A Time Apart
Rebecca N. Caudill
Genre: Paranormal Romance , Vampire
Date of Publication: February 8, 2015
Number of pages: 211 (estimated)
Word Count: 71,020
Cover Artist: Rebecca N. Caudill
A love story that traverses the confines of time, life, and death, uniting two passionate souls from different worlds and ages …
Olivia Donnelly has spent her whole life obsessing about how she will die. When tragedy strikes, reality comes crashing down and she’s forced to confront her fears head on. Hoping that a move across the globe will help her to cope with a devastating loss, she arrives in Ireland a broken down shell of a woman looking for a second chance at life.
Almost immediately Olivia is drawn to places she’s never been, and to a man that she’s never met. When she crosses paths with the mysterious and frustratingly private William Macauley, her life is thrown into turmoil unlike any she has ever known. The two couldn’t be more different – she’s human, he’s a vampire – but Olivia can’t get him out of her mind. Having acknowledged her overwhelming desire for William, now she must come to terms with how her feelings for him will greatly alter her future.
Olivia’s understanding of life – and death – take on new meaning as she examines the truth of the person she once was, the woman she was born to be, and how William is the key to her everlasting happiness.
Available at Amazon
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard Flight 716 with service from San Francisco to Dublin. We ask that you please fasten your seat belts and secure all baggage beneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartments. At this time, please turn all personal electronic devices to airplane mode so that they cannot transmit a signal. As you know, smoking is prohibited for the duration of our journey to Dublin, and that includes in the lavatories. Thank you for choosing Aer Lingus. Enjoy your flight.”
It was usually at this point in any flight where Olivia’s real panic kicked in. Shortly – terrifyingly – the plane would be airborne with nothing but land and sea below. While she knew statistically that airplanes were safer than cars, she’d never known anyone – let alone two anyones – who had been killed, their bodies never recovered, from a freak accident on the freeway. Not to say that it didn’t happen everyday; she just didn’t know anyone that it had happened to.
To distract her mind, she listened to the crew outline the plane’s safety procedures and then the Captain’s welcome, including the weather forecast for Dublin – rainy and brisk, how shocking. Sipping the champagne the flight attendant had offered her when she boarded, Olivia felt the combination of the Valium and the alcohol take over her body, but not quite enough that she gave up the death grip she had on the arm rests. As she felt the tell tale tingle of the Valium working its magic, she thought – not for the first time – that maybe someday a plane crash wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to her. Maybe someday she’d just never wake up from the self-induced drug and alcohol fueled nothingness she needed just to fly.
Who am I kidding?
Sadly, more and more frequently it wasn’t just plane rides that had her mixing booze and pills. Most days she wrapped herself in a hazy blur of alcohol like a security blanket, protecting her in a cocoon of mental fuzziness.
Olivia felt her pulse beginning to race and her breathing accelerate, and she made a conscious effort not to panic, not to look over at Judgy lest the woman start advocating for professional psychiatric help. It wouldn’t have been the first time some well-meaning motherly type had tried to get Olivia into therapy. She stole a quick glance in Judgy’s direction only to find that she was already engrossed in her novel, Olivia’s neurosis and emotional paralysis the least of her concerns.
Not too long after she had fought back the near panic attack, the whirring of the engines lulled Olivia into a stupor that soon resulted in a fitful sleep. For the next ten hours she didn’t exactly fall into a deep slumber, but she wasn’t fully awake either. Her mind seemed to float between a dreaming and wakeful state, and she felt strangely separated from her body. She’d see snippets of things in her head but wasn’t sure if the images were of events or instances that she was remembering, things she was imagining, or scenarios she was concocting to be used in her novel.
And then Olivia saw, quite clearly, the face of a man she had never met and yet she felt like she had known him all of her life – blue eyes, sharp and unnaturally piercing as if he could see deep into her soul. She saw a field of green that stretched far and wide, rolling hills dotted with sheep and lined with stacked stone walls. She saw herself as a child chasing a puppy larger than she was down by a river while laughing that high-pitched squeal that only a child can make as the dog raced back toward her covered in mud and dripping with water. And then that image changed as quickly as it came and she saw her mother as a young woman, happy and carefree, in love with a man who was not Gerald Donnelly.
And as she always did when in one of her fitful states of sleep, Olivia saw all the ways she could die – car accident; mugging gone horribly wrong after having put up a brave fight; her house on fire, the flames licking at her feet as she tried to run; her body weak and broken as it was ravished by cancer; or her heart slowly stopping as she lay in her bed, blind from old age and hunched with the rigors of time.
And in these dreams she was ready for it – any of it – almost welcoming the vast blackness that would follow whatever her death would be.
And then she saw that face again – the man she didn’t know but felt so deeply that she should. He whispered her name, longingly, “Olivia.”
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be? When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Most definitely, yes. I began writing short stories in elementary school, and when I won a few awards I decided that someday I’d grow up and be a famous author. Of course, I also wanted to be a judge, a horse jockey, a rock star, and a host of other things most young kids dream about. I studied Journalism in college and when I started, I had assumed that upon graduation I’d write professionally for a newspaper, or would work behind-the-scenes in a newsroom. I ended up instead writing radio commercials for a Top 25 market, and while it wasn’t what I had dreamed of, I told myself that I could still call myself a Writer. Eventually, I made my way to technology PR, which requires a ton of writing – albeit not very creative, and your name is never attached to it. I found it very difficult to balance my day job with my desires to pursue a career as a fiction writer, so with the support of my husband I quit my job at the end of 2014 to pursue creative writing full time. The day I changed my LinkedIn profile was when it hit me that I was really, finally, absolutely on the road to becoming A Writer.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
I began writing A Time Apart in 2008, and it was published in 2015. I had considered shopping it to an agent with the hope of getting a major publisher to put it out, but after working on it for so long, I became impatient for it to see the light of day and so I went the self-publishing route, and I have plans to continue publishing follow-up books in the series myself.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
A Time Apart is the story of two souls who defy the confines of time, life, or death to be together.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m in the process of editing and revising Blood of My Blood: Book Two of the Macauley Series; you can catch a sneak peek of it at the end of A Time Apart. It picks up exactly where Book One leaves off, but in it we learn more about William’s life after he became a vampire, and we see how Olivia is settling into her new, preternatural life.
I’m also working on a regency romance that has been simmering at the back of my mind since I’ve been obsessed with the period for many years now. I don’t want to give too much away about it because it’s still in the early stages, but there’s a paranormal angle there as well and I’m really excited to mix the genres as they’re my two favorites.
What genre would you place your books into?
Paranormal Romance, with erotic leanings
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I grew up sneaking my mom’s romance novels, and today I’m a voracious reader of the genre, so it was pretty much a foregone conclusion when I began writing creatively as an adult that I would write a love story. I’ve been obsessed with vampires for as long as I can remember, so I knew that the first book I would write would have a male vampire hero. And of course, I love a steamy scene as much as the next gal, so I definitely wanted to have elements of eroticism included as well. And I’m drawn to plucky heroines who march to the beat of their own drums, so to speak, so paranormal romance is a good genre for a female character who isn’t shy or retiring.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
While I more closely identify with Olivia, I am so in love with William! If I were going to fall for a vampire, he’d certainly be the one! While I love my husband beyond reason, when I drop into the world of fantasy, I gravitate toward men who are confident but not over-bearing, who are complex, but not afraid to share their emotions. William, for all of his confidence and argument to the contrary, is very conflicted about who and what he is and I find that dichotomy intriguing. And of course he’s sexy and commanding – men want to be him, and women want to be with him – you can’t have a book in the genre without that trope.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I’m slowly getting into a routine that is comfortable for me. I wake up, spend time on social media, and then I get to the creative stuff. I stop to clean my house, go to the gym, and do other chores. When my husband comes home, I spend time with him and when he’s working or has gone to sleep I start writing again. I’m pretty much a night owl – I’ve had insomnia my whole life – so working late into the night is the best option for me. I also find that I am more creative when the world outside is silent and there are no distractions (I live in the city and it’s really quite loud – sirens, cars, people, planes, etc.) And because I’m easily distracted, I absolutely cannot listen to music that I know the lyrics to. I’ve been listening to a number of Spotify playlists that feature ambient music, which has been good for me. Last month I discovered Hozier, and I was listening to that on repeat but then I learned all the words and so he’s been relegated to my driving playlist.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes. I have to know what people think. As persnickety as I can be, I’m also a people pleaser, and no one writes a book hoping that people don’t like their words. Thankfully, the reviews I’ve received on both Goodreads and Amazon have been positive, even from people who don’t normally gravitate toward the genre, so I haven’t been too upset yet.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I had the title figured out as soon as I settled on a main narrative arc. I toyed with changing the title, but when I decided to break the book into a series, I used the different title for Book Two as it fit the story better.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books? Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
Olivia was always Olivia, but I did change her last name to honor my Irish grandmother. I never even considered that she had any other name. When I pictured her in my head, she was just Olivia. Since then of course Scandal has come out, and while Olivia Pope is a very strong female in her own right, I hope people don’t think that I named my Olivia after her though! J In early drafts, William was Liam (a shortened version of his name), and I think I changed his last name about three years ago but I can’t remember what it had been before.
The only made up place in my book is Macauley Castle, and it’s an amalgamation of several different castles I’ve seen online or visited in person over the years, including Ashford Castle and Lismore Castle in Ireland. There is currently a 14th century tower house for sale in the midlands that I would love to buy and live in, but alas it’s not meant to be. Still, I can look at it and pretend it is where Olivia and William now reside.
The bar at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin exists, as does the fireplace in it that William warms his hands in front of when he and Olivia first meet. I wrote that scene based on images I saw on the hotel’s website and some travel blogs. When we visited Dublin in 2009, we splurged and stayed at the hotel since I was already well on my way to writing the scenes that follow that pivotal moment.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I’ve always written females that are outspoken and definitely do not shy away from controversy. They say that authors write what they know, and I’ve never been the silent type. Early report cards indicated that I needed to be quieter in class. J Today I tend to write my female characters the way I would hope to be if I found myself in the same scenarios, and I hope that my readers can see themselves in both the character’s struggles and successes. And of course, I always want my heroes to be dark and brooding, mysterious and complex – don’t we all! – so that’s a characterization I stick with in various forms. While the men tend to look the same, I’m working on a different genre and I tried to go with a different look for my heroine but I missed her long red hair, so I’m back to that with her. It’s a look I love.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is ...")
In A Time Apart, there is a scene where William feeds Olivia a pretty lavish meal, much to her amusement. In the course of dinner, they have a conversation about religion, or lack thereof. I don’t know that I would call what is revealed in that conversation a moral, nor is it certainly hidden, but it’s definitely a point I wanted to make about my characters.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
For ease of purchase and reading, I am an e-book convert. I do love a hardback though for my bookshelves, the heavier and more gorgeous the cover the better.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once? Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
Depending on my mood, I have a few favorites, which I have read multiple times.
Interview with a Vampire is what set me on my love of the paranormal. I have yet to read an author that can invoke the feel of New Orleans, a city I adore, quite the way that Anne Rice did in that novel.
Another favorite, albeit an unoriginal one right now, is Outlander. I’m a sucker for a highlander with a heart of gold and Jamie Fraser is the perfect embodiment of what I like to see in that sort of male character. I was very worried about the TV version of the show, but it has surpassed my expectations. I daresay that I like Claire even better now than I did in the pages of Gabaldon’s version. Bravo to Ron D. Moore and Caitriona Balfe for elevating such a beloved character. And Sam Heughan, despite my earliest skepticism, is absolute perfection in the role.
Another favorite of mine is A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. When the third book in the series came out last year I re-read the first two, devouring them quicker than I did the first time I read them. I love the varying paranormal aspects and the history that Harkness invokes in her tale. I recently read that the All Souls Trilogy is going to be developed into a TV series by BBC so I am waited with baited breath.
Your favorite singer/group is?
Kelly Clarkson is my queen, followed closely by Miranda Lambert.
Rebecca Caudill read her first novel when she was just four years old and has been hooked on books ever since. When she wasn't writing her own stories, she was sneaking copies of her mom's paperbacks to read late into the night.
Fast forward several years later and Rebecca graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in English Lit, which gave her new insight into the written word. Following college, Rebecca embarked on a career in tech PR in the famed Silicon Valley, which eventually led to her leading Global R&D communications for a Fortune 500 company that everyone knows by name. Finally, after more than a decade of writing words ascribed to other people, in December 2014 she quit her job to pursue writing full time.
Today Rebecca lives with her husband and beautiful-but-neurotic cat in Oakland, California. When not creating fictional worlds inhabited by strong women, rakes, rogues, and dashing heroes, she is planning her next vacation, trying out new recipes, or drinking Islay scotch.
Blog – http://www.rebeccancaudill.com
Twitter - @rebecca_caudill
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/rebeccancaudill
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13488550.Rebecca_N_Caudill
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/rebeccancaudill/