Sassy's Fangirl Debuts ~ Interview with Janet B. Taylor Author of Into the Dim!

Welcome to Sassy's Fangirl Debuts, a feature event where I introduce you to this years and next years debut authors! Grab some popcorn and have your Goodreads page open because there are some wonderful new authors and books coming out soon! 

This week of Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts, we are having the wonderful Janet B. Taylor, YA author of INTO THE DIM, which releases on March 1st of  next year!

Title: Into the Dim
Author: Janet B. Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers
AWhen fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens.

Hi Janet! Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today! 

1. First off, congrats on having INTO THE DIM being compared to the hit tv/book series Outlander and for also getting blurbed by the author herself! I’m curious; did you ever see a comparison between Outlander and your debut? 

Oh gosh! I’ve been an Outlander fan for years and years. It’s my all-time favorite book! I’ve met Diana {Gabaldon} several times at historical novel conferences etc, and she is just so humble and sweet and just unbelievably brilliant. I adore her and I admire her writing so, so much. She has created some of the most vivid characters in recent memory. I mean, people thought of Jamie and Claire as real people, way before the show came out. That is such a huge accomplishment for an author. And her settings… Well, I could go on about DG all day. Obviously, the day Diana agreed to blurb ITD was one of the best days of my life! 

Actually, there aren’t many similarities between Into The Dim and Outlander, other than that they’re both time travel and both set in Scotland. Diana’s peerless main character, Claire Randall accidentally falls through a mystical stone and into 17th century Scotland. Whereas my main character, Hope Walton’s  visit to the past is deliberate and meticulously planned. Hope and her friends dress in very accurate period costumes, and go through exhaustive study and training before they set out through an actual time machine.  

2. I've yet to watch the show Outlander or read the series, but with so many people raving about it, I'm very tempted to start soon! I'm also very excited to dive into the pretty little Into the Dim BM that is sitting on my shelf. ;) 

Tell us, how many years have you been writing, that lead up to your upcoming release?

I started writing when I was really young. My mom has a play I wrote in second grade! Life intervened when I had kids, however, and it wasn’t until about five years ago that I sat down and decided to get ‘serious’ about it again. First, I spent a lot of time studying the craft. And it took me about six months to write Into The Dim. After I landed my wonderful agent, Mollie Glick, we spent several months revising before we went out on sub. That part went really fast, and we went to auction two weeks later, which is how I ended up with Houghton Mifflin and my fantastic editor, Sarah Landis.

3. Wow! That is so amazing to hear that you wrote your own play in second grade! I'm also super happy to know that HMH picked up INTO THE DIM because it sounds like such a wonderful read! 

I'm curious to know.. seeing as though your debut revolves around scienc and historical fiction., what kind of research did you do for both of these aspects in the story? What were some of the things that you found that just stuck out to you?

I’ve been reading historical fiction for most of my life. It’s always been my very favorite. There’s something so magical, so majestic about those long ago eras. Even before I decided to write Into The Dim, I did extensive historical research, buying WAY too many books about the medieval period. For me, I get the best research done while travelling. I spent quite a bit of time in Europe, visiting the places where my characters (especially Eleanor of Aquitaine) had lived. For me, that was almost like my very own time-travel. For the sci-fi part, I researched time travel theories put out by several of our most esteemed scientists; Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

4. I agree with so many things in your answer, Janet! Historical fiction is also something that I love, especially the history on the medieval period. It just so intriguing to read about, right? 

Now, many novels are inspired by a certain thing; whether it be a person, a love for something or even just a random thought. What inspired you to write Into the Dim?

Well, when I decided I wanted to write a novel, I said to myself: “Hey, Janet, guess what? This is your book. You get to decide. So…if you could go anywhere, do anything, be anyone…what would it be?” I answered myself, (cause you know, I’m weird like that), “I can do anything? Hmm, then I think I’ll take a little trip to the past and meet up with all the cool historical characters I’ve always loved.” 

5. Now that your first novel is close to being released (just a few more months, eeekk!), are you currently working on anything else? Maybe even a sequel? ;) 

Oh yes, ma’am!! Book 2 (as yet Untitled) of The Dim Series comes out Spring of 2017, so I am working diligently on that!! Hope and the rest of my time travelling gang are preparing to face another, crazy journey.

Oh my goodness, you've got me in a ball of excitement and I haven't even read book one yet! 

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today, Janet! It was so lovely having you! Guys, if you haven’t already added this one to your TBR or pre-ordered it, you should! It seems like 2016 is certainly going to be the year for some amazing debuts, wouldn't you agree guys? 

Janet Taylor lives in such a small town in Arkansas that if you happen to sneeze when you pass by, you'll totally miss it. (Cause, you know, you can't sneeze with your eyes open. For real--try it--it's impossible) Her debut novel, INTO THE DIM (coming 3/1/2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is about a 16 year old girl who travels through time. Totally on purpose and stuff. She's a reader/fan first and a writer second. She lives with her fantastic husband, two hilarious sons, and Dorda the diabetic dog who won't win any beauty contests, but has a "nice personality".


Happy reading!

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