Author: T.W. Fendley
Publisher: Silent Partner Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Can Jade restore the Firestone’s powers before the First Men return to judge humanity?
Spending spring break in Peru with her grandmother isn’t sixteen-year-old Jade’s idea of fun. She’d much rather be with her friends at Lake of the Ozarks. Then she meets Felix, a museum director’s son. Jade discovers only she and Felix can telepathically access messages left on engraved stones in the age of dinosaurs. Following the ancient stones’ guidance, they enter the Labyrinth of Time and–with a shapeshifting dog’s help–seek a red crystal called the Firestone. But time is running out before the First Men return on the night of the second blue moon.
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Q: Thank you for this interview, T.W. Can you tell us what your latest book, The Labyrinth of Time, is all about?
A. Sure—to do that, I’d like to share an excerpt from a review by D. Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer with Midwest Book Review:
“Any good fantasy adventure involves a quest—and a good young adult fantasy is no exception. Such a journey, when fueled with strong characterization and injected with a sense of urgency, can translate to a powerful read for adult audiences as well—but in order to do so, the tale needs to present the ‘bigger picture’ above and beyond the usual teen perspective of her/his world—and The Labyrinth of Time achieves this goal with satisfying twists of plot that keep all ages involved.”
Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
A: Jade, 16, and Felix, 18, meet at the Museo Carrena, a museum of engraved stones in Ica, Peru. Jade is a tourist from St. Louis, Mo., who’s reluctantly spending spring break traveling with her 65-year-old grandmother (Grams). Felix is the museum director’s son.
Jade soon discovers only she and Felix can access the ancient stones’ secret messages, but can they follow their guidance and save the world from fiery destruction? Assisting them are two teenaged shamans and their grandfather’s spirit, a Guardian from ancient times, and a shapeshifting dog.
Opposing their efforts are Max, a greedy merchant; Amaro, his henchman; and Enrique, Felix’s uncle.
My favorite character is Boss Lady, the shapeshifting dog. Peruvian hairless dogs—an ancient breed protected by law—play a key role beginning in the first scene. I didn’t realize why dogs kept showing up until Jade and Felix reached the Labyrinth of Time. Then it suddenly made sense.
Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
A: My characters share traits with people I know, but they’re not patterned after any single person. As the story progresses, they become more truly “themselves,” as I strive to keep their actions consistent with their personalities.
Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?
A: My plots are character- and theme-driven and unfold as I write. This keeps the story exciting for me, since I only have a vague idea of where the story should end, but not how to get there. It also makes for some difficult moments as I backtrack out of situations that don’t lead in the right direction. It’s one reason why writing a book takes me about twice as long as my critique partners.
Q: Your book is set in Ica, Peru. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?
A: While my story is fiction, it was inspired by the pictures engraved on more than eleven thousand stones retrieved from the Ocucaje Desert and preserved at the Library of Stone Books in Ica. In 2008, I visited the tiny museum, which is located about 200 miles south of Lima, Peru. When I learned the museum’s founder believed the stones were actually a library of messages from millions of years ago, I couldn’t wait to share the story.
Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?
A: I found Peru to be much different from the United States, or any other country I’ve visited. Perhaps it’s due to the high altitude or lack of rainfall—the thin, dry air is certainly different from our heavy, humid air in Missouri. But I think it’s more than that. Even within Peru’s large, modern cities, you are never far from the past. Archeological reminders of the Inca and those who came before them create a mystical connection to the ancient builders and astronomers. Their great love for Mother Earth and Father Sky remains powerful among modern-day Peruvians, and that feeling was vital to the story I wanted to tell.
Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?
A: On page 69, the teenaged shamans complete a blessing of purification as their group prepares to enter the Labyrinth of Time. When Jade opens her eyes, “a beautiful young woman stood where Grams had been. She had waist-length white hair and wore a teal, ankle-length robe … I couldn’t believe my eyes, yet there was something about her—more than just her voice—that was familiar.”
Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?
A: Here are a few lines from Chapter Three, when Jade begins to realize what she’s gotten herself into:
“From what the stones have shown me, we will find the Firestone,” Felix said. “If it grows, it will bring life. If its light is extinguished, it will mean death for the world as we know it.”
“Death for the world?” I asked.
“The stones tell of how mankind grows toward evil without the light of the red crystal,” he said. “We regress to the level of animals.”
“You mean wars and murders will get worse?” Remembering the evening news just before we left the States, I shivered with dread.
“The last Firestone was shattered many thousands of years ago in the cataclysm that destroyed the dinosaurs and most of humankind. Since then, we’ve lived without the harmony the Firestone brings.”
“It echoed the tone of creation, which harmonized with the vibrations of Pachamama and Inti—Mother Earth and Father Sky,” Thirteen Knife said. “At one time, all humans resonated to that tone, but each generation has slipped to lower vibrations. Our grandfather was one of very few shamans who achieved the higher resonance.”
“A bridge between Earth and Sky. That’s pretty hard to imagine,” I said.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, T.W. We wish you much success!
A: It’s been my pleasure. I appreciate the opportunity to connect with your readers.
When she’s not writing, T.W. explores the boundaries of consciousness through remote viewing and shamanism. She currently lives near St. Louis with her artist husband and his pet fish. Her latest book is the young adult fantasy, The Labyrinth of Time.
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T.W. is giving away two $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:
- By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
- Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
- This giveaway begins November 17 and ends on December 12.
- Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 15.
- Winner has 48 hours to reply.