Blog tour: Crossing in Time

Welcome to the blog tour for Crossing in Time, the first book in the Between Two Evils series by D.L. Orton.

I am so excited about having the author on the blog that, without further ado, here is our Q&A:

Hi Deb! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Crossing in Time! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Silvia! 

Much to my chagrin, Crossing in Time is about civilization teetering on the edge of collapse due to a worldwide pandemic, an incompetent US president, and far too many people with guns optimizing for themselves. It follows two forty-something lovers (who had a falling out in their 20s and meet again just as the pudding hits the radiator) and a middle-aged physics professor who gets inexplicably caught up in the maelstrom. Amidst the growing chaos, our three unlikely heroes struggle against impossible odds to find safety, love, and a future.

Here's the kicker: The book was published three months before Donald Trump announced that he wanted to be president.

Was this always going to be a series? And did you have the entire plot entirely figured out since the beginning?

A: I wrote the first book over the course of eight years, mostly during the evenings when my kids were in bed. It was my way of staying sane after spending my days changing diapers, putting the pots and pans back in the cupboard, and eventually educating my three sons. The book came out at around 150k words (or 500 pages!) My husband and I celebrated with a bottle of Moet Chandon—and then I begged a handful of friends and family to read it. (I’m still sorry about that, guys!) And then I started rewriting. And rewriting. And throwing stuff away. And putting stuff back in. And re—

You get the idea.

All told, I’m certain I rewrote every single chapter in the book 4 or 5 times (some more than 20 times!) 

And then I started looking for a professional editor. After a number of expensive and painful false starts, I found Dave (the all-around-great guy who runs #TheWriteReads). It was love at first rewrite.

But to answer your question: No, I never intended to write a series, but once I had invested ten years in writing the first Dave-approved book, I wanted to write another one. For the next few weeks, I spend a lot of time with colored markers, long strips of poster paper taped together, and sticky notes, struggling to figure out:

1)  How each and every jinn object moved between universes.
2)  How the parallel selves differed (age, experiences, turning points).
3)  Who had a time machine.
4)  How to end the monster I had created. (This turned out to be the really hard one!)

And like all addictions, once you get started, it’s hard to stop!

What kind of research, if any, did you have to carry out while you were writing these novels? In general, is research something you enjoy or a means to an end?

A: I LOVE to do research. I could spend hours reading about stuff people in Minnesota actually say, doncha know?

When I first started writing, I used google to search for information: 

• What is the most popular kind of handgun? 
• How long does it take to die from an infection, and what are the symptoms? 
• What happens if you use a negative value for time in a physics equation? 
• How difficult is it to land a single-engine plane without the engine? 
• What are the biological effects of radiation poisoning?

After a number of those types of searches, I started getting REALLY scary google ads in my browser! I have since switched over to querying "incognito" (and I would definitely advise aspiring writers to do the same!)

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Isabel?

A: I would love to roll back time and get Sigourney Weaver when she was 40. Come to think of it, she would be perfect in book 5...

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: Ack, that’s like asking which of my children I love most! (So I’ll give you three answers):

1) The scene I spent the most time on is the prologue. There isn’t a word in that chapter that wasn’t checked and rechecked far more times than I am willing to admit.

2) The, um, intimate scenes are extremely difficult to write. I need them to feel honest, not cringe-worthy (there must be a better way to say that?), and real. Most chapters take me a day or two to write, but a sex scene takes weeks. And after I’m done writing, I have this powerful urge to delete the whole mess. Which explains where there aren’t many in book 2 or 3.

Writing sex is hard. Writing great sex is near impossible. So far, I have managed to avoid the words “throbbing manhood,” and I consider that a small victory.

3) The chapter I had the most fun writing is the scene where Picasso and Matt meet and Agent Johnson and Junior attempt to move the 2-ton artifact. Every time I see Trump’s ridiculously long tie flapping in the breeze, I think of that scene. It helps me keep from strangling someone.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: My folder of deleted scenes is bigger than the book, possibly bigger than all three books put together. I have toyed with putting some of those scenes up on my website, but that would be time away from writing book 4, so maybe someday...

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: Here’s the ARC teaser for book 4, Out of Time

Straight, intelligent, quad (4th in series but stands alone) ELS (edgy love story) seeks SR (single reader) for one-night stand and possible LTF (long-term relationship). 

Available for secret rendezvous starting November 2020 (eARC) and hoping to hit a home run before New Years (launch). 

Willing to try whatever position (or format) works for you, but hate yoga, typos, and bad grammar.

Vampires, ditzes, or talking animals need not apply.

(This is the fourth book in the series, and if interested, I'll GIFT you the Kindle editions of the first three books. DM me @DL_ORTON or email for details.)

What are you reading at the moment?

A: 101 Dog Tricks. (I got a 3-month old miniature golden retriever in March, and I’m teaching him how to take dirty socks to the laundry room. Seriously.) 

The best book I’ve read in the last year is Exhalation, a collection of short stories by Ted Chiang. (It includes the amazing short story that inspired the movie Arrival, the best SciFi movie in decades.) If you haven’t read it (or seen it!), stop what you’re doing and go check it out from your public library. It’s awesome.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites – be it Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. –  interacting with readers is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on your time, and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: There comes a time in each of our lives when we must be willing to give up what we are for what we can become. Now is that time. Just say no.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Don’t give up. The one thing that all successful writers have in common is that they refused to quit.

Thank you for your time!


  1. Hi Silvia,
    Thanks so much for the fun interview questions. I enjoyed answering all of them (and thank you for the invitation to talk about book 4 🙏),

    Stay safe and well! 😷


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