Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Writing Time Travel Romances and Birdie's Nest



Why I Like to Write Time Travel Romances set in the Old West

While growing up, like most children, I watched Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Rawhide, Have Gun Will Travel,  and other western television programs in black and white. Life in many ways was romanticized and fodder for a young girl’s imagination. I’d daydream. If I lived back then, would I be the banker’s wife, a poor farmer’s wife, the schoolteacher or one of Miss Kitty’s girls. Of course I had no idea what saloon girls did other than pour drinks and sit on men’s laps.

So, this love of things past carried over into my adult life. I went to college and trained to be a teacher, but loved my history courses. We learned interesting tidbits about politics and living in the white house. President Rutherford B. Hays, to the delight of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union banned wines and liquors from the White House. To get around the President’s decree, some staff and visitors injected oranges with vodka. It wasn’t uncommon to see people sucking on oranges. This ruling led Prohibitionists to vote Republican in the coming election.

I became a Home Economics Teacher (now called Family Consumer Sciences) but often regretted not getting a degree in history. Yet, studying Home Economics gave me the opportunity to learn about the history of dress, furniture styles and housing.

I digress here, but wanted to share my love of history which led to writing time travels that are set in the old west. The first one I wrote, My Heart Will Find Yours, I struggled with how I would make travel through time and space possible. A writer friend suggested I read up on ley lines, energy fields and ancient artifacts (ex. standing stones). While reading I also ran across data on spin torsion fields, a method used in the sequel Flames on the Sky. Oh boy I had fun with these.


It is hard, however, to make the methods believable. There has to be a key to make it possible. For example in Outlander, there were the standing stones. I've read stories where gateways open at different phases of the moon. I'm sure each of you could list an example of a method you've seen used. If you would, please list them in the comments below.

I hope I’m successful in making my methods of time travel believable. And I want life in the past to be factual and credible when I send my heroine back in time to a prior time period. Oh, the fun I have writing these stories. We are so lucky to live in this modern time where things are so easy. Imagine, learning to cook on a wood stove, churning your own butter, wearing a corset and being restricted from what men considered unladylike pursuits. The hardest thing for my heroine, Texas Ranger Birdie Braxton, to cope with in 1890 is not being allowed to participate in unladylike pursuits—mainly police work.

An idea for a new time travel is perking in my mind, but I'm having difficulty coming up with a method. It is to be set in Waco again sometime in the late 1800s. I'm stuck on the Victorian era as I love the styles.

I hope this gives you a little insight into why I like to write time travels. Thanks for stopping by today. Please take a look at my other books on my website. Birdie’s Nest is available at Amazon.com     

Blurb:

Texas Ranger, Birdie Braxton boards the Brazos Belle to attend a costume party, gets tossed into the Brazos and when she's pulled from the river she's told the year is 1890. A fact she can’t accept … until she looks across the river to see Birdie’s Nest, her ancestral home, no longer exists.

Tad Lockhart is a content man—a prosperous rancher with a ladylove in Waco. He's not interested in marriage and family, yet … until he pulls an unconscious woman from the Brazos who insists she's a Texas Ranger from the year 2012.

As romance blooms between Tad and Birdie, she struggles to earn enough money to build Birdie’s Nest, and Tad strives to mold Birdie into a Victorian lady suitable to be his wife. Can Birdie give up dabbling in police work and other unladylike pursuits yet stay true to herself? When faced with an indiscretion from Tad's past, is Birdie's love strong enough to support her man and be the woman he needs?

Excerpt:

His mother, Olivia Lockhart, listened intently as Tad talked. She enjoyed a good story and his tale of saving Miss Braxton titillated her interest.
                  “You say she thinks it’s the year 2012?” She fanned her face with her napkin. His mother wasn’t overly large but her face was often red, and she complained about the heat. “The poor dear. Do you think she’s crazy, son?”
                  “No, ma’am. Her blue eyes are clear as a bell and she talks rationally. If I didn’t know it was impossible, I’d believe her.” He took another bite of roast beef and swallowed. “She had a gun holster strapped to her leg and a Texas Ranger’s star pinned to it.”
                  She paled and the fanning increased in intensity. “You looked under her skirts?”
                  “No, Mother. The nurse who undressed her found it and turned it over to the detective in charge of the case. He showed it to me.”
                  “Well, thank goodness. All we need is another scandal to tarnish our good name.” She shot him a heated look. “If you’d just settle down, you’d --”
                  “Mother, don’t start that again or I’ll take my meals in the bunk house.”
                  She sniffed. “Well, I’m just saying, you’re not getting any younger.”
                  He laughed. “I’d hardly call thirty-five old.”
                  Her mouth turned down at the corners and she sputtered. “Well, I’m not getting any younger, and I’d like to dandle a grandchild or two on my knee before I die.” She fanned her face again. “At the rate I’m going, it may not be that far off.”
                  Tad blew out a breath. “Mother, you are not that old. I’ve seen you run up and down these stairs like a woman half your age.”
                  She pursed her lips and glared.
                  “When I find a woman who can keep my interest for more than a day, then I’ll marry.”
                  “What about that woman you’re keeping time with in town. What if she turns up pregnant and expects you to marry her?”
                  Thank goodness his sister was visiting with friends tonight. He didn’t want her impressionable young ears to be privy to his private affairs, which his mother considered scandalous.
                  “She’ll be sadly disappointed because I’ll not marry someone I don’t love. Plus, I’m not sure she’d be faithful.” As far as pregnancy, Doc Floyd kept him in a supply of condoms. Odd how the Comstock Law allowed a man to have access to them to prevent disease, but wouldn’t let him use them to prevent his wife from getting pregnant. Didn’t make a lick of sense to him. If he fathered a baby out of wedlock, he’d see the child was well taken care of.
                  “It’s a sinful relationship. God is going to strike you dead one of these days.”
                  “Let’s drop the subject, Mother.”
                  “Mark my words, your clandestine affair will come back to haunt you.”
                  He didn’t know how secret the relationship was, but if it bit him on the butt, so be it. He was ready to call it quits anyway.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll leave a comment, especially if you have an idea for a mode of time travel. All help is appreciated.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Linda
www.lindalaroque.com
http://www.lindalaroqueauthor. blogspot.com

  


13 comments:

  1. I've written one time travel and have three more plotted. Each of my heroines comes forward in time, which is probably not as popular. I do think they're fun though.

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  2. I think forward would be interesting for a change Caroline. I'd planned to write one more after Flames on the Sky and bring the turquoise forward to 2100 something, but never got it done. Yes, I agree, forward will be fun. Good luck with them.

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  3. Good post, Linda. Having read most of you books, especially time travel, I think it would be interesting to bring the turquoise into the future.

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    1. I'll have to give it more thought then, Anna. Thanks for your comment.
      Linda

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  4. A delightful bit of dialogue, Linda. Thanks!
    Nancy C

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  5. I adore time travel stories. I love to read them and I love to write them. I agree with you--the transition from present to past has absolutely got to be believable, and hopefully, unique. I've read good ones and some really lame ones. I sent Lola back into the west in the year of 1910 by way of an old trunk. I sent back Genevieve to 1927 through an abandoned house. I read a time travel that took the heroine back to the American Revolution by way of a magical fog. As she walked down an old road in an historic town, a mist surrounded her and from its depths emerged a troop of Revolutionary soldiers from the fog. The worst one I ever read was a woman who could enter an old hotel room in which she could come and go through time as often as she liked. Because there were no limits or unusual circumstances involved in her travels to and fro, it just wasn't convincing at all. I think any reportedly haunted or mystical place is a good gateway through time--even a haunted trolley, a train, or a bridge. Even a walled in garden would be a good transportation place.
    Another thing I find I am particularly intrigued by involving a time travel is the reason for that person to go to another time. If there isn't something urgent or special about to take place, why would they go to that time. I think it's crucial to the story line to have a dang good reason for them to travel to the past.
    I love your catchy title for Birdie's Nest. It's important to have an enticing title. I like that the heroine is a strong female. I watched the first episode of a new time travel series on TV and it stunk because the heroine was a weakling. She handed over her gun to the hero from the past who didn't even know how to use it instead of tucking that gun in the waistband of her dignified gray suit saying something like, "Don't worry, I'll protect you." No humor, no guts, no glory, and no good. Just sayin'...
    I want to wish you great success with your new time travel, Linda.

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    1. I agree, Sarah, there must be a purpose. You know I had one reader say Birdie was the dumbest name they'd ever heard. I love it too and have since seen someone actually named Birdie. Maybe some day we can meet and brainstorm ideas for our time travels. Thanks for your comments.

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  6. I haven't read too many time travel books because... I'll agree with Sarah. Too many of them just are not believable. All fiction is fantasy, so it's a matter of what someone wants to believe. Birdie's Nest sounds interesting!I think I'm going to have to try a time travel. Adding Birdie's Nest to my pile!

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    1. Thrilled you're adding Birdie to your TBR pile. And I agree. I get disgusted with some of them—their modes of travel, etc.

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  7. Linda, I sure can relate with you about being influenced by those old westerns on TV. I love time travels, particularly set in the 19th Century West. I'm going to head over to Amazon and pick up MHWFY! The book I'm writing now, third in my trilogy will be my first time travel. I don't want to give away my mode of transportation to the past, but hope readers will find it both imaginative and believable. I wholeheartedly agree with Sarah that the plot must include a good reason to go back in time.

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    1. Linda ... too funny! I went to click on the buy button and Amazon reported that I had already purchased MHWFY last year! Guess I have too many kindle ebooks on my TBR list. Looking forward to reading it next and will give you a review.

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    2. I'm so pleased you have My Heart and will be reading it soon. And I buy loads of books only to find I've already bought them and haven't read them yet. I can't wait to hear what you think about Texanna and Royce.

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