We’ve asked authors Lisa Mason and Laura Vosika to talk with us about their time travel books.
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. Visit Laura on the web at www.bluebellstrilogy.com or www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.
Lisa Mason is the author of Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and on Kindle. 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.” Visit Lisa on the web at Lisa Mason’s Official Website or Lisa Mason’s Blog.
Q:How do your characters time travel?
Laura: Like the four siblings in In the Keep of Time, Shawn and Niall originally switch times in a Scottish tower. As the series progresses, some other elements and conditions are discovered, as to what opens that gap in time. I leave it to the characters and reader, however, to decide if they believe this, or if there are simply 'thin places' where such things can happen.
After spending the day at a re-enactment event at the castle, Shawn and his girlfriend Amy go up into the tower. He gets her angry enough to walk away, leaving him stranded in the castle, fifteen miles from his hotel.
An hour later, he finished his third beer and looked out over the walls again. Mist boiled on the loch's surface and filled the courtyard, like a fog machine at an abandoned rave. The castle walls and buildings floated, ghostly, above the bubbling stew. Tendrils of mist shaped themselves, into a man, into a horse, and melted away again. He blinked. Maybe he'd read too many ghost stories himself.
In the morning, he's quite drunk.
He leaned against the parapet, but the floral scent wrapped around him. Voices reached out again, from far away. His head spun. He risked opening his eyes. There were no cars in the lot. Funny. Whose voices had he heard? He crossed to the east side of the tower, reeling as the rising sun speared his eyes. He raised a hand against the glare, and squinted down at the pebbly beach below. Two women, in full skirts, ambled along the shore with a man in a gray tunic. The water glittered under the rich greens of the mountains behind it. He swore. What was with these damn reenactors? Didn't they have a life, that they were out this early in the morning playing dress up?
Of the various time travel methods used in fiction, I decided against science and machinery and went with the idea of the miraculous and mysterious, things outside man's control, things that Shawn and Niall and Amy must seek to understand throughout the series, so they don't have a time travel method on their hands so much as a mystery.
Lisa: I wanted to present time travel as a technology that could actually happen in the far future. I’ve always been partial to H.G. Wells’s machine, probably because of that very cool sleigh-like contraption in the 1960 movie. My time machine is a “tachyonic shuttle.”
I researched how, specifically, my travelers could make their journeys over the centuries with the help of three books: Time Travel by John W. Macvey, Time Machines (Time Travel in Physics, Metaphysics, and Science Fiction) by Paul J. Nahin, and Time Travel and Other Mathematical Bewilderments by Martin Gardner. After some thought, I decided you would require two technologies working in concert—the first would translate matter (including a human being) into pure energy for an instant and the second would transmit that bundle of energy through the timeline to a targeted destination via faster-than-light technology. Hence, “translation-transmission” in a tachyonic shuttle is how Chiron travels from 2467 to 1967 and how Zhu travels from 2495 to 1895. Piece of cake!
From The Gilded Age:
Out of a tense and arid darkness she steps, her skirts sweeping across the macadam. Her button boot wobbles on the bridge over the brook in the Japanese Tea Garden. “Steady,” the technician whispers. The shuttle embraces the ancient bridge in a half-moon of silver lattices. The air is susurrous, tinged with menthol, cold. The shuttle hums. High overhead, the dome ripples in a fitful gust. Zhu Wong listens for final instructions. None come. Dread quickens her pulse. She closes her eyes and waits for the moment it takes to cross over.
And then it’s happening--the Event sweeps her across six centuries.
Odd staccato sounds pop in her ears. The Event transforms her into pure energy, suspends her in nothingness, then flings her back into her own flesh and blood. And she stands, unsteadily, her button boot poised on the bridge over the brook in the Japanese Tea Garden. A brand-new bridge. The scent of fresh-cut wood fills her senses.
Q: Can your time travelers return to their own era?
Lisa: Oh, yes! But only if they survive. Both Chiron in Summer of Love and Zhu in The Gilded Age each must return to a designated location where the Luxon Institute has in the far future set up a tachyonic shuttle and return at a specifically designated time or they’ll remain trapped in the past.
Laura: Shawn and Niall do have the ability to return to their own time, but in Blue Bells of Scotland, they don't know that. It's all guesswork. Even when they have a better idea, in The Minstrel Boy, they're not at all sure how to control it. Being from different eras, they have very different means of seeking that answer, and throughout the series, they're never sure when or if it will really work.
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. And please buy their books!
Summer of Love, A Time Travel, on Nook and Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel, on Nook and on Kindle,by Lisa Mason.