In the YA follow-up to my last novel, an adult historical entitled Enraptured, headstrong seventeen year old Hallelujah Farrington sees her life plummeting straight for the virtual prison of genteel society's strict expectations: Find a wealthy husband, start a family, and live out the rest of her days in fashionable boredom. That is, until futuristic time-traveler Adris Crane sweeps her across the globe on a secret journey, beyond the boundaries of space and time, and into a world of unparalleled adventure.
Joining us today are the aforementioned Hallelujah and Adris from Hallelujah and the Rowan Stone: The Time Travelers' Chronicles Book One.
SWBD: Good morning, you two. Thanks for agreeing to the interview, especially since you're so busy these days.
HALLELUJAH: And a good morning to you, as well, ma'am. We are most honored.
ADRIS: [murmurs incoherently]
SWBD: You seem a little on edge, Mr. Crane. Is the couch comfortable enough?
ADRIS: The couch? Yeah, it's fine. [shifts, leans back, props one ankle on knee opposite] Just been a while since I've seen something this new, that's all.
HALLELUJAH: It is a wondrous work of craftsmanship, indeed. Why, I cannot imagine when last I saw a piece of furniture so... so... [hesitates] different. What is it called?
SWBD: A love seat. The material is leather.
HALLELUJAH: Oh... [blushes] Oh, my. A most fascinating name for a sofa. My papa has a similar model in his personal office, though I do not believe the cushion is quite this... this, ah... hmm...
HALLELUJAH: [laughs] Plush! Yes, precisely. And a trifle intimate, I daresay.
SWBD: Well, that was the idea, actually. Getting you and Adris into an intimate setting for the sake of a more revealing interview, just as we discussed. That's still okay, right?
ADRIS: [shrugs, throws an arm over the back of the couch] Fine by me. Hallie?
HALLELUJAH: Of course!
SWBD: Then, let's get down to business, shall we? Adris, you mentioned it's been a while since you've seen something this new. Do factories and/or manufacturers of various goods not exist where you live?
ADRIS: Oh, we have factories. They just don't make couches.
SWBD: What do they make?
SWBD: Sounds dangerous. Doesn't your government have some sort of policy on weapon control, something of that nature?
ADRIS: [laughs] Government? Yeah, right. Forget your comfortable twenty-first century Starbucks-lovin' U-S-of-A, sweetheart. Elected president, voting, and all that powder puff fantasy rigmarole. In Twelve Cities, we have the Counsel, and they uphold laws made almost a century ago by the founding fathers. Break any of 'em and you're dead. It's as simple as that.
SWBD: That's a brutal way of life. I have to ask: What are the women like?
ADRIS: What few women mingle about our primarily male-driven society either work in the weapon, chemical warfare, or clockwork factories. Assembly line type stuff. Old school.
HALLELUJAH: Old school?
ADRIS: Old-fashioned. Out of style.
HALLELUJAH: Like Grecian gowns?
|September 1807 La Belle Assemblee|
ADRIS: [chuckles] Not exactly. [to SWBD] She's a bit behind on local lingo, if you know what I mean. I try and teach her as much as I can, but it's kind of an "as we go" type thing.
HALLELUJAH: [brightens] But I am a fast learner.
ADRIS: That, you are.
SWBD: Speaking of which, Hallie... Do you mind if I call you Hallie?
HALLELUJAH: [nods vigorously] Please do! All my closest acquaintances refer to me as thus, and I should like to imagine us as rather close, do you not think?
SWBD: I should hope so. All right, then, Hallie. What went through your mind when Adris first took you through time? What did it feel like? Were you frightened? Thrilled? Did you get sick?
HALLIE: Ah, well, let me see... [holds up five fingers & begins ticking off one by one] "Oh my merciful heavens, I cannot believe I am really traveling into the future." Falling. Very. Most definitely. Thankfully, no, but Adris did warn me it could happen, and God's truth, I worried over casting up my accounts throughout our entire short stay in the Great City.
ADRIS: You were a trooper.
HALLIE: Why, what a terrible thing to say, Adris Crane! I think I behaved quite well, thank you very much!
SWBD: I think he meant that as a compliment.
ADRIS: [lowers voice conspiratorially] See what I mean?
HALLIE: Do not speak about me as if I am not present. It is most rude. Not to mention ungentlemanly.
ADRIS: Sorry, Hallie.
SWBD: My apologies, Miss Farrington. I'm certain time travel can't be easy. By the by, you said, "the Great City." Where did you take her, Adris?
ADRIS: New York City. 2272.
SWBD: Wow. That must have been incredible.
HALLIE: It was quite sad, actually. Devastation had consumed what must have been, at one time, a marvelous, exciting city. Much like a futuristic London, or so I imagine, though I have never been there.
SWBD: Oh? Where do you live?
HALLIE: Darlington, County Durham. [sighs] Where railroads and steam engines are all the rage, and no one speaks of anything but their investments in one or the other.
SWBD: You sound a little resentful. Care to elaborate?
HALLIE: Not really, no.
SWBD: Yikes. Touchy subject, I gather. Okay, then, moving on. How exactly does one travel through time?
ADRIS: [looks to Hallie] You wanna get this one?
HALLIE: [shakes head] No, no. You should explain. It will make more sense coming from you.
ADRIS: Several years ago, before I was born and Mom died, Dad made a time machine. He's a scientist, you see. Dreams up all sorts of inventions, then... I don't know... [shrugs] draws up the plans, builds 'em, puts 'em through a series of tests...
SWBD: And everything he's made works?
ADRIS: Pretty much, yeah. But the time machine is exquisite. Made out of scrap metal, atomic clocks, and a whole mess of stuff I could list, but we'd be here all day and, as you mentioned earlier, we're on a tight schedule.
HALLIE: [nods] Truly, we are.
SWBD: The short version, then?
ADRIS: The time machine aligns to a wormhole Dad discovered after this huge supernova when he was, like, my age or something. Eighteen or thereabouts. When activated, it sends a signal through the atmosphere, to the wormhole, and to the external devices. All in, like, a nanosecond.
|Wormhole Extravaganza courtesy of deviantart|
SWBD: Wow, that's really quick. What do you mean by "external devices?"
HALLIE: [reveals a red amulet attached to a long chain around her neck] The Rowan Stone. Fashioned in part from the Rowan Tree, which grows wild in our mountains.
ADRIS: Mine's the same, but blue in color. Made from ancient Scorzalite. Contains the bark of the Ash Tree.
SWBD: Both known for supernatural protection and virility, Rowan and Ash. Even healing powers and, in some cases, psychic ability.
ADRIS: Someone's done their homework.
SWBD: Kind of my job, right? So, are these the only external devices?
ADRIS: This, too. [pulls up jacket sleeve, baring a complex looking watch] Dad fashioned it to mark precise date, time, longitude, and latitude. The machine activates the watch, which activates the stones, which activates the wormhole portal. Basic science.
HALLIE: Genius, it is.
SWBD: I was going to say the same thing.
ADRIS: Maybe a little. Hey, do you wanna have a go? We can take you on a ride along, no problem. Hallie can just loop her chain around your neck, too, and poof! [snaps fingers] We're off.
SWBD: Maybe some other time? I've gotta hang around for Hallie's interview with Henry on Thursday. You can join us, if you like, Adris.
HALLIE: That's not such a good idea.
ADRIS: Because her boyfriend hates me.
HALLIE: [visibly bristles] He most certainly is not my... my... whatever you just said. Boyfriend. Honestly.
[a hushed argument ensues]
SWBD: Clearly you two have some major issues to work out, so... [raises voice] Why don't we just skip to the last three questions, all right? Adris... ah, excuse me? Earth to Adris.
ADRIS: Yo. Right, sorry. She just... [sighs] Nevermind. You were saying?
SWBD: What is your biggest fear?
ADRIS: That we'll be unable to locate the final ingredient for the cure my dad's been testing for the last seven years.
SWBD: The cure for what?
ADRIS: Remember what I said about us having few women in Twelve Cities? Well, most lose the ability to bear children before the age of eight. Sometimes earlier.
SWBD: So, in other words...
HALLIE: Either we find what Adris's father needs for his anecdote, or the human race becomes extinct.
ADRIS: I know, right? No pressure.
SWBD: I'll admit. It's a lot to take in. So, Hallie? What about you? Your biggest fear?
HALLIE: Having to marry out of duty, instead of love.
SWBD: Those sort of unions happen quite a lot in your society, do they not?
HALLIE: Too much. I want to be free. Able to do as I please, when I please. Accomplish what I aim to accomplish in the time in which I deign to accomplish it.
SWBD: I see. On that note, what do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
HALLIE: [nods toward Adris] Meeting my best friend.
ADRIS: Meeting Hallie was a once in a lifetime chance-happening. I stumbled upon her father's antique story in downtown Darlington, and she was standing outside, attempting to move this monstrous statue of Hebe all by herself. So, if you can imagine, here's this small-ish young woman, 5' or so, moving a sculpted piece of rock twice her size... Yeah. [smiles] That was a good day.
HALLIE: It was rather amusing, really, because when Adris tried to help me, he nearly toppled the goddess atop both of us. [laughs] We couldn't agree on which way to move her. He would go left, I would go right, and so forth.
ADRIS: We finally got it done, though, right?
HALLIE: Indeed, we did.
ADRIS: And she hasn't been able to get rid of me since. So, yeah. I'd have to say that was a pretty great accomplishment. I'm also really proud of mine and my dad's success with time travel. Let's just hope we can meet with success on this vaccine-slash-antidote.
SWBD: No doubt. Last question: What is your biggest regret?
ADRIS: That I never met my mother. She died giving me life. Dad used to talk about her all the time, but not so much anymore. I think the memory just got too painful.
SWBD: Very possible. Losing a loved one is never easy. Hallie?
HALLIE: I fear my biggest regret bears nowhere near the weight of Mrs. Crane's misfortune. However, I wish every day that I had met Adris earlier. Of a certainty there are a few... ah, how shall I put this? Circumstances? Yes. There are a few circumstances which, to my mind, could have been otherwise avoided if only we had crossed paths at a much earlier age.
SWBD: I tend to believe everything occurs in its own due time; that, as you said, paths cross when they're supposed to cross.
HALLIE: Like fate?
SWBD: Exactly like fate.
HALLIE: [smiles] I like the way you think.
Well, that wraps up our first interview for Hallelujah & the Rowan Stone! Thanks for joining me today, Adris and Hallie and, of course, YOU, gentle reader. Your continual support is always appreciated. Be sure to check back on Thursday for my exclusive interview with Mr. Henry Kinsey. Until then...
Peace, Love, Junior Mints, and Happy Time-Travels,