time out of time: beyond the door author interview with maureen doyle mcquerry

Author Maureen Doyle McQuerry is here today at Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia for an interview.  Her middle grade debut Time Out of Time: Beyond the Door is the first in a fantasy adventure duet that weaves together Celtic mythology and time travel.  Time Out of Time: Beyond the Door will be released on March 25, 2014 by Amulet Books (Abrams).  Check out the end of the post for a chance to win a copy!

Welcome Maureen!

Time Out of Time features mythical creatures.  What is your favorite mythical creature, and why?

There are so many that I have to pick two. Both show up in Beyond the Door and its sequel The Telling Stone. First I’d have to say the Greenman because he discovered me. I was visiting a church in Oxford England several years ago. When I looked up, there was face looking down at me. A face with leaves in his hair and vines pushing out of his mouth. I’ve always seen faces in the bark of old trees, but this was a strange creature, part man, part tree. I wondered what it would feel like to have my skin turn to bark and birds nest in my hair.

Number two is Gwydion. He’s a shapeshifting trickster in Irish myth and some say the best story teller of all time. In Beyond the Door he’s a wolf that flies and I would love to ride with him.

What was the most interesting discovery you made while researching/writing TIME OUT OF TIME?

The importance of trees in Irish myth and Ogham alphabet, sometimes called the tree alphabet. There’s an ancient poem called The Battle of the Trees (Cad Goddeu) that comes from the 14th century. Each type of tree has its own personality as it awakens to join the battle.

Ogham looks like a series of hatch marks carved on stone or wood. It can still be found on ancient stones in Ireland.  An Ogham font runs along the bottom of pages in Beyond the Door and when decoded, tells you more about the mythic characters.

What are your favorite middle grade/YA speculative fiction titles, aside from your own?

I love Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series and all of Madeline L’Engle’s work. Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, POD by Stephen Wallenfels, The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and I’m an Inklings fan: the C.S. Lewis and Tolkien cannon.

Do you have any hidden (or not so hidden) superpowers?

Does playing bicycle polo count?  Final answer: my imagination.

What are you reading right now?

I read a wide variety of books. I just finished Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park. Very different books and I loved them both. Now I’m looking for my next good read!

What new(ish) book do you wish you'd read as a kid or earlier in life?

I love the Griffin and Sabine books. The art, mystery and romance hooked me. Even though it’s not a new book, I discovered I Capture the Castle as an adult. The teen me would love to have known Cassandra Mortimer.  As for newer books, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. And I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman’s work.


Thank you for joining us, Maureen!  I too am a big fan of Neil Gaiman – I wish I’d read Coraline when I was young enough to completely accept its creepiness!

If this interview has sparked your interest about Time Out of Time: Beyond the Door, please enter the giveaway!  I’ll send two lucky winners finished copies of the book when it releases.  To enter, simply fill out the FORM.  Giveaway open internationally, will close on Monday, March 31st at 11:59pm EST.  Winners will be notified via email.  Good luck!

time out of time: beyond the door by maureen doyle mcquerry book cover
Beyond the Door, the first in the Time Out of Time duet from Maureen Doyle McQuerry, weaves a compelling coming-of-age story with fantasy and mythology. With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.

Fine print: I received an ARC of Time Out of Time: Beyond the Door from the author for honest review. I alone am hosting the giveaway; this post is not sponsored in any way.

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