Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Time Travel Romance

I like that term better than "paranormal romance," which sounds like it should involve bending spoons, which is only slightly weirder-sounding than the term I ran across in Wikipedia searches of literary genres: "monster erotica." Alrighty then.

It's true that I am writing a time travel romance involving the great Baroque sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini (great is the adjective he insists on accompanying his name, like some people insist on their middle names). It's set in contemporary AND 17th century Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence, and Venice and was liberally researched in an intensive art history tour of those cities I took awhile back. Plus many hours/months/years of fascinating research reading. I can't seem to stop reading about Italy. And I get to make an excuse for doing it by needing to know exactly what kind of wine glass my heroine might have sipped wine from in a tavern in 17th cent. Assisi while having a chance time-encounter with the great artist.

So how did this Rocket Kid start writing about time travel? My father was friends with Isaac Asimov in Philadelphia in the 1940s when they were both rocket engineers and neither one wrote science fiction. That's how I grew up: in a rocket scientist household liberally stocked with science fiction, especially Asimov's. And Fred Hoyle's The Black Hole. I developed an early interest in such things as time travel, black holes, and alternate universes. But what did I want to read? I wanted to read about girls, of course. Girls in Oz, girls solving mysteries, and girls in Gone With the Wind. It only took me a few decades to figure out about putting the two together. Fantasy/SF + girls = paranormal romance.

Who knew that the Twilight series would catapult this seemingly oddball genre to prominence. Actually, I didn't know until the other day, when I researched literary genres to see how my novel fits. I haven't read Twilight and think the vampire craze is silly. But time travel -- I think it's possible. If only in some of the most entertaining fiction I've read. (The Time Traveller's Wife, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life After Life, and of course Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair.) My favorite time travel device: a genetic disorder. Second favorite: a golden pen.



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