A very, very long time! I wrote the first draft in September of 2013, and it was extremely different than the final version. I began to work on revisions in early 2014, which involved a lot of rehauling and rewriting. Then I did Pitch Wars, a contest hosted by Brenda Drake for unpublished authors to work with mentors on improving their books. Shortly after doing Pitch Wars, I signed with my agent, Laura Crockett at Triada US. That was at the very end of 2014, and at the beginning of 2015 I was back to revising. We got the deal for the trilogy around May of that year, and—guess what—even more revisions! I did my very final touch-up just last month. It’s been a long three years, but I’m glad I took the time to make it the best book I could.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 14, and I wrote my first novel when I was 15. I went on to write several more novels without really doing anything with them, because I was in school and I didn’t feel the need to get started on the road to publication. However, after college, I began to seriously buckle down on understanding the industry and how to go about getting an agent. Timekeeper was my 10th novel, and the first one I seriously queried (I queried one before it, but it only went to 5 agents, hah). I’m planning to go back to a couple of my old novels one day, though!
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I absolutely cannot concentrate if I try to write outside home, so coffee shops and libraries are out of the question. I have a special corner in my room where I write in solitude, and it’s great. I have to listen to music, but it has to be either music I’m used to (so that the vocals don’t interfere) or instrumental, like classical music or soundtracks. Sometimes I’ll forego music if I’m writing a really intense scene, though; gotta keep the tone right.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Write what scares you. That weird idea you have, that you’re 99% sure no one will ever want? Write it. Let it become the thing of your heart. Let every new novel challenge you—never get bored.
ABOUT THE BOOKTimekeeper
by Tara Sim
Sky Pony Press
Two o’clock was missing.
In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.
And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.
But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORTara Sim is the author of TIMEKEEPER (Sky Pony Press, Fall 2016) and writer of all things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.
When she’s not writing about mischievous boys in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.
Have you had a chance to read TIMEKEEPER yet? How old were you when you wrote your first novel? Do you write what scares you? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
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