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A.G. Riddle: On a New Take in Murder Mystery

Bestselling author A.G. Riddle discusses traveling to the past in his new murder mystery novel, Lost in Time.

A.G. Riddle spent 10 years starting and running internet companies before retiring to focus on his true passion: writing fiction. His novels have sold over four million copies worldwide and have been translated in 24 languages. Several of A.G.'s works are in development for feature films. He lives in North Carolina. Visit A.G. at agriddle.com, and find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

A.G. Riddle: On a New Take in Murder Mystery

A.G. Riddle

In this post, A.G. discusses traveling to the past in his new murder mystery novel, Lost in Time, his hope for readers, and more!

Name: A.G. Riddle
Literary agent: Danny Baror at Baror International, Inc
Book title: Lost in Time
Publisher: Head of Zeus (a division of Bloomsbury)
Release date: September 1, 2022
Genre/category: Time Travel Murder Mystery
Elevator pitch for the book: When his daughter is falsely accused of murder, a father admits to the crime. But in the future, murderers aren’t sent to prison; they’re sent to the past—to the time of the dinosaurs, 200 million years ago. This is the story of one family’s quest to find a killer, clear their names, and reunite.

A.G. Riddle: On a New Take in Murder Mystery

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What prompted you to write this book?

I wanted to write a new take on a murder mystery—one that combines time travel and a family saga.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

The idea definitely evolved as I wrote the first draft and then a bit in the second draft. I think it was about two years from the initial idea to publication.

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

The biggest surprise for me—with every novel—is how the characters evolve. What I envision in the outline never really happens exactly that way on the page.

Characters surprise me. They change in ways I never imagined—and for me, that’s truly part of the fun of writing: seeing these character sketches I did become real people that react in real ways, not just how the outline wants them to.

It can be frustrating. It requires some rewrites to the earlier parts of the novel, but ultimately, it’s their story I’m telling, and it needs to be true to the characters.

A.G. Riddle: On a New Take in Murder Mystery

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

A few things. First: escape. I think the world today is filled with so many wonderful things, but also pain, and I think the first job of good books is to take us away from that. When we’re reading, we tune out the devices and the notifications and exist in another world, with characters who feel as close as friends and family

And second, inspiration. Lost in Time is a story about a family overcoming a trying separation (200 million years in time). I think COVID and the lockdowns have left us all feeling like that: separated from the world we knew. This is a story about people fighting to get back to the world they knew—and the ones they love. I needed to write it, and I think there are readers who will appreciate it.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

Keep going.

Above all else, keep going.

Writing is a wonderful career. For many reasons. You find out so much about yourself. And you provide an incredibly valuable thing for people around the world.

But it’s challenging. The work is hard. The environment is too. Once you publish, you take a lot of criticism. If you’ve invested in your work—emotionally—it’s hard.

You have to keep going.

Like the best novels, things may not turn out the way you envision at the outset. Like the main character in a story, you’ll be tested in ways you couldn’t have imagined. You’ll discover your strengths. And your limitations (I don’t use the word weaknesses). The things that limit you are simply aspects you need to work around to achieve more success. Life is about focusing on your strengths—not your limitations.

If you keep at it, you might find that writing novels is your calling. Or being an editor. Or a proofreader. Or a manager of a magazine for writers. They are all worthy and wonderful endeavors. The point is: If you love stories—and books—find a way to be involved with them. It might not be the role you envisioned at the start of the adventure, but that’s life. Like characters in our favorite novels, we all have to change. We all have to adapt to the story unfolding around us.

And I wish you much luck in your journey. Being involved in books is worth it. So keep going.

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