Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Interview with Author, T.W. FENDLEY

T.W. Fendley writes historical fantasy and science fiction with a Mesoamerican twist for adults and young adults. Her debut historical fantasy novel, ZERO TIME, was voted Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Novel in the 2011 P&E Readers Poll. Her short stories took second place in the 2011 Writers' Digest Horror Competition and won the 9th NASFiC 2007 contest. Teresa belongs to the St. Louis Writer's Guild, the Missouri Writers' Guild, SCBWI and Broad Universe.

As Zero Time nears, only Keihla Benton can save two worlds from the powers of Darkness. But first she must unlock the secrets of Machu Picchu and her own past.
When Philadelphia science writer Keihla Benton joins an archeological team at Machu Picchu, she learns the Andean prophesies about 2012 have special meaning for her. Only she can end the cycle of Darkness that endangers Earth at the end of the Mayan calendar. As she uncovers secrets from the past, which threaten her life and those she loves, Keihla struggles to keep the powerful Great Crystal from the Lord of Darkness and his consort.

Xmucane leads an expedition to Earth to overcome a genetic flaw that threatens the people of Omeyocan with extinction, but she soon finds herself involved in a very personal battle that pits mother against daughter and sister against sister. With the help of the time-traveling Great Serpent Quetzalcoatl, she leaves the Southern Temples to arrive in present-day Machu Picchu as the expedition’s time-window closes.

Xmucane and Keihla work together as Earth and Omeyocan near alignment with the galaxy’s dark heart for the first time in 26,000 years. They must seize the last chance to restore the cycle of Light to Earth and return to the Pleiades with a cure, no matter what the cost to their hearts.

For me, the first day of spring always brings to mind romance and new beginnings.That makes it the perfect time to invite any of you who are not already cross-genre readers to check out something new.

In February's Broad Universe podcast, several women writers talked about romance in their sci-fi and fantasy books. Like them, I believe that women often bring a different perspective to what have traditionally been more male-oriented genres, even horror. Even if a novel's not labeled as sci-fi or paranormal romance, Romance readers will often find a lot to love.

One of the challenges for writers of science fiction and fantasy is to keep the characters true to the universe they create. In a world where women only bear daughters and boys are cloned, relationships look much different. Yet romance, love and family relationships are at the heart of my historical fantasy novel ZERO TIME.

I wanted to write the kind of love story Jamie and Claire have in Diana Gabaldon's OUTLANDER series, but sometimes characters take on a life of their own. Mine certainly did. In retrospect, I have to say that's a good thing. It's just like real life--relationships don't always end up where you think they will.

Like in the Outlander books, time travel makes life complicated for ZERO TIME's heroine, Xmucane (pronounced Schmoo-kane). If things went as planned, she would have joined her mate Xpiyacoc (Shoo-pee-a-cok) when their expedition arrived on Earth. Instead, when she arrives in the ancient Americas twenty-two years later, his daughter Starry Skirt greets her. All Xmucane has are her memories:

"She remembered the first night they shared, bare skin touching as they lay on a blanket surrounded by the scent of blue roses that grew wild in the surrounding fields. After they made love the first time, they held each other close and watched the falling stars drop from a dark blue sky filled with shining nebula dust. He told her, "I will give you all of that, all those tiny diamonds thrown across the starry skirt of the sky." Xpiyacoc hadn't forgotten his promise. Xmucane sobbed, finally letting go of the tears she'd held back since she learned her mate was missing."

One of the fun things about speculative fiction is that it's only limited by imagination. Emotions can even be expressed in ways that defy gravity.

"Xmucane hummed a low note. Her voice quickly rose through the scales as Pax joined her in the Initiate's mating song. As their voices merged, the vibrations generated by their sacral energy centers formed a shimmering pyramid around them. Its sparkling red and orange light encircled them, suspending them slightly above the floor."

The emotional tangle thickens when Xpiyacoc and Xmucane reunite. Unlike in traditional romance, sometimes there's a "happy-ever-after" ending, and sometimes not. The suspense of not knowing can be part of the fun.

Thanks so much, Sarah, for being a Party Host in my Virtual Book Tour. And to all, happy reading!

The ZERO TIME 2012 Virtual Book Tour Party is here!
To celebrate, T.W. Fendley is giving away a Maya-Aztec astrology report, a Mayan Winds CD, ZERO TIME tote bag and fun buttons. Check out the prizes and other posts on the Party Page.

3 ways to enter (multiple entries are great!)

1) Leave a comment here or on any of the other PARTY POSTS listed on the Party Page.

2) Tweet about the Virtual Party or any of the PARTY POSTS (with tag #ZEROTIME2012)
Example: Join the Virtual Party for historical #fantasy novel ZERO TIME by @twfendley for a chance to win prizes! #ZEROTIME2012 http://bit.ly/x91NgP

3) Facebook (tag @T.W. Fendley) about the Virtual Party. (NOTE: tag must have periods to work)
Example: Join the Virtual Party for historical fantasy novel ZERO TIME by @T.W. Fendley for a chance to win prizes! http://twfendley.com/?page_id=510
You can find ZERO TIME at:
Ebook $4.99
Paperback $16.95


  1. Hi,Sarah -- Thanks so much for having me as a guest and for being a Party Host!

  2. Great to meet you, TW Fendley! Your book sounds great. I love historicals but I can't say I've read many historical fantasy. Course, I suppose Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier is considered historical fantasy if I remember correctly. And I loved it. It's one of my all time favorite Viking books.

    Never read a science fiction book though. How did you get into writing science fiction? Were you influenced in some way? By someone or something? I'm just curious....

    Thanks Sarah for featuring TW! It was nice to get to know her.

    1. Thanks for joining my ZEROTIME2012 party, Renee! Your comments and Tweets made it fun.

      As one of the winners, I'd like to send you a button to commemorate Dec. 21, 2012, or Zero Time--the end of this 5,125-year age of the Maya Long Count. Please send me your address at twfendley@gmail and I'll get it in the mail this week.

      Let me know if you'd prefer the square Feathered Serpent or the round Pleiades button. (You can see them on the Party Page: http://twfendley.com/?page_id=510)

  3. Hi TW! Congrats on your book and I wish you fun on your blog tour.

    I love Sci-Fi and romance combined. My dad and my aunt were such avid science fiction readers and advocates that it rubbed off on me. Of course, romance reading was something I picked up on my own. But imagining other worlds and their interactions is a favorite hobby of mine. So combining the two is gold for me. I'm looking forward to reading your Zero Time.

    Thanks Sarah for hosting!

  4. Hi, Renee -- I'm not familiar with WOLFSKIN, but it sounds like the kind of book I'd like. Of course, my reading tastes are pretty eclectic! I've always been a sci-fi fan, but have taken long spells when I didn't read it at all. I started writing science fiction in the mid-90s after taking a world-building class taught by George Alec Effinger. And I had the opportunity to attend Clarion, one of the top sci fi/fantasy writing workshops. I also took a weekend class with Orson Scott Card. If you want to try sci fi, his book ENDERS GAME might be a fun one to start with, or Heidi Ruby Miller's sci fi romance AMBASADORA. You'd probably love Pauline Baird Jones' books (e.g. KICKING ASHE, STEAMROLLED)...check the Broad Pod link in my post for some more ideas. Nice meeting you, Renee!

  5. Hi, Melissa -- and thanks for joining my party for ZERO TIME! I appreciate your interest and hope you enjoy ZERO TIME as much as I loved researching and writing it.
    That's great that your dad and aunt were both sci fi fans! I stumbled onto Jules Verne pretty early, then Michael Crichton. One of my early problems as a sci-fi reader was not having anyone to suggest good books. Thank goodness for the internet!
    I recently got back into reading romance novels, and SFR in particular, after I met some fun writers like Heidi Ruby Miller at the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday blog. With new snippets every Saturday, it's a great way to find new sci-fi writers (and many are SFR). One I'm looking forward to reading is Cary Caffrey's THE GIRLS FROM ALCYONE--it's waiting impatiently on my iPad.