Since I have started blogging I have been lucky enough to meet some wonderful people.
I find Twitter to be the main source for quite a lot of my interaction.
It was on Twitter that I came across the lovely writer that is Evie Gaughan. Through one of our many ‘conversations’, I asked Evie would she be interested in writing a guest post for me. I am delighted to say…she said YES!!!
So without further ado here is Evie with a wonderfully interesting post on ‘Bending The Rules’… with some fab book recommendations from Evie included.
BENDING THE RULES
If you like your historical fiction served with a little contemporary on the side (or vice versa), then Dual Timelines is the genre for you!
It’s no secret that historical/contemporary novels are my preferred genre to write and to read, but just what is this genre and who are its’ leading voices (apart from me)?
There are generally three devices that authors use to create these parallel storylines:
Novels with dual timelines follow two stories from different eras, which are inevitably linked by characters or themes.
Time-slip novels tends to involve a twist of the paranormal, where a character has flashes of a past life or can somehow sense the history of a place, perhaps through some kind of psychic ability.
Time-travel hardly requires any explanation, but unlike the other two, it involves the protagonist actually travelling through time, as opposed to having experiences of the past or simply relaying stories from the past.
Living on the West Coast of Ireland, which is not renowned for its sunny climate, I escape from the inclement weather into my converted attic, to write stories and dream about underfloor heating. Growing up in a walled medieval city, I developed a love of storytelling and all things historical. With a taste for the magical in everyday life, my stories are full of ordinary characters with extraordinary tales to tell.
It’s such a dynamic genre of writing and one that is becoming more and more popular with readers too.
This is due in no small part to the phenomenon that is ‘Outlander’.
Diana Gabaldon’s series of books follow the adventurous and let’s be honest, steamy lives of Claire and Jamie, and have become a worldwide success (not to mention a thrilling TV series).
The storyline centres around a young woman visiting Scotland on her honeymoon who, after serving as a British Army nurse in WWII, finds herself transported through time (via some mystical standing stones) to 1743. Need I say more?
I have only read four books from this ever-increasing series and to be honest, Outlander is still my favourite. As the books go on, the cast of characters become something akin to ‘the world and his wife’, and I began to lose interest when the story moved away from Scotland. But this is still one of the best time-travel books of all time.
If you like your stories with a gothic twist, then Diane Setterfield’s ‘The Thirteenth Tale’ should tickle your fancy.
Vida Winters, a famous yet reclusive English author, wants to recount her story to the young biographer, Margaret Lea. Margaret is an unassuming young woman, who lives above her father’s antiquarian bookshop and she cannot understand why Winters has chosen her.
Late one night, while pondering whether to accept the task, Margaret begins to read a copy of Miss Winter’s ‘Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation’. However, the book only contains twelve stories. Intrigued, her journey into Winters’ past begins.
The dual timelines work perfectly here, with each story holding its own. I adored this book; it’s spooky and also very touching – the perfect winter read.
My first introduction to time-slip was when I read ‘Labyrinth’ by Kate Mosse (who, it turns out, is not a supermodel but a highly successful author).
Instantly, I knew that this was my kind of book.
The story follows two women: Alais in medieval France and Alice in the present day, who is a volunteer at a French archaeological excavation. She discovers the skeletal remains of two people in a cave, as well as a labyrinth-engraved ring. Ultimately, both of their destinies are entwined and if you like Carcassone and Holy Grail conspiracies, you’ll love this!
If you’re looking to add to your Dual Timeline reading list, here are some other time-bending books I would recommend:
The House At Riverton by Kate Morton
The House at Riverton is a gorgeous debut novel set in England between the wars. Perfect for fans of “Downton Abbey,” it’s the story of an aristocratic family, a house, a mysterious death, and a way of life that vanished forever, told in flashback by a woman who witnessed it all.
Lush, romantic and ever so stylish, this is still my favourite book by Morton.
The Memory Garden by Rachel Hore
Magical Cornwall, a lost garden, a love story from long ago…
Lamorna Cove – a tiny bay in Cornwall, picturesque, unspoilt. A hundred years ago it was the haunt of a colony of artists.
Today, Mel Pentreath hopes it is a place where she can escape the pain of her mother’s death and a broken love affair, and gradually put her life back together. This book is really a lovely introduction to time-slip, with engaging characters and a beautiful setting. All of Rachel Hore’s novels glide seamlessly from the past to the present, but I think this book is one of her most charming.
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
On a dark road in the middle of the night, a car plunges into a ravine. The driver survives the crash, but his injuries confine him to a hospital burn unit.
There the mysterious Marianne Engel, a sculptress of grotesques, enters his life.
She insists they were lovers in medieval Germany, when he was a mercenary and she was a scribe in the monastery of Engelthal. As she spins the story of their past lives together, the man’s disbelief falters; soon, even the impossible can no longer be dismissed.
I LOVED this book. It is so unexpected in its subject matter and all the more believeable for it. I would highly recommend it!
All of these books have really inspired me in my writing and I hope you enjoy exploring this dynamic genre and its talented authors.
You can check out my books here:
The Heirloom http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00F7RQ0SC
The Mysterious Bakery On Rue De Paris http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KSPBU74
Betwixt (free short story) http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B014HLE4CM
I would like to thank Evie for such an informative post on Dual Time-lines.
To find out more about Evie head over to http://eviegaughan.wordpress.com where you will find loads more about the lovely Evie Gaughan.