Tina Wainscott on Time Travel — Real and Fictional
As readers, we're always in awe of authors who write time-travel romance — how do you keep all that criss-crossing chronolgy straight?! Today Tina Wainscott is here to talk to us about her time-travel romance, The Calendar Girl, which is out now. Take it away, Tina!
First, let me say that seeing The Calendar Girl published is sort of a time travel for ME. I wrote the first version of this book in 1992, before I’d published anything more than a letter to the Xerox Company about their amazing digital typewriter (yes, really, and got paid $100!). I’d always loved the story but it didn’t fit anywhere. It was a contemporary time travel, meaning the heroine goes back to the recent past more than once, and only for a short visit each time. I’ve always written magical realism paranormal rather than traditional, and I went on to publish On the Way to Heaven (now reissued as Until I Die Again) with its own unique twist. Flash forward to the RT Vegas convention when my mom and I are having dinner with Lance Taubold and some of his 13Thirty Books team. Mom has always loved this story, so she pitched it to Lance, who was instantly intrigued. And so this special book (with much editing) found a new life! We decided to keep it with the original timeline, making it a retro romance, to keep the flavor of that time period.
Writing time travel, especially with multiple trips to the past, is definitely tricky. I’ve always loved the idea of destiny thwarted, and The Calendar Girl exemplifies that. Wendy meets the man of her dreams (literally!) who is trapped in a loveless marriage that she suspects has been forced on him. Railing at destiny for this monumental tease, she is thrust back in time where she gets the opportunity to solve the mystery of his odd union and free her love. I needed to find specific events in the past to ground her experience, as well as fit them into a practical timeline. I discovered my newbie writer self (and lack of the full-on Internet back then) had made errors in the calculations, so I found a new event (Princess Diana’s wedding) to signify the holy-crap-I’m-back-in-time! moment … which created more issues syncing up the UK time zone to ours. Yikes! I had columns of timelines going with criss-crossing lines and dates to make sure everything synced. Originally the initial event was President Reagan’s near assassination, so it’s a much lighter one now.
I’d done research then (and more recently for my Jaime Rush Offspring series) about quantum physics, and d’ya know that time travel IS actually possible? Renowned theoretical physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku has written some fascinating books on how “science fiction” concepts could actually be a reality, including parallel dimensions (explored in my aforementioned series), telekinesis (also explored), and other mind-blowing ideas. It’s what I love about “magical realism” as the paranormal element—it really could happen! We live in an amazing and mysterious world, but it’s a little safer to explore the wild stuff in books. Happy exploring!
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