For his new Time Echoes Trilogy (Scrub Jay Journeys), speculative fiction author Bryan Davis decided to try something new: In line with the binge-watching television craze where a whole season of a TV series will drop on a single day, Bryan decided to release all three books in his entire trilogy the same day. This chilling, hair–raising adventure is jam–packed with action in a fantastical world where nothing is as it seems, and even mirrors tell lies. And readers don’t have to wait months or even a year for the second and third installment! In this interview, Bryan talks about what inspired the trilogy, what research he did, and how he patterned the main character after someone close to him…
Where did the inspiration for the trilogy come from?
The Time Echoes Trilogy began as a seed provided by my second-born son, Josiah. He came to my home office one day with an idea: How would you react if you had a trunk in your bedroom that was closed, but in the mirror it was open? I thought it was a bizarre and cool concept, so I developed the story from that tiny seed.
Are any parts of the plot or characters pulled from real life?
Since this is a far-out-there tale, the plot doesn’t come close to anything in reality. Yet, the main character, Nathan Shepherd, is similar to my youngest son, Caleb, in a number of ways. He is a musician who is passionate about helping people and being a chivalrous gentleman. While gentle with his friends, he is ready to go to war against anyone who would harm or oppress the innocent.
Can you describe your plot in one sentence?
This fast-paced story starts with murder and leads teenagers Nathan and Kelly out of their once-familiar world as they struggle to find answers to the tragedy, using a mysterious mirror that displays unexpected images, a camera that takes pictures of things they can’t see, and a violin that unlocks cryptic voices, all taking the teens deeper into an alternate universe where nothing is as it seems.
What are the overarching themes in the Time Echoes series?
The Time Echoes trilogy consists of three books – Time Echoes, Interfinity, and Fatal Convergence. The overarching themes are sacrificial heroism and forgiveness, both of which are borne of love, even toward people who don’t share your perspectives.
Can you tell us about any research you did for these novels?
Most of the action takes place in Chicago, Illinois, and Newton, Iowa. I visited both cities and explored the sites where I wanted each scene to take place, including the “L” train in Chicago and the high school in Newton. I had a lot of fun interviewing the school students and discussing the story.
Who is your favorite character in the series?
Daryl Markey is hilarious. She is a wise-cracking, movie-quoting redhead who wavers between being scared out of her wits to craving more adventure. Readers will laugh at her antics while being inspired by her courage in the face of hair-raising terror.
What makes your protagonist an interesting character?
Nathan Shepherd is a sixteen-year-old violinist who gets thrown out of his normal life by the murder of his parents. Although he is experienced in matters of danger and narrow escapes, he is sheltered with regard to relationships. When he has to team up with a worldly female teenager to find the murderers, he has to confront his prejudices and learn how to deal with and show love toward people who have perspectives and experiences that are far different from his own.