Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Kerry Downing - Time Slice - Author Interview

My thanks to Kerry Downing for stopping by City Girl Who Loves to Read for an author interview during the blog tour for his book, Time Slice.

Author Interview

1. Why did you choose this setting?
For me, the choice of setting for Time Slice was simple. I chose the San Francisco Bay area because, quite frankly, I’m in love with it. It’s such a dynamic and beautiful area. I knew it would be fun to write about, although a challenge to capture the beauty and majesty of the Pacific and surrounding coastline. I hope I did it justice.

2. How is it a fundamental part of your overall theme?
It was always the dream of Time Slice’s two main characters to live in the San Francisco area. This is especially true for Roy Washburn. Roy is kind of a negative-Nelly, never able to see how much he has in life whereas his wife, Emily, has a more positive outlook on things.

The setting is just another thing that Roy has in his life and should be happy about, but is unable to see and appreciate. Will he be able to change and realize how lucky he is? I’m afraid you’ll have to read the book to find out!

3. How challenging was it to write about?
Writing about San Francisco in our time slice (the San Francisco that exists in our version of the world) was fun. It was a challenge for me to try and convey how I feel about the area to my readers, but the challenge was enjoyable.

Writing about the San Franciscos that exist in other time slices was both easier and more difficult, if that makes any sense. It was easier because I was making it up as I went along, knowing that nobody could say I misrepresented a particular town or region. But, making it up as I went along was also difficult because I had to follow certain rules and restrictions imposed by traveling through the time stream into different time slices.

4. How did you develop your setting as you wrote your book?
The initial setting is what it is. I’ve been to the area many times so I just wrote about my impressions and memories of good-old San Fran.

The San Francisco areas that exist in the other time slices, however, were purely a concoction of my imagination. Because of the rules involved in traveling the time stream, however, these “other” San Franciscos did have to follow some rules.

If I was in a time slice to the left of ours, the gravitational pull would be higher or stronger, so the setting had to transform accordingly. Likewise, the gravitational pull in time slices to the right of ours would be less so, again, the setting had to match the time slice.

5. How do you transport them there through your writing?
As a writer, I show the setting to my readers instead of telling them about it. I show it to them by seeing it through the eyes of the characters and by having the characters interact with it and in it. The setting is the all pervasive character, in every scene, but almost never taking center stage. The setting is content to be in the background, but without it nothing else makes sense.

6. How do you introduce them to an area they may not be familiar with?
I introduce unfamiliar territory to my readers via the characters in the story. Many times, the setting is unfamiliar to the character as well, so my readers learn about and explore the setting right along with the characters.

These unfamiliar settings are usually new to me, too, so I’m discovering them for the first time as I write. This is particularly true about the settings I’m making up as I go along. They just kind of unfold before me and I try to capture it as best I can.

7. How do you go about making the setting come alive for the reader?
As mentioned earlier, I try to show the setting to the reader instead of just telling them about it. Maybe an example would be in order here:

Roy and Emily walked through the forest. The trees were very tall. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.

As Roy and Emily trekked though the woods, Emily stopped short, craning her neck back as far as she could in an attempt to see the tops of the trees. Shafts of soft sunlight filtered down through the pines, falling on her face. Emily closed her eyes, drew in a deep breath, and smiled.

About the Book
Time Slice

Book Details:
Price: $14.95 paperback, $4.95 ebook
Format: paperback, ebook
Published: June 2011
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781603818520
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble,
Kindle, Nook, Smashwords

Ordinary People. Extraordinary Adventures. Science Fiction with Heart.

Newly retired workaholic Roy Washburn is not ready for a life of leisure. On a trip to the mall with his wife, he finds a small metal cylinder with odd markings. One nudge of the cylinder's triangle-shaped pointer and Roy finds himself embarking on an exciting new adventure in the Time Stream.

There he meets The Traveler, a tall, gangly being who shows Roy how to use the cylinder to visit other civilizations that co-exist on "his" Earth, each occupying a different, thin Time Slice. The Traveler solicits Roy's help in recovering an object invented by his murdered father and beyond his own reach. Roy is his last hope.

At first it seems that the Traveler's wish might be easily granted. But after Roy's wife Emily becomes ill and his daughter's long-held resentments rise to the surface, he can no longer "travel" at a moment's notice. He also discovers the very real physical and mental risks involved in roaming the Time Stream.

Despite the dangers, Roy is determined to help the Traveler. But he can't do it alone. Fortunately he has a loving wife and a core group of loyal friends. But first he must convince them--and his daughter--that he isn't crazy ...

About the Author
Kerry Downing

Kerry Downing set out to become a meteorologist, but was hooked by the world of computers instead, becoming a systems analyst and programmer. Astronomy and science fiction are his passions. He’s been gazing at the stars at all hours of the night since the age of 10, when he received his first telescope. As for science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke and his brand of “it really seems as if it could happen” has always been his favorite. In the 90s, Kerry found the third love of his life: his wife, Lucy. They live in St. Louis, Missouri, with their five children. Time Slice is Kerry’s second science-fiction novel. His self-published, debut work is The Collective.

Connect with Kerry:
Web Site

About the Tour

Tribute Books Blog Tours

Time Slice Blog Tour Site

Tour Participants:

February 1
Crazed Mind

February 1
The Book Connection (author interview)

February 2
Heidi Ruby Miller - Just a Girl (author interview)

February 2
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (author interview)

February 3
Live to Read

February 4
Feeding My Book Addiction

February 5
Book Lover's Hideaway

February 5
Red Adept Reviews

February 6
Peace Love Books

February 7
My Tower of Books

February 7
Sapphyria's Book Reviews

February 8
Carabosse's Library

February 9
Book Dragon's Lair

February 9
Broken Teepee

February 9
Wakela's World

February 10
Flutey Words

February 13
Bibliophilic Book Blog

February 14
City Girl Who Loves to Read (author interview/guest post)

February 15
Book Junkie

February 15
The Plot Thickens (author interview/guest post)

February 16
Adventures of Frugal Mom

February 17
The Prissy Book Snob

February 17
The Wormhole

February 18
Minding Spot

February 20

February 21
Livre De Amour (Books of Love)

February 21
vvb32 reads (guest post)

February 23
Mom in Love with Fiction

February 24
Mom Reads My Books

February 25
The Bookshelf Review

February 27
Celtic Lady's Reviews

February 28
Mission to Read

February 28
The Character Connection


  1. Thanks so much for posting the interview and for the chance to appear on your blog. I appreciate it! :-)

  2. Thanks Victoria for hosting Kerry today. I loved getting a chance to hear all about San Francisco from him.