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Author Q&A with @OlgaWerby | TWIN TIME Book Tour and Signed Copy #Giveaway | @GoddessFish Promotions Presents #TimeTravel #HistoricalFiction #UrbanFantasy

Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for TWIN TIME by Olga Werby and Christopher Werby. The time travel historical ...


Goddess Fish Promotions has organized a Virtual Book Tour for TWIN TIME by Olga Werby and Christopher Werby. The time travel historical fiction urban fantasy is available now.

The Werbys will be awarding two signed books to a randomly drawn winner (US only) via rafflecopter during the tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found by clicking the banner below.


You can find the first few chapters of that book here: https://interfaces.com/blog/twin-time.




Twin Time
by Olga Werby & Christopher Werby

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GENRE: Time Travel Historical Fiction Urban Fantasy

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BLURB:

Alex and Sasha are twin sisters, physically identical down to their freckles. But the resemblance is only skin deep—Sasha is profoundly autistic, while Alex is not. Sasha can’t communicate and acts bizarrely, and the family revolves around her and her intense needs. Yet the aged, wealthy, and mysterious Aunt Nana seems to have a particular interest in both girls. Offering a helping hand, she encourages the family to move to San Francisco to be near her. And when the young twins discover a tunnel in Nana’s tool shed, it leads them on a journey across the world and back 100 years in time. The tunnel is a pathway to the Firebird Estate, the home of their ancestors, located in rural Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century. Even more remarkable, through the effect that twisting time has on cognition, Sasha is not autistic when she’s at the Firebird Estate. Now, growing up in two strikingly different times and places, the twins must face their separate destinies among the ravages of the incipient Russian Revolution. Can they save their families on both sides of the tunnel? Can they simultaneously stay true to their own hearts, to each other, and to the people they left behind? Each sister must face her own personal challenge—but only together can they discover their own future within their family’s past.


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EXCERPT:


Boris Blackburg was observing Alex carefully, judging her emotional state and her ability to comprehend what he was telling her. She seemed very confused. He wasn’t surprised. This was the strangest assignment he had ever accepted. At first, he thought it was some silly notion of a well-to-do old woman. But as the years passed, he got to know Nadezhda well, and he liked the old woman, eccentricities and all. And as he got to know the Orlov family as well–vicariously, of course—the assignment grew more and more strange and intriguing.


Boris was also well compensated for his work. He was going to ensure Nadezhda’s wishes were followed. Alex Orlov would inherit her great-aunt’s estate and all the accompanying strangeness that came with it. He would make certain of it.

“Where did you get these?” Alex asked.

“Nadezhda, your Aunt Nana, gave these to me about eighteen years ago, shortly after you and Sasha were born.”

“I… I…” Alex seemed to want to say something, but couldn’t get it out. Boris was prepared to give her time, as long as her parents didn’t interfere with his mission by arriving too soon. At least the girl was now of age and the complications of guardianship had gone away–but he needed to complete his assignment before her parents arrived and complicated matters.

“Who’s the woman in this photo?” Alex pointed to a small black and white print of a man and a woman walking on the street. The image was very small, and it was difficult to identify the people, both of whom were wearing hats.

“Who do you think it is?” Boris asked. He knew, of course–Nadezhda had identified most of the photos for him, and there was information written on the back of most.

“I don’t know. But… it looks like… me?” Alex’s voice was small, barely audible.

Boris nodded.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Interview:


“Twin Time” is a story of identical twins, where one is autistic and the other’s not. It is also a time loop story. I wanted to explore the psychology and family dynamic of a family with a sick child. I wanted to give autism a voice. Like many of my books, “Twin Time” is fully illustrated. 






“Twin Time” got an honorable mention in San Francisco Book Festival.

The book received a 5-star review from Readers’ Favorite: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/twin-time.

“There are doors to stride through with purpose, and doors to peek through with trepidation. But maybe once in a lifetime there is a door to another reality, a door that connects worlds within multiverses.” In Twin Time by Olga and Christopher Werby, nineteen-year-old Alex and Sasha Orlov are identical twins, but different at the same time. While Alex is a vibrant university student, Sasha is autistic. In 2019, a fire burnt down their great-aunt’s home. Nadezhda Orlova, affectionately known as Aunt Nana, is badly hurt and Sasha is missing. When Aunt Nana’s personal attorney, Boris Blackburg, insists on talking to Alex, she’s about to find out that the important clues on Sasha’s whereabouts are in the past.

The Orlovs' secret time tunnel paves the way for an interesting plot. The story has different time settings and is also told from different characters’ points of view. That said, I find that these aspects are well-handled and that the narrative isn’t overwhelming. I gravitated towards Sasha right from the start and rooted for her when she decided that Russia would be her home. I love how her character changes and she is able to express herself freely compared to her restrictive nature and environment back in the present time. Personally, I find it hard to empathize with Alex and her mother, Emma—most of their attitude toward Sasha is unacceptable to me. Overall, Twin Time is a refreshing time travel-themed story with its vivid pre-revolution, 20th century Russia background and character-driven plot. This is a great read for YA and adult readers.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of this novel is that it is fully illustrated. These illustrations are partly based on the works of a painter Willian-Adolphe Bouguereau, who painted a lot of peasant children in the French countryside. Sasha and Alex are based on his portraits. I’ve also used old photographs from the era. I’ve set up a Pinterest page with my visual research for this story: https://www.pinterest.com/OlgaWerby/scifi-book-twin-time/

And here are a few illustrations from the book.

These are the mysterious photographs from the family archives:

Condor:Olga Books:Twin Time:Output Illustrations:2016-08-27 Placed in Book:Photos_from_Old_Russia.jpg


This is Sasha teaching math at her grandmother’s orphanage:


Condor:Olga Books:Twin Time:Output Illustrations:2015 Working Versions for Website:Sasha teaching 2.jpg


This is the portrait that hangs in Aunt Nana’s house:
Countess Alexandra Portrait 02


Here are a few of my sites:

Author’s Website: https://interfaces.com/blog/
Company/Publisher: https://Pipsqueak.com



Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:


I guess I should start with the fact that I was born in Russia. I lived in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) until I was thirteen and a half. I came to America as a refugee. So I have some affinity for the place my story takes place in and its culture, its language…its smell, its light, its trees, its flowers, its architecture, its temperature… I have find memories of the White Nights and days when the sun never fully rose above the horizon. I left when I was already a pretty formed human and I had to make myself fit into a new place that was very foreign and scary, in many ways. I also didn’t really speak any English when my family arrived in New York City. I couldn’t even write my name down on a piece of paper in school. So the idea that I now use English as my primary language of telling fiction is crazy! I don’t think it would be possible if not for the Internet, my external brain and linguist. Add to that that I’m dyslexic and you can see how improbably the idea of writing and publishing books is for one like me. Yet, here we are.

But there’s more. My family, from both sides, had suffered incredible damage at the hands of the Russian government and during the WWII. But for this novel, “Twin Time”, I focused on my grandmother’s story, who lived an extraordinary life…mostly in secret. She was born into a wealthy (and titled) family just after the 1917 revolution. But she lived in a relatively small town and politics takes time to drift into the rural areas of the country. Years after the revolution, her life hadn’t changed much until one night, when a former student from her grandmother’s orphanage knocked on the door of their estate and told them to run. You see, the boy they raised and educated became a cop in the newly formed Soviet Union. He came to warn the family that was kind to him that the powers in charge were coming to burn down their house and kill everyone inside. So my grandmother, who was just a child at the time, and her family got on their horses and ran, leaving all of their possessions behind.

They ran for years, scattering into the four corners of the world. Eventually, my grandmother, her brother, and their mother met up in Moscow at a home of a former nanny. She gave them shelter. By then, the family was destitute. My grandmother remembers waiting for her mom to come home from work one evening. She waited for many hours and then went to the train station to find out what could have happened. Her mother was standing alone by the tracks. She went blind from hunger and couldn’t find her way home.

The nightmares didn’t end there. In May of 1927, British police made a bust of Soviet trade delegation in London. Under the cover of diplomatic immunity, the All Russian Co-operative Society was spying on the British, stealing some top-secret documents. For this, the men of ARCOS were expelled and diplomatic relations between the nations were dissolved for several years. The Soviets had to retaliate, of course. Shortly afterwards, they rounded up all British citizens living in Moscow and shot them. That was my family—my grandmother’s father was a British citizen. Fortunately, my grandmother, her brother, and her mother survived. Unfortunately, my grandmother had a very un-Russian last name (we have no idea if it was Lee or Leigh or Li or some variation there off—the spelling in Russian is all the same). To run from the authorities, my grandmother married an officer in a Soviet army and gained a very ordinary last name. She never talked about her family. Ever! What we learned about her past we learned when we did an interview in her late 80’s in a safety of my living room. And even then, she kept telling us that walls had ears and some things are just best forgotten.

For those who are interested in learning more about the ARCOS affair, please visit the Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Russian_Co-operative_Society

Some of the backstory of “Twin Time” is actually the story of my grandmother’s childhood. She lived in a similar pretty wooden house. Her family was the pillar of their community. Just like in “Twin Time”, there was an orphanage and a little church. I tried to incorporate as many details as I could into my story from my grandmother’s memories of her childhood. And of course the historical facts as presented in my story are all accurate.

My professional career took me from getting degrees in Math and Astrophysics (remember, I really didn’t know English back then and couldn’t go into fields of study that required solid control of language) to getting my doctorate in education. As a kid with learning disabilities, I am very interested in cognitive differences. I’ve diagnosed my first case of autism about twenty-five years ago. That child was non-verbal. Since then, I’ve come across many families that had children with “differences”. It is extraordinary difficult to raise a child who is different in this (or any other) country. “Twin Time” gave me a way of talking about autism and its costs to the family and friends. The time travel device opened up the possibility of giving a child with autism a voice. Again, everything you will read in “Twin Time” is carefully researched. When I discuss autism and family dynamics and therapies, I draw on actual research. For those who might think that I’ve meant to make anyone in Sasha’s family evil, that’s not true. There are no bad guys here really, there are just victims of circumstances and fate.

I did want my book, my story to have a happy ending. I wanted to show the possibility of love even in dire situations. And I wanted for my readers to love Sasha as much as I did. But to learn what happened, you’ll have to read my story.

One final thing, when my grandmother died, about a decade after my grandfather’s death, she insisted that her ashes were scattered in a different ocean from my grandfather.

Here is my grandmother’s portrait from the era of this story:
1934 Nadejda Kiselev in a Hat 2214-Corrected 02A


What's the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?

Many years ago, my husband and I ran a creative writing project. It was one of the first online entertainments and it was one of the first online learning opportunities for writers. The Company Therapist project was a soap opera written collaboratively by its audience. You can still see the project at TheTherapist.com. (At the time, we could have had Therapist.com, that URL was available. But it was pointed out to us that Therapist.com could be read as TheRapist.com. So we went with TheTherapist.com.)

The main idea was that there was a therapist hired by a high-tech company in San Francisco that helped maintain sanity for the company’s employees prior to going through IPO. So all of the patients knew each other and worked in the same location. Different writers from around the world wrote different therapy sessions. It was a blast.

One of my characters was into S&M. So to add a bit of color and reality into my writing, my husband and I went to the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco and then got to write about it! It was pretty out there…


How can we contact you or find out more about your books?


Here are a few of my sites:
Author’s Website: https://interfaces.com/blog/
Company/Publisher: https://Pipsqueak.com


What can we expect from you in the future?


Surprisingly, I find myself in the middle of three projects. This is completely outside of my normal working pattern, but given the times we are living through, I’m giving myself a break about that. So here are the three projects:

“Mirror Shards” —this is just a working titled, but it will do for now. This is the most complete project. It went through numerous edits and his been returned from my editor with additional comments. I haven’t looked at those for over 5 months! I got the comments back just around the time of COVID lockdown and just couldn’t take up the story. But here’s a quick summary: a boy is born with a deformity that rubs him of ability to walk or play or live his life like any other healthy kid. One day, he and his parents and uncle go to fair and visit a strange fortuneteller. They go in, including an infant sister, and each gets some personal and secret advice or a prophecy. Soon after, the boy is cured while his mom dies. And from that moment on, the boy believes that his miraculous cure was “bought” with his mom’s life. This belief tears him apart and he seeks to find the fortuneteller and make amends. But the world is not one timeline; each decision once made bifurcates the lifelines of the individuals who make those decisions. The boy is plunged into the universe of millions of possible lives, looking for the one where his family is all alive and happy and together. It is never what he thinks it is. I hope to release this book by the end of this year.

“Lunatic”—we’ve all heard about the stories when a man becomes a wolf. But what if instead, a man becomes a woman? A werewoman? Every so often, he turns into a woman for a few days or longer and his life spirals out of control. This story is about 25% complete.

“Lord Night”—this is my first middle grade fiction novel. In this world, all orphans are assigned a demon godparent. Lord Night is mighty demon, but one night he accidently stumbles on a car accident where only an infant girl survives. By the laws of magic, he now has to take on the responsibility for this child. So this is the story of Lady Gray, Lord Night’s ward, and how she helped other orphan children get their demons. You can listen to the first chapter here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fsxh7OR2Qo

So these are the projects in my pipeline. If you sign up for my newsletter, you will get regular updates on my progress. Just visit my blog: https://interfaces.com/blog/.



What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?


Read more. Review more books. As readers, we have an incredible power to shape the societal discourse. By shining light on ideas and characters, we can change the direction of the world. There are books that changed my life…again and again. It is incredible that a story can make such an impact. I feel grateful every time I find another amazing book. And as soon as I do, I tell everyone about it. Perhaps they will be just as taken and fall just as much in love with it as I did. It is an incredible power.

So please, if you enjoy a book, review it. The review doesn’t have to be an essay, just a few words and a rating is all it takes: “I liked. 5 stars!” Write reviews on Amazon, GoodReads, or any other place that allows you to share your views about a book with the world. Books that are reviewed do better…and get even more reviews! It’s an amazing emotional feedback loop between readers and writers. How else will the indie writers ever get a chance while competing with the big boys (with huge marketing budgets)?


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Olga Werby, Ed.D., has a Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley with a focus on designing online learning experiences. She has a Master's degree from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Math, Science, and Technology. She has been creating computer-based projects since 1981 with organizations such as NASA (where she worked on the Pioneer Venus project), Addison-Wesley, and the Princeton Review. Olga has a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Astrophysics from Columbia University. She became an accidental science fiction indie writer about a decade ago, with her first book, "Suddenly Paris," which was based on then fairly novel idea of virtual universes. Her next story, "The FATOFF Conspiracy," was a horror story about fat, government bureaucracy, and body image. She writes about characters that rarely get represented in science fiction stories -- homeless kids, refugees, handicapped, autistic individuals -- the social underdogs of our world. Her stories are based in real science, which is admittedly stretched to the very limit of possible. She has published almost a dozen fiction books to date and has won many awards for her writings. Her short fiction has been featured in several issues of "Alien Dimensions Magazine," "600 second saga," "Graveyard Girls," "Kyanite Press' Fables and Fairy Tales," "The Carmen Online Theater Group's Chronicles of Terror," with many more stories freely available on her blog, Interfaces.com.

Links:

http://www.interfaces.com/blog/
amazon.com/author/olgawerby
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4056895.Olga_Werby
https://www.facebook.com/OlgaWerby/
https://twitter.com/OlgaWerby
http://Pipsqueak.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDE3BNceupMYgvoaoAps2mg
https://www.linkedin.com/in/olgawerby/


Selected Book Links on Amazon:

“Harvest”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R8HGKWN/
“Becoming Animals”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078P6BB6K/
“Suddenly, Paris”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014OM5158/
“The FATOFF Conspiracy”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014S0W4WO/
“Twin Time”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZM578L/
“Lizard Girl & Ghost: The Chronicles of DaDA Immortals”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FBR7Q1T/
“Coding Peter”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LFP45WC/
“Pigeon”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014TZ1TQA/
“Fresh Seed”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FFDZNYB/
“Good Girl”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08CCGYGHV
“God of Small Affairs”: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y2FT9H2/


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GIVEAWAY:


Olga Werby & Christopher Werby will be awarding two signed books to a randomly drawn winner (US only) via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


2 comments

Get carried away with love!