Please welcome my special guest today, author Lisa M. Owens. Do you ever wish life had an “Undo” button like your computer so you could reverse your mistakes? Maybe an Omega 13 device like in the movie Galaxy Quest? Lisa is here to talk about time travel in her book, If Only, and the difficulties of classifying a novel like this. Take it away, Lisa.
The Fine Line Between Paranormal and Science Fiction
My Thoughts On Writing A Time Travel Novel – by Lisa M. Owens
Okay. My novel is finished. It has been published.
Now what the hell is the genre?
Describing it as a Contemporary Romance is easy enough. The time travel element, though, can get a little tricky. Could it be called Paranormal? Or would it be Science Fiction? The lines can be so blurry that it can be quite difficult to tell.
I have always been fascinated with the concept of time travel. Whether it is someone coming to Earth visiting from the future or delving back through your past, those kinds of stories have always intrigued me. So what made me decide to write one?
Bree Sexton is a woman who made one decision that she has always regretted. I knew that I wanted her to get the chance to right this wrong, but to do so, she would have to find a way to go back in time to change her decision. But how should I send her back in time? I struggled with this idea for a few days, turning different scenarios around in my head, before I finally decided, committing my idea to paper.
I thought of everything from a horrific car accident to getting trampled on by a horse. (Not kidding!) I had even entertained the thought of her being in a coma and dreaming the entire thing. But where would my happy ending be then? Nothing would have changed from the beginning of my story, and I didn’t want that!
But I didn’t want her to be hovering on the brink of death and I didn’t want her seriously injured. So I thought again.
What if on the night of her divorce from Mr. Wrong she is out with friends and runs into the man she left behind? How would she feel seeing him again? How would she feel if he was happily married to someone else? And what if she had the chance to see what it would have been like if she had married him instead?
Those were some of the questions that consumed my thoughts and If Only was born. After I had my basic storyline thought through, I wrote the entire first chapter that very night. When I first started, I had no idea that it would ever get published. I never even realized that I would ever finish it. It was just a crazy idea I had that haunted my thoughts.
This story spoke to me and Bree Sexton ended up being a persistent woman! She demanded that her story be told. And apparently, she had chosen me to tell it!
The woman turned out to be every bit as stubborn as I am!
So is my story Paranormal or Science Fiction?
I think I will allow the readers to tell me!
What would you do if you had the opportunity to go back and relive your greatest mistake?
Five years ago, Bree Sexton walked out on her fiancé and into the arms of a charming and handsome stranger. She has regretted her decision ever since. Instead of a fairy-tale marriage, her “prince” shattered her dreams and her spirit with physical violence and emotional cruelty she barely escaped.
She then mysteriously wakes up in bed with the fiancé she loved and left, the life she’d dreamed of now a reality, until her cruel ex-husband reappears to destroy her new life. But what is real, and what is make-believe? Is she really getting the chance she has always dreamed of? And when it is all said and done, will she finally end up with the man she has always regretted leaving? Or will she wake up to discover herself alone?
Bree stood there for a minute, watching as he walked out of her life. She couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if she had married Scott instead of Bryan. How would her life have been different? Would she have had children by now? Would she and Scott still be together, after all this time? Those thoughts and more weighed heavily on her mind as she headed out of the bar. It had begun to snow, and she wrapped her coat even tighter around her slender frame. She looked around, but there was no one to be found. She couldn’t help herself; she stuck out her tongue, a childish impulse she couldn’t ignore, and then laughed out loud in spite of herself.
She looked both ways before attempting to cross the street. Not seeing any cars, she began to make her way across. Bree was walking cautiously when one of her high heels slipped on a patch of ice. She could feel herself falling, and her breathing quickened as she began to panic, wishing she had waited for her friends before venturing off on her own. One shoe flew off as she landed, her head striking the curb. A sharp pain racked through the back of her skull, causing her to cry out. The last thing she saw was Scott’s face swimming before her eyes, and then her world went black.
Bree awoke to a man nipping gently on her earlobe, his tongue stroking the delicate curves. His hot breath blew into her ear, sending shivers up and down her spine. She slowly opened her eyes as a man’s hand stroked her upper thigh, and she sighed happily.
Ooh, I must be dreaming. And it was such a delicious dream, too.
The man’s hand traveled up her thigh and then encircled her flat stomach. Out of the corner of her eyes, Bree could see a dark head pressing against her abdomen. Then she shivered as a tongue laved her belly button, going in and out erotically, making her feel as though her body was on fire. Bryan had never made her feel like this, and she hadn’t even looked yet to see who this stranger was! But she was only dreaming, so what difference did it make?
His hand continued traveling north, lovingly caressing her skin. He reached for her aching breasts, pressing her nipples roughly before he lowered his mouth to suckle them, first one, and then the other. Bree arched in anxious response to his touch. She longed to see his face, but she feared one look would make his magical touch disappear.
She ached all over, wanted his hands to caress her everywhere, and she longed to touch him. She opened her legs as he straddled her. His hair brushed her naked chest as he began kissing her. His tongue was driving her crazy with desire as he placed tender kisses along her neckline. He brushed her hair aside.
His morning stubble stung her delicate skin, but she hungered for more. Just one more touch, just one more taste, and she would awaken from this wonderful dream and find herself in bed, all alone.
“Oh, Bree, baby. What you do to me,” he whispered, his voice husky.
That voice jerked her back to the present. The voice had haunted her dreams for years. The voice of the man she just couldn’t seem to get over.
“Scott,” she whispered.
About the Author
The writing bug bit Lisa M. Owens at an early age; she was writing short stories and poetry by the age of seven. At the age of eight, she entered a writing contest at her elementary school. About fifty books were written, but Lisa was one of the thirteen writers chosen who received a certificate and the chance to meet Oklahoma writer Sandy Miller.
A former victim of domestic violence herself, Lisa worked at the courthouse for over seven years. Almost three of those years she worked on the Marriage License/Protective Order desk. She helped women file protective orders and worked closely with the staff and counselors at DVIS.
Frustrated with books that merely gloss over the subject of domestic violence, Lisa wanted to write a book that told the entire story. Her dream is for her words to help give someone the courage to leave an abusive relationship.
She resides in Oklahoma and has two children. This is her first published novel, and she is currently working on the next novel of her If Only series.
Lisa enjoys hearing from her readers and can be reached at P.O. Box 9643, Tulsa, OK 74157-0643, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. She can also be contacted on her website, www.lmowens.com.
Links to find Lisa
Buy If Only