Today I’m hosting Day 1 of a 5-day virtual tour for D. A. Squires and her new book, The Time Seekers.
This tour is sponsored by the National Writing for Children Center.
Meet D. A. Squires
I was an English major in college and always wanted to write creatively, but instead found myself writing business letters and working for actuaries in pension plan administration.
Like Alice down the rabbit hole, it never felt like the place I was meant to be.
However, I don’t think this is an unusual or uncommon experience for English majors—there are not many career paths offering competitive compensation for liberal arts degrees—so down the rabbit hole we go to earn a living.
When I began writing this story many years ago, the impetus was my personal desire to write creatively.
The primary inspiration came from a blue and gold macaw puppet who was in residence in my daughter’s bedroom from the time she was born.
He is still in her room to this day . . . and she will be going to graduate school in January. (His debut internet photo appears in a collage of photos under ‘About the Author’ on my website, dasquires.com. The accessories are his choice—he has very definite opinions, and he loves parties.)
Taco Comes to Life
The idea of the macaw puppet we named ‘Taco’ coming to life and speaking with human intelligence as a beloved pet and companion to a young girl became the core of the story.
My daughter, whose middle name is Alexandra, was also inspirational in developing the character of the heroine, Alexandra St. Germaine.
From the time she was very young, I remember thinking of the word ‘intrepid’—she had a certain self-confidence and self-reliance—qualities I wanted to imbue in my fictional character.
Before I began writing, I thought about what the main arc of the story would be, the location or setting, and how the story would end.
In order for the story to ‘work,’ I knew I would be utilizing the concept of time travel as a central plot device—it was not only essential to the plot, but the idea of time travel is intriguing just to think about and certainly fun to work with as a plot element.
I wrote the first dozen or so chapters fairly quickly as I recall and then set the story aside—for what I thought would be a short time.
Instead, more than fifteen years passed. I was working, the mother of two young children, and in this period we moved from Connecticut to Florida.
During this time, the family computer—where the story resided—was replaced a number of times.
With each upgrade, my son saved the ‘story about the macaw’ and eventually moved the document to my own computer.
In my next blog post, I will write about the writing of the book!
Follow all 5 days of this tour – get the links at www.writingforchildrencenter.com.