The Time Travel Adventures Of The 1800 Club is a 21st Century haven for people seeking to escape New York City’s frantic pace. Dressed in clothes their ancestors might have worn during the 1800s, members enjoy foods of the period and read periodicals featuring news of a particular date in the 1800s. However, the 1800 Club also has an astounding secret . . . Time Travel. Members travel back in time nudging famous persons and key events just enough to ensure history unfolds, as it should. Guardians-of-the-past, living in the future, send robotic probes back through the ages, discovered that, at critical time-junctures, pivotal figures stray from vital tasks and actions. These Time Watchers of the past can’t go back and fix the glitch in the timeline because the atmosphere they breathe has been cleaned up over the years and the air of the past is almost unbreathable for them. Then an 1800 Club member from the 2000s is sent back to guarantee that events get back on track. The 1800 Club’s members aid Lincoln, Roosevelt, Bat Masterson, Mark Twain and many others. Without subtle interventions by these unknown agents, the famous might have been only footnotes, rather than giants of history.
Today I’m sitting down with Robert McAuley to chat about his novel ‘Time Travel Adventures Of The 1800 Club’, a club which allows members to peak back in time to see history as it unfolds. Robert, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book. I have to say that I love of being about to watch history unravel. How did this initial concept unfold?
A thought I had about a club that allowed their members to dress in the clothing that their ancestors wore in the 1800s.
That would be enough for me to join, I love a good dress-up, especially in those 1800s dresses they are something else. Were you hitting the books to make sure all of the little details of the time were correctly portrayed?
It seems to me that the central characters and their skill-sets were tailored for the adventures that unfolds during the book. Was this consciously done?
Yes. Each club member has a unique ability such as policeman, plumber, military person and each would be tapped to travel back and use their ability to keep history on track.
How did you initially outline the characters you wanted to follow?
I used the crowd that I grew up with in Brooklyn, New York.
As the characters were based on people you actually knew, did you find that you develop favourites?
As the book shows all of the characters are used again and again.
So, not really much favouritism there. Do you find that the characters chase you up in your dreams?
Yes. That’s where my story line begins.
That’s neat, I like it when the characters keep following the writers in their dreams. Was the interaction with your characters the most fulfilling aspect of writing or were you rewarded by another aspect?
Reading the history of where the problem in time occurred such as San Juan Hill was most rewarding for me.
I can see how reading about the historical event, creating a problem and dropping your characters in there would be the coolest part of writing this book. Have you already started on your next writing adventure?
Yes, another time travel book
Did this book take you a long time to complete?
Ten years of tossing away ideas until it fit properly.
Wow, then it really has been a labour of love. How have you kept yourself motivated to continue writing over this period? Do you use any writing techniques?
Yes, I write at least an hour a day.
And do you edit your work?
Myself and others.
What do you do for a living?
Artist/author….. I try to paint my pages with images that I see.
Did you direct your artistic skills towards your book cover?
Yes, I designed and created the cover.
It’s great that you’ve been able to direct your skills towards all aspects of your book. Now we’re onto my favourite section of the interview the quick fire round. Just let me load up the questions and I will begin firing. Robert, get return to return my question fire!
Is there a book that you wish that you would have written?
Time After Time by Jack Finny
I haven’t read that one but I will add it as another recommendation to my list. What are you currently reading?
Good choice! Who are your favourite authors, and do you believe that they have influenced your writing style?
Jack Finny and yes!
What is your favourite quote?
To be creative is more important than being intelligent . . . Albert Einstein
Einstein is always a good choice for quotes :). What is your zodiac sign?
Who is your favourite literary character?
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
A bird and a lion to get a lion that flys
Ooohhh. I like that. Powerful and majestic nice combo. Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
The past fifty years.
Can you curl your tongue?
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Dragons . . . they can fly
What’s the most unusual name you’ve ever come across?
Can’t put it here.
Fair enough, it must be pretty bad! What is your favourite line, quote or statement from your book?
“But, but, time travel isn’t possible.” he said as he watched the horse drawn carriage go by with two young boys hitching on the rear.
I really like that one. What is your best tip for authors?
What is your favourite quote from another author?
Re-read, re-read re-read!
What is your favourite word?
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Never ask an artist or author why they are staring out the window as they are looking at their next painting or page in their book.
How did you feel when you got your first book review?
Like a birthday present.
That has to be my favourite answer for that question, I love that kind of joy that you’ve painted there. Robert, thanks again for joining me today and I wish you the best of luck for your promotion of ‘Time Travel Adventures Of The 1800 Club’.
Want to find out more about Robert McAuley? Connect here!