Today as part of the When The World Was Flat (And We Were In Love) blog tour I have a Q&A with author Ingrid Jonach and a fantastic giveaway, read on to find out more!
Ultimately When The World Was Flat is a love story with a slight sci-fi/fantasy twist the likes I have never seen before, where did the inspiration for your story come from?
The story started as a contemporary romance novel about a boy hiding away in a small town following the death of his sister. There are some scenes that actually remain from this draft of the novel, like the scene at the train crossing.
I decided to introduce the science fiction while I was working on the motivation behind the relationship between Tom and Lillie. I wanted it to be more than chance that they met. I wanted them to be fated to be together. I started applying a number of scientific theories that had captivated me for years and then there was no looking back!
I think being raised on the Back to the Future movies (I had two older brothers) and the TV show Sliders probably sparked my interest in these theories (which I am not going to go into due to spoilers!).
There is a huge element of being your own person, in more ways that one, and not hiding who you are in When The World Was Flat which I loved, Lillie’s mum especially had an impact on me. Is this a reflection on how you view the world?
There is definitely a search for identity with all of the characters in When the World was Flat (and we were in love). I know I went through many phases myself as a teen, including a short-lived phase where I dressed like Gwen Stefani (and I am talking No Doubt, not L.A.M.B.).
There were times when I found it easier to just blend in with the crowd though and there are some characters who do this in When the World was Flat (and we were in love) (like Lillie and initially Jo) and others (like Deb and Sylv) who do whatever they want and damn the consequences!
As I’ve hinted; one of my favourite characters had to be Deb, Lillie’s mum, another was Sylv, but have you got any personal favourites?
Deb and Sylv are actually my two favorite characters as well!
I originally thought Deb was inspired by my mother, who is a visual artist and who was a single mother of three kids until she met my step-father, but my mother is much more practical than Deb. I recently realized that Deb is modeled more on myself, with her long list of unfinished projects and out-there beliefs.
Sylv, however, is modeled on a few of my more outgoing friends who I live vicariously through. I was chronically shy as a kid and even though I have built up my confidence over the years, I am constantly drawn to friends who can make me gasp and laugh, as well as break me out of my comfort zone. It was also really refreshing to create a character with as much self-confidence as Sylv.
The title is what really grabbed my attention when I first heard about your book… I know now from reading it that there is a reference to the science behind it but what made you think of this as the title?
The title When the World was Flat (and we were in love) actually came to me while I was walking my dog. I had recently added an epigraph to the story, which was a quote from Christopher Columbus: Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World (this was later replaced by a quote from Albert Einstein). I wanted to evoke the same sense of a journey from the known to the unknown in my title. I then inserted a reference to the title within the story as well.
When the World Was Flat has a very unique story, however if you were to suggest a few ‘if you liked *insert book name here* you will love this book” What would you suggest?
The romance was inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, so I would probably say if you liked that then you will like When the World was Flat (and we were in love). It has also been likened to The Time Traveller’s Wife, and the movies Meet Joe Black and The Matrix.
I loved the end of When The World Was Flat and think it was rounded off perfectly so I am not expecting a sequel, however I would be very happy to read more of your work for teens especially. Have you got more books in the pipeline, either within this literary universe or another and can you tell us anything about them?
It is still early days for my next manuscript, which I am about to send to my agent. It is not a sequel, but is complementary to the science in When the World was Flat (and we were in love). There are even a few cameos by minor characters. I will refrain from going into the storyline, but I can tell you it is another blend of romance and science fiction, with a touch of horror!
This is your first book for teens however you have written for younger kids before, do you find writing for the two audiences differ greatly and if so how?
I definitely feel like I am writing more for myself when writing for teens. I actually find it therapeutic, as it allows me to revisit my teen years, which were not all smooth sailing. As such, I feel like I have a lot of material to drawn upon.
Finally what’s the best piece of advice you can give to any budding authors out there who may be reading this?
Never give up. If you think you have a good idea just keep working on it until it is picked up for publication. You will definitely get there, as long as you are prepared to revise and resubmit as many times as it takes.
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Giveaway Details and Widget
Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
- a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
- a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
- a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.
The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via www.ingridjonach.com
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