I’m taking part in the blog tour for “In Two Minds” by K.T. Findlay, thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources.
Today, I have an interesting Q&A from the author to share with you.
I thank the author for taking the time to answer my questions.
Tell us a bit about the time travel theme of your story.
“In Two minds” explores what might happen if someone’s journey to the afterlife went wrong, and they wound up in someone else’s body, with that person still in it, hence the title — In Two Minds. In this case, museum curator Thomas finds himself sharing the body of Wulfstan, a Dark Ages prince.
In most time travel stories, the traveller uses either a machine or a portal, which of course allows them the possibility of returning back to their own time. For Thomas that’s just not going to happen. He and Wulfstan are stuck good and proper and so have to make the best of it while the body randomly swaps which of them is in charge from moment to moment.
Was there any special research required to write the story?
I wanted the reader to be in as realistic a world as possible, so there’s a whole load of research right there, investigating things like clothes, food, cooking, social structures, how they fought, farmed, married and so on.
Plus of course, “In Two Minds” is set in a real time in history, with real people and real events. It’s true that we don’t know a lot of detail about that, but we do know some and that provided the historical structure into which the story plays out.
Then there’s the technology side of things. The only thing Thomas brings to the party is his mind and all the things he knows that the others do not. Everything in the book is as realistic and as practical as possible, so it actually would work if you tried it yourself. You might well struggle to do it, but the information I’ve given in the book is correct.
All of that did, as you can imagine, take an awful lot of time to research…
How did the idea for the story come about?
The original inspiration came from watching James Burke’s Connections TV series while I was recovering from a very serious illness. I was fascinated by the fact that a single idea can change the world, but only if the time is right for it to flourish, and only if it finds itself in the right hands to make it work. But that doesn’t just mean that society’s technical capabilities have to be in place to make that jump, society itself has to be persuaded to actually do it.
Now that’s of interest to me, but it would have had a fairly small audience if that’s all there was to it.
It was the second idea of two souls from different times trapped together in the same body that really kickstarted In Two Minds, because then you’ve got a truly fascinating story, with a massive culture clash, a huge age gap, the swirls of politics in a violent royal court and lots more besides. Thomas’s new ideas then become key structural elements within the book that allow him to do the things he does, but they’re underpinnings and not the central part of the story.
The third key idea came very quickly when the research revealed that British Anglo Saxon women, at that particular time, had an awful lot more rights and influence than we tend to think they did. And that opened up the whole idea of Wulfstan’s female warriors as a realistic possibility and not just an outlandish fantasy.
With those three ideas all swirling together, sparking off each other, In Two Minds was off and running, dancing and twisting inside my head.
Did you find any scenes/chapters challenging to write?
There are times when the reader has to be given key bits of information, either as background, or as an explanation of how something works. If you leave those bits out, you’re leaving holes in the reader’s knowledge that can badly catch you out later on, but if you include them, you have to do those bits in a way that the reader will enjoy and that doesn’t slow the book down. That’s a lot more difficult to write than anything dramatic.
What is your writing process like?
Quite different now to what it was when I first started.
It starts with the idea, a rough plot and a couple of key characters. I start to flesh that out, exploring different ideas and getting to know the characters. Initially those characters are lightly drawn, almost caricatures, but quite rapidly they flesh themselves out into very real people within my mind, and then everything flows from there. At that point I know what each of them would and would not do and it becomes almost a collaborative effort between us.
My physical writing process has changed dramatically since I started, but that’s a whole other story.
How difficult is it to balance history and fiction when writing a book like this?
Very hard if you want things to be realistic and true to the period, AND you want the book to be a fast flowing and interesting read. It’s not just a question of balance either, it’s very much the way you get things across that matters.
About the Book
In Two Minds by K.T. Findlay
Genre: Fantasy/Historical Fiction – Medieval
Publication Date: November 1, 2019
Estimated Page Count: 242
Standalone First Book in the Prince Wulfstan Series
Hurled twelve hundred years into the past, into someone else’s body, things could hardly be worse. And then the body’s owner wanted it back…
Museum curator Thomas and ten year old Anglo Saxon Wulfstan have to cope with a fifty year age gap, a huge culture clash and never knowing from one moment to the next who’s going to be in control.
As they’re trying to come to terms with it all, they inadvertently antagonise Wulfstan’s father, King Offa of Mercia. The King is already frustrated with his son’s “late” development and issues the boy a challenge. Wulfstan is given just a year to find and train ten slaves who can beat the King’s own champions in a fight to the death, but there’s a twist.
When his son accepts the challenge, Offa turns the screws to make him back down and limits him to females only. In the brute strength world of Anglo Saxon battle they surely haven’t a chance, but Thomas convinces Wulfstan that if they can find the right people, a few new ideas and enough practice might just give those women the tools to become the heroes Wulfstan so desperately needs.
In Two Minds reviews — https://ktfindlay.com/in-two-minds-reviews/
Amazon.in — https://amzn.to/2yItY6J
About the Author
K.T. Findlay lives on a small farm where he dovetails his writing with fighting the blackberry and convincing the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a vital part of its job description.
Webpage : http://www.ktfindlay.com