"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Time Conquers All by PJ Hultstrand

Today my guest is Patti Hultstrand.  She is the author of several books and took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us today.  Please give her a warm welcome.

Thank you so much for being with us today.

Please tell us a little about yourself.....

I am an author, a publisher, an owner of several businesses, a web designer, a senior graphic designer for over twenty years, a single-mother of a sixteen year old son, an Arizonan, a lover, a generous person, a creative force, a spiritually influenced being, a believer in justice, a moonie, a lover of science-fiction, fantasy, romance, and anything that answers my question of “what if”, a marketing guru, an entrepreneur, a visionary, an optimist of a future in space, but most importantly, I am a survivor and I hate being confined by labels or stuck in a box by others. There are no walls in my life, just a VERY LONG TO DO LIST! I should become a vampire so I can live as long as my to do list.

 What do you see as your influences on your writing?

      I gummed on Ray Bradbury's stories back in Jr. High and became my first love. When I met Mr. Bradbury back in 1986, I have followed some of his writing theories and life lessons every since. I used one of those when writing "Time Conquers All" in writing your story, not stopping until it is written, then go back and edit, edit, edit.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

     Making the time to write on a regular basis is my biggest challenge. Since I work with other authors to get their books into print and into stores, I am left with no time for promoting my own books and for writing.

 Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

     I have a synopsis written for over 12 books in the “Time” series. I am also working on collaborative efforts on one other book and one book/tv series with time-travel premise. I just can’t seem to get away from this topic of time-travel.

 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

     I used Ray Bradbury’s method of writing for "Time Conquers All", not stopping until it is written, then go back and edit, edit, edit. That 296,000 words have become my first 4 books in this serial. Then for the fifth book, I gave in to listening to everyone else about writing and tried to write specific scenes as they came to me, in no particular order. This was a disaster for me and I still don’t have book 5 done as the result of this method.

About developing plots and characters – Again, I have found that I let the characters drive the story, then I go back and decide if that REALLY needed to be in the story or did that character just get carried away. Also, I have found that small characters slip into the story and while I thought at first to cut them out, I found upon reflection that they were put into the story earlier because they will pay some important role later in the series. So, I left them in so readers would say, “Awww, so that’s why they were introduced in book 2”. LOL

 What drew you to write about time-travel romance with paranormal elements?

      Science-fiction was my first love in short stories and books. We rarely forget our first love whether in men or in other things we have loved. Physics has always intrigued me and picked at my "what if" mentality.

     Whenever I read a romance book or story that has the Rip VanWinkle premise, where the main character falls to sleep in one time and wakes up in another, and they don't give me a plausible reason for this, IT DRIVE ME INSANE. I expect a plausible scientific reason for such things as time-travel. "Time Conquers All" is much more complicated and spans centuries.

 How do you keep your writing different from the vast variety of stories (in your genre) out there today?

     Again, I am a more complicated writer. I write more complicated plots that when I finally solve the core conflict, it is my belief that people will wonder how in the world I came up this resolution. And then they will want to go back and read them again to see how I did this. Example of my kind of complex epic would be the Amber series by Roger Zelazny.

I had an agent recently tell me that they loved the idea I was leading in this series, but he felt I couldn’t hold the overall story arc together to complete the series. It is my goal to prove him wrong and to bring another complex series with characters you will miss when the overall story is done.

 How did your title come into play?

Near death experiences often change a person's perspective in life and makes them contemplate
what they are doing and where they should be going. I had a infection left growing inside me after what
should have been an easy hysterectomy. I wound up in the hospital several times that year fixing what
went horribly wrong. It was this emergency that caused me to reflect on my life since it was thought I would either die or could have colon complications that would affect the rest of my life.

      Obviously, I did not die and thankfully, I went home with minor complications and have recovered as far as possible. I will never be the same physically or spiritually.

      After I got home, I was on limited work detail, so started re-organizing my house. I had started "Time Conquers All" about twelve years earlier. I had printed the story on a dot-matrix printer (some young people are saying "huh" about now). I found the pages yellowed from age and dusty along the edges where the pages had peeked out from a creative person's twelve year pile of other discarded projects and items that probably should have been used on previous years' tax deductions.

       Along with a few chapters, only a portion of one of them actually stayed in the book, I had a floor plan for the palace in the story, which only needed minor changes to be usable. It was mid-September 2002 when I sat down and decided it was about time I stopped writing for others and finish the story that was inside me all these years. I wrote almost everyday for 6 months and stopped when I hit over 296,000 words.

      Of course, I could never sell 296,000 words, especially for a new author's break out book. I cut it and started the LONG venture in editing and poking at the story to make it what it is today. It has mutated into so much more than I had conceived all those years ago. I had not been influenced by India or so heavily by time-travel back then. Tamea, my heroine had started as Tia on those yellowed pages, but Parker, my hero, has always been Parker, and probably always will be.

 Can you tell us a little bit about the main characters and/or the plot in your book?  

    In "Time Conquers All," Tamea, a nineteen-year old warrior princess from the India region of the world in the late 1500's, is being plagued by disturbing dreams and visions of the future. Tamea is assigned to protect a visiting king from a neighboring country while their two countries solidify a treaty that will benefit both countries. This king brings with him assassins that want to kill him and his family who are hiding a bigger secret regarding the origins of his country.

   This king is not who he seems, and Tamea must unravel the intrigue that surrounds him and his country, but even more important, she must find out why he has been haunting her dreams and visions.

   In book 2, "Rescue In Time" due to be released in June 2010, we find Tamea and Parker are connected by more than just their countries' alliances, but have a destiny to discern. Tamea continues to have the disturbing vision where Parker dies in her arms from a successful assassins bullet. She is subconsciously trying to solve the outcome to save his life in the future.

   Meanwhile, in the 1500's, Tamea and Parker must take their countries to war with their neighboring country of Bengal who have been implicated as the mastermind behind the assassination attempts on both of their families' lives. Tamea must learn that not all those close to her can be trusted, maybe not even the man she loves.

 What were your feelings when you first novel was accepted for publication?

It was rather bitter sweet for me because I am the publisher as well as the author. I spent more time with my book interior because I could and did not cost me to pay someone else to produce. I have been a graphic designer for over 20 years and have published magazines, catalogs, and program books.

 Who is your favorite author? What genre of books do you read?
 Are you working on any projects right now?

I am an eclectic reader because my interests are so broad. I still love Ray Bradbury, but my reading has included such names as Terry Brooks, Terry Pratchett, Alan Dean Foster, Sherlyn Kenyon, Larrell K. Hamilton, and my newest love would be James Owen. Look James up – I would say his work would pull influences from Ray Bradbury’s early works, but he is also an inspirational artist with ties in the comic book industry. Like Ray Bradbury, James Owen expresses his creativity into so many nooks and crannies of inspiring works now and can’t wait to see what is coming in his future.

The list is way too large on what projects I’m working on right now. But my second book in the time series has been promised by me to my fans at the conventions since January and I REALLY want to fulfill this promise to them. If I’m not pressed to do this, I would continue to push the project back in place of other paying projects for other people. It has always been my intention to publish at least one new book every 6 months for my series, and I have already fallen short on this goal. The good news to anyone coming aboard as a new fan of my work now is that there are 3 books behind this first one already written and waiting not so patiently in the doorway.

I am also writing and publishing another time-travel series called, “The Center of Time Bar” which will be an ongoing series of short stories, all centered on this bar that pulls important people into its venue in order to assist these people or set them on their correct course in life. We already have our first stories submitted and are working to pull in some bigger named authors to help with its marketability. This is my brain-child and its birth will be an important step for me.

 If you could leave readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?

The possibilities of time-travel and the love of these characters who are so real to me.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out in this genre?

It doesn’t matter what genre you write, with the changes in technology, you now have many more choices in publishing your book or story, but never forget that even though it is cheaper and easier, there are still many steps in the publishing process that should never be skipped. It is still very important to find a good editor that you pay to make your story better for other's to read and enjoy. A compelling cover design is still very important in the sale ability of your book. You are not the best judge of your writing and a book is always judged by three things:  The cover design, the writing if it's not edited well, and the interior design can speak volumes to your potential readers. Once you are an author, you are in business, so put your best and most professional foot forward.

 Any last comments you would like to add?.....(upcoming events,  titles, etc. )

Our Big Upcoming Event will be our introduction into the biggest independent bookstore in Arizona. We have our first book event for Arizona Authors from an Arizona Publisher on June 9th at 7pm. Everyone local - we would love you coming out to support these hungry for attention authors and their works. For all lovers of...... Epic Romance, Historical Fantasy and Contemporary Horror.

Is there a website that readers may find you at?

Facebook,  Twitter,  or Myspace?


Thank you so much for chatting with us Patti.  Please leave a comment for Patti and for your chance to win a copy of one of her books.

She is also on virtual book tour,  so be sure to visit her websites and follow her tour leaving her a comment to let her know you stopped in.

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