. Best not to show the cake while it’s still baking. As for my other books, the first novel in the Young Sorcerers Guild series is out now. It’s called The Dark Shadow of Spring and if the story of how Alex Ravenstar and his friends in the Young Sorcerers Guild must save the secluded magical town of Runewood from an ancient soul enslaving creature known as the Shadow Wraith. The second book in the series, Summer’s Cauldron, is coming out at the end of the month. As one might guess, there are four books planned for the series, one for each season.
I also have a YA sci-fi novel I’m hoping to release sometime mid-summer. It’s called The Celestial Blade and takes place on an enormous planet-sized starship traveling between galaxies. The story is about Jed and his two friends, Kylla and Fallon, and their adventures to save Jed’s older brother from the clutches of a violent rebel group set on taking control of the ship.
D.M. Andrews: Thank you, G.L. Breedon, for that ‘timely’ and interesting interview!
You can find G.L. Breedon’s website at www.kosmosaicbooks.com, and he’s on facebook at www.facebook.com/GLBreedon. You can also follow him on twitter – GLBreedon. You can buy The Wizard of Time at Amazon US or Amazon UK or on Barnes and Noble. The Dark Shadow of Spring can be purchased at Amazon US and Amazon UK.