If I gave you the keys to a time machine, where would you go? To a theatre in 1790? Back to the Tudor court? To see the ancient Greeks or Romans? To go even further and watch our ancestors make their marks in the Chauvet caves of the Ardeche region? These are all destinations I’ve thought about, or written about. If you tell me where you’d like to go by entering my competition here, you might win a signed copy of my new book. So get time travelling, people!
In my latest book (out 7 April), my hero Mel Foster already lives back in time, in 1895 to be precise. But in this series I’m having fun with famous Victorian stories so he gets to travel on a time machine in honour of the famous book by H.G.Wells called The Time Machine. My story fits between the cracks of this classic because at the beginning of it a prototype machine is sent away to who knows where? Well, I decided I’d give the answer and continue that story. Someone else with very bad intentions finds the machine and the rest, as they say, is history…
Mel has to time travel too, of course. This gave me a problem. If I made an already historical character travel, where could he go? Would the fictional world not be ruined by bringing him too far out of his time? I decided the answer was to send him back to just before the beginnings of the Victorian era (1835), so he can meet an earlier set of characters from that decade, mainly characters from Oliver Twist and the great scientists of the day. If you’ve been in a production of Oliver! at school, you might find it funny to see what I’ve done with the Artful Dodger and his friends.
The odd thing is that we all travel all the time in a time machine – or at least that is what I tell young writers when I do workshops. Read a book set in the past and imagine it for yourself and you are time travelling in your head.
Mind you, I still wish I had a real machine to take you with me. I’d first make sure our jabs were up to date, but where shall we go? Set the dial on your chosen year and press the button….