Author: Ingrid Jonach
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: 3 September 2013 in the US and Canada, and 5 September 2013 in the UK, as well as worldwide as ebook and audio.
Click here to add on Goodreads
I absolutely love the title ‘When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love)’, why did you choose this as the title?
It was actually inspired by a quote from Christopher Columbus, who is famously (and many say incorrectly) credited with proving the world was not flat. The quote was: Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.
I think this quote really sums up the journeys of my characters — particularly Lillie. Many of their lives are completely changed by the end of the book and it is only natural that they would grieve for their old world.
I was worried the title would be changed for publication due to its length, but thankfully everyone has loved the title as much as I do.
If you could describe ‘When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love)’ in three words, what would they be?
Hmmm… I would say:
A YA book that incorporates Albert Einstein’s theories is an original concept – how did you come up with this idea?
I wanted the love story in When the World was Flat (and we were in love) to have meaning, which involved creating a strong motivation for the characters to be together (and to also be apart).
I have long been fascinated by the idea of reincarnation and other universes. These theories led me to look into String Theory, which led me to Albert Einstein. I have always been fascinated by Einstein, but for the first time I made an effort to understand his theories and his life with a view to featuring him throughout When the World was Flat (and we were in love.)
The book is definitely a romance novel at its core, so peppering the narrative with tidbits about Einstein gives the reader a few clues that the novel will soon become science fiction.
Without giving too much away, how did you come up with them the theories you created in WTWWF?
I will have to be careful with spoilers here, but I have definitely been fascinated by the unexplained since I was a child.
Like many others, I suffer from a condition called high-place phenomenon. For a long time I put it down to a fear of heights. I totally freaked out when I went up the Empire State Building. It is not because of vertigo though. It is because I am afraid I will jump.
According to a study by the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists, this is apparently a misinterpreted safety signal in our mind and in fact reaffirms a will to live (thank goodness!). Unfortunately, my imagination takes me to the next step where I can actually imagine myself jumping and falling and dying. The same thing happens with anything else that has an element of danger, e.g. running with scissors or a near miss while driving to work.
Before I knew about high-place phenomenon, I developed a theory that there were other realities where I did jump or fall or had a car accident. That was why I would get tightness in my chest or a cold shiver down my spine as if someone had walked over my grave.
I also came up with explanations for other phenomenon like ghosts and dreams when writing When the World was Flat (and we were in love). These came from taking the original theories garnered from String Theory and Einstein and just running with them throughout the narrative. They practically wrote themselves!
There is a variety of personality types in WTWWF, are there any characters, or character traits, that you relate to?
Most of the characters in When the World was Flat (and we were in love) have been inspired by my own life, including by myself or by my past and current friendships. Yes, even Sylv!
Personally, I am probably a combination of Lillie, Jo and Deb. I tend to talk to myself quite negatively and I have definitely passed that onto Lillie. I also have the get-on-with-it attitude that you see with Jo. And I am a bit eccentric like Deb. Like her, I have dabbled in many new age activities over the years, including burning manure at sunrise and sunset in a copper pot (a variant on a ritual performed by Hindus). That lasted all of two months.
Is there anything you like, dislike, admire or envy about any of the characters personalities?
I would love to have as much self-confidence as Sylv. She is unapologetically promiscuous, despite the disapproval of others. Her behavior is in stark contrast to her friends Lillie and Jo, but highlights that they are a band of misfits at Green Grove High.
Sylv is (in my opinion) the strongest character out of the three friends and is the only character who is largely unaffected by her journey over the course of When the World was Flat (and we were in love).
If we could get into Rose Hill – what books would we find on Tom’s bookshelf?
Definitely Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman, as well as a few other text books on Albert Einstein.
He would also have a few books by a couple of photographers called the Geldings, but they would be hidden behind other books and he would only flip through them when he was feeling nostalgic.
He was introduced to poetry by someone he cared about deeply, so you would also find the collections of William Wordsworth, W. H. Auden, T. S. Eliot, Rudyard Kipling and Edgar Allan Poe. If you were able to locate the poem A Dream within a Dream, you would find the following sentence underlined: Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?
We would also like to know a little more about your own reading tastes, what is your favourite YA book?
I would probably say Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen.
I greatly admire her writing style and her ability to create a captivating story out of every day teen lives. I think the key in my story (which features on the cover) is an unconscious reference to my love of that book, as the character is known to wear a key to her house around her neck.
Synopsis of When The World Was Flat (And We Were In Love):
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at www.ingridjonach.com
Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach. This giveaway is international.
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.
The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via www.ingridjonach.com
I would like to thank Ingrid for stopping by Book Nerd Reviews on her world-wide blog tour for When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love) and to Strange Chemistry for providing a copy of this wonderful book to be used in this giveaway.