Her future is a thousand years in the past.

“Instantly engaging, constantly suspenseful, ultimately poignant and satisfying. Loved it!” — Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series

Into the Dim cover

When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers.

Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission
. . . or the key to Hope's undoing.

Available March 2016.

• • • Q & A with Janet B. Taylor • • •

1. Time travel. Romance. Adventure. This book has it all! What inspired you to write this particular story as a YA debut?

First of all, I’m a major history nerd, particularly English history. (Yep. I’m one of those annoying Americans who geeks out hard on the whole royalty thing.) I also love, LOVE to travel. So when I got ready to write my first book, I decided I wanted to combine my two loves, and take my readers along on a vacation adventure they couldn’t get from any travel agency.

The beach? Pfft, done to death.

The mountains? Two words. Broken. Bones.

Nope. I decided that since it’s my book, I’d simply write about my own lifelong dream . . . time travel.

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2. How would you describe Hope Walton, the heroine of this book? What makes her a particularly unique and engaging character in the YA genre?

Oh, man. Hope is just a complete mess. She’s the polar opposite of all those other badass heroines out there. The only way Hope could ever beat someone up is if she tripped over her own skirts and happened to knock them down. Our girl is a big old bundle of phobias and insecurities. But what she does have is an eidetic (or photographic) memory and a fierce curiosity. Hope’s brain is her only superpower.

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3. Talk a bit about Hope’s situation at the start of the novel, and the different relationship she has with both of her parents.

Hope’s mom had ruled over their family with an iron glove. After her “death,” Hope and her father found their own relationship unraveling without Hope’s mom to keep the threads together. As Hope says: “Since the day my mom—the sun around which we both revolved—went nova, Dad and I had existed in a kind of wobbly orbit. Two orphaned planets. Polite, unfailingly cordial, but never quite touching.” By the time we join Hope and her dad, however, Hope is the only one who hasn’t moved on.

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4. Hope is in for a surprise when she learns the true story about her mother’s secret life! How does this revelation set the stage for Hope’s journey to the past?

Hope never felt as if she quite met up to her mom’s expectations. When she learns that her mom thought she was too weak to be trusted with the truth, it exacerbates her feelings of inadequacy. It doesn’t take long, however, before she realizes her love for her mother is more powerful than any doubt.

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5. Talk a bit about your research for this novel, and how you went about dipping into the age for Eleanor of Aquitaine in the midst of writing a modern YA story.

When I was in middle school, my mom and I watched the movie The Lion in Winter, with Katharine Hepburn. Well, that was it. I was obsessed. What a woman. Eleanor was queen of both France and England. She gave birth to ten living children, and lived to be eighty-two, in an age when most people died in their thirties. She even ruled over England while Henry II was away, an unusual occurrence in those days.

I bought nearly every book I could find about Henry, Eleanor, and the medieval period. But for me, the most intense research came about when I spent a few days at Fontevraud Abbey in the South of France. Eleanor was one of the abbey’s main benefactors. She spent her final years in semi-seclusion there, after the 1199 death of her beloved son, Richard the Lionheart. Eleanor, Henry, and Richard are all entombed there. And because we stayed on the grounds, we had special, private access. I spent hours every night just communing with Eleanor and her guys.

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6. Time travel is having quite a moment in the world of Outlander. What do you think is particularly appealing for readers about the concept of traveling into another time period?

Straight-up fantasy is phenomenal entertainment. But, well . . . you know it can’t ever really happen. It’s one hundred percent make-believe.

Time travel, however, is not completely out of the realm of possibility. Noted scientists such as Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Micho Kaku all believe there is some relevance to the theory.

When we were kids, all of us pretended to be princesses or knights. We played cowboys or wizards or we ruled as Egyptian pharaohs. There is something so magical about the past. Those wizards and cowboys and knights . . . they were real, breathing human beings once.

Though I adore straight historical fiction, I think the biggest appeal of time travel is that it allows you to experience the past not as a native of that time, but through your own, modern sensibilities.


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7. There is more in store for Hope after this adventure. Without spoiling anything, what can readers look forward to next?

Oh boy . . . Poor Hope and the gang. Their time travel adventures are far from over. I won’t tell you when or where they’re going next . . . I’ll only say this: It’s not England. It’s “golden.” And it will be quite—ahem—shocking.

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8. If you were to travel back in time, to what place and time would you go, and why?

Oh, that’s easy. I just wrote an entire book about it. In Into the Dim, Hope lives out my very own fantasy when she travels to medieval London and meets up with my hero, Eleanor of Aquitaine herself.

• • • Bonus • • •