Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled psychometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.
The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?
The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack,
The Big Thrill caught up with Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller, to discuss her latest thriller, THE TIME COLLECTOR:
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
The biggest challenge for this book was finding the answer to the story’s ultimate question. How are these out-of-place artifacts jumping time and space and how are they connected to each other? I started writing the story not knowing the answer or where it would lead. I relied on the research I was doing along the way to guide me. In that sense the biggest opportunity with this book was letting the characters take me in wonderful directions I wasn’t planning.
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
With THE TIME COLLECTOR the character took shape first. I was in the middle of finishing the edits on my first novel, The Memory Painter, when Roan West’s character fell from the sky and hit me with a jolt. I vividly imagined him at an antique store taking off his gloves to touch something (which I later wrote as the opening). Roan is a psychometrist and can sense the history within an object. I was so excited by this character, I almost started working on it as my second book, but since I was already in the midst of The Fortune Teller I decided to wait and write it right after.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
The amazing world of crop circles was a surprise discovery I made while writing THE TIME COLLECTOR. I really hadn’t paid any attention to them since the nineties when they were all in the news and I had thought they’d kind of vanished. When I was researching sacred geometry, which ties into the plot, crop circles kept popping up in my research and became an integral part of the story. It’s a truly fascinating phenomenon that I enjoyed investigating.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video, and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. She is the USA Today bestselling author of The Fortune Teller and the RWA Prism Award-winning reincarnation thriller, The Memory Painter. She resides in Los Angeles with her family.
To learn more about Gwendolyn and her work, please visit her website.