Interview & Giveaway: The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack

Happy Friday-eve! Today on the blog I am very excited to be hosting an interview with Gwendolyn Womack, author of The Time Collector! I absolutely loved The Time Collector and you can read my review here.

I hope you enjoy learning more about Gwen and her books. Be sure to enter our giveaway for a copy of the book!



Hello Gwen and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about The Time Collector!

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

Hi Amy, thanks so much for having me! I live in LA with my husband, son, and our dog, Jolly. She runs the household. The Time Collector is my third novel. I write romantic thrillers that delve into metaphysical themes. My first book, The Memory Painter explores reincarnation and travels back to ancient Egypt and the Great Pyramid, The Fortune Teller revolves around the world’s first tarot cards, and The Time Collector explores psychometry and the mystery of out-of-place artifacts. My books are very cross-genre with a mix of romance, mystery, history and paranormal fantasy. All three books travel time, but each in different ways.

What inspired you to write The Time Collector?

The inspiration for The Time Collector happened when I was finishing up revisions on The Memory Painter in 2014. I was working on a scene in The Memory Painter that is one of my favorites where Bryan (the memory painter) is sitting in his car holding an antique clock that his mother found at the flea market. What his mother didn’t know is that the clock had belonged to him in a previous lifetime. And Bryan sits there holding it, filled with so much longing and melancholy because he knows this clock intimately and yet it is no longer his. There was something very elusive and poignant about that moment that stayed with me. And I thought to myself what if I had a character who could touch antiques and know all the memories that are stored within them and it has nothing to do with reincarnation or it being his past life? It is his special ability, this power to peer into the past within the objects. Suddenly in a flash I saw Roan in an antique store taking off his gloves to touch something. I was so excited with this new character that had just fallen into my mind that I almost made The Time Collector my second book instead of my third. But I was already researching The Fortune Teller pretty extensively and had the story mapped out, so I thought to myself I would make The Time Collector my third book and it would give me time to slowly stockpile all the research I needed.

What research did you undertake when writing The Time Collector?

That actually flows perfectly into this next question. I did so much research! I have a bibliography page on my website with all of it listed... books, DVDs, YouTube videos, and articles. I break the list into sections for research on time, out-of-place artifacts (“ooparts”), psychometry, and the memories of the lifetimes within the objects. I also researched rock climbing and bouldering, which is Roan’s physical outlet. I did a lot of reading on mudras, which is like yoga for the hands—Roan does that too to help him control his ability. There was a lot of material but I really enjoyed investigating all the different aspects of the story. I also took a trip out to New Orleans, where Roan is from, to do location scouting for the book. There’s a blog post on my website where I talk about the trip and share pictures.

What was your favorite scene to write?

That’s a hard question, but if I had to pick one I’d say when Roan shows Melicent his “time room,” which is a gallery of all of the clocks and timekeeping devices he has been collecting all of his life. He has set up a beautiful gallery with the most ancient of clocks to the newest, tiniest atomic clock. That scene was fun to write and felt like an anchor for the story.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

The most difficult scene to write would have definitely been the historical passage for the Korean War. It was very hard. I did a lot of research, reading first-hand accounts that were heart wrenching.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I knew I wanted to be a writer in college. Before that I had always been writing and I’d also dreamed of writing a book as a kid, but I didn’t consider it as something to do as a career until much later. I was always the young girl sitting in a corner with her journal and pen writing poetry and diaries... When I was ten, I started collecting quotes that I thought were beautiful and became obsessed with words. When I was in college I wrote a theater play and my best friend ended up doing a stage reading for it and it was just magic seeing actors bring my dialogue to life. I was completely hooked, changed my major from environmental science to theater, and I started writing all the time. Later on, after I finished my graduate degree in directing theater and film, I decided that I was going to put my all focus into writing. I started writing feature screenplays and finally attempted writing a novel in 2009. That was The Memory Painter and suddenly everything fell into place.

What does your daily writing routine look like?

I don’t have a daily writing routine. It really depends on what stage of the story I am on. If I’m researching, then I’ll only be reading for stretches of time and brainstorming story ideas. If I’m trying to break the story and come up with the first draft I really need to hermit. I’ll try and carve out four hours a day to write at my desk. And if it’s revising, I usually like to print out pages to do edits on paper and I can take those everywhere with me. And I love to write late at night 10-midnight after the house has wound down. So I’m really all over the place with my schedule.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

My greatest challenge is it takes me many, many drafts to get something into decent shape. I have to rewrite and rewrite to get the words to start coming together. I really wish I could work faster.

Who are your writing inspirations?

Writing inspirations would be Diana Gabaldon, Alice Hoffman, Deborah Harkness, Madeline Miller, and J.K. Rowling. [Insert heart emojis.]

What was the first historical novel you read?

The first historical novel I read was by Victoria Holt. I was really young around 10. My mom had bought an antique bookshelf that had come with the entire Victoria Holt collection as a display. I really don’t know how that happened. Perhaps it was fate! Because my mom decided to put the shelf in my room to hold my doll collection and kept all the books displayed on the top two shelves. So of course I started to read them. I fell in love with all of her books and read them all more than once.

What is the last historical novel you read?

The last historical novel is the one I’m still currently reading, The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, a beautiful and fascinating read. I also highly recommend The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau too. I devoured her book over a weekend.

What are three things people may not know about you?

Three things people might not know about me is I love to cook Japanese food, I sing karaoke (only in private!), and I have a very hard time remembering names. There is a name for having that affliction but I can’t remember that either. ;)

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

When I am not writing, I’m reading. I also break to watch Project Runway or Top Chef, or binge watch a show. My husband and I really enjoy standup comedy and we try to keep up with everything on Netflix or cable. Painting is my hobby, and I collect kaleidoscopes and enjoy taking pictures of them. But my favorite thing is hanging out with my son before he grows up on me.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I’m working on two different stories that I’m so excited about but not ready to talk about just yet, but hopefully soon. Thanks so much for the visit!

Thank you for this great interview, Gwen! 


The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack

Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Picador USA
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages

Genre: Historical/Romantic Suspense


Travel through time with the touch of a hand.

Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled pyschometrist, 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 bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo 

Praise for The Time Collector

"A wonderfully intriguing tale, filled with the mystery of objects that tell a story. The Time Collector's fast pace and fascinating premise will delight history and romance lovers."―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride

"A compelling exploration of time, history, and our primal need to connect with the past, The Time Collector is also a rollicking adventure through ancient mysteries and the moving story of two stunningly drawn characters, chasing the answer to the question of what it means to be human."―Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale and The Lost Book of the Grail

"Gwendolyn Womack weaves a suspenseful tale that tackles the question of 'time'―how it’s measured, its impact on nature and human consciousness―and I could hardly put it down! The Time Collector is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, mysticism, and intrigue, sprinkled with a dash of romance―my very favorite things. What a book!”―Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Meet Me in Monaco

"The Time Collector is a fascinating tale of psychometrists, people who touch an object and sense the stories embedded within them. Pick up this book and you too will be transported across the globe and the centuries into exhilarating worlds filled with history and mystery, magic and mysticism, romance and danger. Its pages make the past come alive. Once you hold this object in your hands, you won’t be able to put it down."―Amy Weiss, author of Crescendo

About the Author

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.

For more information please visit Gwendolyn Womack's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Wednesday, April 17
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads

Thursday, April 18
Feature at What Is That Book About
Excerpt at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots

Friday, April 19
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, April 22
Review at My Reading Chronicles
Review at History from a Woman’s Perspective

Tuesday, April 23
Feature at Cover To Cover Cafe
Excerpt at To Read, Or Not to Read

Wednesday, April 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Thursday, April 25
Interview at Passages to the Past

Friday, April 26
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Tuesday, April 30
Excerpt at Kimber Li

Wednesday, May 1
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Thursday, May 2
Review & Excerpt at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 3
Review at Tar Heel Reader

Saturday, May 4
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Sunday, May 5
Review at Carole's Ramblings

Monday, May 6
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, May 8
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, May 9
Review at Henry & Benny's Book Nook

Friday, May 10
Review at Coffee and Ink

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a signed copy of The Time Collector! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Time Collector


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