Recently, there has been an upsurge in the number of time travel romances on the market. One reason that leaps to mind readily is the wildly popular Outlander books and television series. The books have been out since the early 1990s and have a huge following, even greater now that the series has captivated a whole new generation of audiences. I daresay we will see quite a few time travel books come out in the next year or so to help feed that growing interest.
The interest in time travel, however, has been there much longer. H.G.Wells’s The Time Machine comes immediately to mind, and the sub-genre of time travel romance has its beginnings in such science fiction and fantasy. I remember being given a writing prompt in the 8th grade that involved a time machine and a pre-teen brother and sister. I ended up writing a short story set mostly during the Civil War that went on much longer than the original assignment because I got swept up into the fascinating adventure of living in another time and place.
All good historical romance (and historical fiction) are, in a sense, time travels if they transport the reader back into the era they are reading about. If the author uses deep POV skillfully enough, and pays meticulous attention to details, the reader is transported back to the Regency, or Middle Ages, or the Victorian period. They are viewing it through the character’s perspective, but I’ll bet many readers have jumped or screamed or trembled right along with the hero or heroine they are identifying.
Time travel romances add yet another, and in my opinion, more fun layer of having a 20th or 21st century person thrust back in time to an era they may know very little about. Even if they know something of the period, that knowledge may be wrong or it may have certain consequences or ramifications a modern person would know nothing about. In this case, the reader identifies much more with the hero or heroine because they recognize that they themselves would be just as lost, just as bewildered as the character. Thus time travel romances give us both the romance of a different era and the immediacy of understanding the problems and challenges the time traveler faces.
In my just released time travel novella, Crashing Through Time, my heroine, a woman from 2015, realizes that although she’s read about the life of women in 1868 (where she has landed), experiencing some of the customs ladies of the era took for granted is a very different matter.
Excerpt from Crashing Through Time:
She dug into the first sausage using the heaviest knife and fork she’d ever held. Real silver? Jesus. She popped the bite into her mouth, and flavor exploded on her palate. Rich, meaty, fatty pork. Like nothing she’d ever tasted before. If this were a dream, she didn’t want to wake up until after she’d finished breakfast.
Corrine had just begun slathering marmalade on her second piece of toast when the maids returned with a huge copper bathtub and buckets of hot water. She crunched into the bread quickly, loathe to give it up. Her plate looked like she’d taken no prisoners, although where she’d put all that food, she still didn’t know.
“You’ve done well, miss. The master will be pleased. He asked after you twice this morning.” Lily hefted the tray and headed for the door. “He’s requested your presence in the downstairs library once you’re dressed.”
Corinne’s stomach lurched, threatening to dislodge her breakfast. Dream or not, she’d decided over breakfast that the best course was to act with caution. She’d see how much information she could get out of Mister Ian Hunterly while giving up as little as possible about her own life.
The bath proved a blessed relief once she got past the awkward moment when Lily and Molly insisted on helping her undress and get into the tub. Sitting in the hot water, steam curling around her face, the heat soaking into her bones, cleared her head. She needed a story to feed Hunterly—one that didn’t involve falling down a well—and she needed it now.
After washing, she lingered as long as she could, turning possible cover stories over in her mind. How could she explain her presence and her remarks about movies and such out in the greensward yesterday? Finally, the hovering maids made one too many comments about ruining her skin and catching her death in the cooling water. She stood, jumping when they wrapped a thin towel around her and proceeded to dry her. Amazing the things you didn’t realize about life in the past. Like having to be naked in front of people you didn’t know at all. The Victorians were supposed to be prudish, for God’s sake.
Crashing Through Time is part of the boxed set, Crashing into Love, seven stories about love and survival.
Seven planes lift off…seven planes crash…seven stories of struggle, passion and love in the barren Canadian Wilderness, the coast of England, or the steamy heat of a tropical island. Romance hangs in the balance between survival and death.
The set is available at Amazon for just .99! It includes works from such best-selling authors as D’Ann Lindun, Melissa Keir, Daryl Devore, Brenda Dyer, Deb Julienne, and Lisa Kumar. I hope you’ll come check it out!