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Monday, 4 February 2013

Guest Post: Five reasons to love Time Travel stories

Today I have a guest post from enchanting author Liz Kessler as part of the North of Nowhere blog tour.

Without further ado, here is Liz:

Five reasons why I love time travel stories

1. I love the idea of time being circular, rather than linear. In other words, I love playing with the idea that we can not only affect the future by what we do in the present, but that we can go back into the past and change our future. Or even change the past with something we do in the present. I like to think that time might not be as straightforward a concept as we think, and that it really could be another dimension that is far more flexible and unpredictable than we realise.

2. I love the possibilities that open up if time travel is a factor. Like the romances that become possible in The Lake House, or The Time Traveller’s Wife. Or the way that repeated or alternate lives can give you another chance, like in Sliding Doors, or Groundhog Day or It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s all about stepping out of the strict black and white ideas of what is possible and wondering if there are other versions of our lives that we could pursue. And, whether we can time travel or not, this idea is something that we could all consider at times anyway.

3. Yes, I admit it. I like the feeling of forcing my brain to work that little bit harder to grasp a concept that is almost – but not quite – out of reach. Like in the Back to the Future films, where various characters have to jump through all sorts of hoops to avoid messing with the space-time continuum. Or in Terminator, where a character from the future has to go back in time to kill a child so that he doesn’t grow up to become a rebel leader who will himself come back in time at some point in the future. Arrrggghh! See what I mean? Melts the brain. But I like it!

4. Just like with mermaids, fairies and pirate dogs (the subjects of my other books) time travel is a concept that no one can 100% tell you you’ve got wrong. As far as we know, time travel isn’t actually a real possibility. So it’s all about the imagination – and this appeals to me. I love to let my imagination run free without fear of correction and admonishment. If I was writing about Victorian Britain, I’m sure I’d get some of my facts wrong, and I bet it wouldn’t take long for someone to write and tell me so. But with time travel – well, as far as we know, no one has yet successfully done it, so it’s up to me to decide for myself how it works. Unless, of course, you know otherwise…

5. It’s basically more fun than boring old reality. The thing is, we live in a real, normal world every day. And that’s fine, for a place to live – but when it comes to writing (or reading – or watching) stories, I do love a bit of something extra thrown into the mix. And time travel is the perfect way to do that. It’s so nearly something that we could believe is possible, and yet something so impossible at the same time. It’s enticing and magical, and yet gives us another way to look at reality. It’s the perfect escapism and I love it.

All of which is why I’m very excited that Orion have let me write three books all dealing with time travel in different ways. North of Nowhere is the second. I hope you love time travel too. And I hope that if you read North of Nowhere, you’ll enjoy that too! Thanks for having me on the blog, and happy (time) travels!


Thanks for your Time Travel enthusiasm Liz! The space-time continuum is mind-blowing stuff to get your head around.

NORTH OF NOWHERE by Liz Kessler is published by Orion Children’s Books on 24 January in hardback at £9.99

My readers may also be interested to hear about a  a North of Nowhere creative writing competition that we are running to celebrate young talent. The competition is open to all writers aged 8-13 who need to finish the story (which is the opening paragraph of NORTH OF NOWHERE) in 500 words or less. Entries are open from 17 January 2013 – 28 March 2013. The winner will have their story published on the Guardian Children’s Books website, will win a digital camera as well as £100 worth of Orion Children’s Books for their school library.

Do check it out!

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