I have a pleasure to host Ingrid Jonach, the author of When the World was Flat (and we were in love), here at Ja čitam, a ti?. I asked her few questions about her debut book and everything else. But first something about When the World Was Flat (and we were in love).
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again. An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
Hello Ingrid. Thank you so much for stopping here today. Let's get to the questions. First of I'm really curious where the idea to write a sci-fi novel came from? Were you inspired by some other books or authors?
When the World was Flat (and we were in love) actually originated as a romance, inspired by Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I decided to bring in the science fiction after the first draft, because (without spoiling too much of the storyline) I have always been fascinated by the possibilities of other worlds and other lives – whether through reincarnation or parallel dimensions. I realized these theories would work well as background for the relationship between Lillie and Tom. I think it has resulted in a unique blend of the romance and science fiction genres.
I must say that I'm surprised that your idea came from physics. I mean you have degree in Professional Writing and that's not really connected with physics.
I have been interested in other realities, reincarnation and time travel for many years and have gobbled up any books or movies with these concepts. I actually think it was watching Back to the Future with my two older brothers that first introduced me to the concept of alternate worlds, particularly when Biff changes the future by interfering with the past in Back to the Future II.
I have always been fascinated by Albert Einstein (there is a debatably great Australian comedy movie called Young Einstein that I think everyone should watch) and when I started looking into String Theory (which is one theory on other worlds) I was pleasantly surprised that it led back to Einstein. I really enjoyed researching his theories and his life with a view to featuring him throughout When the World was Flat (and we were in love).
I am by no means a physicist, but I am extremely intrigued by various theories about the world. My aim was to take this science and fictionalize it to work with the storyline. This is another reason why I love Einstein. He was a big believer in imagination and once said, “Play is the highest form of research.” He used to spend a lot of time daydreaming to come up with his theories, which is not unlike what you do as an author!
What was the hardest thing to write (create)? Characters? Plot? Villain?
This would have to be the action scenes.
I am very visual and tend to act out my scenes (pulling faces at the computer as my characters converse), but I am a complete couch potato who would never go sky diving or abseiling off the edge of cliffs (although I did once parasail in Mexico and used to learn Tae Kwon Do). I think this is part of the reason why I have a hard time visualizing action scenes.
Even so, there are at least three scenes that involve either fist fights, car chases or car accidents in When the World was Flat (and we were in love). These have actually ended up being my favorite scenes, which I think means I finally succeeded in making them realistic (after many, many drafts!).
Do you plan to make this a series? Or you have other plans?
It was originally written as a standalone, but I have since been thinking about what would happen in a sequel and have been working on a draft.
My priority though has been a separate standalone novel that is loosely connected to the theories in When the World was Flat (and we were in love). I have a lot of other scientific theories that I would love to explore in future YA novels, however I want to ensure they are complementary to When the World was Flat (and we were in love).
I noticed that you're from Australia. For some unknown reason I tend to really enjoy reading books from Aussie writers? Do you have any favorite? (Mine is Melina Marchetta).
I have many favorite Australian authors!
I grew up reading a lot of books by Victor Kelleher, who writes across a broad range of genres, including science fiction and fantasy. I also read a lot of Robin Klein, who wrote a famous Australian children's book called Hating Alison Ashley. My favorite Robin Klein books, though, are those featuring the Melling sisters (All in the Blue Unclouded Weather, Dresses of Red and Gold, and The Sky in Silver Lace), which are set in 1940s Australia.
And I also love Melina Marchetta. I was actually lucky enough to hear her speak not long ago at a literary festival where I live in Canberra.
I have also read that you finished college not so long ago. Do you have any memories you want to share with other students? Or maybe some advice?
I would definitely advise anyone at college (or university as we call it here in Australia) not to limit themselves to one profession and embrace both expected and unexpected opportunities.
I thought I would use my degree (Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing with Honors) to become an English Teacher. Instead, my journalism minor led me to work for a newspaper, before leading me into public relations and communications. I would still like to study teaching, but I would never give up my career experiences to date.
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at her webiste.
Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
- a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
- a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
- a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.
Be sure to check our blog on September 8th, because I'll be reviewing this book then. Also don't forget to check out the rest of the tour.
Until the next time,