Sunday, October 02, 2016

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Timekeeper by Tara Sim (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Hi guys! #CelebratingDebutantes2016 is coming to an end. We still have a lot of giveaways ongoing so don't miss out! Today I'm interviewing Tara about her steampunk debut, Timekeeper. Stick around for the international giveaway!


Could you explain the concept behind the clock towers controlling the flow of time? I was looking for a new story idea when I got inspired by clock towers; specifically, my Big Ben keychain. I love magic and fantasy, so I wondered how I could make something like clock towers magical. Naturally, time magic came from that. I then had to figure out how that time magic would work, and realized that every city, town, and village would need its own clock tower in order to run. Each tower controls a certain amount of land, and if something ever happens to the tower, something would then happen to the time connected to it—and the land it controls. That’s why there are clock mechanics around to keep these towers, and therefore time, functional.

What was your process for the world building? It was a surprisingly long process, actually. When I wrote the first draft, I only had a kernel of the world. Then, over multiple drafts, I added more and more layers from various sources. I had my Victorian layers (the historical aspect) and the fantasy/steampunk layers (the clock towers/Mechanics Union), as well as mythology for the time magic origins. I figured out more and more with every draft, so it was like slowly unwrapping something and finding the finished product underneath.

What was your favorite scene from the book? My favorite scene is kind of a spoiler, oops. But I will say it’s the scene where Danny finds out something surprising regarding his new, strange apprentice.

The book seems to be studded with quotable quotes that are beautiful and poetic. Could you tell us about your writing style? Thank you! When I first wrote Timekeeper, I actually had quite a different style than what I have now—which makes sense, considering this was three years ago. So in the later drafts, I tried to incorporate more of my current style into the words. People usually describe books as being either “commercial” or “literary,” and while Timekeeper is definitely more commercial, I try to hit that middle spot between the two. Just enough pretty description to balance out the action.

Was the story steampunk right from the start? What are the differences between the original and final version of the story? The story was steampunk from the start, since I knew the clock towers and Victorian era created a certain aesthetic that matched steampunk quite well. I would argue, though, that it’s more fantasy than it is steampunk, but I did purposefully use that aesthetic in Timekeeper and built the world around it. The differences between the original and final version are...well, just about everything, to be honest! The only things that have really stayed the same are the original concept of the towers, the setting, and the ending. Everything else has been molded and tempered and shaped in new ways.

Thank you for sharing, Tara!

About the Author:

Tara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press, November 2016) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at

Find Tara: Twitter | Goodreads | Website | Pinterest | Facebook

Book Description:

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: November 1st 2016 by Sky Pony Press

Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.


What's up for grabs: Pre-order of Timekeeper
Scope: International!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full schedule and links to the posts!


  1. I actually just finished reading a steampunk novella today. It's my steampunk second read so far and I would love to discover more books from this genre!

  2. I've read steampunk, and psuedo-steampunk. Not the biggest genre for me, but this one sounds like something I would enjoy, mybe even love :)

  3. I have read some steampunk & enjoyed it but not much.

  4. I've read very few steampunk books (though I have some shelved) but I would absolutely love to read more of it- this one especially because time controlling clock towers are fascinating! ;)

  5. I wouldn't say it's my first steampunk since I read a lot of manga with the theme but it's definitely the first of its kind for me.