Jun 5, 2012

Interview: Alexandra Monir (Timeless)

Just because I'm at BEA doesn't mean you guys don't get your post! Nope -- Alexandra Monir swings by today to talk about her book Timeless, her singing and some other fun stuff. She was supposed to swing by a month or so ago, but stuff came up, so she's here now, having a faaaaabulous time (or so I hope!)

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

Nicole: Hi Alexandra! First order of business: you've actually written songs for Timeless! You sing, correct? Do you play any instruments? When did that all start!?
Alexandra Monir: Yes, I'm a singer! I play a little piano (mainly for the purposes of writing music) but my voice is my main instrument. :) I was born into a musical family--my mom is a singer/songwriter and my grandmother was a renowned opera singer--so I've been singing since I was in diapers! I started taking regular voice lessons at age 11, and writing my own songs at 14.

N: Now, Timeless involves time travel. Why 1910?
AM: I loved the idea of my protagonist traveling a full 100 years into the past (she comes from 2010) but the Edwardian Era of the 1910s also happens to be one of my favorites in history. I love that this decade was still very much steeped in the manners and modes of the Victorian era, yet the doors to modernity were opening. So 1910 was this exciting combination of horse-drawn carriages mixing with early Ford cars, the aristocratic families having their fancy dress balls while the first skyscrapers were being built around them, and so on. I'd love to write more stories set in this time period, I just find it so fun and fascinating!

N: Did you read or watch anything else involving time travel before writing Timeless? ("Doctor Who", maybe?)
AM: I haven't watched Doctor Who, but a bunch of people have mentioned it to me so I'll have to check it out! I'd seen the movie "Somewhere In Time" when I was a little girl, and I always remembered feeling so moved by the story. I watched it again before finishing Timeless and it was definitely inspiring!


N: Fun fact - I was partly named after a character in "Somewhere in Time." What was your favorite part about writing Timeless?
AM: The research was so much fun. Getting to visit Gilded Age mansions in Newport, Rhode Island and upstate New York, reading and watching great books and movies set in the time periods I was writing about--it all made for a truly awesome experience.

N: What do you think of the cover?
AM: I adore it!

N: If you could go back in time yourself, where and when would you go? Who would you take with you?
AM: The hardest part about time travel is leaving loved ones behind, so to make the experience perfect, I'd bring my parents, my brother and my boyfriend! We'd go to 1920s New York, explore the city during the Roaring Twenties, and dance the Charleston while watching artists like George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong play live. Talk about a dream come true!

N: If you could bring anybody from a past era into the present, who would it be?
AM: Walt Disney was such a creative visionary, I sometimes find myself wondering what the entertainment world would be like if he had lived longer. I think it would be amazing to bring him into the present and see what he creates for the 21st century!

3 comments:

  1. Great interview! I've never heard of "Somewhere in Time" but it sounds like a good movie.

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  2. Great interview. What perfect timing because I'm actually currently reading Timeless! I love that Monir decided to write about the Gilded Age. It's not a time period I've ever read about in fiction, just in text books. I have to agree with Monir, 1910 America had a unique combination of new and old technology. Horse drawn carriages and early Ford cars sharing the same road. What a sight that would be!

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  3. Just wanted to say Timeless looks really good! I love time travel and that era as well!

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