Where did you get the idea for this book?
My parents traveled all over the world and took my brothers and me with them since we were very little. I loved driving through old towns and seeing the original homes, buildings, monuments and historic landmarks that were often broken down and weather worn. I always wondered what the people’s lives were like that lived there; how they felt about things; what conveniences were present when the buildings were first built and occupied; how many children they had; what the community was like and so on. I used to think how wonderful it would be to be able to travel back in time for just one day and see it all for myself. I used to imagine stepping on a footprint of someone who lived there and being swept back in time where I could get to know them and experience what their lives were like.
I’ve been mulling this idea around in my mind for so many years that I’m not sure when I first entertained writing a book about it. I’m very old you know!
Are you planning to write any sequels?
Of course! I have so many ideas rumbling around in this head of mine that it’s difficult to pull them back into a logical sequence. The theme of this novel could take me in so many different directions that I could write a new book every six months for the rest of my life. They are so much fun to conjure up. I can hardly wait to see what happens myself!
Did you have the entire outline for Beyond the Map’s Boundary figured out before you started writing?
I did, I thought! Then I decided that I needed to write a couple of chapters that would help get everyone up to speed so they would understand where I was coming from and I ended up writing an entire book. Who’d have guessed? I haven’t even come close to where I had originally planned to begin the novel.
As it turned out, I had no plan at all other than the four main characters figured out a little bit! I just sat down and let it flow out of my head onto the computer. It was as though I were reading it for the first time myself. I’d get into a predicament and have to find a way out. I used to walk with my Father as he’d walk his dog each evening and I’d tell him the trouble I’d gotten myself into. Between his thoughts and my verbalizing it out loud, I’d find a fun solution that would pull me into the writing process well into the night. It was so much fun. I’d pick my husbands and granddaughters brains, too. The kids in my art class were also very inspiring and helpful.
The names of my four main characters changed several times in the years prior to me starting to write the novel. Mattie’s name was inspired by a special young girl by the name of Mattison Karrington (spelled differently of course). She was so full of adventure and would face her fears rather than run from them. She would move through them like an adult and she was only 12 years old at the time. Mature beyond her years and full of life, she became the inspiration for my character. Thank you, Mattie!
Will you keep the same characters through the rest of the novels?
Yes, but they will grow up, raise families that will go to school, be mistreated for their unusual lifestyle, obtain new skills, new powers, side step the Interloper as much as possible and travel back to ancient Rome and the like to clean up the messes in history. There are several other characters waiting to be born, killed and discovered.