Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Interview with Andy Gavin, Author of Untimed


Today, I have Andy Gavin with me. His YA novel Untimed recently released through Tribute Books. You can find my review over on YA Bound.


UntimedCharlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!







Hi, Andy! Thanks for dropping by to talk a little about Untimed.

What made you choose to have part of your book take place in 1725 London?

I love history and at first I thought about going to the ancient world, which is my real passion, but I wanted to avoid over-indulging myself and for this first outing stay with a time, place, and celebrity that wasn’t so alien. If I was going back that far, I’d want to capture the monumental shifts in mindset, and it was too much for the first in the series.
Somehow, I always imagined Charlie in Philadelphia, and that led me quickly to Ben Franklin, who is a favorite of mine. In an alternate dimension there exists a simpler Untimed, woven between modern and 18th century Philly. No London. No France. No China. That book would have been more like a Hollywood story, all packaged up neat and clean, but neat and clean isn’t the Andy Gavin style.

If you had to compare Charlie to a well-known historical figure, who would it be?

Hmmm. That’s a stumper. Charlie’s his own man. I tried to make him very likeable and funny but with an authentic fifteen year-old voice, which means it has a bit of an edge. Teen boys think about shit and sex. Sorry, but it’s true. I rub up on issues that make some squirm, even if I deal with the lightly: teen pregnancy, drinking, slavery, etc. But to sweep these under the carpet wouldn’t do justice to the 18th century – or our own.

What was the best part about researching for this story?

Reading about the London underworld of the 1720s. I tore through perhaps 10 books on the topic (not to mention several Ben Franklin biographies, etc.) but the best was this out of print little book called The Road to Tyburn which vividly painted the sordid reality. After reading that, I knew I had to delve into the seedy side. Also great fun was combing through the two cant dictionaries I found, one from the 1737 and the other published in 1811. The number of hilarious sexual slang words is uncountable and it was a blast to disguise the nasty bits of Yvaine’s and Donnie’s dialogue with obscure cant.

If you could travel to any time, what would it be?

Personally, I’d love to visit the ancient world, mostly the great cities. Rome in different eras (Republican, Imperial, etc.). Egypt during the peak of the New Kingdom. Pericles’ Athens. Justinian’s Constantinople. Alexander in Babylon. All good stuff. We can bet that Charlie will be heading downtime sometime in the future… uh, his meta-future that is.


Just for fun:
Past or present? Past.
Favorite food: Spicettes, the funny flavored gumdrops. And I’m a consummate foodie!
What song best fits this book? I’m not sure, but while writing it I listened a hell of a lot to the Daft Punk Tron Legacy album. It seems to fit.

Thanks, Gavin!

If you want to check out Gavin's book, you can find it in paperback or on Kindle. And here's a giveaway as part of the blog tour:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, what do you think of the book?

32 comments:

  1. Ooh, time travel! And I am a major history buff-the London underworld of 1720; so cool. I'm thinking I'd love this story. And btw, I'm in love with the cover art! Nice to meet you, Andy. Best of luck.

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    1. Yeah, the description had me at London underworld.

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  2. Sounds like my kind of story. Great premise. Good luck and much success! :)

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  3. Ben Franklin's a fave of mine too, and being from Philly myself, this novel sounds like big fun! Good luck with it, Gavin.

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    1. Oh cool. Yes, I think you'll definitely enjoy it.

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  4. I hope you all enjoy! I certainly had a blast writing it. :-)

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    1. Thanks for dropping by, Andy. I enjoyed interviewing you and reading Untimed.

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  5. Untimed sounds like a great read. Thanks for the review Kelly. Nice to meet you Andy.

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  6. That's an interesting cover.

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  7. This sounds like a great twist on time travel. I love that period in history. :)

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    1. It's definitely a unique story, and yes, it's such a great time period. :)

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  8. I don't say this often, but this book sounds SWEET. I would read it at the drop of a hat!! Time to go spend more money on books... /le sigh

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  9. Sounds great! :) And the cover is interesting. I guess I have to read this one!

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  10. Kelly, thanks for chatting with Andy today (and for your review yesterday at YA Bound). Hope you feel better!

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    1. You're very welcome. I'm always happy to help promote great books.

      And thank you. This is the worst cold in history I think. If that's all it is.

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  11. Jak an Dexter video game? Like for ps2? lol that's awesome.

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  12. Sounds like fun. There's nothing like the underbelly of a big city as a great novel setting, and I'm sure the 18th c historical detail will make this one pop! Best of luck, Andy. Thanks for sharing the interview, Kelly.

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    1. You're welcome, Anne. And thank you so much for having me on your blog today.

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  13. Man what I wouldnt give to time travel!! But where would I go if that were possible? Hmmm. Anyway, your book sounds terrific. Goodluck with it!

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  14. That sounds really intriguing. That's the kind of "historical fiction" I like reading... the time-traveling kind. :) Good luck with your book! Here's to many, many sales!

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  15. Excellent interview, Kelly!

    Andy, the book premise sounds good!

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  16. Sounds like a good read. Love the interview. The cover says so much. Good luck to all who enter.

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