Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Timeless Sandy Blair

Suz: MAC DUFF'S SECRET is the third time travel romance you've written. What is it about time travel romances that you like?

Sandy: The possibility-the fantasy--of time travel fascinates me and I often find myself wondering how I'd react if thrown back or forward in time.

Would I-or a particular character--be intimidated by the lack of modern conveniences or become inventive in an effort to reestablish creature comforts? (I.e. try to make toilet paper.) Would I be brave enough to confront injustice or those displaying prejudices we now find appalling? If my hero knew from a modern perspective that something terrible was about to happen would he dare try to change history, knowing there'd be a domino effect, that everything-good and bad--from that point forward would also change? If throw forward in time how would I cope with learning everyone I held dear had died in some horrible fashion? These are the things I find myself thinking about when staring at the ceiling at 3:00AM.

Suz: Are there any unique challenges to time travel romances?

Sandy: Yes. The first challenge is crafting a fresh situation in which the possibility of time-travel is in some way believable. (Standing stones and fairy rings have been done repeatedly.)

The second challenge depends on where the protagonist (s) is heading-whether back in time, forward to the present, or into the future. The author may have to "world build" or do in-depth research into a particular time period (s) and in some cases, do both.

The last hurdle is making a protagonist's reactions to a "new reality" ring true for the reader, which often requires some soul searching on the author's part.


Suz: MAC DUFF'S SECRET is also your second novella. I think you do these very well. What do you like about writing for anthologies? And what do you see as the unique challenges to writing them?

Sandy: Thank you for the compliment. To be truthful I must admit to having an ambivalent relationship with anthologies. I love getting "the call." There's no rejection. The editor has come to me. Yahoo! Better yet, I don't have to come up with a High Concept. The editor has given it to me. Yahoo x 2! Riding high on these thoughts, I always say, "Yes! I'd love to do a novella for this anthology."

The minute I hang up the phone that's when the hate part-the panic--kicks in. My mind starts screeching, "They only want how many pages?!? How can anyone write a story worth reading using so few words? You can't even say hello in under 50, you idiot! And you promised to deliver in 90 days?! What were you thinking? What?!"

A few glasses of wine later I've usually settled down, have a Universal theme and "What if?" scenario in mind, am ready to bounce these off my trusty Cp (Bless you!) and get down to the hard work of making these characters empathetic/believable. And somehow it all comes together on time.

Suz: So, give us a quick peek at MAC DUFF'S SECRET without giving away too much, since it is a novella.

Sandy: Would love to.

"How bad could it be?" That's all Sarah Colbert thought when she agreed to chaperone her private school's sixth grade field trip through Edinburgh. She's about to find out when she and her students find themselves trapped in a Highland glen that time forgot with a battle-scarred warrior they'll never forget.

Suz: Are you working on anything new that we can look forward to reading?

Sandy: I currently working on three novels; two light-hearted Scotland-set historical Romances and my first historical (biographical) fiction, which is generating loads of personal angst and anticipation. After that, who knows? I may start working on the Gothic Romance I've had simmering on the back burner for two years. (He's delicious...in a dark and brooding sort of way. )

Okay...so weigh in readers...Do you like time travels? What is your favorite part of them? And do you like big anthology books like the Mamoth books?

Sandy will be giving away a copy of her anthology MAC DUFF'S SECERET in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCES to one lucky commentor.

91 comments:

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Do I get the GR?!?!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, sandy! So happy Suz roped you... er, um, CONVINCED you to come back. :-)

I love time-travels and have loved them since I first read "Outlander" back in the early 90s. Sandy, your "Highlander for Christmas" is one of my favorites. I haven't read any of the "Mammoth" anthologies, but they sound wonderful!

AC

Lynz Pickles said...

Congrats, Aunty Cindy! D'you have plans for him?

Time travelling, eh? Well, if that's the topic, I have a confession to make. I've never read a single time-travel novel. Ever. Not even Outlander. (I'll get around to it one of these days, once the TBR stops threatening to bury me, at least. Right now it's staying upright by willpower alone.)

So I have no idea if I like it. It seems like a fun concept, but... well, I just don't know! I do know that I like anthologies, though--I'm in the middle of reading Carla Kelly's story in A Regency Christmas right now--but I've never read a hugely huge anthology. Apart from a sci-fi one back in tenth grade, that is. (Turns out I wasn't into sci-fi. Not without romance, at least! Or Ender. He was pretty fun to read about.)

Virginia said...

Congrats Aunty Cindy on nabbing the rooster!

Welcome to the lair Sandy! Great interview! I love Time Travels. I used to read them all the time but it's been a while since I've read one! I think the last one I read was one of yours, A Highlander for Christmas and I loved it. I also love a good anthology, so I am going to have check out the Mammoth anthologies. Thanks for sharing with us today!

Donna MacMeans said...

Welcome back, Sandy!
I LOVE time travels, absolutely love them. A time travel - Outlander - first got me interested in Romance (and yes, I know the author insists it's not a romance, but if Jamie isn't a romantic hero I don't know who is!) Actually, I'm a little disappointed that this is only a novella - I want the full blown experience! (grin).

I do enjoy anthologies in that they allow you a taste of different authors. I've found some really great ones that way. Good Luck with this one!

Helen said...

Congrats Aunty Cindy what do you have planned for him today

Hi Sandy

I don't think I have ever read a time travels book I must get some to read I have heard a lot of good things about them and travelling back in time to Scotland I am sure I would love that one. I do love anthologies I have a lot here at home read and TBR so I will be looking out for this one.

Have Fun
Helen

Suzanne Welsh said...

Welcome everyone, I will be time-traveling when I get home this morning to the day I ACTUALLY put Sandy's photo and book covers on this darn blog!!! For some mysterious reason they all disappeared!

Hmmm....maybe they're time-traveling, too?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Ah Congrats on nabbing that Golden Rooster, Cindy!

You and Sandy are big OUTLANDER fans. In fact, I bought Sandy the latests Gabaldon book in the series for Christmas this year. She was in tears when she opened it! :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Lynz! No Time-travels, huh? I got hooked on them back when Constance O'Day-Flannery wrote them. What fun those stories were. My favorite was the girl dressed in Colonial period costume at a fair who falls through a hole in a Colonial house and ends up....Back in Colonial America!

chelleyreads said...

i haven't read that many time travel stories but the ones i did read i liked and it's definitely the fantasy of it that's appealing. i've thought long and hard where i'd go if I were to time travel myself.

as for anthologies, i love reading them (especially the holiday themed ones because those have just the sweetest stories). it always amazes how an author can craft great stories in a little over a hundred pages and have me still care for the characters and get to know them. i've been into paranormals lately so i'd love the chance to read the mammoth book.

congrats on the GR aunty cindy!! and have a great week everyone :)

Blodeuedd said...

Oh I love time travel, mostly cos I feel like I was born in the wrong era (of course I would not have survived with a toothbrush, shampoo etc anyway ;)

Mammoth is cool and plenty to read

Gillian Layne said...

I have the Mammoth book of Paranormal Romance and love it. It's a wonderful way to sample new authors.

Outlander was amazing. And there are time-traveling Navy Seals by Sandra Hill that are fun to read. I really like Rough and Ready.

Suzanne, I knew Blogger must have eaten the pictures. Who understands the mysterious temperament of the internet? ;) Sandy, your web site is lovely.

Kirsten said...

Oh, I LOVE time travel stories!!! Actually I think it’s safe to say I’m a huge time travel fan. In a very short period I’ve read Gwyn Cready, Lyn Kurland, Janet Chapman, Sandra Hill, Veronica Wolff and of course the lovely Diane Gabaldon. And I’m still not done. So seeing there’s a Mammoth book of time travel stories I got super excited. What's not to like about that. I love it if a modern gal (like me?) travels through time to find the love of her life. I guess being a romantic idealist and finding that modern men are not. I have this (secret?) fantasy about meeting an old fashioned guy that will sweep me of my feet. It’s ok if I have to go to the past to find him. For I believe it has something epic when the barriers of time are crossed in the quest for happiness. I do however wish to take him back home to my time. For I’m not so sure I could give up my family and friends & of course my stack of romance novels yet to read!.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I like time travels especially when the modern tries to live without certain luxuries. How they adapt is fun to read. The only time travel of yours I have read A Highlander for Christmas which I totally enjoyed. I also loved your "in a kilt series". I have all of those.

Minna said...

I do like time travel stories. Right now I'm reading time travel series (if I only could get all the books in the series =( ) by Tess Mallory.

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Sandy! I'm so glad you're hanging out in the Lair today! I am a HUGE fan of time travel romances!!!!! Love your "A Highlander For Christmas"! :) Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series is one of my absolute favorites. I "heart" Jamie Fraser! *sigh*

I think anthologies are great. It gives me a chance to read several different authors. I will definitely check out the "Mammoth" anthologies.

Congrats on nabbing the GR, Aunty!

Addison Fox said...

Sandy:

Welcome back to the Lair! I've got a B&N gift card for Christmas burning a hole in my pocket and the MAMMOTH BOOK on my list! :)

I love time travel romances - have loved them since I started reading. I think my favorite time travel romance is A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR by Jude Deveraux. Oh, that book is heavenly!

Addison

Virginia C said...

Hello, Ladies! Time-travel romantic fiction and also reincarnation-themed love stories can really draw me in as a reader. Why? When one lover is from the past, and the other lover is from the future, how can the two stay together? That is the main question, but it's also fun to follow them as they teach each other things about their own time zones. Happy New Year (whatever the year)!

Dina said...

I love time travels and how the person does the time travels. I also enjoy anthologies, b/c you get many stories in 1 book. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Y'all, Sandy is traveling in CA to visit her daughter's family, so she already warned me she may have technical difficulties, but will try to drop by if Blogger is kind to her today...but she's thrilled to have the interview up for so many of our great readers to look at!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Virginia!

I'd never heard of the Mammoth anthologies until Sandy signed up to write MACDUFF'S SECRET! They look cool and of course time-travels are always a great favorite of mine, too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Donna!

AS Sandy's CP, I, of course, adore her full blown books and all those great characters she writes. And MACDUFF'S SECRET would've done well in the larger format, but Sandy really nails the novella story to a tee!

Margay said...

Sandy, I love your hook for Mac Duff's Secret! What a teaser!

I do like time travel romances probably because I like that fish out of water theme. I like to see how the characters handle it. And anthologies are fun because you get a taste of several authors' writing, which is great if you haven't read them before. That is how I find new authors sometimes.

Margay

Jo Davis said...

Hi Sandy!
I can't wait to read your new story!

I love time travel romances! My favorite thing about them is the characters having to come to terms with a new world. I especially like when the hero comes forward in time, and seeing how boggled he is by the huge changes that have happened. Sandy's time travels are among the best I've read! Give me more! :)

Deb said...

Hi, Sandy.
I'm not usually a big TT reader, but do prefer to read stories about the heroine going back in time. (I just know I wouldn't be able to cope well because I don't like to go camping without conveniences surrounding me!) I remember reading a TT about a western hero plopping his gorgeous body in the future and thought he had it too easy by being able to adjust only too well.
I look forward to checking out your books.

Diana Cosby said...

Hi Sandy,
I enjoyed your interview, and I love time travels. I'm always pysched to read anotoher. I've never tried to write one, but it intrigues me. Congratulations on your latest release, and may 2010 be your best yet! ^5
Happy New Year!

Diana Cosby
Romance Edged With Danger

Stephanie J said...

I haven't finished a time travel romance. I was enjoying Outlander and then proceeded to lose it amidst all the books in my house. I want to pick it up again but I know I'll need to reread to get into the story again.

That being said, I love all the challenges mentioned about TT. I always thought I'd have questions about those things but it's good to know they're thought about and addressed. Sandy, your books sound great. I can't wait to read!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Sandy! Great to have you with us again in the Lair!

Ooooh, AC!! You got the GR for the day. Make him do laundry and sort pictures from your Mexico trip. *Evil Grin*

I love the sound of your time travel, Sandy, and I was LOL about the Call. Hahah! It is nice to have a set scenario, but...

Looking forward to reading this!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Suz, I promise to check back and see the covers, but there are SOME up there....

Grins.

jo robertson said...

Hi, Sandy, welcome to the Lair, and thanks for bringing her, Suzanne!

What I love most about time travel stories is the concept of time paradox. It's intriguing to me because of all the ethical dilemmas involves. Should you? Could you? Would you change anything and what would be the results -- better or disastrous?

jo robertson said...

Wowza, Cindy! Congrats on getting the rooster; it's been a long while since he's visited northern California, hasn't it?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Addison, you've named one of my all-time favs in TT - A Knight in Shining Armor by Devereaux. I mostly like her older stuff, and that one's been a re-read/comfort read for many years. :>

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Jo, I think you've hit on it. That paradox is what I love too...do the characters keep their mouths shut about the future? Do they try and recreate the modern (antibiotics, anyone?) or do they adapt? How much do they screw things up, or have to fix because of their presence?

~Drew said...

I love the whole concept of time-travel, while I have seen and liked a lot of movies with the theme, I have not read that many books on the subject!

I like the idea of the hero coming forward in time as well, think of what the heroine can teach him!
There have been some books mentioned here I want to check out for sure,
But yours Sandy, sound wonderful!
I cannot imagine anything more delicious than a Highlander traveling through time!

gigi said...

Hi Sandy,
I agree with you on the 'what if' concept of time travel. I mean who hasn't ever dreamed of falling back in time to somewhere they are visiting or dreaming about.
Some of my favorites from long ago are time travel. I am going to have to go did them out and read them again.
I look forward to reading your book.
It is now on my 2010 wish list.
Thanks for the interesting blog.
Oh, and I really like those gothic romance tortured heroes. I hope all goes sell with that story for you.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Ah HA! There's Sandy's smiling face! Glad the piccies were 'found' Suz. I thought the GR had a very guilty look on his face when he arrived early this morning... Now talk about a time and space paradox, our chook defies both on a daily basis. ;-)

Suz, I read the book about colonial America too and it is one of my faves, though the title escapes me. Loved the scene where she cooked stew in the dye kettle and turned everyone's mouth blue! Also LOVED "Knight in Shining Armor" as several have mentioned.

I'm taking the GR to Napa today to visit my DH's Aunt Liz and Cousin Chris. I will have to watch him, since Chris was born in the year of the Rooster, she collects them and would like nothing better than to take the GR back to New Jersey with her, I'm sure. Of course I'm SURE the GR will be out exploring wineries.

AC

catslady said...

I've only read a few but I absolutely loved them. They can take you anywhere, past or forward. I love the possibility of it all. And there are times that anthologies are just perfect.

Pat Cochran said...

I've read several time travels and
have enjoyed them all. I love the
twists and turns as the characters
work out being in an entirely new
and unfamiliar situation. I find
that anthologies work wonderfully
for me when I don't have the time
to read a full-length book. They
also allow me to sample several
new authors. Thanks for visiting, Ms. Sandy!

Pat Cochran

Lady_Graeye said...

Hello Sandy!
Hope you had a great Christmas! I love time travel books. There is an element of magic in TT books. I love the romance between the characters whether it's the hero who comes/goes looking for the heroine or vica-versa.I have never read any Mammoth anthologies, but I'm willing to tackle it.

ErinT said...

I just recently started reading this genre of romance, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them! I am always looking for new things to read and this sounds fantastic! The Mammoth anthology is right up my alley! I love anthologies because they give me a taste for new authors to read! Would love to read this one, thanks for the chance :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Helen!

Wow, you've never read a time-travel book? Can I recommend Sandy's A MAN IN A KILT or A HIGHLANDER FOR CHRISTMAS? AMIAK is hard to find, but it's a story where a modern day lady travels back in time. A HIGHLANDER FOR CHRISTMAS came out last year and again this year for the holidays. In it a man travels forward to modern day Boston! Both were fabulous!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey chelleyreads! I'm with you on the amazing part of the anthologies being well crafted stories in so few words. It's been fun watching Sandy, (who as she says can't say hello in less than 100), fine tune her stories to fit the word count. But she does it well!

You said: i've thought long and hard where i'd go if I were to time travel myself....What a great question...where or when would you go?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Blodeued,

LOL on the not living without the toothbrush, shampoo, etc. I don't think I'd like to live without toiletpaper!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gillian!

I have my copy of Mammoth Time Travels, and plan to sample some while off this weekend. And of course revisit Sandy's hunky highlander, MacDuff! Glad to hear from someone who's read one. They are trying to cover all sub genre's, aren't they?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Kirsten!

You really ARE a time travel addict...er...fan! :) If you can find some old Constance O'Day-Flannery, I think she predates Ms. Gabaldon's OUTLANDER. While not on her super level, I did enjoy them greatly. And of course any of Sandy's time travels should complete your "studies" of the sub genre!

Susan Sey said...

Hi, Suz! And welcome to the lair, Sandy! I love time travel romances, especially when it's the heroine moving backward through time. It allows me to have all the things I love--a rich historical setting, an unabashedly alpha male & a heroine with modern sensibilities. It's hard to get all those things without time travel.

Thanks for coming by, Sandy. I'll look forward to meeting MacDuff!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Diana!

We do get attached to our modern conveniences, don't we? And trying to live without them is a unique challenge to the time traveler. I also think the modern day woman dealing with the historical male is great fun, too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Minna!

Didn't know Tess Mallory had a timetravel series out. I'll have to look into that!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gannon!

Did I mention that I'm a character in Sandy's A HIGHLANDER FOR CHRISTMAS? hehehe

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Addison!

First off, a B&N gift card? Am sooooooo jealous!

You said: I think my favorite time travel romance is A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR by Jude Deveraux. Oh, that book is heavenly!...that was one of my favorite time travels, too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Virginia C!

You said:When one lover is from the past, and the other lover is from the future, how can the two stay together?...That is the very core of the conflict, isn't it?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hi Dina!

I love anthologies, too. Usually, there are 2 good stories in a 3 or f story anthology. But this Mammoth Book of Anthology Time Travel Romances, looks likes there almost 20 stories. I'm sure I'll find a few more good ones if they measure up to Sandy's!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Margay!

You said:And anthologies are fun because you get a taste of several authors' writing, which is great if you haven't read them before. That is how I find new authors sometimes.... That's how I've found many new authors, too!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jo Davis!!

Always glad to see you swing by the Lair! Sandy does do time travel well, doesn't she? Do you suppose she's ever time traveled and just not told us about it?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Deb!

You said: (I just know I wouldn't be able to cope well because I don't like to go camping without conveniences surrounding me!)... I don't mind camping, as long as, there are showers available! WITH HOT WATER!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Diana Cosby!

This time travel anthology should feed your time travel need.. There are tons of stories in the book!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Stephanie!

Maybe the OUTLANDER book traveled back in time and that's why you can't find it to finish it?

Dianna Love said...

Hi Sandy -

I've loved your time travels since Man in a Kilt. Congratulations on being included in the MBTT - I ordered a copy this week and can't wait to snuggle up in front of the fire with your story and glass of wine.

I don't think I've ever read a time travel I didn't enjoy, but I love the way you manage to mix the very modern with historical and it all sound so real.

Noodler waving at you from GA. :)

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Sandy, Have not read any of your new books but do love time travel. I like it when they first get to the new time zone and try to figure out where, what, who, why, ?? The "Mammoth" Anthologies sound great. I don't mind large books makes more to read. Don't remember my 1st by name but really enjoyed the read. I have been avid reader for over 50 yrs so have a lot of books under my belt. I have enjoyed what I have read in your excerpts and want to read your new books as soon as I can. Congrats on another release that is a winner.

Cassondra said...

Hey Sandy!

Welcome!

It's always great to see you here.

I am never so intimidated as a writer as when I read a good novella. I am not a short-book writer. I know, eventually when I sell, that novellas will be required of me. I have no idea how I'm going to pull it off. Maybe if I read a hundred or so, Ill get it by osmosis or something. *worried sigh* I'm not sure I'll ever be able to call myself a real writer until I can figure out how to do this.

You do so well with them.

If you get time and internet, tell me...What is your secret? How do you pack that punch into so short a book. (And yes, my Bandit sisters and friends are tired of hearing me ask this question any time a short book writer comes into the lair. They'll just have to tolerate me one more time.)

Cassondra said...

Woohoo Aunty Cindy! Good job nabbing the bird!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jeanne!

Imagine my surprise last night when I took a minute to be sure the blog posted to see it....NAKED!!!ACK!!! What the heck happened to the pics I'd added?!?!?!?!

I'm thinking the pesky rooster sent them to cyber space!

(Considers telling the GR we're having chicken cashew stir fry in Texas tonight!)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey JoMama!

You said:What I love most about time travel stories is the concept of time paradox. It's intriguing to me because of all the ethical dilemmas involves. Should you? Could you? Would you change anything and what would be the results -- better or disastrous?...

That is an interesting concept. Did you ever see the STar Trek where Bones goes back in time? When Kirk and Spock travel back they find a world where Nazi's won WWII because of something Bones did? Interesting, huh?

Beth said...

Welcome back, Sandy! Mac Duff's Secret sounds fabulous *g*

I haven't read many time travel romances but I loved the ones I have read. I love a 'fish out of water' story and what better way to force that fish onto dry land (as it were *g*) than by sending them to a different time period :-)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Drew!

You said:I cannot imagine anything more delicious than a Highlander traveling through time! ...It's fun to watch Sandy craft the actual events of the time travel. In A HIGHLANDER FOR CHRISTMAS, he arrives....NAKED. yep, not even a kilt to keep him warm in December in Boston!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gigi!

Glad you'll be picking up Sandy's new book. I too, look forward to reading her gothic romance. Sandy does brooding alpha males very well!

Suzanne Welsh said...

AC said: Loved the scene where she cooked stew in the dye kettle and turned everyone's mouth blue!...That's one of those great scenes and OOPS things you get to write with Time Travels!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Catslady!

Isn't it great to have an anthology available on those weeks when you aren't going to have a lot of time to read? You can pick it up, read one of the novellas in it, then pick it up later on another day and read another story. Love it!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Pat!

TT twist and turns do present new ways to add conflict to the romance too, I mean, the hero is sure the heroine is daft and probably a bit touched in the head, until he eventually has proof she's from the future, then HE feels a bit daft!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Lady Graeye!

You said:There is an element of magic in TT books....I sometimes wonder if it isn't fate that mixes with that magic?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Erin T!

Welcome to the TT sisterhood...or should that be the sisterhood of the time traveling romances? hmmm...sounds like the making of a new movie!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Susan!
You said: It allows me to have all the things I love--a rich historical setting, an unabashedly alpha male & a heroine with modern sensibilities. It's hard to get all those things without time travel. Now if I could just get toilet paper with it, too, I'd volunteer to do the time traveling!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Dianna Love!

Welcome back to the Lair! Looking out my window at the snow falling Texas, I'm thinking HOT CHOCOLATE and a warm fire to read more from the Mamoth book is in order down here!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Miss Kallie!

Welcome to the Lair. You'll find loads of authors and books in the daily dose of zanieness that goes on around here!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Cassondra!

You asked: If you get time and internet, tell me...What is your secret? How do you pack that punch into so short a book....I can sort of answer this for you. While Sandy doesn't pre-write for her books, she sorta pre-chats with me. Mostly I listen and go, "Uh huh" while she creates her "what if" scenarios, character arcs and the black moments. She does all the same stuff you do for the big books, but gives a very, very short ticking clock. And she keeps it moving, low on description, but enough to give it flavor. Every word moves the plot along. Sort of like a kindergarten teacher herding her students to lunch past all the other big kids rooms...."eyes in front, keep moving...no Donald you can't go jump off a building, I don't have time to resolve that conflict..." Or more like Dragnet, "Just the facts, ma'am" with a bit of detail thrown in, but always a good plot.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Beth!

You said: I haven't read many time travel romances but I loved the ones I have read. I love a 'fish out of water' story and what better way to force that fish onto dry land (as it were *g*) than by sending them to a different time period :-)...Yes, but with my luck I'd end up in the Neolithic period!

PJ said...

Hi Sandy! Welcome back to the lair!

I'm a huge, HUGE fan of time travel romance. Honestly, I adore them and yours are just too darn delicious. I like the fact that the hero (or heroine) is thrown into a situation where they are totally out of their element. I also love that it opens the story up for some terrific humor.

I haven't read any of the Mamoth books. To be honest, I only recently discovered their existence.

AC, congrats on nabbing the GR!

Suz, thanks so much for bringing Sandy back to the lair!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey PJ!

You said: I also love that it opens the story up for some terrific humor....

AHA!! AND that's what Sandy does so well...IMHO! She sets the characters in a situation and lets the humor ride through, coz face it, if one of us had to go back in time and figure out how to boil animal fat to make tallow for candles, well...I'm pretty sure it would be pretty dang funny!

Joan said...

Waving madly at Sandy!!!

Sorry to be so late coming in but spent the day with a recovering friend. We played marathon Scrabble (I, er...DID use the word 'kilt' :-)

I loved A Highlander for Christmas and even measured out my stocking this year hoping.....sigh.

I ADORE Time Travels! I LOVE variety in romance!!!! Can't wait to read McDuff!!!

Sandy Blair said...

Hello!!!!!!!!!! I finally made it back from CA and Christmas with the grand babies but the getting home was hard thanks to the snow. By the time we were allowed to leave SF, they'd cancelled half the flights into Dallas. When we landed all the DFW arrival and departure boards showed an impressive number of cancellations.

But I'm here now and want to thank Suzy for holding down the fort and getting the photos up and to y'all so much for leaving so many messages. I love that so many of you enjoy time-travels and hope that those of you who haven't given
the concept a try will crack one open.

I personally love Diana's Outlander series but many just can't get through all the period minutia and that's okay. Different strokes for different folks. (And yes, I did cry when Suzy gave me the latest for Christmas. :))

My heartfelt thanks for the nice compliments about A Highlander For Christmas and my web site. I'm currently fiddling with what I'd like to do next to spice it up a bit.

I need to read some more posts! Back in a minute!!

Sandy

Suzanne Welsh said...

Welcome back to TX and the Lair, safe and sound, Sandy!!! Glad I wasn't in that crazy traveling mess!

Sandy Blair said...

Hi Again,
Cassandra, I laughed reading your post. I feel the same way about novellas. I'm verbose and love details. My first single title novel was Dickensonian in length, went well over 200,000 words. Reining that tendency in (for a novella) is not only mind-bending and heartbreaking. But it's a do or die situation.

Steven King suggests in ON WRITING that we all muzzle our internal editors and write for "ourselves" behind a closed door. Keep the words flowing. After typing the End we should then open the door and edit for the public. In this case, what the reader expects to find within an anthology.

Did it hurt editing it down in places? Yes. But my words aren't sacred.

Linda Henderson said...

I do enjoy time travel books. To go back in time to see how our ancestors lived, I think that would be very interesting. I like the anthology books also. Sure the stories are shorter and sometimes you wish particular ones would be longer, but I have discovered a lot of new to me authors by buying anthologies.

Pam P said...

Hi Sandy. I love time travels, characters in a setting out of their element, different lifestyles, added conflict. I also love gothics, so hope you get back to working on that soon.

stacey said...

Yes I do like Time Travel.I like Best when some one Comes Forward in time and has to deal whit all that has happen in the past and deal whit The Now Day world and all that is in it.yes i Like Big Anthologies books.
sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

Sandy Blair said...

Hi Stacy and Linda,
Nice to know others enjoy both forward and back time-travel. I look forward to the mechanisms by which authors move the characters and then comes the thrill...seeing how the characters will survive the new reality. Or not.

Sandy Blair said...

H Pam,
Good to hear someone else enjoys a good spooky Gothic. I have a delightful one...if I can ever get the rest of my WIPs finished.

Laurie said...

I like time travels too. It doesn't matter if the characters go back or forward in time. I like the conflicts due the sharp contrast of what is normal for one time period vs the other. The giving up of the extras going back requires vs the new "Tech" of going forward and space travel being the "norm".

Orson Welles' Time Machine was probably my first exposure to time travel. Jayne Anne Krenz, Nora Roberts' Time and Again,Linda Lael Miller's Then and Now, Susan Edwards, Janet Chapman, Jude Devereaux and your books Sandy!!

I'd love the chance to read a Mammoth anthology of Time Travel.

Wendy said...

Late to the party ...

I'll confess I don't usually like time travel romances. I love indoor plumbing and women's rights and modern oral hygiene. When I read historicals, I can sort of gloss over the very unromantic reality of, say, Regency London. But with time travel, well, I'm much more aware of what the past was really like, and it doesn't make me swoon.

BUT, while I don't love TT as a subgenre, I {puffy heart} Sandy's books. Her characters are so great and her stories so engrossing that I never even wonder what it would be like to live without my Crest and my sonic toothbrush. :)

Kimberley said...

I love time travel stories, they are limitless on where and when and why. Your immagination can take flight andland anywhere, anytime...Fabulous!

I love large anthology books like this one. It enables me to find new authors and reconnect with favorite authors without having to buy multiple books. These books are great to take to appointments and on roadtrips! I Luv 'em.

Thank you so much for participating in these style of books. I loved the interview and I love your books...Here's to the next decade of New Books!

M. said...

I love the basic concept of this antho - how many different ways can an intriguing time travel story be told? The book looks and sounds wonderful