Lyle Howard does not consider himself to be a romance novelist, but he wanted to write about the possibilities of love transcending time. It's About Time was born and the book was an immediate hit, also receiving a Benjamin Franklin Digital Award Silver Honoree. As our Author of the Day, Howard tells us more about the book, explains why he started the story the way he did and chats about interesting things such as time travel and immortality.
Please give us a short introduction to what It's About Time is about
Our heroine, Angela Mercy, watches as the love of her life, the man she is hired to protect, is ambushed outside of a convention where he was to be the keynote speaker.
With revenge in her heart, she is about to face the reality that her life is being manipulated by a force greater than she could ever imagine. It’s a power that miraculously transports her forward in time with the offer of granting her the opportunity to repair the past. All she has to do is use her unique skill set to change the future of a world that is fighting to stay free from the grasp of a tyrant bent on immortality. The choices she makes will end up not only affecting the future, but the past and present as well.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
It’s About Time is basically a love story. I’m not a romance novelist, but I wanted to write about the possibilities of love transcending time. I wanted to go against type and create a female lead that had moxie and the passion to do anything to save the man she loves.
It's About Time was very well received and is a Benjamin Franklin Digital Award Silver Honoree. What was the experience like?
I was honored to receive the award. It means a lot to me when someone says they enjoy my work. I makes me want to work harder and push the envelope.
Tell us more about the cover and how that came about
As my readers can plainly see, each of my novels has an “eye” on the cover. I would love to tell you the story behind using the eye, but it’s very personal and they can look forward to more of them in the future. I have a terrific artist that works with me to convey the story through the cover art. I give her the idea and she runs with it. I am attaching the cover of the next book, A Trace of Revenge, which will be out hopefully before the end of the year. As you can tell, it involves our national pastime.
The tyrannical ruler who goes on a merciless quest for immortality is a prominent theme in this book . Why?
As I grow older, as everyone does I guess, we start to think about our own mortality. I just wondered if there was a way to use time travel to create immortality. This story was my fictional theory of how I thought it could be done.
Some of your readers were quite critical about the way the book started. Why did you take the approach you did?
Yes, I’ve heard that. I’m glad you are letting me address this. I didn’t want the story to be a “cookie cutter” time travel mystery, so I decided to make half the book take place in Japan. Some people need the story to hook them in the first few paragraphs and I fully understand that. I just wanted to show how very simple events can be twisted if time were altered. I would ask my readers to hang in there and they will see why I took this route. Characters that appear to be unimportant suddenly become major players later on. When you see the connection, it’s one of those ah-ha moments. I enjoy starting most of my novels in the past and then seeing how the events I describe connect with the present or future. Trust me I am not in a contest to see who can write the most words. Everything I write is there for a reason.
Where does the fascination with time travel come from?
I am actually not a time travel buff. Each of my novels is completely different, although a lot of people have asked for a sequel to Terminal Justice and Trouble in Paradise and prequel to Mr. Sandman. Someday…I promise.
Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you
- I’ve been happily married for 37 years.
- I spend my summers writing and the rest of the year teaching.
- I love what I do.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
My advice to my younger self would be to take my writing more seriously. I did it as a hobby until someone, who I will not mention here, passed one of my stories onto someone in New York and the rest is history.
What was your greatest challenge while writing It's About Time?
My greatest challenge was the whole idea of time travel. Quantum physics? Not me. Everything I wrote was fiction…wasn’t it?
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I’ve been very lucky to do book fairs with some of my favorite authors. That was a thrill, but what I took away from it, was that they are just flesh and blood people with stories to tell like me. We write because we have to, not because we want to.
Have changes in your own life affected any of your characters?
Every character is a bit of me. Whenever I write dialogue my wife and friends all say that it’s definitely something I would say. Any quips or sarcasm are definitely me. My humor is really, really, subtle.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on “A Trace of Revenge” and I hope to have it finished by late 2017. Again, wanting to push the envelope, my hero is deaf, so I want to take my readers on a ride that feels fresh and unique. Oh, and it involves murder and baseball too.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I invite anyone who is reading this to visit my website: www.lylehoward.com and subscribe there to get the latest on my upcoming releases and find out more about me. They can also contact me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or contact me directly at [email protected]. I would love to hear from you. I promise I will write back.