Friday, January 26, 2018

Interview: The Continuum by Wendy Nikel

UFI welcomes Author Wendy Nikel. Thanks for Joining us!!

What can you tell my readers about yourself that they might not know from looking on your bio or reading in another interview? 

I don't think I've mentioned anywhere else that, like my main character in THE CONTINUUM, when it comes to technology, I'm always a little behind the times. You won't find me with the latest phone or tablet or computer gadget; I'm usually perfectly content with the "outdated" ones I have. In fact, usually, my husband has to convince me to upgrade my old, slow, half-broken devices before they become obsolete. My agent at the time, who first sent this book out on submission, wanted me to change Elise's cell phone because it was a flip phone and, according to her, no one used flip phones in the year 2012. I guess she didn't realize that I had!

What do you enjoy doing on your down time?

Besides reading and writing, I enjoy genealogical research, hiking, drinking coffee, playing board games, and taking road trips. Photography is one of my favorite hobbies, and because of that, I'm a sucker for any place that has unique or dramatic scenery. Oh, and even though I joke about how much I don't care for sports (I usually don't), I'll probably be spending most of February watching the Olympics.

What is your Favorite part of writing? 

I love solving the myriad of puzzles that come up in writing. In a way, it's sort of like time travel. Changing plot points or character reactions have effects that ripple out across the rest of the story. To me, revisions are like going back into the past, working through what I already know from what comes after it in the story, and figuring out what must have happened to reach that point. Working out inconsistencies and plot holes can be a great mental exercise.

Do you have any certain routines you must follow as you write?

Not really. I'm a homeschool mom, and as such, I've learned to be flexible with my writing, because I can't always rely on the same routines every day. My writing sessions are often ten or fifteen minutes at a time, wherever I happen to be when I find I have a few minutes to spare.

What are some of your Favorite books or Authors in the Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Genres?

One author you should definitely check out if you haven't already is S. L. Saboviec. I may be a bit biased because she's one of my critique partners, but her Guarding Angel series is a fresh and fascinating take on angels and demons as they interact with people throughout various historical eras.

How would you pitch THE CONTINUUM to someone who has not heard of it before? 

A travel agency that specializes in vacations to the past sends their best time traveler into the future to hunt down a secret agent who's gone AWOL.

Can you tell us a little bit about the world that THE CONTINUUM is set in? 

THE CONTINUUM mostly takes place in our world, though in my book, there's a certain travel agency who — unbeknownst to most people — has the ability to send people on vacations in the past, so parts of it also take place at the turn of the twentieth century as well. Over the course of the novel, our protagonist, Elise, discovers that travel to the future is possible as well, and we see what society may be like a hundred years from now.

Do you have a favorite scene in THE CONTINUUM

I do! I've always been fascinated with the history of the Titanic, and when I sat down to write a time travel story, I knew I wanted to include it in some way. My favorite scene takes place on the ship with a secondary character who's just been dealt a major blow. His brother is traveling with him and tries to cheer him up, but their conversation doesn't quite have the outcome he intended. It was fun to write, both because of the characters and their relationship and because of where it takes place.

Which character was your favorite to write about? What about the hardest to write about? 

I have a lot of favorite characters in this book, but if I had to pick one, it'd be the secret agent whom Elise goes to retrieve from the future. He's not at all what she expects, and I enjoyed writing their dialogue.

Earlier in the story, we meet a character named Marie. At this initial meeting, she isn't quite herself, and I found it was rather difficult to write a character who doesn't know who she is.

What Other Projects can we look forward to reading from you? 

World Weaver Press recently acquired a sequel to THE CONTINUUM, which is slated to be published in fall. This one, entitled THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX, takes place about a year after the events of the first book and is from the point of view of one of the first book's secondary characters as they go back in time to the year 1893 to protect Elise's great-great-grandmother.

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she's left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, Daily Science Fiction, Nature: Futures, and various other anthologies and e-zines. For more info, visit or subscribe to her newsletter here

Find Wendy and her books

The Continuum
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Elise Morley is an expert on the past who's about to get a crash course in the future.

For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency's ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn't abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.

But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she's got more to worry about than just the time-space continuum. For the first time ever, she's the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.
Nikel is a solid writer with vivid description, an imaginative future, and a command of accurate historical speech.” —Unreliable Narrators


“The spinning slows. Suddenly, everything stops.
My legs flail, searching for solid ground, until I plunge abruptly into dank, smelly water. I gasp, and my mouth fills with brine. I'm being dragged in one direction, but instinct pulls me the opposite way. I kick against my heavy skirts and break the surface. For one dizzying moment I'm utterly confused. The concrete slabs of the nearby docks sharpen my fuzzy memory.
The Titanic.
I Extracted while on the gangplank—a gangplank that doesn't exist in 2012. This is exactly why our travelers are encouraged to use pre-approved Extraction locations. The Wormhole dumps travelers at the same place they've left from, which can make for some awkward (or dangerous) entrances.
Across the way, Marie does a frantic doggie-paddle towards the steel rungs leading up to the dock. With labored strokes, I swim after her, clutching the sphere in one hand. When I reach her, she's still clinging to the bottom rung, too exhausted to climb to safety.
"Hang on." I slip my Wormhole Device into my handbag and pull my dripping body up to the dock. Water streams out around me, forming a dark puddle on the concrete. The evening sun, balancing on the very edge of the horizon, casts an eerie glow on the water.
"Okay. Come on up—"
My encouragement is drowned out by the sound of retching. Lovely.
I clench my jaw to stop my teeth from rattling and focus on retaining my professionalism—not easy, considering the mucked-up circumstances.
Finally, Marie starts up the ladder, ascending tentatively, with gasping breaths. When she's close enough to grab my forearms, I pull her up with much grunting and tugging. Her eyes widen as she takes in the industrial warehouses, giant cranes, and sprawling parking lots that seem to have appeared instantaneously.
"What have you done?" Her voice rises in pitch with each word.”

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