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Behind the Book: Tangled in Time: Project Enterprise 3

The (mostly) true story behind the writing of Tangled in Time


TT Marquee

It’s Friday, so there must be a “Behind the book” interview (while they last!). First, here’s a little about the book:

He’s a modern soldier. She’s a vintage scientist. Their star-crossed love could redefine the boundaries of time and space. 

Colonel Braedon Carey thought his space-time test flight would be a cake walk. When he wakes up dazed and confused in an unfamiliar desert, he realizes he crash-landed in the wrong decade. And judging by the steam-powered machine he stumbles upon, Braedon discovers that a spunky scientist already broke his space-time record… by more than a century.

Miss Olivia Carstairs had triple-checked the calculations for her transmogrification cover artmachine before she pulled the trigger. But she never counted on being thrown off course by a strange man from the future. Lost in time together, Olivia teams up with the intriguing traveler who speaks in perplexing turns of phrase but whose warm eyes speak volumes. 

On the run from a mad doctor with a dark, twisted purpose, Olivia and Braedon must find their way to a new future before both of their histories disappear.

Tangled in Time is a charming standalone novella in the Project Enterprise sci-fi romance series with a steampunk style. If you like sweet chance encounters, witty rapport, and action-packed adventure, then you’ll love Pauline Baird Jones’ light-hearted story of clocks and chemistry. 

Buy Tangled in Time to get lost in an enchanting temporal romance today!

And then there is the Interview:

Me: So, you wrote a steampunk/science fiction/romance novella. I’m a bit boggled by that. Can you tell us how this happened?

Myself: Tangled in Time started as a short story called Big Bender. It was supposed to be for our latest chapter anthology, highlighting Texas landmarks and parks. I’d had several false starts on the short story and had almost given up when I got the idea to mix a little steampunk into the science fiction romance storyline.

Me: But you ran into a problem, shall we say with some multiplying math?

office shot

Myself: We know we hate math, but it was definitely a multiplying problem. The guidelines for the anthology limited the word count to 7,000. When I hit 6,999, I knew I was in trouble. Then I figured, well, some people are submitting two stories, so I can go to 14,000 and if we take two stories from authors, then I have a chance. At 14,999, I was once again in trouble. The story wanted more room. It didn’t aspire to BAB (big a** book) status, but it wanted to at least be a novella. When I took the brakes off, the story blossomed rapidly into a fun ride for me. I hope readers will agree. 🙂

Me: The research for this book took you to some strange places, both in books and websites.

Myself: It did indeed. I have a whole page of links and such devoted to just this short book! I’d be ripping along and then I’d have to stop and find arcane facts, such as when the first helicopter came into use and when Alice in Wonderland was first published.  And Frankenstein.

Me: Frankenstein?

Myself: I’m afraid so.

Me: And then there is the problem of names for Olivia’s wacky inventions.

Myself: Those were almost as hard to make up as the story itself. And then there was the problem of getting into the head of a Victorian lady, figuring out she’d think and talk. That was hard! I have a new respect for historical authors!

vintage cover

Me: That’s one reason this won’t be a BAB?

Myself: That’s right. But this story is a bridge novella between Girl Gone Nova and the next BAB in the series. And it, totally accidentally, gave me a great jump off point for the next BAB.

Me: In which you hope to bring back characters from the other two BAB’s?

Myself: That’s my hope. I left a few threads out there, hoping I’d figure out how to pick them up in the next BAB and I have an inkling now, which I didn’t have when I finished Girl Gone Nova.

Me: Inklings are good, they are a start.

Myself: Way better than no clue.

Me: Which brings us to Colonel Carey. There is kind of an amusing story about him, isn’t there?

Myself: Yeah, I had decided he’d be the hero of the story, because well, I wanted him to have a story. I went into The Key and Girl Gone Nova to find out what I’d written about him and realized I’d never given him a first name! So my first problem was figuring out what that was. That’s harder than you’d think. I’d try one and he’d say, no, that’s not it. A good friend played sounding board for me and he finally got a first name. lol

Me: And then there’s Olivia’s transmogrification machine. (Aren’t glad this is a novel and not a movie, because who can say that w/o stuttering?) There’s an amusing exchange about that with you, your hubby and your son?

Myself: (Yes, glad I don’t have to say “transmogrification” too often!) Olivia’s machine needs/needed a power source. Since this is steampunk, I chose steam, but then hubby tells me that you need a power source to get steam and that basically, my premise was flawed. Well, I whined to the son about it and he says, “You mean dad says your fictional power source won’t work in the fictional world of your novel?” LOL!

Me: How did you deal with it?

Myself: I punted it, maybe into next book, maybe into space. Science isn’t my strong suit.

Me: Which would explain why you are currently writing science fiction.

Myself: No need to get nasty. I used to make up answers on my science tests. Why would I stop making up things now?

Me: It does explain the “fiction” label on your work. So, this novella has given you a place to start with on the next BAB?

vintage cover art

Myself: It does [did].

Me: So when might we expect Tangled in Time to appear in cyberspace?

[Author’s Note: I did this interview way back before the book released. Both books are currently available.]

Myself: No clue, since I haven’t turned it into my publisher yet. But hoping to get it done in time to follow on the heels of Girl Gone Nova or soon after.

Me: Would a reader have to have read the other two books to enjoy this one?

Myself: No, but it would heighten their enjoyment of the story. I don’t like adding tons of backstory to anything I do, so there will be references to people that you wouldn’t know w/o reading the other books BUT it wouldn’t impact your basic enjoyment or understand references to people that you wouldn’t know w/o reading the other books BUT it wouldn’t impact your basic enjoyment or understanding of the novella. 🙂

Me: Well, we should stop now or this interview will end up longer than the novella. Thanks for chatting with me. 🙂

Myself: I always enjoy chatting with me when I have the time. 😉

And I will add, as the principal voice in this discussion, that I still smile when I think back to the writing of Tangled in Timeeven if one reviewer thought I must have drunk a picture of tequila while writing it. LOL Do you think I can blame it on too much Diet Dr. Pepper?

Perilously yours,


© 2009 Pauline Baird Jones. All rights reserved.

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