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No, I wasn’t Drunk…

...when I Wrote TANGLED IN TIME.

 

tangled in time snippetI don’t drink alcohol, so when I ran across this review for Tangled in Time, I had to chuckle. 

…it is like the author had a bucket of margaritas…”

I don’t blame the reader for wondering what happened after Girl Gone Nova. Maybe I wish I could blame it on alcohol. Lol I was just in a different headspace back then. (See how I did that? I don’t think I’ve ever used headspace in a blog post before. Hahaha)

I didn’t know I was writing a series. In fact, I wasn’t writing a series. I was committing random acts of connected writing. You haven’t heard of that? That is because I made it up. 

It took me a while to figure out that readers like more…consistency, even in a not-series. And even when I write an actual series, some random and quirky happens. 

My daughter and I were talking about Agatha Christie and how the heirs have licensed someone to do more books. I tried to read one and I just couldn’t. No offense to the author or the heirs. I just couldn’t feel the Pirot-ness. And we both agreed no one else could write me (though I did tell her she is welcome to try if I somehow manage to achieve fame after I’m so dead I can’t write anymore. Depending on how you feel, you can accept or reject. But one thing will be certain. There still won’t be margaritas. Lol)

So here is the sober truth about Tangled in Time. 

1. It was never meant to be a BAB (big a** book). It started out as a short story for an anthology and grew into a novella by accident. But it was always meant to be a light, quick, for-fun read.

2. There are sometimes I regret the diversion from my standard science fiction romance/space opera fare for the series. It’s not a good thing to put speed bumps in the way of readers (speed bumps that knock them out of the series). But once I write a book, it is done and I can’t take it back or have a reset shower scene—though I won’t discount some time travel for a do-over or two. 

3. There is a bigger speed bump after Tangled in Time which I sometimes regret. Steamrolled is kind of bat crap crazy. I did try to get back on the road with Kicking Ashe and have tried to stay on the road as I’ve been rebooting the series.

4. No promises because, while I don’t go off-road much in my life, in my fiction…stuff happens. A lot. 

5. There is really nothing that can fully explain what happens inside my head when I start writing. If you stick with me, know that I’m often as surprised as you are at how things turn out. 

6. It’s better not to have expectations if you’re going to read my science fiction romance. And some of my other stuff. I have to stick to mostly real for my mysteries. haha

I don’t mind speedbumps in books if they bump into an unexpected place, but I get that not everyone reads the way I do. Do you like to go off-road in your reading? 

Perilously yours,

Pauline

P.S. Read on for an extended excerpt from Tangled in Time:

“So, what’s protocol?”

“I’m supposed to secure the device and return to Gotham City.” She did have money to buy a train ticket and housing, as part of her emergency supplies, if either of these things were close at hand, which they did not seem to be. 

“So you need transport?”

“I had thought of seeking assistance at the encampment.” Olivia knew she sounded doubtful. She had found it as puzzling as Brae. It was so far outside her experience, she had yet to find words to describe to herself what she’d seen, let alone share them with Brae. And it was common knowledge that this part of Texas was wild and rife with persons of doubtful character. 

Brae blinked again. His eyes got a bit unfocused, as if his thoughts had turned inward. 

“An encampment? Where?”

“It is situated near the Rio Grande River.” If he did not know of the encampment, then it must not be his destination. The sharp stab of disappointment was not welcome. She was supposed to be brave enough to do whatever science required of her. It was disheartening to realize that what she’d felt since the experiment failed was not at all close to brave. Mrs. Pankhurst would, if she knew of Olivia—which she didn’t, but if she did, she’d be most disappointed. 

“That way?” He pointed south. “How do you know there’s an encampment that way?” Now he looked openly puzzled.

“I climbed up to the top of the ridge and saw it.” She’d have felt affronted by his disbelief, but she saw honest surprise in his face, not male superiority. 

“You saw an encampment that direction?” He pointed south, as if he thought she might be mistaken. “It wasn’t a mirage?”

“I don’t believe it was a mirage.” He still looked a bit shocked. “I used the professor’s telescope and it appeared quite real.” In the physical sense, though in her experience, not that real, she conceded to herself. 

He frowned. “We can’t be where I thought we were then. I need to go look.” 

“Of course.” She hesitated, but it would not get easier by putting it off. “It looked to be at least six miles to the encampment. I should set out before it becomes too late. I don’t wish to proceed when it’s dark.” 

His frown altered in some way that Olivia couldn’t define. 

“I think you’re right. We should head there. It’s the closest water source and if there are people who can help, that would be good.” 

We. The relief should have troubled her. Perhaps it would—when she was once more safely in Gotham City. Odd how her sense of urgency about getting back to the professor’s laboratory had faded. Well, Mama always said that a lady doesn’t hurry. So, she wouldn’t hurry. She was having an adventure and she should enjoy it as much as possible. Brae looked less enthusiastic about their adventure.

“Something still concerns you?” 

“I thought I knew where we are, but—I was pretty young last time I was here. Maybe my memory isn’t as good as I thought it was.” 

“A child’s perspective is most different than that of an adult. My grandfather said he had to get very old to see his childhood clearly.” Who brought a young boy to such a desolate place? Perhaps he came from a long line of border ruffians? He looked at her, his bold gaze traveling up, then down her person. It was so unexpected, she felt heat flood her face.

“Can you walk in that?”

“In what?” She was not used to bold looks, though she was not as averse to them as she’d thought she’d be.

“Your clothes and shoes.” 

More color rushed into her face. The gentlemen she knew didn’t talk about ladies’ attire, but he was a ruffian. One must make allowances. “I walked up the mountain and returned without altering my attire before or after.”

“Right. Of course.” 

He rubbed his face with his free hand, his other hand tightening on her arm. The bridge felt as if it suddenly had a fireplace. She wished she had a fan, but she hadn’t known she’d need one. He leaned in, studying the map. What did he hope to see? It was Texas, not the moon. Not that she was complaining. His position gave her the opportunity to study the rear fit of this attire. She had believed his trousers were not well crafted, but actually, they were quite well-fitting when he bent over. She eased a hand into her tie, in an attempt to cool down. A bit late to wish she had her velocipede costume, but she’d thought she was going on a picnic after the experiment, not off to see the elephant.

“We should move out ASAP. It’s only going to get hotter out there.” 

Olivia was not familiar with a-sap outside of trees, but the context seemed to indicate a need for speed. 

“How long will it take you to secure this thing?”

“It takes ten minutes.” The professor had timed her. Several times. Sometimes men of science were not easy to be around. At the moment, she much preferred the border ruffian.

* * * * 

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