Erica Lucke Dean answers some pressing questions about her upcoming release Shattered Souls — the explosive finale to her Flames of Time trilogy — which comes out on May 18.
What should readers expect from Shattered Souls?
Readers should expect the unexpected in Shattered Souls. I’ve tried really hard to take the story up a notch and shatter all expectations.
There’s a big shift from book one to book two in terms of love interests. When you started the series did you intend for it to be a “ship war” or for readers to pick teams? Do you have a team?
It’s so crazy, so when I started book 1, I was 100% on team Maddox. The plan was to have the next guy come in and shake things up a little, but he was always going to be the antagonist. Then I started writing him… and oooh boy. I totally fell for him. And going into book 2, I couldn’t decide who I liked better. Who I wanted her with. So I let them guide me. You can’t please everyone, I know that, but I think by the end, she ends up with the right guy. 😉
How did you pick what time periods your characters travel to?
I had so much fun picking the time traveling destinations. First of all, I wanted to start far enough back that we got an idea how long they’d been around. And all they would have seen. THEN, I was like, okay… where do I want to go? So the 20s for sure. And the 40s. A Bowie concert is at the top of my list, and who could resist the 70s? So yeah, it was just a blast coming up with times I’d like to visit and sending them there. Totally crazy coincidence, I’d never watched Outlander, which I don’t even think was on TV yet when I started book 1, nor had I read the books, so this was just places I thought were cool.
There are very strict rules in Flames of Time, how did you develop them and how do you stick them across three books?
Rules. So many rules. My son has a friend who’s a sci fi nut and an engineer, so while I was writing the book, he would quiz me about how things would work. What happens if they run into themselves in the past, what happens if they change something, why can’t they just go back and fix stuff before they were born. Stuff like that. His grilling (cuz that’s exactly what it was) helped me formulate the rules. And then I created a list of rules so I wouldn’t forget. I added him to my acknowledgments because without him, I would have totally messed up somewhere, I’m sure of it.
What’s one of the biggest challenges for you from writing the first book to finishing the third?
The biggest challenge was when I decided to shatter the timeline and go back to book 1. It sounded like such a brilliant plan on paper, but it was soooo hard to attack the same things from a different angle. There’s only so many times you can revisit a moment and have the character react to things they know are about to happen without it getting boring. I had to take a different approach, and let her mess things up as she went. Basically, I thought about what I’d do if I could go back… I’d totally make little changes that I didn’t think would cause problems, but everything has a ripple effect. Everything you do helps shape things to come. So it wasn’t until I could totally escape that initial timeline that I could really let loose. It was a wild ride for me to write, and I hope a wild ride for the readers too. I won’t lie… I shed a few tears, and cackled with wicked glee more than once.
ABOUT SHATTERED SOULS
Ava Flynn walked through flames to erase the past and bring her little brother, Josh, back from the dead. But the reboot doesn’t come without strings. While navigating her new reality, Ava must avoid Maddox… without fracturing the timeline. If she fails, she may never find Laith again.
With her own heart at stake, Ava scours time for the key to unraveling the curse binding her soul to both Laith’s and Maddox’s. One brother is the love of her life. And the other… Not even death will stop him from keeping them apart.
As Ava’s present collides with the brothers’ pasts, she discovers that breaking the curse might have unintended consequences. And this time, her soul isn’t the only one on the line.