Time travel and other awkward topics

So there is time travel in my novel.

There. I said it.

I mean, there is not just time travel in my novel - but my novel is all about time travel. My novel would fall apart if you took the time travel out.

And here's the thing. I get embarrassed whenever I tell anyone that.

People say "What's your novel about?" And if I have to mention time travel I really squirm.

I know people - personally, intimately  - my husband, several friends, and an agent or two I've spoken to at writing conferences - who just hate time travel story lines and are immediately turned off.

I get it. Time travel is so illogical, so impossible, so ridiculous, and 9 times out of 10 the story lines violate their own internal logic and it's just one tangled big fat mess.

And you know what? I love it. Because I'm one of those people that loves time travel. I'll eat it up with a spoon thank you. With hot fudge sauce on top.

So it's time to own up. Time to come out of the closet. Time to stop blushing and squirming. To hold my head high and say it again "There is time travel in my novel."

I'm pretty much convinced that the world falls into two categories of people: those who love time travel stories and those who don't.

I think it has something to do with being able to completely (mindlessly) surrender yourself to a story - even if it doesn't "make sense". It's about being swept away with characters, with adventure, with improbability, even impossibility - it doesn't matter - it's about a glorious story that makes your toes tingle. It is suspension of disbelief.

So me - I can hack a good toe tingler, time travel included. I can suspend disbelief with the best of them. That's probably why I love fantasy and sci fi (as well as Jane Austen, mysteries, thrillers, steam punk, and the occasional magical literary fiction).

How about you? Are you in or out on time travel?

I also squirm when I admit my novel is centered around time travel because it sounds like a cheesy paperback, something with a dingy cover that you'd find in Half Price books, you know? And I am still not comfortable thinking of myself as a writer of a cheesy paperback.

I think I've given up imagining myself as a literary fiction writer. I think. But hey, even Margaret Atwood has written sci fi, speculative fiction and the like. And she's Margaret Atwood, okay? (I love her).

In fact you could argue Margaret Atwood is a time traveler herself. Have you heard she's putting a novel into a time capsule, not to be opened until 2114? Not that I even want myself or my writing put anywhere near the genius of Margaret Atwood, inviting comparison that would make me cry, and pack away my pen forever.

Anyway... do we HAVE to put everything in precise buckets? Literary fiction. Genre fiction. Sci fi. Fantasy. Romance. Or can you write beautiful words that also happen to be science fiction with a swizzle of romance in there too?

Sigh. Rambling rant over.

So you? Would you read a book that included time travel or drop it like a hot rock?


  1. Time Travel is my favorite in books! Seriously, if there is time travel it is a perfect book!! :)

  2. Time Travel is my favorite in books! Seriously, if there is time travel it is a perfect book!! :)

  3. I think time travel as a subject is pretty popular if you look at which series and movies have used it successfully. Doctor Who, Star Trek, Back to the Future...

    I remember a movie called Somewhere in Time that starred Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. I loved that film! And I loved Kate and Leopold.

    I guess I love time travel themes!

    It's good to reconnect with you, Valerie!