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We Want More.......
Time Travel Romances!!!

We queried the listers and here is what they had to say!
June 2001 Issu

PNR Q.: : In your opinion what is the appeal of time travel romances?

Judie A:
From a writer's standpoint, I love being able to write both the contemporary and the historical aspects of the story and how the"traveler" deals with the unfamiliar (either the slide to the past or the zap to the future). As a reader, I love the suspension of disbelief that takes me into a situation that would be fantastic to experience myself.

Leslie T: I think it is the 'fish out of water" aspect for one thing. It is great to put a hero or heroine in an unfamiliar situation and see how well they deal with it. Of course most readers from time to time fantasize about various eras they would like to visit themselves, which doubles the appeal of these novels.

Linnea: a) the immediate, obvious, often comical conflict. There's that... OK, how is s/he gonna resolve THIS one? Of all the conflicts we readers
vicariously participate in in romance novels, time travel is one that none of us have experienced (at least, not that we admit...) and
b) the perspective of an era from someone not of that era - it's fresh.

Melanie J.: They are the ultimate fish out of water story. You are not limited to cultural collisions of any one era but can have Henry VIII meet up with Cleopatra (btw, my money is on Cleo coming out on top).

Sheri: I like the bringing of different cultures, time periods's so interesting to see what can happen.

PNR Q.: Time travel devices, do you prefer them to have a logical explanation or do you prefer unusual or imaginative ones? What is the most unique device you have read about?

Judie A: I prefer the unusual and let me stress, imaginative, "travel" devices. We still don't know if there is the true possibility of time travel (although Einstein's theory of relativity hints at it), so "logicalexplanation" for me as a time travel writer/reader doesn't exist. Susan Grant's airplane crash was a great device. In one of the books I'm working on now,
the device is nothing more ominous or unusual than smoke. In another the device is a near-drowning experience.

Leslie T: Hm, well I suppose we are talking about plausible vs. improbably means. I like them both. Walking through a door, or getting caught in a storm are things that happen to us every day, we can relate to that. On the other hand some of the improbable devices are just plain fun. Take Sandra Hills' Truly, Madly Viking, where the hero rides into the future, naked, on the back of a talking Killer Whale. What a hoot!

Linnea: Most I've read are keyed to a talisman or spell or 'place' of power. The time travel machines are OK but they take the magic out of it (though Connie Willis' one was superb!). If the reader is doing the vicarious thing, then her chance of stumbling across a time travel MACHINE are a lot less than her finding an antique amulet in a garage sale and suddenly finding herself in Lancelot's arms...

Melanie J.: I am not put off by time machines as per se, but prefer that things are left largely unexplained unless the person traveling is a scientist or magical being and came the explanation feel real.

Sheri: No preference, as long as it works in context to the story.....most unusal has to be in "AWAKEN, MY LOVE" by Robin Schone!

PNR Q.: Which character do you prefer do the time traveling, the hero, the heroine, or both?

Judie A: Usually I prefer both to travel. In my first book for Jove's Time Passages line, both my hero and heroine travelled to the past. She was aware of the "trip," he was not. In the 2 TT books I'm currently working on, the h/h both travel in one and only the heroine travels in the 2nd.

Leslie T: I like variety so it doesn't matter to me who does the traveling. I find I like the one's best where each gets to travel and experience each other's times. It levels the playing field as it were, with both making sacrifices and adjustments. One romance I thoroughly enjoyed for it's uniqueness was Nina Bangs' "An Original Sin" which had hero and heroine travel to our present, he from the past, she from the future. Again it leveled the field, but both were fish out of water together, I liked that.

Linnea: As they say in North Florida, Don't make no never mind to me, ma'am...

Melanie J.: Both or either. I've seen it done successfully both ways.

Sheri: It doesn't really matter to me which way.

PNR Q.: Do you prefer the travel be from past to present, present to past, a past time period to another past time period?

Judie A: I personally prefer from the present to the past and then back again.

Leslie T: I have to agree with Judie, I enjoy the trip to the past, but I like them to end up in the present. Modern conveniences aside, I want to leave the hero and heroine with the prospect of a safe and healthy happily ever after. As romantic as our favorite historical periods were, they were also extremely hazardous. My favorites of this variety would be Lynn Kurland's "A Dance Through Time", and more recently "Night Visitor" by Melanie Jackson.

Linnea: Again, it makes no difference. I'm more interested in the characters - i.e.: fiesty heroines - then their original addresses.

Melanie J.: Again, I like them all. If they are done well, of course. I think there are benefits for a contemporary woman traveling back in time
rather than her possibly less educated sister coming forward into a more technologically advanced world.

Sheri: Again I don't really have a specific preference, just love a good story.

PNR Q.: How do you feel about time travel from the future to the present?

Judie A: I usually don't read books with a futuristic theme or base.

Leslie T: I love them. I think it allows the imagination free reign, and also makes us look at ourselves through different eyes. How would someone far more advanced view our society? It's fun to contemplate. And of course as we keep reminding everyone, "The Terminator" is on heck of a Paranormal Romance <g>.

Linnea: I think it's not been done enough. John Varley (sp?) wrote (could be wrong on the title) MILLENIUM (or something like that) which was a SUPERB SF STORY with real romance (when that didn't happen in SF, La Grande Catherine Asaro notwithstanding) and that was later made into a TV movie with.... Cheryl Ladd? In essence, a woman from the future comes into OUR time to 'rescue' people from fatal plane crashes, because the future is dying, riddled with disease, and needed healthy people. For one thing, it certainly gave me hope about plane crashes [grin]. Those in the crashing plane were taken to the future and 'body doubles' were put in their place. The story involved an FAA investigator and Ladd's character, a 'future rescuer'.

Melanie J.: Again, it is okay. I've read two stories where it was done well. One of them-- oddly enough-- was done by Dean Koontz who is most well
known for his horror stories.

Sheri: I like these also.....I am a big fantasy/sci-fi fan as well as romance so these can be my favorites.

PNR Q.: What do you think is the biggest obstacle a time traveler must overcome upon arrival?

Judie A: I believe the biggest obstacle is figuring out (in a very short amount of time) how to fit into the society without attracting suspicion or danger to themselves.

Leslie T: Two things really, adjusting to what has happened and learning to fit in, and also deciding whether or not to get attached to anything in that particualar time. Of course since the travelling is seldom by choice there is the added concern that the capricious hand of fate will whisk them away without warning. Add to this the dilemma when there is a possibility of two-way travel, which only the traveler can avail themselves of. This is something that is explored rather well in both Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series, and Karen White's "In the Shadow of the Moon".

Linnea: Well, if I were thrust from 2001 to 1701, it would be, My God where can I get contact lens solution? ;-) Disorientation and inconvenience. We take so much for granted; microwaves, hair dryers. Running water. For someone coming from the past into our time, the release of religious
suspicions of 'magic' because our science would seem to be 'evil magic'
(automatic garage door openers?) to some.

Melanie J.: The culture shock and hiding who they are until they find a friend or guide (or Miss/Mister Right).

Sheri: The "fish out of water" syndrome....trying to fit in, language, money, etc.

PNR Q.: Two scenarios are usual. One in which the traveler decides to stay in an unfamiliar time period, the other in which they decide to go home and the non-traveler must decide whether to go with them. Which scenario do you prefer and why? What do you think tips the balance in one way or the other?

Judie A: Again, from my standpoint as a writer, I usually like to have a plot that requires both h/h to travel and if we use just one point of logic, I'll go back to James T. Kirk's admonision to his crew -- do no harm (the old "ripples in the pond" lecture). I prefer stories where the idea is not to change history but the characters have to deal with their fantastic experience in a positive manner. There has to be a solid, viable reason why the time travel happens and why the hero and/or heroine are the only persons who can travel. I believe there also has to be a change in the h/h by the end of the book -- what effect did the TT have on them and why?

Leslie T: Either is fine, although again, I prefer both h/h to have the travel experience. I like to think that both of the lovers would be willing to make that sacrifice to be with the other. Their shared love has to outweigh anyother consideration.

Linnea: I want a happy ending. Period. It don't make no never mind to me how or where that's done, as long as it is. I've read both per above, they
stay in X time, or they go to X time... but I've also ready where he/she returns back to his/her time without the significant other, but meets the
significant others' great great grand kid, who is their destined love.

Actually, it's serendipitous that you ask this: There was ONE TIME TRAVEL
ROMANCE that came about in the early to mid 1990s. She was transported back from present time to the Old West - it involved a train wreck. He was a
marshall or a sheriff. It ends when he comes BACK to our time with her.
It was beyond superbly written. It was FUNNY, it was SEXY. I loaned it to
a friend of mine and she said she read it one weekend while basking in
the sun in her backyard, and the book was so HOT she had to read it with the garden hose flooding her..... It was a GREAT BOOK. I think the writer likened the male lead to Mel Gibson. Anyone remember it?

Melanie J.: For me, it is a matter of how well the time traveler can adapt to the other's world. I do think it important that characters be given the choice of staying or leaving, otherwise it is like being exiled or sent to prison.

I have to admit that I would be (in reality) very hesitant about
staying in any time that didn't have antibiotics, but I'm a wimp :-).
My characters are all much braver than I am.

Sheri: It doesn't matter. I thought it was well done in "The Pleasure Master"
which I recently read.....the person who left, needed to and it worked out well.

BARBARA SHERIDAN - Paraphernalia Feature Columnist
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor ~ Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity ~ Cy Korte: Reviews Editor

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