When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks—for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he’d be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he’s bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind—memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom’s been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that’s bigger—and much more terrifying and beautiful—than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there’s no way to make it flat again.
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
Targeted Age Group:: Young Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, When the World was Flat also explores a reimagined history where Albert Einstein lived long enough to finish his Theory of Everything. This theory is the backdrop to the epic love story between teenagers Lillie Hart and Tom Windsor-Smith.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The characters came up with themselves really. I started with Lillie Hart, an insecure teen with a unique internal dialogue. Tom Windsor-Smith is her mysterious love interest, turning up in her town out of the blue and literally turning her world upside down and inside out. Yes, literally, not figuratively!
The history you and I have grown up with—you know, the one we learn at school, or read on Wikipedia—tells us that Albert Einstein died in the early hours of April 18, 1955 in Princeton Hospital. The internal bleeding could have been stemmed by surgery, but Einstein insisted he’d done his share and that it was his time—one of those moments that sounds made up by Hallmark.
Einstein’s remembered for his work in physics—a class I should have picked up last year, but you know what they say about hindsight. You might have heard of his Theory of Relativity or Quantum Theory. You might have even heard of his unfinished work, the Theory of Everything, which he called an attempt to “read the mind of God.”
His greatest discovery was E=mc2, which I once saw tattooed on the arm of a guy who looked like a high school drop-out. The formula led to the atomic bomb.
There’s another history though—one I heard from Tom.
In this history, Einstein died six years later at his home in New Jersey. He’d come close to death in 1955, before doctors had operated on him to fix an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Thanks to this life-saving operation, Einstein isn’t only remembered for his usual theories, but—in this history—he’s also remembered for finishing his Theory of Everything.
The theory led to more than the atomic bomb.
It led to the end of the world.
On the plus side, it also led Tom to Green Grove, and of course, to me—Lillie.
About the Author:
Ingrid Jonach writes books for kids and teens. Her debut young adult novel When the World was Flat (and we were in love) is available now. Her second young adult novel In the Beginning There was Us will be released in April 2015.
She is also the author of the picture book A Lot of Things and the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan Australia.
Ingrid has worked as a journalist and public relations consultant, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing with Honors in Communications.
She lives down under – in Canberra, Australia – with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
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