I will admit that there were times over the last several years of writing WILTON’S GOLD where I got to a point in my story where I was forced to lean back in my chair and ask, “What the hell did I get myself into?”
For anyone thinking of writing a time travel story, I want to warn you that it’s a bear. You will find yourself lost in plot twists and chronologies, making connections in your mind during business meetings, and with sketches of skewed timelines on napkins, envelopes and Post-Its all over your house. Every time you edit your work you’ll find a hole that you missed or an interpretation you made that someone will be able to poke holes through, and you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to piece everything back together that you thought you had perfectly constructed. Then, if you’re fortunate enough to publish, it’s an absolute given that no matter how tightly you’ve wound your story… Someone will find a hole. Guaranteed.
So why do it? Why put yourself through it?
Because of Marty McFly.
Sure, yes, it’s because of the Terminator and JJ Abrams’ version of Star Trek and Looper, but it all comes back to Back to the Future. I was 12 when I first saw the original BTTF, and in 1989 I had the opportunity to go to Universal Studios Hollywood and go on the set of BTTF 2. I was completely hooked, and time travel has been a fantasy ever since. I knew while writing WILTON’S GOLD that in 2015, the year that Marty and Doc visited in BTTF 2, people would be talking about time travel and making comparisons to the future that was predicted in the movie. The chatter started in 2014, but took off big time as 2015 arrived hit.
Back to the Future made time travel exciting for a generation. It certainly inspired me enough to spend four years of my life writing a time travel trilogy. And, because I’m a glutton for punishment, my next novel is also time travel. Of course, I’ve already learned how to deal with the incessant mind assault that comes from organizing multiple realities, and I’ve accepted the fact that people will pick apart my logic. But I love the storytelling possibilities, and I love those times when I have to get back out of bed at night because I pieced together some complicated plot twist in my head and have to write it down.
And I love, given the challenge time travel is, when the story all comes together. I hope you enjoy WILTON’S GOLD.