Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Love of Time Travel by Beth Trissel

As an historical romance author all of my stories are time travels in a sense, but I first incorporated actual visits to the past in the form of flashbacks to early 19th century Virginia in my murder mystery/ghost story romance, Somewhere My Love. Following that, my ultimate challenge was to set a time travel romance in Scotland. Slight problem, and one that held me back for years, I've never actually been there, though many of my family have and told me all about its grandeur and charm.  I've read, heard, and seen many descriptions of Scotland.  Being a history buff I've read up on and watched numerous programs set in the British Isles.

I'm a British junkie, an anglophile, while equally preoccupied with early America.  But then America and Great Britain are both tied together and were especially linked in the colonial time period.  Virginia's Shenandoah Valley where I live and my family has lived for several hundred years resembles Scotland and Ireland and is partly why so many Scots/Irish settled here in the 18th century, so that gave me an 'in.'

Until Somewhere My Lass, I'd set all my stories in America, past and present. This departure to Scotland was a challenge, but I drew deeply on my English/Scots-Irish roots, as I've been doing all along. Apart from the prominent Native American characters in my work (Through the Fire, Red Bird's Song, and Daughter of the Wind) the others are English/Scots-Irish with a smidgen of French. My ancestors have a smidgen of French in the meld—a Norman knight who sailed and fought with William the Conqueror.

But I digress.  A little more about the inspiration behind light paranormal romance SOMEWHERE MY LASS: As is often the case, the opening of this book was inspired by a dream, as was my recently completed light paranormal/time travel romance, Somewhere the Bells Ring. These vivid dreams grab my attention and make me wonder where in the world I go from here.  Inquiring minds like mine want to know the rest of the story, so I delve, plot, and lie awake nights trying to recapture the dream to see where it leads.

Ultimately though, Somewhere My Lass, and my other works for that matter, evolve from lengthy research, in this case into my Scottish roots. Not only those hardy souls who journeyed to the New World via Ireland, but also those who came directly from Scotland as early as the 17th century.  Along with my rich ancestry is a long-held absorption with the idea of actually being transported to the past, with a proviso that I can return to the present whenever the thrill wears off, of course.  Say, by tea time. My characters are far more adventurous than I. I'd be fortunate to survive a week back then.

Doubtless, I've been influenced by my beloved C S Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia that I grew up reading. I'm still looking for Narnia. Isn't everyone? And movies like Back to the Future, Timeline, The Time Traveler's Wife… And countless other films and books, but I like to think I've achieved an original take on the oft visited time travel theme.

Certainly, my love for old castles and the Scottish Highlands also lent inspiration.  The concept behind my SOMEWHERE series is that the story opens in modern-day, so far my home state of Virginia and I don't see that changing, and then transports the reader SOMEWHERE else–either back to an earlier time in the same house, as in SOMEWHERE MY LOVE, or another place altogether, as in SOMEWHERE MY LASS.  Sounds simple enough, right? But writing these stories isn't. And then there are the questions that haunt me.  Did I get the setting right?  Only those of you who dwell in that beautiful land or have visited Scotland can say.

Blurb for Somewhere My Lass:

Neil MacKenzie's well-ordered life turns to chaos when Mora Campbell shows up claiming he's her fiancĂ© from 1602 Scotland. Her avowal that she was chased to the future by clan chieftain, Red MacDonald, is utter nonsense, and Neil must convince her that she is just addled from a blow to her head–or so he believes until the MacDonald himself shows up wanting blood. Mora knows the Neil of the future is truly her beloved Niall who disappeared from the past. Although her kinsmen believe he's dead, and she is now destined to marry Niall's brother, she's convinced that if she and Neil return to the past, all will be right.

The only problem is how to get back to 1602 before it's too late. The balance of the present and future are in peril if she marries another, and the Neil of the present will cease to exist. An ancient relic and a few good friends in the future help pave the way back to the past, but will Mora and Neil be too late to save a love that began centuries before?~

SOMEWHERE MY LASS is available in digital download at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook book, and other online booksellers.

*SOMEWHERE MY LASS and SOMEWHERE MY LOVE were both featured on Barbara Vey's blog at Publisher's Weekly. Separate occasions.

For more on me, my blog is the happening place: One Writer's Way

Check out the interview of SOMEWHERE MY LASS at The Romance Reviews


Virginia C said...

Hi, Beth! Your "Somewhere" series sounds sensational : )

Thank you for a wonderful post! I am also a native of the Old Dominion, born and raised in the beautiful mountains of VA. Instead of the Scottish Highlands, I live in the "Highlands of Virginia", and my Highlanders wear plaid shirts, not kilts of tartan plaid. However, there is a common thread of love of country, fierce pride of family, and a kinship with the land and the elements of nature. There is also a strongly felt Scottish influence in the music, dances, and folk tales in the cultural history of Virginia. My ancestors were from Scotland, Ireland, and England, and I proudly embrace my heritage.

I love your wonderful historical romances! I wish you much happiness and continued success : )

"Virginia C"

Beth Trissel said...

Thanks So much, Virginia.

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