Meet Phyllis Wheeler, author of the Guardians of Time series: time-travel action-adventures for second grade and up, especially boys. If you have a reluctant reader who might enjoy lots of adventure along with a Christian living theme, read on!

Tell us about yourself!

With Jesus at the center of my life, I feel a call and a gifting to write for kids—stories that deal with issues in the Christian life.

I’ve had various careers: a newspaper reporter, an engineer, a mom of triplet boys, a homeschooling mom, and now, finally, writer of stories for kids. I live with my dear husband of 38 years, Steve, in St. Louis.

Tell us about your books.

My books are aimed at Christian families. I am currently working on my Guardians of Time series: time-travel action-adventures for second grade and up, especially boys. Each has a Christian living theme, such as what do you do when you’ve told a lie to your father and how to lean on the Creator when you’re scared. 

These books, with short sentences and chapters and plenty of illustrations, are perfect for kids who are reluctant to read. At least, that’s what I’ve heard from several parents who reported back to me that their kid is reading, to their delight!

What kind of child are you trying to reach with your books?

Boys, especially reluctant readers, are my target. These books are easy to read and have a lot of action, short chapters, and one illustration per chapter. One mom told me her son was reading my book during his video game time! Now, that’s significant!

That said, the protagonist has a twin sister, and plenty of girls really like the books as well. 

Give us a little flavor of some great characters or the setting.

From The Dog Snatcher, Book 1 in the Guardians of Time series:

(Jake, an eleven-year-old American kid, has been playing around with a skeleton key he found in the street—right after a stranger grabbed Jake’s dog and vanished. With the key, suddenly Jake finds himself somewhere else—a crowded shop full of clocks. He meets Will, a fourteen-year-old American, and Paracelsus, a 700-year-old renaissance alchemist from Switzerland.)

“How’d you get here?” asked Will.

I shrugged. “I have no idea, to be honest.”

“A key!” Paracelsus pointed to my hand. “That is how you came here.”

The key was still in the palm of my hand. 

“That means you’ve come to the right place,” the man went on. “You vouldn’t have that key if ve veren’t intended to help you.” He pointed through the shop window at the sign out front. “Uhren Hueter. That means Guardians of Time.”

This weirdness was a lot to digest, for someone who had just recently been tossing balls to his dog in his peaceful back yard. Shivers ran up and down my neck.

What inspired you to write this series?

I like time travel stories. They are so puzzling, so impossible! My first published book, The Long Shadow, was a time travel story. Now it was time to write something else. 

I went to a local writers’ guild workshop where someone was giving writing prompts and waiting while we scribbled for five minutes. Her prompt? “You may not sit there.”

That beginning became a short story, now available for free download on my website if you join my newsletter. I imagined a boy walking through a familiar street of vacant warehouses and unexpectedly finding an old shop full of clocks. Amid all the ticking and tocking, he goes in and starts to sit on a fragile chair. Suddenly he hears an accented voice: “You may not sit there.”

My brain spun a whole lot from that encounter. Who was the man with the accent? What was special about the clock shop? Who was the boy?

How did you know you wanted to be an author?

I’m one of those writers who started writing as soon as I could read. For me, that was around age seven. I wrote and illustrated a book of a few pages about a pony who wanted a saddle. Then I stapled it together. My first! 

I wrote a lot of Tolkien-style poetry when I was a teenager. I also set a goal for myself to write a book for children. Then life got in the way and took me in various other directions.

When I was thirty, I did write a middle grade book. But I could tell it needed work and didn’t know how to find the help I needed. I decided to wait until I had more to say.

Finally, after my kids were growing up, I started dabbling again. Where should I start? I contacted Jane Yolen, children’s author, and asked her. 

“Join a writers’ organization,” she said.

So I did. And I’ve been working hard at it ever since!

What’s one middle grade book you always recommend?

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Join a writers’ organization and share your work. The sooner, the better!

What formats are your books available in?

  • Paperback
  • Hardback
  • Ebook
  • Audiobook

Find them here.

What’s next?

Book 3 in my Guardians of Time series, Search for the Hidden Throne, is releasing in July this year. Next year, I’ll hopefully have Book 4.

How can parents find you?

Parents can find out more and sign up for my monthly newsletter at

The Guardians of Time books are available on Amazon.

Liked that?

Try these!

If you’re in the market for middle grade books, I’d love to share my series with you!

Power Pup is a Christian superhero adventure series for readers ages 9-13.

Calvin Quinn is a long way from the corn fields of Nebraska.

The rookie canine reporter dreams of bringing criminals to justice with his front page headlines, while working alongside famous investigative journalist team Mittens Meow and Alex Digger.

But Calvin has a secret:

He’s also a rookie superhero!

After months of training, Calvin Quinn is ready to hit the streets and defend the innocent as . . . Power Pup!