Author Interview: Christy Cooper-Burnett
Welcome Readers, it's Tuesday and that means it's time for my weekly author interview. Today we have Christy Cooper-Burnett author of No Way Home. Christy's book, like my next, is a time travel book, so I'm really interested in her views of that mode of transportation!
JMR- Hi Christy, tell us about yourself. Where do you live? What do you do for fun? What does the perfect day look like?
CCB- I divide my time between southern and northern California. My hometown is Chino, which is about 25 miles east of downtown LA. But I love to spend time in Lakeport, which is a sleepy little resort town on the shores of Clearlake, about 150 miles north of San Francisco.
JMR- Nice, I love Northern California, so beautiful there.
CCB-Not surprisingly, one of my favorite things to do is read! I also love live music and movies. I adore nature and spending time outdoors. I have a close group of friends I have known for years, some since we were in the same kindergarten class together, which is a long time ago. I cherish those friendships, and appreciate what a gift they are, so a perfect day for me is any day I spend with those women. I think we could have fun no matter what we were doing—it’s the company, not the activity that makes it special for me.
JMR- I love to meet other history lovers! You include two historical settings in your new book. 1860s Oklahoma (Indian Territory) and 1330s England. Why did you choose those?
CCB- Actually, they chose me. I had a very specific dream about the plot of this book and the protagonist was in both of those timelines. I love reading about history and how people lived, so I was comfortable with writing a book that had elements of history in it.
JMR- Wow, I wish I had dreams like that!
JMR- Do you have a favorite historical era? Why?
CCB- I would have to say that the medieval era is the most fascinating to me. I love the idea of castles and knights and everything that the era is known for. I have been fascinated by anything medieval for as long as I can remember. Spending the night in a Scottish castle is on my bucket list. The history those walls could reveal is astounding.
JMR- Do you have a favorite historical female character? What is it about her that you admire?
CCB- I would have to say Amelia Earhart. She was a young woman who took up aviation when males dominated that industry. She was so brave to fly solo across the Atlantic, and she went on to break many flying records. She was the first person, male or female, to fly from the Red Sea to India, quite an accomplishment in my opinion. I imagine she must have had many obstacles to overcome to gain the respect she deserved. He last flight is such a mystery, everything about it intrigues me.
JMR- So glad to someone other than Eleanor Roosevelt or Eleanor of Aquitaine! Amelia is a great choice.
JMR- Are you a traveler? Have you visited the places you write about?
CCB- I have not been to England, or Oklahoma for that matter. But touring the UK and seeing all the history there is something I plan to do one day.
JMR- I love the use of time travel in a novel to showcase the past and use it as an opportunity to slip in a history lesson. Why did you choose time travel? Do you think we will ever be able to achieve real time travel and if so, would you do it?
CCB-I have always loved the idea of time travel. As I mentioned earlier, the time travel story-line really chose me, but it is a premise I was happy to write about. I absolutely believe that we will be able to achieve time travel one day, and I would be the first to volunteer to go! I think it would be a fantastic experience and I would do it in a heartbeat.
JMR- I tell you what, you go first and then let us know how it went....then I'll decide if I want to go!
JMR- Tell us about your book, No Way Home?
CCB- This book focuses on the emotional toll being stranded in time takes on the protagonist, and how her personality evolves because of it. After being trapped in 1867, Oklahoma she believes she is transporting home, only to wind up in medieval England. Her focus has been trying to get home to her son, when she stumbles across a plot to bring a set of priceless writings back to the future involving two other stranded transporters. She learns that transporters all over the world are trapped, and it was not a system glitch as she originally thought. She struggles with her desire to get home versus her duty to do the right thing, and forms relationships she never thought possible, becoming a better person for it. The protagonist deals with plot twists throughout, and along the way she finds a lifelong friend and a new love interest.
JMR- Do you have a sequel planned? Or maybe a prequel?
CCB- I have a sequel, Finding Home, out with Black Rose Writing for review. This story focuses on two exiled prisoners and the experience from their point of view. It is a love story that takes place in 1868 Oklahoma and moves to 1790 Virginia. I included more history in this book, as I wanted the reader to immerse themselves in the time periods.
JMR- One of my biggest struggles with telling a time travel story is the whole ‘can we change the past/ has it already happened’ bit. What’s your take on it?
CCB- Time travel can be tricky to do. I think for a reader to enjoy any time travel book they have to be willing to suspend belief to a certain degree. In No Way Home, the government only exiles white-collar cyber-criminals back in time. Their timelines and geographical destinations are determined by a computer system that analyzes all their known data and algorithms. They are under strict geographical boundary restrictions and are flung further back in time if they do not comply. They come from a highly technical society, and an enforcement team monitors their movements 24/7. Any changes in the timeline are dealt with swiftly.
Early in the book the prisoners are shown a documentary about a transporter and prisoner who was exiled to 1692, Salem. The prisoner outed herself and transporter as being from the future and it had devastating consequences, changing history and sparking the Salem Witch Trials.
JMR- Original! I really like that concept.
JMR- Tell us how to find and follow you on social media and the web.
FB: Christy Cooper-Burnett Author
JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?
CCB- That’s a great question! I think authors are not asked very often about their research process, or something interesting they discovered during the research for their book. It is such an integral part of the writing process when you write fiction. I find it interesting that some readers will pick up on the nuances of historical research a writer has done, while others find the same book lacking in research. I think it boils down to a personal preference of just how much fact and fiction each person favors in a story.
Thank you Christy for stopping by for a chat today, I've enjoyed your answers and your original take on time travel. Readers, if you would like to take a look at Christy's book, No Way Back, click on the Amazon link below.
Readers, don't miss a single interview or book review, Subscribe today!