Kathy: Silent Meridian brings together Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and John Patrick Scott, a concert pianist who also happens to be a paranormal investigator and time travel professor. Have you ever gone on any paranormal investigations?
EC: Not like the ones you see on television. In fact, I can’t stand watching those shows. They’re so staged. Probably got popular after the film, The Blair Witch Project. However, I’ve experienced paranormal incidents by accident. Years ago when I was in college some friends played around with a Ouija board in the basement below my apartment. Whatever they summoned decided to visit my place afterward. It was a horrible, oppressive feeling. My friends rushed over with sage and a bunch of other stuff and were ready to perform an exorcism!
However, the most important incident was when I purchased an antique that embodied some kind of spirit of its former owner which inspired me to write this book.
Kathy: In the first Time Traveler Professor Mystery we discover an alternate history for several famous people including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Harry Houdini, and Carl Jung. How did you decide these powerhouse men would be perfect for your story?
EC: My protagonist was actually based on a real, but largely unknown person who was indirectly tied into this “antique” I discovered that I mentioned in the previous question. When I was bitten by that bug of inspiration that spurred me on to write the Time Traveler Professor series, I wanted to pick famous Victorian contemporaries that John Patrick Scott could’ve known and associated with. Jung was a no-brainer. At one point, I wanted to study to be a Jungian psychotherapist, but it wasn’t in the cards. Jung always appealed to me over Freud, because of his focus on dreams and archetypes which tie into mythology. It’s well documented that Houdini and Doyle had a fascinating relationship regarding the supernatural, and since my protagonist kept having bizarre dreams and strange things happening to him, plus the fact that he also attended the University of Edinburgh, it only made sense to have him befriend Doyle.
Kathy: Were you already quite knowledgeable about these men before you began writing?
EC: Jung more than the others. Obviously, I picked up a lot more as I went along. Bottom line: I had to do an enormous amount of reading and research.
Kathy: Have you a particular favorite of the aforementioned characters as they existed in the real world?
EC: Each one is fascinating in their own different ways. With Sherlock Holmes, Doyle was a pioneer in forensics before it was considered a science. Houdini and Jung were groundbreakers in their own respective fields.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
EC: I always loved a good Victorian ghost story, and who doesn’t love Scooby Doo, which is technically a YA paranormal mystery with a sense of humor? Comparatively, I’m a latecomer when it comes to mysteries. I belong to Mystery Writers of America, Sherlockian groups, and Sisters in Crime and attend a lot of crime conferences. Most people I know have read far more in this genre than I have. Many of my Sherlockian friends read the canon (original Sherlock Holmes stories written by Doyle) when they were eight-years-old! All I remember is watching a handful of Basil Rathbone movies. I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t watch the Granada series with Jeremy Brett, who did the best portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, until seven years ago or so.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
EC: Yes. For years I’ve written non-fiction articles in magazines and many of these specialized in martial arts. Right now, I do a lot of author interviews for Blackgate.com, a SF/F online magazine and am currently seeking paying clients in the mystery/suspense genre. For fiction, the Time Traveler Professor series is a cross-genre epic series—alternate history/mystery—fantasy noir—fictional memoir that finds its own cult audience—some who like Sherlock Holmes—some who like steampunk or time travel—some who have a yen toward paranormal/metaphysical historical fiction.
Conversely, I have two and a half novels completed in a Hollywood suspense series that takes place in the 1990s with a female protagonist who is an entertainment journalist. It is far less esoteric than the Time Traveler Professor series. However, it’s unpublished, and I’m looking for a new literary agent. My background is in the entertainment industry. I can definitely picture these novels as a series on Netflix or Amazon Prime, but for that I need an agent.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
EC: The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: Silent Meridian is a 19th century X Files meets H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine featuring Arthur Conan Doyle and his paranormal enthusiast partner, John Patrick Scott.
The Time Traveler Professor, Book Two, A Pocketful of Lodestones: Imagine Slaughterhouse Five meets Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell on the Western Front.
Currently, I’m working on the third book, A War in Too Many Worlds, but I don’t have a catchy tag line locked down yet. It picks up in 1918 until the end of the war and its aftermath.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
EC: John Patrick Scott, my protagonist, of course. Poor guy is a flawed, unwilling explorer in the game of life with a pesky sidekick, Finn, who drives him bonkers but prods him along to the next adventure.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
EC: I mentioned it above when I spoke about finding a psychic influence in an antique.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
EC: Originally, the first book was published by a small press in London that buried it into obscurity by refusing to market, promote or distribute it or any of the books in their catalogue. Unfortunately, it was impossible to find a larger publishing company to pick up a series where someone else had already published the first book. Kicking and screaming, I took the bull by the horns and started my own publishing company to revive the series, because I refused to give my original publisher any more of my novels. You have to realize that each book in that series has required several trips overseas for research. I had way too much invested in time, money and effort to drop the ball. My traditional publisher didn’t even provide editorial services. I had to hire my own freelance editors out of pocket.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
EC: Arthur Conan Doyle, for sure. H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Alan Poe. So far, all of them show up in my novel except Poe.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
EC: (Blush) I’m reading a romance novel called Storm Damage about a mermaid falling in love with a human she saved. I almost never read romance novels (true confession), but an author friend of mine wrote it, and she’s a very successful and popular romance writer. Also, I’m attending the RWA (Romance Writers of America) annual convention to learn a bit more about writing romance and steamy scenes. Not so much for the Time Traveler Professor series, but more for my Hollywood suspense series, although there is an interesting love triangle in Book One. No spoilers for Books Two and Three.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
EC: Reading, of course. Attending live author readings, traveling, going to conventions. It’s hard to separate business from pleasure.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
EC: That’s a funny question—whole milk for coffee, Haagen Daz, bread, peanut butter.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
EC: Current series, The Time Traveler Professor, Book Three: A War in Too Many Worlds wrapping up WWI. Hopefully, I can wrap up the series with Book 4. For alternate history: a series based on Aliskiya Lleullne, the girl from the future (read Silent Meridian!) The Hollywood suspense series (different genre) and a stand-alone chick-lit/mystery project about three women who skip the country to avoid their problems and encounter more than they bargained for.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
EC: Getting positive feedback from fans and readers.
The Time Traveler Professor, Book One:
by Elizabeth Crowens
on Tour August 18 - September 21, 2019
Like Holmes and Watson trying to solve a mystery, together they explore lost worlds and their friendship is tested to the limits when they go back in time to find it. Both discover that karmic ties and unconscionable crimes have followed them like ghosts from the past, wreaking havoc on the present and possibly the future.
The Time Traveler Professor, Book One: SILENT MERIDIAN reveals the alternate histories of Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, Houdini, Jung and other luminaries in the secret diaries of John Patrick Scott, in an X Files for the 19th century. First Prize winner of Chanticleer Review's Goethe Award for Turn-of-the-Century Historical Fiction and First Prize for Steampunk in the Independent Press Awards. Stay tuned for A POCKETFUL OF LODESTONES; Book Two in the Time Traveler Professor series by Elizabeth Crowens.
Book Details:Genre: Alternate History, Mystery, Fantasy Noir
Published by: Atomic Alchemist Productions LLC
Publication Date: June 12th 2019
Number of Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781950384 (ISBN13: 9781950384044)
Series: The Time Traveler Professor #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
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