It’s a true delight to present D.A. Featherling this week. What an ingenious, effort-full gift she has given to her grandson, and also to others who read her work! This travel adventure series, 13 books in all, was originally written for 10-12 year-olds, but adults seem to like it, too, although the series is geared for a Y/A audience. I’ll let Dorothy explain, and she’s giving away one paperback copy of Book One to each of THREE commenters. Now, D.A. explains the origin and development of her series:
These books were originally aimed at the YA audience. My grandson loves to read, and I wanted to write something he would enjoy, and I could leave as a remembrance/legacy for him. At the time I started the series, he loved time travel stories. So, as a doting grandma, I decided to write some for him.
Of course, the first issue I had to solve was ‘how was I going to get my characters from one place/time to another?’ A lot of time travel books have been written and everything from a tree house to a rowboat to a horse and more used as the medium of travel. I finally decided a board game would best serve my characters, so before I started writing, I designed The Time Game.
Twelve illustrations gave me twelve locations to send my characters and the center “Deep Underground” picture would finish the series with book number thirteen. I had the game manufactured and added a few ‘penalty’ type boxes to help the excitement of playing, but the illustrations were intended to be the key to the stories.
My protagonists are twins – Marcus and Samantha Willoughby – in the beginning twelve years old. I aged them a year every couple of years so that by the last book they were eighteen and graduated high school. That also allowed readers of various ages to enjoy the adventures since they weren’t limited to one age.
They discover an old board game in a deceased relative’s dusty attic. They take it home and soon find they have introduced excitement and peril into their lives they never expected. Their great-uncle was a self-styled scientist/inventor, and the game was produced and stored by him. A most important part of the story (and the game) are four stones (gemstones used in the game). The red stone transports the twins from their time to the place they ‘land’ and returns them home. The blue stone produces a force field, the green stone heals, and the yellow stone provides heat and/or light. The stones are introduced one at a time in the first four books and then in combination in succeeding books.
The game consists not only of the stones, but tokens as well. Each token is imprinted with one of the illustrations on the game board. When the twins put the matching token on the board square while holding the red stone and touching, they are transported through time to the place represented by the illustration. They have no control, therefore, on where or when they will end up. The titles of all the books represent the number of the tokens as well, i.e., “Eye of the Storm: The First Token”, and so on through book number 13 titled “Deep Underground: The Final Token.”
Wanting the books to be unique, I made a huge effort to find places that had something interesting and not necessarily well-known in history as destinations for the twins. Also, I wanted there to be an element of danger or adventure involved in each story. So it was necessary for me to do a lot of research to come up with unusual ideas that tied into the board illustration and ones that occurred at different times in history. The books are set, not in order, from 1798 to 2048 in various locations throughout the world…and beyond.
As you can tell, the twins get around to a lot of places and to a lot of different times. While researching for the novels, I often discovered what I considered interesting tidbits of historical information that really didn’t fit into the storyline. Not wanting my readers to miss anything, in most of the books, I’ve included a section at the back…”Authors Note”…and shared those bits of information. So the books are educational. And whether humorous or serious in content, always correct as far as the information is concerned.
I also made every effort to be sure the books are as historically accurate as possible. Many readers enjoy having a story that’s true and often contains real people who were involved in interesting and not well-known situations.
The Time Game Series books are clean reads, with a slight faith element where appropriate. Hopefully, even though my grandson is now a bit older and less inclined to read as opposed to looking at a screen, I hope the children/grandchildren of others will enjoy the books for years to come.
D. A. (Dorothy) Featherling is an award-winning, multi-published author with thirty books in print. She has published adult thrillers, mysteries, romantic comedies, and end times fiction. Her non-fiction books include a 1930s Georgetown, Texas cold case murder, two e-books on giving school presentations and a print book encouraging activity for folks who sit too much. She also has a thirteen-book time travel fiction series being read by ages 9-99. The board game that inspired the books has been produced and is available through her website.
Her administrative years in private corporations, state agencies, and a university physics research center, and as owner of a home staging business, have given her a multitude of ideas and characters for her novels.
She has also written numerous technical pieces and has won awards for fiction, journalism, and public speaking. Her first mystery, “It Adds Up to Murder,” book 1 of the “It’s Murder at the Office” series, won a Daphne du Maurier Mystery and Suspense Award. D.A. now lives in Georgetown, Texas.