Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com Young Adult Fiction Author Sat, 09 Aug 2014 16:46:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 The Whole Lock Thing… http://tamarairelandstone.com/paris/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/paris/#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2014 16:29:16 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=4946

I’ve been so excited to share this story with you, friends!

It took me a while to put this post together because all my writing time has been devoted to finishing my next book, EVERY LAST WORD (which I’m incredibly excited about, so time for brief and not-at-all-subtle plug: Please add EVERY LAST WORD to your Goodreads TBR list! If you loved Anna and Bennett, just wait until you meet Sam and A.J.!)


Now… back to our regularly scheduled post.

Who wants to hear about this?


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Can you spot it?


It’s a fun story.

You may have heard this recent news: A portion of the railing on the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris collapsed under the weight of all the “love locks” that have appeared over the years (luckily, no one was hurt).

It’s not that surprising. I’ve seen this bridge and the sheer number of locks is an incredible, mind-blowing sight.


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A small section of love locks on Pont des Arts.


As soon as the news hit, I started getting messages from readers, asking if I’d heard what happened. If you haven’t read Time After Time, you might be questioning why I would have anything to do with news about the bridge’s collapse. But if you have read the final book in the Time Between Us series, you’d know immediately.

See, Anna and Bennett may have started “the whole lock thing.”


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Paris 1995

This is one of the many reasons I love writing time travel stories. No one knows who hung the first lock on Pont des Arts, so Anna and Bennett get to travel back to 1995 start the trend.

I love my job.


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In Time Between Us, I set up the idea that Bennett would eventually take Anna to Paris, so I knew it would be one of their destinations in the sequel, Time After Time.

It had to be. Because I love Paris. It’s so romantic. And if your significant other was a time traveler who could hold your hands and immediately transport you anywhere in the world, wouldn’t Paris be at or near the top of your list? It was always at the top of Anna’s.

While I was writing the first draft of Time After Time, a friend of mine told me about the “Locks of Love Bridge” (read the full story here) and I got hooked on the idea of the two of them visiting this spot. I started researching and discovered that there are quite a few lock bridges around Paris.

Pont des Arts was the original one, but I wasn’t sure it was the one for Anna and Bennett until I learned about its connection to the French film, Amélie.

I’ve always loved this movie, but I didn’t remember that Amélie is on the Pont des Arts when she makes the decision to start changing people’s lives for the better.



It seemed like a sign. In Time Between Us, Bennett starts out sticking to his code: He’s an observer. He doesn’t interfere. When he travels to the past, he’s careful not to change things. But in Time After Time, he begins to question this. He starts experimenting, going back in time to alter a few small moments in the lives of seven total strangers. Each one has dramatic results.


Paris 2013

I love to write when I travel. I wrote major portions of Time Between Us in little cafés in Amsterdam, Bruges, and London (and on trains between those cities), but I wrote all of Time After Time at a desk in my office.

Until the very end.

When the book was nearly complete, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Paris chapters were missing something. I hadn’t been to Paris in years, and Google Maps and photos weren’t doing the trick.

I had a trip to Paris planned, but it was after my final deadline. I asked my editor if I could have a little more time to refine those important Paris scenes, and I was delighted when she agreed.

Now that was magical. I got to write in Paris (a dream come true), and I got to see that incredible city through Anna’s and Bennett’s eyes.


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Where Anna & Bennett first arrive…


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Time After Time, Chapter 15


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Anna’s view when she turns around and looks over the shrubs. You’ll have to pretend it’s nighttime and the Eiffel Tower is all lit up.


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Looking up…


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Anna was terrified when Bennett left her on the second deck of the Eiffel Tower. But he needed to go to the gift shop for one of these…



I was able to walk through my scenes and answer some burning questions.

Like this one: Can you walk along the banks of the River Seine to Pont des Arts? Is there a staircase that leads up to street level. I’d written it that way, but couldn’t I be sure.


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Now I know. Yes, you can!


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Just doing some fact checking on the banks of the Seine River, en route to Pont des Arts.


At Pont des Arts

I spent hours on this bridge, reading the locks, taking photographs, and thinking about all the people who kissed a padlock key and threw it into the River Seine.


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And it took me forever, but I finally found the lock Anna and Bennett left there in 1995:


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Anna & Bennett have a real love lock on the Pont des Arts.



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Can you find it? Look in the lower left for the red combination lock. Anna & Bennett’s lock is to the right.



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Can you find it now?




Of course, Mike (the love of my life) and I also left a lock of our own. (P.S. Isn’t he cute?)

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Okay, and get this. I’m not usually in the habit of taking photos of complete strangers without their knowledge or permission, but as we were leaving Pont des Arts, I spotted this girl across the street, window shopping.

Hello, Anna hair.


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Anna hair. With beret. And Uggs (which aren’t an Anna thing, but they ARE a Tamara thing).


Le Temps Contre Nous – the French edition of Time Between Us – released in Paris the week we were there, so I stopped by this cute little bookshop to say bonjour!


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Bonjour, Le Temps Contre Nous!



But the best part: Getting this reaction from my editor when I got home and submitted the final draft of Time After Time


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Happy editor = Happy readers? I hope so!



… because if I’m making her happy, I’m probably going to make readers happy, too! And happy readers make my world go ’round.


And as far as I can tell, the section of Pont des Arts that fell was on the opposite side of the bridge, so Bennett & Anna’s love lock is safe. Phew!


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Characters are so real to their authors, and I love it when readers tell me that Anna and Bennett are real to them too. I hope you enjoyed their trip to Paris in Time After Time and this little photo trip from mine!

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If you liked this post, you might also enjoy my recent photo tour through Anna’s hometown.




Oh, and if you haven’t read Time After Time (or Time Between Us) you can start reading both books, free, right now: CLICK HERE.



In honor of that lovely lock bridge and the story that brought me to Paris, I’m giving away a very special edition of Time After Time.


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Grand Prize


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Second Place


Grand Prize:

* An annotated “Paris Edition” of Time After Time, including handwritten notes in the margins about the Paris scenes (and some of my other favorites)

* Notes and photos about real locations that inspired some of the settings, like Bennett’s school in San Francisco and his rock climbing locations.

* Postcards from Paris!

* Postcards from a few other Time After Time destinations, placed in key spots throughout the book.

* A Paris journal

* Paris notecards

What do you think — do you want this one-of-a-kind edition for your bookshelf?


Second Place:

* A hardbound copy of Time Between Us

* A Paris journal

* Paris notecards



Open internationally. Enter to win here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


YOUR TURN: If you could hang a lock on the Pont des Arts in Paris — declaring your love for anyone or anything – what would YOU write? Leave your mark in the comments.




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For Edith Rose Ireland http://tamarairelandstone.com/edith-rose-ireland/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/edith-rose-ireland/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:53:03 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=5058 My iPhone chirped three times this morning, reminding me of today’s birthdays: My brother-in-law. One of my best friends. Grandma Ireland.

I didn’t need the reminder about the last one. I’m always a little sad on July 21.

My grandma died eight years ago. She would have been 100 years old today.

Grandma Ireland was a hugely important person in my life, especially when I was little. We lived around the corner and I spent my days with her when my parents were at work. She was my best friend, and I loved her house more than any other place in my little world.

My mom tells this story best: One day when I was six years old, my mom came into my bedroom and found a bunch of neighborhood kids I’d invited over. My toys were scattered all over the floor. Everyone was having a great time. She asked them where I was and they had no idea.

She didn’t really panic. Just a few weeks earlier during kindergarten recess, I’d hoped the fence the school shared with my grandparents’ backyard. I disappeared a lot. I always went to the same place. What can I say? I got bored. My grandma was always more interesting.

Whenever I hear authors talk about their books, I’m always fascinated about the ways their personal lives creep into their stories. Sometimes it’s accidental and takes them by surprise. Other times it’s intentional.

Grandma Ireland’s influence on my books was never accidental. From the very beginning, I knew Bennett’s grandmother, Maggie, would live around the corner from Anna’s bookstore. I knew Bennett would often feel more at home in her house than in his own. I knew he’d tell her everything, even his biggest secret, because Maggie just sort of pulls that stuff out of you whether you want her to or not. I knew Anna would love Maggie as much as Bennett did.

And I knew that, like my own grandmother, Maggie would have Alzheimer’s and that it would eventually take her life.

Watching my grandma slowly forget me was incredibly difficult. But I got to spend time with her whenever I wrote a Maggie scene. I worked through a lot of the pain of losing her, and forgave myself for all the things I wished I could go back and do over, knowing what I knew later on. Since I’m not a time traveler, I can’t go back and have a cup of tea with her, but writing her into my story was a lovely experience that kept her alive in some important ways.

Readers often tell me that Maggie is their favorite character. Maybe that’s because in real life, my grandmother was always mine.


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Books, Inc. Visit http://tamarairelandstone.com/books-visit/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/books-visit/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:24:10 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=5049
I’ll be at Books Inc., Palo Alto NEXT MONDAY NIGHT, talking writing, publishing… Bennett… and anything else you want to chat about. Come join us!
NYMBACTamara Ireland Stone Books, Inc. Visit

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Step away from the keyboard http://tamarairelandstone.com/step-keyboard/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/step-keyboard/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 18:31:21 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=5023 Every year my family and a group of our friends take a trip to Yosemite.

It’s always fun. We hang out with our kids, hike to waterfalls, bike ride through the valley, and raft down the river. At night, we roast s’mores around the campfire.

We were there last weekend and once again, it was unforgettable.

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But two years ago, in 2012, I almost didn’t go.

I’ll be honest… I was kind of a wreck at the time. I was leaving for New York the following Monday for Book Expo America (BEA), my very first author event. I was incredibly excited, but also nervous. I had to give a speech at my publisher’s dinner. What if I totally bombed? I was doing my very first book signing. What if no one showed up? Advance copies of Time Between Us would be out in the big world for the first time. Would people like my story? What if they didn’t?

All this insecurity was also coming from a place of utter exhaustion. I’d spent the last few months writing the first draft of Time After Time, and to be honest, it wasn’t going well. My brain needed a break, but instead I sat at my keyboard day after day, trying to make this story flow out of me like the first one had, and growing more and more discouraged because it just… wasn’t.

Writing wasn’t fun. I hate it when that happens.

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I reluctantly told my husband to take the kids and go to Yosemite without me. I needed to write. I needed a quiet house. He said he understood.

But a few days later, he changed his mind.

He sat me down and very kindly said, “Tam, you’re making a mistake. You don’t need to write. You need to not write.”

He reminded me that my family hadn’t seen me much and they missed me. That reminder alone would have been enough for me to join them, but he went on to say this: “You’re writing a story from the perspective of a 17-year-old rock climber. You need inspiration. Where better than Yosemite?” Then he said something brilliant like, “Trust me, you’re not going to find Bennett in that keyboard.”


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He was so right. I addition to being surrounded by the people I love, I spent that weekend surrounded by huge slabs of granite and waterfalls and boulders — the kind of natural beauty Bennett would use his teleportation talents to see over and over again.

And over the course of the weekend, I saw him everywhere, especially when I wasn’t looking for him. All these small moments meant nothing to anyone but me, but each one made its way into Time After Time.

I spotted a teenage guy (he even had dark, shaggy hair) teaching a group of friends how to rock climb at the base of Yosemite Falls. One of the other guys in that group looked nice, so he became Bennett’s best friend, Sam.


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Lower Yosemite Falls


I saw a countless number of Jeeps. I already knew Bennett would drive a Jeep Wrangler in present day, but those sightings solidified it.

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One of the teens in our group plays acoustic guitar. While we were sitting around the campfire one night, he started playing “Rope” by Foo Fighters. It’s one of my favorite songs, but I heard the lyrics differently that night. It went right on Bennett’s playlist.


As we were making the long, nearly vertical hike to Vernal Falls, one of my friends turned to me and said, “This is where we need your Bennett. He could just zap us to the top of the waterfall.” I quickly replied, “Bennett would never do that. That would be cheating. You’ve got to earn that view.”

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Me, earning my view.


It occurred to me that Bennett would feel the same way about climbing the steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower (and that Anna would want the “zap”). That little comment made its way into the story:


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Time After Time, Chapter 15


One night a bunch of my girlfriends and I were sitting on a bridge, watching the sunset. My friend Jen and her husband had just returned from France. “This reminds me of the lock bridge in Paris,” she said.

I didn’t know about the lock bridge, so she told me all about how she and her husband hung their “love lock” on the Pont Des Arts and threw the key into the River Seine. I’d already started writing scenes of Anna and Bennett in Paris together, and now there was a lock bridge too?**  More inspiration!


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With Jen, *not* on Pont des Arts.

(** See note at the end of this post.)


I’ll never miss this annual Yosemite trip. Now, when I’m there, I try not to write it all. I just experience it, take in the scenery, and thank my mountain muses.

Of course, when I wasn’t looking for inspiration, it found me again last weekend.

A friend of a friend was curious about my choice of beach reading (I’ve become a big fan of Psychology Today). I explained that I’m an author and currently working on a book about a 16-year-old with OCD. “Oh, how interesting,” she said. “I’m a therapist. One of my clients is a 16-year-old girl with OCD.”

I’ve interviewed a number of mental health professionals for this project, but our casual conversation that afternoon was especially enlightening. We talked at length about OCD and teens, and the unique nature of the therapist-patient relationship, which is a big part of EVERY LAST WORD (and incredibly important to me to get right in the story.)  I came home truly inspired, and excited to incorporate some new ideas into those chapters.


Sometimes, we need someone to remind us to step away from the keyboard.

We writers work so hard, and often, when the ideas aren’t flowing, we tell ourselves we just need to work harder. If we just type more, if we just keep pushing through, eventually we’ll feel inspired again and the story will come more naturally. We. Must. Keep. Writing.

That isn’t always true for me. I need conversations with real people. I need to climb to the top of the tall waterfall and look down on the valley and see how the world looks from up there. I need to step away from the story.

I found Bennett on that trip, and after that, everything changed. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get stuck again – I definitely did. But when that happened, I printed out those pictures of Yosemite and taped them to to my office wall. Then I went for a long walk.

Last weekend, I thanked my husband (again) for making me go on that trip in 2012. I reconnected with my character, and more importantly, I reconnected with the real people in my life.

And writing became fun again.



** Side note: That conversation about the lock bridge not only brought Anna and Bennett to Paris, it also brought me to Pont Des Arts the following year. Very soon, I’ll tell you all about this:

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How about you? Where do you go for inspiration?


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Updates! http://tamarairelandstone.com/updates-3/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/updates-3/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 07:57:04 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=4950 Oh, my… it’s been a long time since my last post. I’m not very good at this, am I?

In short, I’ve had a busy travel schedule ever since Time After Time hit bookshelves, and I’ve also been working hard to finish my next novel, Every Last Word, which comes out next year. I’ve been busy, but good busy. GREAT busy. I’m meeting readers all over the country and writing a whole new story, so it’s the very best kind of busy.

But I have a lot to share, so here’s an update on all fronts!


LA Times Festival of Books

Where do I begin to talk about the LA Times Festival of Books? It was such an incredible honor to be a guest at this event — fun and inspiring from beginning to end — and I’m grateful to my publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for making it possible for me to be there.

A few highlights:

  • I spoke on the “Somewhere in Time” panel along with four fantastic authors: Ann Brashares, Eoin Colfer, Melissa de la Cruz, and Sonya Sones. I had a wonderful time getting to know each one of them better.
  • I was thrilled to learn that Ryan Gesell was coming to the festival! Ryan is the narrator of the Time After Time audiobook, a.k.a. the voice of Bennett Cooper. He was as charming as I expected him to be, and I got to thank him personally for doing such an incredible job on the book. Have you heard him? Here. Listen!
  • When I wasn’t speaking, hanging out with my author buddies, or meeting up with readers, you could find me at the GetLit.org booth listening to a bunch of amazing teens recite classic and original poetry. It was unbelievable. My next book, Every Last Word, is about a girl who discovers a secret poetry club underneath the school theater, so you can imagine how inspiring these teens were to me.

You can find more of my photos HERE. Also, check out the photo recap of all the YA authors at the LA Times Festival of Books in Publishers Weekly.


Click to view slideshow.

More photos here.



Time Between Us Movie Update

While I was in LA, I met with the team from CBS Films, and got a complete update on everything related to the Time Between Us film currently in development.

We had such a fantastic meeting. One of the highlights for me was this funny conversation about the challenges of writing time travel stories. They described meetings where they’ve filled an entire whiteboard with timelines, arrows, and stick figures (sounds so familiar!), to be sure they aren’t breaking my time travel logic as they adapt the novel to film. It’s nice to know that others relate to my time travel pain (keeping it simple is hard, people!).

We also talked about casting ideas (so fun, but sorry… I have to keep it on the hush!), the role music will play in the film (Big role! Yes!), and the international travel aspects of the story. In short, everything is on track and moving forward. And I’m now dying to read the screenplay.

I left the meeting feeling like this team (1) truly understands Time Between Us, from the time travel logic to the heart of the story, (2) loves Anna & Bennett as much as my readers and I do, and (3) wants to bring my characters to life in the best possible way. Anna & Bennett are in loving, talented hands with this team.

Curious to learn more? This recent post has more details.


Girls Gone Sci-fi Tour

I had such an incredible week touring with fellow YA authors Jessica Brody, Lauren Miller, and Jessica Khoury. Over seven days we visited six bookstores, six schools, and one library. It was nonstop fun, and I loved spending so much time with these three inspiring women.

Here are a few highlights, but you can see all the photos HERE.


Click to view slideshow.

Check out the photo recap in Publishers Weekly!



On a personal note, my husband and I took a much-needed vacation last month. We love to travel, and we were thrilled to find this perfect eco-resort near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

It was our kind of travel: No roads — the resort is only accessible by boat. No pier — you have to wade in to the shore (if you’ve read my books, you already know this is my kind of place!). No phones. No Internet. No TV. Hot water, great food, and all the important stuff, but totally off the grid.

For five solid days, this was pretty much my view:

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Every so often, I’d get bored. So I’d take one of the four resident yellow labs out on the kayak:

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Mike and I left the compound. Once.

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It was an incredible week. I read so many books, caught up on sleep, and even wrote a few poems for Every Last Word (more on this in a moment).


Time Between Us at the Scholastic Book Fair

I’m such a huge fan of the book fair. I always looked forward to it as a kid, and now I bring my children and enjoying watching their eyes light up. So it’s a pretty indescribable feeling to see my book on the cover of the book club flyer and find it sitting on those beautiful school library shelves.


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If you posted a photo of Time Between Us at your book fair, THANK YOU. I spotted a lot of them, and pictures like these make me happier than you can ever imagine:


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photo via Kimberly Derting



Around the World

I’m still completely blown away by the fact that my books are published in different languages. Wow.


Click to view slideshow.


Time Between Us is now available in 13 languages:

It will be available soon in Chinese (Sharp Point Press), Russian (AST Publishing), Catalan (Ediciones B), and Turkish (Ephesus/Murekkepdivit). See all editions HERE.

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Time After Time is currently available in 2 languages, with a lot more on the way throughout 2014 and 2015:

I get lots of questions about the timing of foreign editions, and I’m afraid I don’t tend to know much. Goodreads is one of the best sources for covers and release dates. You can keep an eye on them HERE.

I love hearing from readers all over the world. Your kind emails, tweets and Facebook messages are so touching, and I’m always delighted to hear that Anna & Bennett’s story had an impact on you. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

To show my appreciation, I’m currently doing a big international edition giveaway on my Facebook page! Check it out HERE.





My next novel: Every Last Word

I realize I haven’t said much about my next novel, but my friends… I have so much to say about this book. The truth is, it’s hard to talk about it. When I’m in the early stages of writing, I need to be alone with the story and my characters and let everything come to life for me, and I have a hard time talking about it while that’s happening. It’s still fairly new and very personal.

But I will start talking more, I promise. This story has been building in my head for four years now, and I’m thrilled that my editor and publisher shared my enthusiasm for this concept and had faith in my ability to write it.

Writing this book has been an incredible experience for me personally. I’m digging deep into the archives of long-forgotten events (which is often painful), learning about the many facets of mental illness (which is absolutely heartbreaking), and learning to be more fearless with my words than I’ve ever been before (which is totally scary and freeing at the same time). This story is complex, and it’s pushing me to be a better writer in so many ways.

And I have to admit, since this is my first book that isn’t about Anna and Bennett, it was hard to imagine falling in love with characters the same way I fell for them. But I have. And boy, have I fallen hard. It’s nice to know that I can have enough room in my writer’s heart for more friends, because Samantha (Sam), Caroline, and A.J. are pretty remarkable people. It’ll be a while before you get to meet them, but I think they’re worth the wait. I hope you love reading their story as much as I love writing it.


RT Convention

I leave tomorrow for the RT Convention in New Orleans! I’m so excited to be a speaker on the “These Are Days: Contemporary in YA” panel with Stephanie PerkinsAlyssa Day (aka Lucy Connors)Elizabeth EulbergGayle Forman, and Juliana Stone.

I’ll also be at all the TEEN DAY events, including the Giant Book Fair and always-awesome TEEN DAY PARTY, signing books and meeting readers. Be sure to say hello if you’re there! I want to meet you.

rtlogo Updates!



Keep talking.

While I’m admittedly terrible at keeping up my blog current, I’m very chatty on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. So come say hi!


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Build the Girls Gone Sci-Fi Playlist http://tamarairelandstone.com/girls-gone-scifi-playlist/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/girls-gone-scifi-playlist/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 18:34:03 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=4796 ggsf Build the Girls Gone Sci Fi Playlist

In just 16 days, Jessica B., Jessica K., Lauren and I will be hitting the road for the Girls Gone Sci-fi Tour!

We’re looking forward to spending a week together visiting schools, libraries, and bookstores. But there’s something in between all those wonderful stops that we’re equally excited about…


The four of us agree that, aside from a reliable GPS, there’s one thing that truly makes a great road trip:



This is where YOU come in.

We’ve started the official “Girls Gone Sci-Fi Playlist” with a few current favorites and some road trip essentials, but this just isn’t enough music. We have a lot of car time (see exhibit A).


It’s easy:

  • If you’re on Spotify, CLICK HERE to add your songs.
  • If you’re not on Spotify, tell us your favorite songs in the comments below and we’ll add them for you.


A chance to win every day!

Each day we’re on the road, we’ll do a random shuffle of this playlist. The contributor of the first song that plays will win a signed copy of one of our books.

We might do a “winning song shuffle” more than once a day. We might do it… say, three times in one day. Who knows? We’re “on the road.” We’re unpredictable.

So go! Add your songs. Make us sing. Make us chair dance. Make us say things like, “Whoa, I forgot all about this song!” or “I’ve never heard this before, but it’s certainly catchy!” or “Awww… swoony lyrics…”.

We can’t wait to hear the songs that will be traveling along with us from Point A to Point F!



Screenshot 2014 03 06 14.31.34 1024x666 Build the Girls Gone Sci Fi Playlist



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In Anna’s Town: Evanston http://tamarairelandstone.com/touringevanston/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/touringevanston/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 17:10:26 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=4434 One of the highlights of February was my trip to Evanston, Illinois to speak at the Evanston Public Library and to tour the town where Time Between Us and Time After Time are set.

I’m often asked why I chose to set my books in Evanston. The full story is HERE, but this is the short answer: When I decided to write about a teen time traveler from present day San Francisco who meets a girl in 1995, I wanted the two of them to live in different cities, so they’d be separated by both time and miles. My mind quickly jumped to the place I lived in 1995: Evanston, Illinois. It was perfect. Bennett would feel both fascinated and out of his element when he went to visit Anna, just like I’d been when I first moved from San Francisco to the Midwest.

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I had an incredible time walking around (yes, even though it was 4 degrees without wind chill).

The weather was actually perfect. When Time Between Us begins, it’s early March and it’s been an especially long winter. This trip was magical for me, and it wouldn’t have felt quite the same without that blanket of fresh snow!

Here’s a photo and video tour to give you a sense of Anna’s beautiful hometown!


First stop:
A tour of downtown and the Northwestern University campus.

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A residential area near downtown and campus. Anna would have walked this way from the bookstore to get home.

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Downtown Evanston’s GAP.
The location of a certain kissing scene in Time After Time.

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The clock tower.
Anna passes by this on her daily run through campus.

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The parks around town looked exactly the way I remembered them. Bennett was in pretty bad shape when Anna found him on this bench in Chapter Six of Time Between Us.

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Walking through campus. I love the NU Arch in the snow…

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I stopped at the University bookstore to get a few gifts. I couldn’t resist this for my son.

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I posted photos on Instagram, and loved the real-time feedback from readers!


I walked through campus and down to Lake Michigan, basically doing Anna’s daily run in reverse.

This is Anna’s running path that hugs “the glassy expanse of Lake Michigan.” You can see the beautiful Chicago skyline in the background.

I swear, two people jogged by me right before I took this picture. I would never run in this weather, but Anna and other tough ones certainly do!

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A pretty view of the lake:

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These panoramic shots show where Anna’s running path bends toward the track and THE BLEACHERS…

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This might have been the highlight of my tour. This is the track, where Anna sees Bennett for the first time:

Here's the spot where Anna sees Bennett for the first time.
Right-click or ctrl-click on this link to download.


Sadly, there was no one sitting on the 3rd row of the bleachers. icon sad In Annas Town: Evanston

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From Chapter 1: Time Between Us:
I see someone in the bleachers, hip-deep in the
icy fluff of the third row and impossible to miss.
He’s just sitting there with his chin resting on his hands,
wearing a black parka and a small smile, watching me.


From there, I walked along the lake toward the neighborhood where Anna and Maggie live.

It was even COLDER down there, and extremely windy.


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What do you think, guys?

Maggie’s house?

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From Time Between Us, Chapter 7:

I can’t believe I’m doing this. I peek out
from behind the tall hedge again and stare at the house.
Impressive. Two, maybe even three, stories. Tudor style.
A carriage house out back, if I’m assessing accurately
from this distance and the three times I’ve walked past the house, 
chickened out, and hidden behind shrubbery.

And there is a carriage house on the right!


And three blocks away, Anna’s house, complete with wrap-around porch!

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Wait… Time warp!

Bennett’s red Jeep belongs in Time After Time,
in present-day San Francisco, not in 1995 Evanston!

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The neighborhoods are gorgeous.
Beautiful homes, quaint streets. I love this area.

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I had to stop by my old apartment. I lived on top floor, flat on the right, from 1995-1997.

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On Thursday night, it was time to visit the Evanston Public Library. This is an absolutely gorgeous building, inside and out!

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They gave me such a warm welcome!IMG 17381 768x1024 In Annas Town: Evanston

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I loved this wall in “The Teen Loft” at the Evanston Library. All my favorite time travelers in one place!

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What an honor to see Time After Time as one of the Teen Advisory Board’s top reads!

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An early flight the next day gave me a chance to see the beautiful sunrise over Lake Michigan.

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And I felt a bit like Anna as I headed home:

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Goodbye, Illinois!
Thank you for the wonderful visit to Anna’s world.

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If you haven’t read Time Between Us or Time After Time,
you can start reading right here: CLICK TO READ NOW.


More pictures:

Click to view slideshow.




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Time After Time in School Library Journal http://tamarairelandstone.com/time-time-school-library-journal/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/time-time-school-library-journal/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:19:11 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=4790 I am delighted with this review of Time After Time in School Library Journal!

I’m especially fond of these two quotes:

“The plot marches along at a good pace and those who like romance/adventure stories will want to find out if Anna and Bennett end up together.”

“With the anniversary of Dr. Who and movies like About Time (2013) at the box office, the time-travel theme gives this book plenty of pop-culture cachet.”

Thank you, School Library Journal.

Screen Shot 2014 01 21 at 10.43.31 PM Time After Time in School Library Journal

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Music: “Anna Timeless” & “Bennett’s Garage Mix” http://tamarairelandstone.com/timeless-garage/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/timeless-garage/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 17:49:01 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=4368 When I created the Time Between Us & Time After Time playlists, I was a purist about two things:

(1) Keeping Anna’s playlists limited to songs that were relevant and popular in 1995

(2) Mapping the songs to the events in the books, so they play like a soundtrack.

Throughout the process of writing these two books, I’ve also collected songs that don’t conform to either of those rules. Songs that have perfect lyrics or set the right mood for a particular scene. Songs tell a story about first love, or missing someone far away, or having to make big choices.

Anna Timeless:  Beautiful, fun, and occasionally angst-y songs that aren’t limited to the early and mid-90s. As long as the lyrics are relevant, anything goes.

Bennett’s Garage Mix:  Current stuff mixed with some mid-90′s sounds. If you’ve read Time After Time, you know about Bennett’s garage. Even time travelers need a place to hide away from the world and listen to music for a while.

They aren’t in any order. Shuffle away.



I know you hear Anna and Bennett’s story in the lyrics of your favorite music, because many of you take the time to tell me, sending me links to a “perfect Anna song” or an “amazing Bennett song.” You have no idea how much I love it when you do that.

So the best part about these playlists? They’re not mine — they’re yours, too.

If you’re on Spotify, just add your songs. Both playlists are collaborative.

If you’re NOT on Spotify, leave the song title/artist in the comments and I’ll add it for you.


I hope you enjoy the music. I can’t wait to hear the songs you add.

Anna Timeless

Bennett’s Garage Mix


spotify logo primary vertical light background rgb 150x150 Music: Anna Timeless & Bennetts Garage Mix

I got you stared. Now go add some songs of your own. Remember, if you’re not a Spotify member, leave song title/artist in the comments and I’ll add it for you.


You can subscribe to all of Anna & Bennett’s music HERE.

For more Time Between Us & Time After Time playlists, CLICK HERE.




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Hello, Evanston http://tamarairelandstone.com/evanston/ http://tamarairelandstone.com/evanston/#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2014 06:27:43 +0000 Tamara Ireland Stone http://tamarairelandstone.com/?p=4364  

I love meeting readers. Aside from the writing itself, it’s what I enjoy most about being an author.

Since Time Between Us came out, I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel around the country, talking about writing books for young adults. I’ve been to New York City, Los Angeles, Kansas City, St. Louis, Austin, Houston, Tucson, Portland, and Las Vegas.

But there’s one city I’ve desperately wanted to visit and haven’t: Evanston, Illinois.

I’m thrilled to say that’s about to change.

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I’m so honored to be Evanston Public Library’s guest author on February 6.

Really. You have no idea what this means to me.

May I tell you?

People often ask me why I chose to set my books in Evanston, Illinois. It was actually a decision I made even before I took pen to paper. I wanted Bennett to be 17-years-old in 2012, and that meant he would have been born in 1995. I knew he’d be from San Francisco, but I wanted Anna to be from someplace completely different — different enough to make Bennett feel totally out of his element when he was there with her.

I started thinking about where I was in 1995.

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At the beginning of the year, my boyfriend was accepted to graduate school at Northwestern University. It was located in a town I’d never heard of, and he asked me if I wanted to come along.

There were lots of reasons to go. I had never lived outside California, and the company I worked for at the time liked the idea of a “Midwest office.” It wasn’t a big city like Boston or New York or even downtown Chicago, but Evanston sounded nice. It was a daring adventure. How could I pass it up? (I should probably mention that I was head-over-heels in love with this guy, right? And I still am. We just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.)


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Our Evanston apartment from 1995-1997. We lived on the top right.


Mike and I moved into an apartment near campus. When I wasn’t traveling for business, I worked from home. I bought lattes at the coffeehouse down the street. I took tennis lessons at the Northwestern gym, which was located next to the soccer field. On nice days, I ran a three-mile loop that wound through beautiful neighborhoods, along Lake Michigan, through the campus, and back home again.

(If you’ve read Time Between Us, some of that might sound familiar. Note: Unlike Anna, I’ve always been a fair-weather runner.)

As I thought about the setting for my first book, I began to realize how much I’d loved those two years I spent in Evanston.

I hadn’t thought about them in a long time, and I was starting to forget the little details, like waking up one October morning to find my entire neighborhood transformed by overnight snowfall. Or stacking sandbags in the trunk of our little Honda Civic to keep it from skidding on the ice. Or that horrible jacket I wore everyday that made me look like an orange version of the Michelin Man.

I’d forgotten how often I wanted to close my eyes and open them somewhere else. Somewhere warm.

(By the way, this fixation with weather will continue. Remember, I grew up in California.)


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Sure, I was cold. But this jacket? Really?


It all fell into place for me. Evanston would be a perfect home for Anna and her family. Bennett would feel as out-of-his-element (and as cold) as I often did. And I’d get a time travel experience of my very own.

From 2008 to 2012, I spent my days writing about a city I hadn’t seen since a brief visit in 1999. A big part of me didn’t want to return — not while I was writing. I knew the town had grown and I didn’t want to cloud my vision of 1995 Evanston. So I stayed away and relied on Google Maps to fill in the details.

But now I finally get to go back, and for the best possible reason: To meet people who have read my books and want to talk with me about them.



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A view of Lake Michigan from Anna’s running path.


Between my library and bookstore visits, I plan to walk around town taking pictures. I’ll stop at all the real points, the places that used to be there but no longer are, and try to find the rough locations of the fictitious spots. You can follow the whole thing on Instagram.

Maggie’s house: For obvious reasons, the address in the book — 282 Greenwood — doesn’t exist. But that house does. When we first moved to Evanston, I was captivated by the beautiful homes close to the lake, and one in particular — a grand Tudor mansion with the carriage house out back — has always stuck in my mind. I love that Maggie and Bennett get to live there.

Anna’s house: Like Maggie’s, Anna’s address is fictitious, but her house is real. I hope I can find it. I should know it from that tell-tale wraparound porch I always loved. I wonder if the house is still yellow? (If it’s now painted gray with white trim, that will freak me out.)

The coffeehouse: I don’t think that shop near my apartment is there anymore. And even if it was, it wouldn’t look like it did in my books because that interior is based on a place in downtown Chicago, complete with mismatched couches, high tables, and live music.


downtown evanston winter Hello, Evanston

Downtown evanston in the winter.


Even though the coffeehouse isn’t real, the idea of it is important to me.

When I was living in Evanston, I was part of the university community, but I’d often see the local teens around town. I remember being fascinated by them. I wondered what it would feel like to grow up there. How strange to watch your entire town change twice a year, every May and August, as students left and returned again. Did the high schoolers like the college students? Did they ever interact?

I liked to imagine they did, so I created the coffeehouse — a place that brought the two together for live music on Sundays. A spot where Justin’s friends from school would awkwardly intersect with his buddies at Northwestern’s WNUR radio.


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I found this during my research. Original artwork created by a WNUR Radio staff member in 1992. (Click to see it in detail.)


I got to feel like local once. During that first summer in Evanston, everyone I knew (including Mike) went back to their respective homes for internships, but I stayed behind. And I felt the difference. For one summer, I was no longer part of the university crowd but a member of the town. It was a lot quieter. It was even lovelier.

But whoa… A whole lot warmer.

(And just when you thought I was done talking about the weather!)

That was the summer I got to experience real heat. Since I worked from home, I used to sit in my un-air-conditioned apartment, trying to type while sweat dropped from my forehead onto my keyboard.

When I could no longer stand it, I’d pack up my laptop and head to the only place in town that had free public Internet in 1995: The Evanston Public Library.


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I just love it when a story comes full circle. Don’t you?


I’ve spent the last five years getting to know Anna, Bennett, Emma, Justin, Mr. and Mrs. Greene, and Maggie. My sound mind knows they’re fictional, but in my heart, they’re as real as the town they live in. I can’t wait to be back.

Huge thanks to the Evanston Public Library and Book Stall for having me.


Screen Shot 2014 01 13 at 10.04.26 PM Hello, Evanston




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