By Terry Spear
That’s the whole premise of writing about the paranormal, right? What if we woke up one morning and found we had fangs? And fur? Or we were living on an alien planet and the panther-shifter king wants moi for his concubine?
Yeah, paranormal is fun. Although I try for reality, you know it’s got to be somewhat fantastical to make reality into something more fantastical.
And that’s how A GHOST OF A CHANCE AT LOVE happened.
It was real. The trips to Salado, Texas. Eating at the Stagecoach Inn. Seeing the old saloon that had been a post office too. The old buildings, mostly turned into gift shops or art galleries. But long, long ago in our very own galaxy, life wasn’t the same in Salado.
I kept wondering what it would be like to have lived back then. Ghosts haunt some of the buildings. Did they exist way back then? Sure. That’s when the person who died took up haunting.
So what if a woman who’s recently divorced, goes to Salado to get away from it all to her favorite special place she’s always loved, only she ends up REALLY getting away from it all—like being transplanted to the year 1870?
When I ask the question, would you like to visit some earlier time? I usually get a mix. Sure, no way.
So here’s the question I propose instead—how do you think you would handle falling into another time?
I work at a library and had a question about what a woman’s grandson would wear for the 50’s activity he was having at his school. I had done a lot of research for another story, and had watched Grease and Happy Days, so knew something about the period. A white t-shirt, jeans cuffed at the leg, sleeves rolled up, cigarette in the cuff of the sleeve (whoops, didn’t mention that for her grandson), hair greased, comb for effect, collar raised in back. Cool, daddy-o. Of course for girls—bobby socks, poodle skirts, sweaters and white blouses, black and white saddle shoes. Easy.
It’s easy to go back in time, just change clothes. But to REALLY go back in time, what happens then?
First, you’re probably not dressed for the occasion. Even if you managed to wear something that was manufactured to look like the real time stuff, it probably would still make you stand out in the real world back then. I go to Renaissance fairs and I’m sure some of the costumes that look authentic would still not pass muster.
Speech—we absolutely don’t talk the same. Maybe similarly, more so than if we were visiting China, but still, we use a lot of different words with different meanings than they did.
Actions—what we can do now-a-days, might be frowned on in earlier times. In the 1870’s, a single woman couldn’t wear her skirts above her ankles and she wasn’t to wear her hair undone. A gentleman never went out wearing just his shirt and trousers. He had to wear a vest or he was underdressed. She didn’t run all over the world by herself, either. A young woman was to be accompanied. She certainly didn’t sleep with a man not her husband, except if she was betrothed, and then bundling was popular if the young man visited her parents and stayed the night. With not enough room for guest rooms, he might sleep with her, but they’d both be so bundled up, they couldn’t do anything too risqué without alerting the parents. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Of course if somehow she did get pregnant, the marriage date would be moved up.
Shock—important, how would you deal with the shock of being thrown into another time? Neither your money nor credit cards would be of any value. You have no home, no transportation, no family or friends. How would you come to grips with the fact you might be stuck there? How would you find a way to support yourself? Would your job skills get you a job in another time?
In the story, Lisa is an accountant, which equates to a bookkeeper in the 1870’s for her, but no one would employ a single woman as a bookkeeper. Only a family member might. If you are a writer, could you be a reporter? A woman? Shaking head.
Oh, sure, that’s not to say it can’t be done, but in general, it wasn’t done.
Now the good thing is they had a lot more men than women in the old west, so you’d probably fetch yourself a husband right away. Your pick! But what would they expect you to do? Wash and mend and cook and clean from morning ‘til night and then they’d want you in their bed!
Disbelief—I think the hardest thing to imagine is actually stepping back in time. What would you think at first? You’re dreaming, right? No way could you have slipped through the fabric of time and arrived in the year 1870. What if you’re really lucky enough to discover a guy in your bed who is the sexiest man alive and you’d sure wish he was yours to keep, not some hunk who shouldn’t have been there in your hotel room—in the present. Even if it isn’t. The present. But you can’t keep him. Because he’s not yours to keep. But he sticks around, thinking something’s really wrong with you, and somehow he’s got to get you help.
So there is hope if you ever manage to time travel that you’ll find someone like Jack who will make your dreams come true in this world and the last. Maybe. If they can get over all the hurdles where people want her dead.
Thanks so much for having me on Bitten by Paranormal Romance!
You can answer any question I mentioned for a free chance at a copy of A GHOST OF A CHANCE AT LOVE.
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy IS reality.”
Author bio: Award-winning author Terry Spear is the author of urban fantasy romances and medieval Highland romances. She received Publishers Weekly's Best Book of the Year in 2008 for Heart of the Wolf. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry is a librarian by day. She lives in Crawford, Texas.
Lisa Welsh only wishes to leave a messy divorce behind for a couple of days stay in Salado, Texas but wakes to nightmares and a cowboy in her bed, and she has no earthly idea how he got there. But the situation gets worse when she learns she’s now living in 19th Century Salado. Even more worrisome is the tall dark stranger, and everyone else in town believes she’s some woman named Josephine Rogers who is supposed to be dead.
Jack Stanton can’t believe the clerk gave him an occupied room at the Shady Villa Inn, but worse, he was ready to ravage the woman in that bed—until he realized his mistake. Now the woman he thinks is Josephine claims to be some other woman—and though he could never abide by Josephine’s fickle ways, this Lisa Welsh intrigues him like no other. Still, if she isn't Josephine, he figures he best help her find her way back to where she really belongs no matter how much he wants to keep her with him.
Together, Lisa and Jack must solve the mysteries and face the troubles in their worlds or they will never be free to share the love that binds them across the ages.