HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Some of us already live in another time—Rhys for instance, lives in the historical world of Lady Georgie. Some of us live in another place—Debs, for instance, her books are set in the UK. And we all live in fictional worlds. Sometimes I see places in Boston where something happened to Jane—and I can picture her there.
The fabulous Carol Pouliot (who wowed the new authors’ breakfast at Malice Domestic) has written a time-travel mystery—and I have to say, I am in the population of people who thinks, kind of, that it might really be possible. Okay, right, there are things we don’t know. Aren’t there?
Time−What if you had a do-over?
First of all let me say how thrilled I am to be here with the fabulous Jungle Red Writers. My heartfelt thanks to Hank Phillippi Ryan for inviting me to stop by today.
HANK: Aw, my pleasure.
CAROL: Because Doorway to Murder is a time-travel mystery, I’ve had quite a few conversations about time. The question that arises most often is: What would you do if you could go back in time? Would you relive a happy moment? Try to change something? Talk with someone now deceased–a relative, friend, famous person?
My mother once told me the secret to being happy is to recognize that moment when you finally have what you’ve been working or looking for. She said I should stop there and enjoy it.
I have been blessed with many happy times in my life. The first time my great-nephew said my name in that tentative baby whisper, I was thrilled to my toes. The day I stood on the steps of the Palais de Chaillot gazing out on the Eiffel Tower, I got chills. When I held my first published article, joy surged through me and I danced around my kitchen, the magazine in hand.
I don’t think that reliving those moments would make me any happier than I was at the time or than I am right now. I’ll pass on that option.
So, what about trying to change something? I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason. If I’m meant to arrive at Point C, I can take Path A, Road B, or Route X, Y or Z and I will still end up at Point C. Personally, I wouldn’t mess around with what has already happened. What if I screwed up and made something worse? Egads! The pressure! No, thank you. I would choose to be an observer or a gatherer of information.
That takes us to that often imagined conversation with someone who has left this world. I am reminded of an old Twilight Zone episode where the grandmother of a young boy gives him a telephone. They spend many hours behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes of his parents, talking on this phone. After she dies, the conversations continue−it was a very special phone.
There are two people with whom I would love to sit down with for a good long chat–Hatshepsut, who became the first female pharaoh of Egypt around 1473 BC, and my maternal grandfather, lovingly known as Pa.
Hatshepsut is one of my female heroes. At a time when men ruled the world (Hmm, I’m totally re-thinking this sentence. sigh), she seized power and refused to let go. She was smart, clever, and driven to improve the lives of the Egyptians and maintain peace with their neighbors. I’d sit for hours listening to her talk about how she managed it all.
My grandfather died when I was still a teenager. My memories of him are largely those of a child. He was born in 1900, fought in WWI, survived the Depression, and made a success of his life. I borrowed certain traits and interests from him for my main character Detective Sergeant Steven Blackwell, who solves crime in 1934. Like Steven, Pa loved baseball and Chevy cars. I’d be overjoyed to talk with him now that I’m an adult. I’d like to know about his life and life in the early 1900s. I have so many questions.
What about you, Jungle Reds, what would you do with the gift of time travel?
Let’s do a give-away. Every comment is entered to win a copy of Doorway to Murder, A Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery.
Dear Readers, what would you do if you could go back in time? Is there a wrong you would right or a happy moment you wish to relive? Is there someone you want to talk to? I’m looking forward to “chatting” with you.
HANK: I'd love to see where my gramma Minnie grew up--was it Russia or Austria? And be with my Dad in the fifties of Blue Note Chicago, wth Harry Belafonte and Studs Terkel. I'd adore to eaves-watch my mother in art school--wouldn't that be great? But I do want to come home to now.
What about you, Reds and readers?
A Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mystery
In a small New York town, secrets lurk and betrayal is just around the corner. The morning after the worst blizzard of 1934, Detective Steven Blackwell takes on a highly charged murder case. The investigation starts badly: one clue, lots of lies and alibis. To make things worse, Steven is seeing visions of a woman in his house. One night, she speaks. Her name is Olivia Watson and she lives in 2014. She believes time has folded over in the house they share. As their relationship deepens, Steven’s investigation intensifies. Soon he can no longer trust anyone in his own time. Can Olivia help crack the case—and catch a killer?
The past collides with the present in an exciting new mystery by debut author Carol Pouliot.
"There's nothing I like more than a time-travel tale, but how much better to get a crisp, fair-play police procedural, too. The atmosphere grabbed me. The ending surprised me. I'm already looking forward to Steven and Olivia's next adventure."
−Catriona McPherson, award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver series and
Carol Pouliot is a former French and Spanish teacher and business owner. She lives in upstate New York, where the lake-effect snow reaches over ten feet every winter. Passionate about travel, her passport and suitcase are always ready for the next adventure.