Book Tour – “The Continuum” by Wendy Nikel

Book Tour – “The Continuum” by Wendy Nikel

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.

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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 timespace 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 For the first time ever, she’s the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.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

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“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 travellers are encouraged to use pre-approved Extraction locations. The Wormhole dumps travellers 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.”


Here’s a fantastic interview with the author, too!

Who is your favorite author?

I have many favorite authors, but I think the one whose works I keep returning to over and over throughout my life is Jane Austen. I’ve read Emma and Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility over and over, and each time, I find new things to appreciate, whether it be the portrayal of friendships and familial relationships, the witty banter and word-play, or the commentary on the historical era and society in which she lived. They really are so much more than “romance novels” and I’d love to be able to write with such depth.







How do you describe your writing style?

I write a lot of short fiction and flash (very short!) fiction, so my writing tends to be concise and straightforward. Though I do love a good turn of phrase or pretty bit of prose, for me, the plot is really what drives the story.

IndiePicks Magazine described THE CONTINUUM as ” brisk and energetic, with a relatively straightforward and action oriented plot,” and I’d agree that’s an apt description for this book.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

THE CONTINUUM is a fun, fast-paced adventure that plays with the tropes of time travel fiction without requiring a PhD to read. If you enjoy Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, or the works of Connie Willis or Jodi Taylor, you might enjoy this one as well.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

Not directly, no. I think, in a way, though, that many of them contain certain aspects or elements or characteristics of me or other people I know. To make a realistic character, you often have to put yourself in their place, to ask yourself not “what would I do in this situation?” but “what would I do if I were this other person?”

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

My main character, Elise, is a professional time traveller, which would definitely be fun to try out for a day or two. She gets to travel through history, to all different times and places, pretending to be different people in order to complete her missions. I’d love to have the opportunity to see some of the eras she visits.

What books have most influenced your life?

Aside from the Jane Austen novels listed above, one of the books that really influenced me is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The narrator and some of the stylistic choices really wowed me — they weren’t like anything I’d ever read before at that point — and it got me thinking about how we tell stories and the importance of those stories. Plus, it always makes me cry at the end, so you know it’s good.







If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

I love The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the last time I read it, it occurred to me that it would be fun to write something with that basic plot, but with a speculative element woven into it to answer some of the unanswered questions. Maybe Gatsby’s mentor was really an older version of himself from an alternate time line where he never did get another chance with Daisy, and by passing on his fortune to his younger self, he was really fulfilling a lifelong dream that he’d thought he’d been too late for. Maybe Daisy is some sort of fae-creature who’s bound to Tom Buchanan and that’s why she can’t leave him. Maybe Gatsby’s made a Faustian deal and is gambling his life for a chance to be with Daisy. As you can tell, I haven’t quite figured out what I’d do with it, but there’s a wealth of directions to go in.

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

I’ll probably get some hate for this, but I LOVE the Beatles’ music… when it’s not played by the Beatles. I love Fiona Apple’s version and David Bowie’s version of “Across the Universe.” I like Aerosmith’s “Come Together,” Stereophonics’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” and Johnny Cash’s “In My Life.” I do like the original recording of “Penny Lane” better than any cover I’ve heard, but that’s one of the only ones.

“Daydream Believer” is my favorite Monkees song, though I think I could only name one or two others.

Who should play you in a film of your life?

Amy Adams. Not that she looks anything like me at all, but I’ve been impressed with the versatility of her roles and her ability to really capture a feel for the character that she’s playing. I’ll bet she’d have no trouble playing me.

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