Miriam Randle works for LifeTime, a private law enforcement agency that uses short-term time travel to prevent crimes from happening. Though a seasoned time traveler, she is haunted by the death of her twin brother, whose murder remains unsolved years later.
When a routine assignment ends in a tragedy by Miriam’s hand, she finds herself mixed up in a conspiracy involving the highest levels of LifeTime. Forced to flee into the past with her partner Vax, Miriam races to unravel the truth before it’s too late.
But the past is filled with horrors Miriam would rather forget… including her brother’s killer.
Joshua David Bellin recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, MYRIAD.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
Myriad was born more than ten years ago as a tale of a fallen angel who harvests lost souls. That book never came to fruition, but the concept, and the name, stayed with me. When I set out to write a time-travel thriller, “Myriad” seemed the perfect word to capture the experience of living, reliving, and unliving the past, and it wasn’t a huge step from there to translate the tale’s supernatural origins into a more realistic drama of crime and punishment.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
I knew this was the book I wanted to devote myself to as soon as I wrote the narrator’s first words. Her voice felt genuine to me–angry, acerbic, but at the same time wounded and more than a little lost. As the character developed, she started to seem the way all my characters do when they’re going well: as if she was the one doing the writing, me simply cheering her on. And I did cheer her on; more than any other character I’ve written, I wanted her to succeed, even though the odds stacked against her were huge. I couldn’t stop until I found out what happens to her, and I hope readers will feel the same way.
In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?
I have high hopes for Myriad in a variety of ways. I hope readers will enjoy its shocking twists; that they’ll find the prose not only clever but at times beautiful; and that they’ll respond to the themes of memory, trauma, and loss. Most important, I hope my story will give fans of sci-fi thrillers a reminder of what made them fall in love with this hybrid genre in the first place, and that it will give readers who love one of the two genres but not necessarily the other a reason to read more.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
My current project is another genre hybrid, part science fiction, part horror, part psychological thriller. Like Myriad, it’s grounded in real-life issues and personal struggles, but it delves into the realm of the other-than-real on a regular basis. It’s my hope that, as with Myriad, readers will come back from those speculative excursions with a different way of looking at the everyday.
Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). A university professor by day, he has published numerous science fiction and adventure novels including the Survival Colony series, the Ecosystem Cycle, and the deep-space mystery Freefall. His latest novel is MYRIAD, a time-travel thriller set in his native Pittsburgh.
To learn more about the author and his work, please visit his website.