Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guest Post with Jennifer Archer, Author of Through Her Eyes

Today we have the amazing Jennifer Archer with us. Her guest post is about photography and time travel. It's super cool, so check it out: 

Photographs have always fascinated me. Each day, moments of our lives pass by unnoticed – blink and they’re gone. However, a photograph captures a moment; pictures are a snippet of time caught on paper, or these days, on a digital file. Whenever I look at images of people, I find myself wondering what they were thinking and feeling in the instant the photographer snapped the shot: What was going on in their lives? What was taking place outside the parameter of the frame?

When Tansy Piper, the main character in Through Her Eyes, came to life in my mind, I was excited about the opportunity to write about a talented amateur photographer. My own photography skills are next to none – I’ve never used a “fancy” camera with different lenses or developed film in a darkroom, as Tansy does, but I’ve always wanted to learn. Tansy gave me the chance to research those skills and find out more about them. I was able to live vicariously through her and get a sense of what it might be like to possess her abilities.

As I developed Tansy’s character and started asking myself questions about her life, her family, her motivations, and her interests, I found that I’m especially intrigued by old photographs that were taken before I was born. They are a glimpse into a past I never experienced – a way to travel back in time. When I study pictures of my parents and grandparents when they were in their teens and twenties, I’m always struck by how little I really know about that time in their lives. What were their hopes and dreams? Who were their closest confidantes? Who were they back then? Interestingly, most teens ask similar questions about themselves at some point: Who am I? Where is my place in this world? What do I want out of life? Who can I trust to be a true friend?  

Thinking about those questions led me to Papa Dan – Tansy’s grandfather. I thought it would be interesting if, while Tansy searched for her own identity, her grandfather began losing his. Papa Dan is dying and has dementia. The only way Tansy can keep him from completely slipping away and disappearing from her world is to try to keep his memories alive. However, that presents a problem because she only knew him as an old man. I thought it would be cool to allow her an opportunity that the rest of us never get – the chance to see her grandfather through different eyes, to spend time with him and his friends, in their world, when Papa Dan was her age. 

The next challenge was how to accomplish that. I’ve read a lot of novels where a character actually time travels, but I wanted something different. A twist. Instead of truly going back in time, I decided that Tansy would visit Papa Dan’s memories – step into them through photographs, those glimpses of moments in the past captured on paper.

Writing Through Her Eyes deepened my certainty that every generation goes through similar experiences and emotions. Prior generations lived in a world quite different than ours, but I have a feeling they hoped for many of the same things that we all do: Love and friendship, fulfilling work, adventure and security.  You and your parents – and even your grandparents – are probably more alike than you think!
Check out these links to learn more about Jennifer and her books:

Jennifer’s website (Links to her Facebook and Twitter pages are here).

And also be sure to watch the book trailer for Through Her Eyes below. It's so good!

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer, I loved hearing the process of how you came to write the book. One question led to others and formed your story. Good luck with the book!



Related Posts with Thumbnails