Posted by authorcamilson
170 pages * Science Fiction and Time Travel
Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Daily Science Fiction, Nature: Futures, and various other anthologies and e-zines.
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Elise Morley is an expert on the past who’s about to get a crash course in the future.
For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency’s ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn’t abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.
But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she’s got more to worry about than just the timespace
continuum. For the first time ever, she’s the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.
“Nikel is a solid writer with vivid description, an imaginative future, and a command of accurate historical speech.”
Barnes & Noble
“The spinning slows. Suddenly, everything stops.
My legs flail, searching for solid ground, until I plunge abruptly into dank, smelly water. I gasp, and my mouth fills with brine. I’m being dragged in one direction, but instinct pulls me the opposite way. I kick against my heavy skirts and break the surface. For one dizzying moment I’m utterly confused. The concrete slabs of the nearby docks sharpen my fuzzy memory.
I Extracted while on the gangplank—a gangplank that doesn’t exist in 2012. This is exactly why our travelers are encouraged to use pre-approved Extraction locations. The Wormhole dumps travelers at the same place they’ve left from, which can make for some awkward (or dangerous) entrances.
Across the way, Marie does a frantic doggie-paddle towards the steel rungs leading up to the dock. With labored strokes, I swim after her, clutching the sphere in one hand. When I reach her, she’s still clinging to the bottom rung, too exhausted to climb to safety.
“Hang on.” I slip my Wormhole Device into my handbag and pull my dripping body up to the dock. Water streams out around me, forming a dark puddle on the concrete. The evening sun, balancing on the very edge of the horizon, casts an eerie glow on the water.
“Okay. Come on up—”
My encouragement is drowned out by the sound of retching. Lovely.
I clench my jaw to stop my teeth from rattling and focus on retaining my professionalism—not easy, considering the mucked-up circumstances.
Finally, Marie starts up the ladder, ascending tentatively, with gasping breaths. When she’s close enough to grab my forearms, I pull her up with much grunting and tugging. Her eyes widen as she takes in the industrial warehouses, giant cranes, and sprawling parking lots that seem to have appeared instantaneously.
“What have you done?” Her voice rises in pitch with each word.”
* * * * * * * *
Interview With …
Wendy, thanks for being here today.. Tell us about you
I’m a former teacher-turned-homeschool mom from the Midwest who currently lives in Utah. I love drinking tea, playing board games, and — of course — reading.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Usually, my six-year-old comes in and starts telling me all about what he’s been reading or writing or imagining. Sometimes, there’s music involved. All in all, it’s not the worst way to start the day, though I usually do need a cup of coffee before I can really get down to work.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d love to sit down for a conversation with David Tennant to hear about his time on Doctor Who. His seasons were some of my favorites of the whole series, and I’d love to hear his take on the character he played and how that role has changed since he left the show. Plus, he has a great accent.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
THE CONTINUUM began as my very first attempt at National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it’s sometimes called, is an online writing challenge for writers to complete a 50,000-word novel in the 30 days of November. I’d never written a novel before, and I wanted to write a fun time-travel adventure, since that was always one of my favorite genres.
Tell us your writing process
NaNoWriMo has worked well for me for completing first drafts. Over the past five years, I’ve written nine novel-length manuscripts with this fast-first-draft method. The revision process obviously takes a lot longer, though I’ve developed a system that works for me that involves multiple read-throughs, each time working on digging deeper into the novel’s different layers until I have a finished product I’m happy with.
What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Writing a book is a long game. Getting one published is even longer.
There’s a lot of places where you’ll be tempted to rush through the process — whether it’s in revisions or edits or in getting it out into the world. But there really are no shortcuts, and the time you spend in each phase can be a great opportunity for growth and learning.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and making up stories and pondering “what if” scenarios. In college, I studied to be a teacher, but after my kids were born, I quit teaching to raise them and found that I really missed the mental challenge that teaching brought with it. I’d also done photography in the past, but that wasn’t a very conducive creative outlet with two very small children, so I turned to writing and found there a great way to challenge myself that was flexible enough to do while also raising a family.
Tell us about your main character:
Elise Morley takes her job very seriously. As a professional time traveller, her job is to keep the Place in Time Travel Agency’s clients out of trouble in the past, which isn’t always easy to do. She has to be resourceful and smart, as well as know a lot about past historical eras.
What are you working on next?
I usually have multiple projects in the works, and right now is no different. In addition to the work I’m doing on this series, I’m also revising a historical fantasy novel that takes place on the Pony Express and working on a handful of short stories.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I am quite skilled at building with LEGOs, if I do say so myself. I enjoy finding ways to work LEGO-building into our homeschool lessons, so my kiddos and I have built pyramids, pirate ships, rainforests, and even a model of the Titanic.
Who are your favorite authors?
I’m a fan of the classics: Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier, Alexandre Dumas, Jack Finney, H.G. Wells, and others. As far as contemporary authors go, my tastes are somewhat eclectic, though I’m always excited to read something new from Jodi Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kate Morton, Kenneth Oppel, and Neal Shusterman.
What do you like to do with your free time?
One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to go on road trips with my family. I love traveling around the country, seeing new things, checking out random roadside attractions, and exploring places I haven’t been before.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
The Place in Time series which begins with THE CONTINUUM will have at least two, possibly more follow-up novellas all revolving around the time travel agency and the people who work there. Book two, THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX, takes place about a year after the events of the first book and features one of the side characters from THE CONTINUUM as Dr. Wells sends him on a secret mission to the year 1893.
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