Tag Archives: time travel novels

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Unintentional Time Traveler

Coming your way this summer/fall, here’s the new start to my debut, young adult novel, folks.

1926 BugottiI first jumped back in time on September 21, 1980, just a few weeks into high school, but nothing about how that day started was odd in any way. It’s not like the sun popped out of the sky and said, “Hey Jack, how about if you take a trip to a completely different era where nothing makes any sense to you?”

No, it was a regular day where I woke up from my incredibly annoying alarm clock, which of course alerted King, our Golden Retriever, that he should burst through my bedroom door and lick me all over the face until I was awake enough to push him off of me. He followed me down the hall like usual, standing behind me even when I whizzed into the toilet, lest I don’t know, he miss out on any of my fun. He and I didn’t even notice anymore that the sink was wrapped in rolled up towels, held in place by constantly unraveling, goopy duct tape. It had been that way since my parents had started letting me use the bathroom by myself.

I have epilepsy, see, which means that on an irregular basis I lose consciousness as the neurons in my brain decide to go on a bender and start firing like a bunch of kindergarteners who missed their Ritalin dose that day. As one can imagine, this gets in the way of conversations, walking, brushing one’s teeth, or anything else worth doing. But like the padding over the hard surfaces around the house, I’ve gotten used to having seizures, even if I’m not happy about them.

Sometimes—maybe half the time—the “episodes” gave me a tiny bit of warning, mostly by screwing with my sense of balance. The ground around me would abruptly shift diagonally, like a ship listing hard to one side. Or my own private earthquake. I mastered the art of quickly sitting down, before I would fall over into humiliating twitchiness. Before the darkness could collapse over me. Read More…

Narrative Transitions

time travel clockI bring this up today because ineffective transitions killed my most recent back-and-forth with an agent on a novel of mine. You’d think an individual with personal experience transitioning would handle these story shifts better, but apparently, they’re two different things entirely.

Now then, with this case in question, much of any transition in the book had to do with the main plot point, uncontrolled time travel. With the protagonist at the mercy of something–or nothing–pushing him between the Prohibition Era and the 1980s, in different geographic locations, it was up to me to make sure readers could come along for the ride. A couple of my beta readers who looked at an earlier version of The Unintentional Time Traveler noted some bumps in the last third of the novel when time jumps occurred. So I sat back down with the manuscript and examined the language, the necessity of those movements. Read More…

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