It happens to me whenever I work on a novel.
Each of my books draws on some element from my own life—a place, a person, or an event. Writing about that person or place, or describing that event, sends me back in time to relive and re-experience it.
When things really get rolling, the magic begins, and I lose track of time. I’m back in the living room of my childhood home, touching the roughness of the old horsehair couch, watching the tubes light up in the floor-model Philco radio, listening to the scratchy seventy-eight RPM records that drop with a clunk from the center stalk of the record player.
I’m on a college campus in the nineteen sixties, participating in an anti-Vietnam War rally. Fear, anger, and desperation fill the air as a crowd of young people stands together to protest the meaningless sacrifice of lives.
I’m with my large, boisterous multigenerational Sicilian family, seated around a huge custom-made table in my grandparents’ brightly lit basement kitchen, steeped in the aromas of freshly made marinara sauce and deep-fried calamari, surrounded by noisy relatives laughing, talking, and admonishing their children to quit fooling around and sit up straight.
I’m in my old neighborhood, riding my bike on the pockmarked concrete street, its cracks filled with bumpy black asphalt. Elm trees line both sides of the street, their graceful, arching branches meeting overhead to form a shady green canopy as I coast down a hill toward the stop sign at the bottom, hoping my handbrakes will work and I won’t skid out. The wind cools my face and the thrill of heading out for an adventure fills me with anticipation.
It may be August in real time, but I can be transported to the holiday season in New England—the exhilarating cold of a winter night, the muted peacefulness as snow blankets my part of the world, the excitement of preparing for company and gift-giving and sharing fantastic food.
Writing transports me to another time and place, and when all goes well, I’m able to share that experience with the reader. If I can give you the sense of having been to another place and time, either real or imagined, and even if only for a little while, then I’ve accomplished what I wanted to do—to share with you my experience of traveling through time.
Mia Grace's new novel, Correlation, a Young Adult novel with a time travel element, is now available from Amazon US (ebook or paper), Amazon UK (ebook or paper), or Barnes & Noble.