Sunday, April 10, 2011

My First Review!


Last month, Dana Grimaldi, eHarlequin Copy Editor, wrote an article on time travel. It perked my interest.  While I was pitching my story, I found editors and agents felt there was no market for time travel. I was a few years too late. Perhaps with Diana Gabaldon's release of a special 20th anniversary edition of Outlander and the release of another Lord John Grey book, The Scottish Prisoner, their attitude will change.

I’m drawn to this genre, specifically historical romance time travel, heavy sigh. I like reading about strong men and women facing challenges, working through conflicts, and who are forced to leverage their individual abilities from another time and place, and come out better than they started. I read the article.
I certainly wasn’t disappointed.  Dana explained why she liked to read time travel, characters could reunite with someone they’ve lost, fix mistakes, and glimpse life in either the past or the future. What she really liked was seeing the past through the eyes of a person with modern sensibilities, my kind of reader. That’s when I saw my name, Ruth A. Casie, in the same sentence with J.K. Rowling. Please read her article for yourself. And do leave a comment. I'll remind you at the end. 


Dana_Grimaldi | March 10th, 2011

by Dana Grimaldi
eHarlequin Copy Editor
I am not a competitive person. But when it comes to time travel, I’ll put all reservations aside.
Let me explain. Every Tuesday morning, I go to work looking forward to the Carina Press acquisitions meeting. I love discussing the manuscripts I’ve read with fellow team members, and I love hearing about the new books we’ll be publishing. One of my favorite parts of the meeting comes when Angela goes through the list of books we’re going to look at for the next week. If I hear that a manuscript we’re considering involves time travel, the competitive spirit awakens within me, and I’ll jump at the chance to read it.
So far, I’ve read two time travel manuscripts for Carina Press, and I’ve been thrilled to recommend that we acquire both of them. Reading these books only served to remind me of how much I love a good time travel story, which got me to thinking…what makes a time travel story good? The best time travel stories make the most of the genre’s unique strength: characters who travel in time can do things characters in your average story could never imagine. I’ve made a list of the top three things that are (for the most part) unique to time travel stories.
1. Characters can reunite with someone they’ve lost.
One of my favorite moments in time travel stories is when a character runs into an older/younger/alternate version of someone they’ve lost. One of the best examples of this occurs in the story Days of Future Past. For those of you not familiar with the comic book heroes known as the X-men, I’ll give you some background. At the beginning of the story, Kitty Pryde, the newest and youngest member of the X-men, finds herself struggling to find her place among the superhero team. She’s particularly frightened by the mutant Nightcrawler, whose demonic appearance once made him the target of a violent mob in his native Germany. When the future Kitty Pryde travels back in time to inhabit the body of her younger self, she finds herself surrounded by the loving adoptive family who, in her time, were almost all killed—including Nightcrawler, whom she’d grown to love and trust. The future Kitty’s reaction to seeing her friends is heartbreaking. Especially when she embraces Nightcrawler and calls him by his given name: Kurt. The ability of time travel to bring people into contact with those they’ve lost is a compelling storytelling device. I think the reason I find it so interesting is that in a way, it’s like time traveling gives characters the ability to defeat death.
2. Characters can fix a past mistake.
In the movie Timecop, police officer Max Walker is unable to prevent his wife and unborn child from being killed in a violent home invasion. The 20th century cop is no match for the group of thugs with futuristic weapons who surprise him in the night. Years later, he gets the chance to go back and make things right; he saves his family using his knowledge of the past as well as impressive kicking skills. We’ve all wondered what life would be like if we could go back and change something in the past, which is why it’s so satisfying to see characters get the chance to do so.
3. We get to see what life might be like in the future or what life was like in the past.
For years, writers have created compelling visions of what the future might be. Anyone who remembers what life was like before cell phones and the internet knows how fast technology is changing, and how much those changes affect our everyday lives. The chance to see what these changes might be is always interesting.  One of my favorite parts of Back to the Future part 2 is Marty’s experiences in the future Hill Valley. I’m still disappointed that hover boards haven’t been invented yet!
The flip side is equally interesting—looking back to see what life was like in the past and how people lived. One of the time travel manuscripts I read for Carina Press is a great example of this. In Ruth A. Casie’s time travel story, a woman travels back to 17th century England. I loved seeing what everyday life in an English manor house was like. The story shows how some aspects of our lives haven’t changed that much, while others seem very strange to a reader with “modern” sensibilities. The heroine found out just how different things were when she was attacked by a band of assassins: she was expected to cower in fear while the men took care of things. I don’t want to spoil the story, but I will say that this didn’t go over well with the feisty Rebecca, who holds a black belt.
While I was writing this post, I couldn’t help but remember a few of my favorite time travel stories. I love all three Back to the Future films, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and especially Primer. My favorite time travel books include The Singing Stone by O. R. Melling, A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling, Once a Gambler by Carrie Hudson and a new favorite, Ruth A. Casie’s soon-to-be-retitled Carina Press book.

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Awesome right? Do you read time travel stories? What appeals to you about them? Which ones are your favorites? 

36 comments:

  1. Interesting read and how exciting for you to be recognized that way. Congrats.

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  2. How exciting, Ruth. Congratulations on the recognition! Thanks so much for sharing the article!

    I've always loved time travel stories. I think it stems from my deep love of history and desire to see how folks once lived.

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  3. I love time travel romances! Doesn't matter what time period they're set in, I'm just intrigued by the idea of people from different times coming together. Right now, I'm almost finished reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. Someone gave me an old copy, because we were discussing time travel romances and I admitted I'd never read anything by her.

    I also wrote a time travel of my own, but because it was set during the American Civil War, publishers were reluctant to contract it. It finally did find a home with The Wild Rose Press and was released in 2009. It's titled Erin's Rebel.

    And congrats on your first review!

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  4. That's pretty awesome! I'll have to look for your book:-)

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  5. Terrific review for your book, Ruth! Congratulations - to be mentioned like that - wow!! I don't read too many time travels, but I just might pick up yours :)
    ~ Mickey

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  6. What an exciting thing to read! And a wonderful surprise I'm sure! Ruth you must be up the clouds :) How awesome!!!

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  7. How astute of Ms. Grimaldi to cite one of the most vivid and memorable scenes in the book! I love historical romance, although I'm a little skeptical of the time travel genre. However, a good read is a joy---if it has a great story, wonderful characters, interesting situations, vivid descriptions, challenging dilemmas, and creative resolutions, I'm hooked. I'm not surprised that your talent has been recognized. Onward, my dear. I know that there are many more stories whirring around in that pretty head of yours!

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  8. Great article, Ruth! I love time travels. I can't wait until yours is available.
    Jen Sampson

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  9. Wow, Ruth! How fabulous to be put in such great company! But well-deserved I'm sure - I can't wait to read your book!
    The women's fiction I'm currently working on is actually a time-travel of sorts. It's a cross between Mitch Albom's "One More Day" and the movie "Peggy Sue Got Married".
    Anyway, kudos to you! What a great article. You're rising like a star baby!
    All best,
    ~Marlo Berliner

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  10. Wow, what a neat way to get advance publicity for your upcoming book! the first time travel book I read was Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Got hooked then, and have read all of Gabaldan's Outlander series. I am looking forward to reading yours!
    Sandy B

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  11. Thank you for sharing this. And congratulations on your debut! Can't wait to read it.

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  12. In fact, I do love time travel stories and what I particularly love to see (regardless of the reason for the journey back or forth) is the juxtaposition of characters from uttelry different times. Whether it is a feisty 21st century heroine having to confront a past period and all that it means for a woman with modern sensibilities, or whether it is a man who goes forward in time and has to handle a very different society (Janet Chapman's Scottish time-travelers faced this, as did the wonderful Malcolm McDowell in the film "Time AFter Time". Another quirky, odd film - "The Might Be Giants. George C. Scott claims to be Sherlock Holmes with a very contemporary Dr. Watson - Joanne Woodward. Great post and a wonderful look behind the scenes at Carina Press. Thank you for sharing! Can't wait for your debut release!

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  13. Time travel makes for some fun and intriguing reading. Nice job, Ruth, and how terrific that it was recognized.

    Shobhan

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  14. Ruth, outstanding and thank you for sharing this. Now, do we know the new title? When is the release date? I look forward to adding this to my reader. I love time travel stories.

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  15. @Clancy

    Thanks so much. It was exciting!

    ... Ruth

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  16. @Deb

    I have always loved time travel. The 'what ifs' to me are just amazing. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    ... Ruth

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  17. @Jewel's Gems

    Thanks so much for stopping by.

    ... Ruth

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  18. @M.Flagg

    Mickey thanks so much for stopping by. It was a big Wow! I'm so excited.

    ... Ruth

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  19. @Eliza Knight

    It was an exciting read to me too! I'm still dancing on the ceiling!

    ... Ruth

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  20. @Margie

    It's one of my favorite scenes too. Thank you for support. It is greatly appreciated.

    ... Ruth

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  21. @Lita

    Thank so much Lita.

    ... Ruth

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  22. @Sandy Bruney

    Thank you Sandy. Outlander was my inspiration. My log line is Lara Croft meets Clair Randall and Jamie Frasier!

    ... Ruth

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  23. @Pamala Knight

    Thank you so much for stopping by and for your good wishes.

    ... Ruth

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  24. @lisekimhorton

    Thank you Lise. I think I've always thought about blurring the lines between yesterday and today.

    ... Ruth

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  25. @Shobhan Bantwal

    ... and it's wonderful to share it with you. Thank you for your good wishes.

    ... Ruth

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  26. @Scarlet Pumpernickel

    Alas, we don't have the final title yet but you can be certain I will be shouting it out when we do. Our release date is November 14!

    Thanks so much for asking,

    ... Ruth

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  27. Wonderful post! Congratulations, Ruth! Personally I LOVE time travel stories!

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  28. Great read and congrats on the sale, Ruth. One of my favorites, although I'm not sure it's totally time travel, is the movie with Dennis Quaid and Jim Caveziel - FREQUENCY - where father and son communicate via Ham radio and change the past. Awesome movie with two serious hotties.

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  29. @Nicole

    I love time travel too. Even when I thinking about a 'regular' all in the same time period story, it winds up with some time travel element.*huge sigh*.

    Thanks so much for stopping by.

    .. Ruth

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  30. @Carina,

    Hi (waving madly),

    Thank you for your good wishes. I too LOVED Frequency. It was a great concept and for me a winner of a film.

    To add to Dana's list there is Outlandish. My log line is Lara Craft meets Claire Sandals and Jamie Fraiser! And I can't leave out Dr Who.

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  31. Congrats! Time Travel Romances were the only ones I like as a younger reader. Haven't checked out any recently, probably because I'm a HUGE TT fan and want to write my own!

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  32. @Jenny Nixon,

    Thank you for your comment. I'm finding more and more readers and writers enjoy TT. This story was a joy to write.

    Thanks again for.stopping by.

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  33. @Cindy Spencer Pape

    Thank you so much.

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