It’s funny how an idea will strike. I was writing a story about a time traveler and even before I knew it would be a whole series, I knew I had to come up with the backstory about how time travel works in the world I’m building. While I enjoy science fiction and fantasy, I wasn’t entirely sure I could write in those genres. I fancy myself a romance writer. Maybe a historical fiction writer. But the minute you decide your contemporary character is going to travel back in time, guess what genre you’re writing in.
You guessed it. The genre I didn’t think I could write. SciFi/Fantasy.
I refer to time travel as a journey, and was going to call the travelers journeyers. That sounded awkward to me, though, until I remembered the word journeymen.
I grew up in a family full of blue collar union workers up in Chicago. My dad was a painter, and several uncles and brothers also worked in the trades. So the terms apprentice and journeymen were often bandied about in my home as I was growing up.
Having associated journeymen with tradesmen, it made perfect sense to me that the journeymen would be “plumbers of time” and would fix the clogs that sometimes happen in our linear temporal pipes.
And thus, an idea was born.
Time travel in The Journeymen is facilitated by portals, a handful of large black stones in various parts of the world. It is a bit of a hybrid between science and magic/mysticism. Journeymen have a genetic oddity that shows up using a special test, and they have some extrasensory abilities. Women have different abilities than men and are much better at journeying. The portals, when activated, are highly magnetized, and the sensation when Journeymen are actually journeying is like being flung into space.
The magic/mystic part… well, more of that will be explained in later books. I can say the Journeymen learn about their craft from a book called The Wisdom of the Journey. It has a distinct Judeo-Christian worldview, and references God as being in control of events in time, since He is outside of time.
Between the science and the supernatural, these have been pretty heady concepts for me. Thankfully, I have a brilliant husband and friends who are kind enough to hold my hand through this process so my brain doesn’t melt entirely.
Writing this is so much more fun than I would have guessed. I’d love to hear how you would tell a time travel story, or if you have any favorites that you’ve read.