We’ve asked authors Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika to talk with us about their time travel books.
Lisa Mason is the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel. Summer of Love was a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book. Locus Magazine said, “Remarkable. . .the intellect on display within these psychedelically packaged pages is clear-sighted, witty, and wise.” The Gilded Age was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book. The New York Times Book Review called The Gilded Age, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”
Laura Vosika is the author of Blue Bells of Scotland, on Kindle, Nook, itunes, and at Smashwords, lauded as a book in the vein of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, and earning many five-star reviews. Nan Hawthorne, author of historical fiction, called Blue Bells of Scotland one of her favorite books of the year. The praise was echoed by Robert Mattos of Book and Movie Reviews, adding that it is a must-have for the book shelves of any serious reader. The Minstrel Boy, Book Two in The Blue Bells Chronicles, is also out.
Q: What drew you as an author to time travel?
Laura: I’ve long been drawn to time travel, most likely as a result of a very active childhood imagination and a few really good children’s novels that involved time travel. In the Keep of Time was one, by Margaret J. Anderson, and Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn was another. In the first, four children go into a deserted Scottish keep and come out into the dead of night in medieval Scotland. In the second, two boys who look alike, but have very different personalities, switch places in time, Andrew Tyler coming to1990 and Drew, his great nephew, going back to live Andrew’s life in 1910. I consciously drew from In the Keep of Time in my own novel, but it also has some strong elements of Time for Andrew, in the concept of two very different men trading places and lives.
Lisa: Like Laura, I’ve always been fascinated with time travel. From H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895), Jack Finney’s Time and Again (1970), Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (begun in 1991), Connie Willis’s multiple award-winning The Domesday Book (1992), and on to Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife (2004), the concept of time travel has offered authors a rich and complex source of inspiration and readers with a century’s worth of reading pleasure.
Laura: I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife, too. What I liked about it in particular is the way it focused on character and personality, on facing life’s problems, with time travel being central, and yet incidental, to the deeper story. This is something I try to do in my own writing. And of course, I also enjoyed Diana Gabaldon’s books and the look at historical Scotland.
Lisa: I enjoy historical fiction but the problem is, as an author, you have to stay within the mindset of the period. It’s vital you do that to maintain veracity. With time travel, though, you get to have it both ways, immersing the story in the era as well as providing a modern perspective, often a critical one.
Laura: These differing mind sets are one of the things that I think make time travel so fascinating–the exploration of how the time we live in impacts our thinking, more so than I think most of us in the modern time would like to admit.
Lisa: Absolutely. A reflection on how our own time shapes us and our thoughts in profound ways is so important in keeping an open mind and exercising your own judgment about the issues of the day. With Summer of Love, I wanted to carve out my own territory in time travel by positing that my time traveler, Chiron Cat’s Eye in Draco, comes from the far future on a mission to save Susan Bell, a teenage runaway in 1967 San Francisco. In The Gilded Age, Zhu Wong comes from a far future two decades later than Chiron’s and returns to a more distant past, 1895, to save a Chinese slave girl. Against all her better judgment, she falls in love with a scoundrel, Daniel J. Watkins. Need I add that neither time traveler is very happy about the era he or she has been compelled to travel to and none of the locals think much of the time traveler. Trouble!
Laura: That’s half the fun, isn’t it! Get your characters up a tree…in the wrong century…and then throw rocks at them. Neither Shawn, the modern-day musician who ends up in medieval Scotland, nor Niall, the medieval warrior who spends a couple of weeks in the present day, is very impressed with the others’ era.
Thanks to Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika for a lively and thought-provoking discussion. If you, the reader, wish to join the discussion or have any questions or comments for our authors, feel free to contact them at their websites.
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We thank you for your readership!
Visit Lisa Mason at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.