Writing Time Slippage: A Q & A with Author Candace Osmond

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I hold a very special place in my heart for time travel romances. I remember reading my first romance with time travel in it and being so torn and feeling so heartbroken, because I felt there was no way possible this modern day woman would be able to travel back yet again to the past, where the man she has grown to love lived. Time travel romances provide an escape for me that I don’t find in a lot of stories and I am strangely obsessed with the idea of time being what’s keeping you from the person you’re meant to be with.

For a while, it felt as though if I wanted to continue to reading time travel romances, I’d have to continue seeking older titles. I was having a hard time finding titles written more recently. Then one day, Candace Osmond popped up during one of my perusing sessions. I downloaded her book, The Devil’s Heart, devoured it, and haven’t really stopped talking about it since. Recently, I finished Reigning Magicks which is book one in a new series Candace Osmond is co-authoring with author JJ King and decided it was time I pick her brain a bit!

Bree: Hello Candace, and thank you for agreeing to chat with me! I became an immediate fan of yours after reading your book, The Devil’s Heart a time travel, fantasy romance which had me hooked from the first page. I must know, how did you become a romance reader, and do you remember any of the first romance titles you read and loved?

Candace: Thanks so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed the first book in my Dark Tides series. I grew up reading Goosebumps and, later, Thrillers. My favorite author is Gillian Flynn so that probably says enough about my personality, but I first fell in love with the Romance genre when I picked up a Sylvia Day book. The first in her Crossfire series. I just loved how she built the characters upon deep backstories, gave them flaws, and then worked the romance around that. Rather than the other way around. 

Bree: When did you find yourself inspired to write a story of your own?

Candace: Pretty young, actually. I know most authors or creatives say that they started in the womb, but it’s true! Well, maybe not THAT early, but you know what I mean LOL. I was an early advanced reader and that quickly translated to a love for storytelling. I began writing short stories around ten years old, and then my first screenplay at thirteen. (it was dreadful, but you have to start somewhere!)

Bree: I’d love to know whatever details you don’t mind sharing about your process of writing. Your stories feel very detailed and are very atmospheric. Do you do a lot of research for your stories, and what is your favorite writing space?

Candace: Sure! I love to talk about my process. It’s a smidge unconventional. But it works. I usually start with a concept. For Dark Tides, the very thing that sparked the idea was an old ship-in-a-bottle I saw at a thrift store. I immediately thought, “What if it were enchanted? What if that ship is a real one trapped there by a spell?”. From there, it just spiraled. I spent 8 months researching the pirate history of my home province, Newfoundland, and Dark Tides was born!

I’m also a screenwriter, so I tend to write very plot driven. Because of that, I try my best to create scenes that touch as many senses as possible, without overdoing it. I’m glad it comes through to readers as atmospheric! 

Bree: I am throwing this declaration out into the world now: I want more time travel romances. As a writer of time slippage novels, what typically comes to you first? The time period, the plot, or the characters?

Candace: Almost always the characters. Right after the concept seed, of course. I usually start with my main character; in this case it was Dianna. I put a lot of myself in her, but also mixed in all my favorite parts of the many strong, amazing women in my life. 

Then I had to figure out what time period to use. But that came easy. The pirate history of Newfoundland was at its peak in the 1600s, but I wanted to write during a time when piracy was on its way out because it helped thicken the plot. So the early 1700s is where I landed! 

Bree: In Dark Tides, our heroine Dianna time travels back in time, but in Reigning Magicks, you and Author JJ King transport our heroine Ashlynn into the future which we don’t see typically. Usually with time travel stories, the main character is going backwards in time. What did you find most interesting writing a heroine thrust into present day from hundreds of years ago? 

Candace: Reigning Magicks (book one in A Witch in Time Series) was super fun to write! Mostly because it was with my best friend and AMAZING author JJ King. We toyed with the idea of writing the story in the past, but then decided the future (or present day) would be a unique twist! And I’m so glad we did. Writing Ashlynn, a Celtic witch princess from the 1700s, in modern day was super fun, especially when it came to her initial reactions and adjustment to the foreign world. But what I loved the most was how we tied the past with the future in ways like the ancient Seer and how the antagonist resembles Ashlynn’s beloved little sister. 

Bree: What is the most random place an idea for a story came to you?

Candace: On a road trip with JJ King! A few years ago, I took a detour and wrote a Thriller novel. It’s my favorite genre to read so it was only inevitable. It’s called Killer Me and is a story of a woman who finds out her estranged father is a serial killer. I wrote it. Published it. Then left it alone while I returned to my genre (Fantasy Romance). But during a random road trip, JJ King and I came up with the idea to extend it into a full series, and literally had the plots worked out for the next two books before we reached our destination. 

Bree: Let’s do a bit of time slippage here: knowing what you know now, what writing advice would you give to yourself if you could go back to when you were writing your first book?

Candace: Oh, that’s a toughie! I would probably go back ten years ago and tell myself to stop comparing my writing to others. I don’t do it anymore, but it would have been nice to save myself the anxiety for those first few years. And its advice I constantly give to aspiring writers. Just do YOU. Keep your eyes on your paper. Yes, draw inspiration from others, but don’t ever tell yourself your writing isn’t good enough/as good as someone else’s. 

Bree: What has been a favorite read of yours so far this year, that you want more people to read?

Candace: Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller!!

Bree: What is a misconception about romance you want to lay to rest?

Candace: It’s not all lovey dovey. (Yes, there are sub-genres for that which is awesome!). But most Romance books try to portray the realness of true Romance. The ups and downs. The good and the bad. Also, Romance is a thread in almost EVERY genre. It’s not going anywhere.

Bree: Lastly, what are you currently reading and what is one self-care recommendation?

Candace: I’m currently reading (and nearly finished with) Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick and loving it! In some alternate reality, I’m sure we’re best friends. And one self-care recommendation? I have a Rule of One. Once a day, find a moment for yourself. That could be as small as 5 minutes in the bathroom to meditate (I have kids, the bathroom is my fortress of solitude). Once a week, do something JUST for you. Even something as small as treating yourself to an ice cream. Once a month, go out to a movie. Once a year, go on a trip; even if it’s a day trip!

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