I first featured Tara Sim here, and as soon as I saw the exciting new cover for CHAINBREAKER, I knew a re-feature was in order. CHAINBREAKER builds on what happened in TIMEKEEPER, and puts it into a dramatic new setting: India.
Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he’s being watched. But by whom, or what, remains a mystery. To make matters worse, clock towers have begun falling in India, though time hasn’t Stopped yet. He’d hoped after reuniting with his father and exploring his relationship with Colton, he’d have some time to settle into his new life. Instead, he’s asked to investigate the attacks.
After inspecting some of the fallen Indian towers, he realizes the British occupation may be sparking more than just attacks. And as Danny and Colton unravel more secrets about their past, they find themselves on a dark and dangerous path–one from which they may never return.
In our last interview, you said, “Time is already a strange concept to us IRL, and it’s even more so for my characters, who perceive it as a sort of magic that only a few can tap into.” In what ways, if any, has time been magic for you?
There’s a quote in Timekeeper that kind of expands on the idea of time seeming to shorten as you get older, which is definitely true. There’s also a strange magic in the way that time both seems to stretch and somehow take forever, which I’ve never been able to figure out. There’s always some difference in how time feels and how it’s told, if that makes sense.
CHAINBREAKER deals with the British occupation in India. What about this era of history do you wish people knew more about?
Well, basically everything! I was always really sad that we never got to study India in school; the most we got was learning about Gandhi. I didn’t even know all that much about the British Raj until I started doing research for Chainbreaker, but it was SUCH an important period in the country’s history that ultimately shaped it into what it is today. India didn’t even get independence until 1947, which really isn’t that long ago. England had the country in its clutches before that, with a strong military presence that was able to snuff any and all rebellions that arose in that time.
Yes, didn’t know much either, until I learned about the Partition of 1947 during my time as a librarian. Here’s hoping more of India’s history gets discussed in schools.
I’ve often heard second books in a series can be difficult to write. What was your experience with CHAINBREAKER, and what, if anything, did you learn from it?
When I wrote the first draft, I actually had fun with it, despite the amount of research I had to juggle. It definitely had its difficulties, particularly in regards to plotting–what information to reveal and where, and with which character–and how to write about India from a certain perspective. I think this book helped me learn even more about how to bridge books 1 and 3 of a trilogy, about letting the book have its own arc while continuing the overall trilogy arc.
Sounds useful! What are three books (besides yours) you would recommend to your readers and why?
A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab, for more magical London hijinks.
A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess, for even MORE magical (Victorian) London hijinks.
WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon, for cute Indian romance.
THE TIMEKEEPER SERIES