For my leg of the tour, I chose to interview the authors. For me, this book was thought provoking and I had a lot of fun coming up with questions for Sherry and Tyler. I want to thank them for being such good sports. I really enjoyed their answers. I hope you have as much fun reading the interview as I did!
Welcome to the war. The Tesla Institute is a premier academy that trains young time travelers called Rifters. Created by Nicola Tesla, the Institute seeks special individuals who can help preserve the time stream against those who try to alter it. The Hollows is a rogue band of Rifters who tear through time with little care for the consequences. Armed with their own group of lost teens--their only desire to find Tesla and put an end to his corruption of the time stream. Torn between them are Lex and Ember, two Rifters with no memories of their life before joining the time war. When Lex's girlfriend dies during a mission, the only way he can save her is to retrieve the Dox, a piece of tech which allows Rifters to re-enter their own timeline without collapsing the time stream. But the Dox is hidden deep within the Telsa Institute, which means Lex must go into the enemy camp. It's there he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them both comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they are, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them both again.
Check out my review:
Extracted Book Review
Tyler H. Jolley is a sci-fi/fantasy author and full-time orthodontist, periodontist (see: Overachiever). He divides his spare time between writing, reading, mountain biking, and camping with his family.
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full-time writer and internet radio show host with more mouth then good sense. She has a serious book addiction, but continually refuses treatment, much to her husband’s chagrin.
Tyler and Sherry met one fateful day and bonded over their love for books, science fiction, and donuts. Their first co-written novel came shortly after. Now, they still do all those other things, but also go to various steampunk conventions and events under the guise of ‘research’. They can often be found lurking on the Lost Imperials Facebook page or over on the official website, www.thelostimperials.com.
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Interview with Sherry and Tyler
1. I really loved the book, and I have to know. What was your inspiration for bringing such an eclectic cast of characters together?
Sherry - I’m glad you liked it! The cast sort of built itself, at least on my end. It was sort of a matter of getting into Tesla’s head and figuring out what he wanted, and who would help him achieve that goal. Who would he recruit and why? Once I knew that, the cast just fell into place.
Tyler – The cast was built around people I would like to hang out with. I could see myself sitting across from the dinner table from Lex, Stein and Nobel or playing foosball with Ethan and Ember.
2. What led to your interpretation of these historical figures, your take not being the typical imagining of these characters? For instance, Rasputin was presented in a positive light which goes against popular opinion.
Sherry - I found a bunch of letters the girls wrote to him, and it was pretty obvious that the family, at least, loved him dearly. I sort of thought about the time and what was going on in the country, and I felt like most of what people said about him was probably slander for political reasons. With the characters, I really tried to go in with a sense of what their lives would have been like, both before and after being recruited, and how that would have changed them. It’s interesting to think what kind of person you might be if you had no memories of your past. Everything we do in life shapes us, so what happens when that identity is gone? That was what we explored.
Tyler – We tried to take Lex and Ember and make them somebody that any high school kid would want to meet or be bff’s with. These characters have to got be people you’d want to friend on facebook or follow on twitter. We made them as interesting and fun as possible even though they already have a historical background.
3. Why Tesla? And why do you think he is gaining in popularity? This year marks his 157th birthday which is not a significant number, yet he has been turning up everywhere.
Sherry - I think we look at the technology we have now, and to people in his time, it would have been considered magic. What intrigues people about Tesla, is that he saw all this happening. He had a great vision for the future, and he wasn’t afraid to tell people about it. For that, people in his time thought he was crazy. But we have the ability to look back and go, wow. He was right on. It’s sort of a post-modern vindication happening.
Tyler – You know after Tupac died, a bunch of albums came out, and people thought he was still producing music. We are seeing the same thing happen with Tesla. A lot of things like remote control, cellular technology and electricity in general are being utilized more and more. As we start researching a lot of the inspiration for new technology, lately, we are seeing it be linked to some of Tesla’s “crazy” ideas. Never has anyone been more crazy but as interesting as Tesla.
4. A subject of discussion is the relationship between Tesla and Edison. Was there animosity between them or were they just rivals? Is there any chance that we might meet Edison in the series and if so, will the nature of their relationship and rivalry be explored?
Sherry - I pretty seriously doubt it. Edison, I feel like he wasn’t all that interesting as a person. He had a knack for taking someone else’s ideas and making them work, which is important, but I don’t think his own ideas were that original. I don’t think Tesla really had animosity with anyone. He had this arrogant sort of pity for people he thought were ‘beneath’ him intellectually. He was a “Sheldon”.
Tyler – That’s an interesting concept, who knows there might be an AC/DC feud in the next books.
5. Will we be seeing new historical figures in the next installment? If so, any clues as to whom we might meet?
Sherry - Yes, a few actually. We don’t give a lot of clues in book one as to who the other Tesla kids were before, but I can say that the title “The Lost Imperials” is very apt for all three books.
Tyler – In Prodigal, there will be a few more reveals of historical ancestry with a handful of characters.
6. Why the Romanovs? What inspired you to bring them into the story? There has always been an air of mystery and magic surrounding the missing Romanovs. Perhaps it is that they were a symbol of hope. Now that the remains have seemingly been found, so you see their significance waning? Is the mystery and magic truly gone?
Sherry - The Romanovs were the core of the story from day one. I knew it was Ember. I wanted to sort of explain what happened to her. Her story is so intriguing to me, not because of her disappearance, but because of her situation. I mean, here’s a young girl, a princess, who is brutalized, imprisoned, and eventually watches her family be slaughtered. As soon as I sat down to outline it, I knew It was Lex’s story too. I wanted them to survive, to be able to face this terrible thing and move on.
And for the record, I don’t think the remains they found were legitimate (neither does the Church). In a political climate like Russia, even the faintest whisper of hope for restoration had to be destroyed. And it was. Convenient.
Tyler – What allured me to having the Romanov’s in the book was all the historical urban fantasy that surrounded them. For example, the Amber Room is also in Extracted. I think Sherry and I both have gravitated towards adding unsolved mysteries to The Lost Imperial series.
7. Do you think the human race will ever gain mastery over time? And should we?
Sherry - I really hope not. We haven’t exactly proven ourselves a responsible species, now have we? If so, I like to think that I keep going back to moments before time travel is invented and screw it up somehow. You’re welcome!
Tyler – Sure we deserve to, but only a few, select, intensely screened people should be able to.
8. What authors have influenced you the most?
Sherry - So many I can’t even begin to tell you. I will say David Farland’s daily writing tips are hugely helpful. I met him at a conference once, he’s an amazing person.
Tyler – Dan Brown and Michael Crichton, the orthodontist part of me loves and appreciates how much research is put into their novels to make it as believe able as passible. James Dashner, Renee Collins, Jeff Savage have inspired me by how creative their stories are for the YA audience.
9. I always find the idea of co-authoring a book to be an intriguing process. What did each of you bring to this project? What are your unique experiences and knowledge that helped make this a stronger story? How did you settle creative differences? Was this a vision you both shared from the beginning or was it more one than the other?
Sherry - Haha, that’s a lot of questions all balled into one! Let’s see. Tyler is strong with tech and world building and he writes a MEAN fight scene. I’m better at subtle, emotional stuff and character building. I have ‘the feelings” as Ty calls it.
We didn’t have many creative differences. We really are on the same page most of the time. The few times that we did disagree we both presented our ideas and let each other sleep on them. Usually by the next day those ideas had triggered something that suited us both.
I think from the very beginning it was a team effort. We essentially took the experiences of two survivors living in very different worlds and brought them together in one book.
Tyler - What I brought to the project was Diet Coke and donuts. I agree with Sherry, I’m tying to get better at the emotional side of things. But I’m always worried it makes my guys characters wussy without me even realizing it. But, having Sherry on board helps me realize it can be done in a way that the characters are still strong.
I think when you write a YA novel, a lot of experiences and imagination goes into your writing. I feel like I have a wild, running-out-of-control imagination. And that really helps with world creation to make the story have more depth.
We settled creative differences with light sabers or sumo wrestling suits. They’re equally effective.
Epilogue: Sherry came up with the infrastructure for the story, then she was gracious to work along side with me to build the story on top of the infrastructure. Sherry trusted me enough to create a world that is fun, fast paced and interesting.
10. What titles or authors would you recommend to readers that would be in the same vein?
Sherry - Wow, I don’t know. I know that my friend just told me our book reminds her of the Haddix series? But I have no clue what that is. All Our Tomorrows was recommended to me also. Ah, time travel. It’s kind of funny because I don’t actually like time travel books, in general. It’s like, I went on a trip once and brought back these two rubber ducks as mementos. When my friends saw them on my shelf, they started buying them for me because they thought I really liked rubber ducks. Now I have a whole collection. Once I wrote Extracted, everyone was like, “Have you read such and such time travel book?” and I’m like, “Nope.”
Tyler – Like Sherry, I don’t read a lot of time travel novels. That’s the beauty of The Lost Imperials series, because I can’t think of anything like it. There are a lot of dystopian novels that I like and would recommended, The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth and Maze Runner by James Dashner. In terms of steampunk, time travel novels, I can’t think of any offhand.
11. What are you reading now?
Sherry - I just read Relic by Renee Collins, and I’m about to start Origin by Jen Armentrout.
Tyler - Sherry, did you hack my kindle account, because I just finished those two, lol. As of right now I’m reading Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
12. I realize the first book is just coming out. Any target date as to when we might see the next installment?
Sherry - I am really hoping for a 12.13.14 release, but I doubt I’ll get it. Probably early 2015. Publishing is fast like that.
Tyler – Agreed, we were both really hoping for 12.13.14, but who knows? It’s out of our hands.
13. Last question. Tesla or Edison? Who would win in a fist fight?
Sherry - In a fist fight? Probably Edison. But he’d cheat.
Tyler – Tesla, because he’d probably use brass knuckles laced with static electricity.
Blog Tour Dates
Monday, November 4 Interview www.leighhershkovich.com Wednesday, November 6 Interveiw http://www.thecovercontessa.com Friday, November 8 Review and Interview http://www.booklovingme.com Monday, November 11 Interview http://www.shereadsalot.com Tuesday, November 12 Interview http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com Wednesday , November 13 Guest Post http://judithgraves.com Monday, November 18 Interview http://www.shadow-libros.blogspot.com/ Tuesday, November 19 Interview http://www.yael-itamar.blogspot.com/ Thursday, November 21 Guest Post http://www.frankiesbookshelf.com/ Wednesday, November 27 Review and Spotlight http://www.zephyrbookreviews.blogspot.com/