Lauren's Odyssey

 Today I launched the latest book in The Time Bubble series, and it can be found here:

And here it is:

So, it seemed as good a time as ever to give you a little preview of what to expect, without giving too much away in the way of spoilers.

The first stage in the planning of all of my books is, what is the basic premise? In most cases, it starts with an idea. For example, all I initially had for My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday was a scenario, which was what would life be like if you lived it backwards, one day at a time. Then I built the plot and the characters around it.

This book is no different, however, it benefits from having the ensemble cast from the earlier Time Bubble books already in place. Obviously, you still need a story, though! 

I looked back at what I had done before and in most cases, the lead characters are reacting to events around them, being lost in time, trapped, that sort of thing. What I decided to do this time was to have the lead character go on a specific quest with a set of goals in mind. I drew my inspiration for this from a variety of sources, but one that springs to mind is the 1978 series of Doctor Who. That year, with Tom Baker, they had the usual six, separate stories, but in each, they were looking for one of the six segments of The Key to Time. 

I have done something similar here. I chose Lauren as the lead character as she has always been a favourite of mine and I felt she deserved her moment in the spotlight. The early books were very much focused on Josh and although he still plays a part here, exploring the other characters in the later books has helped to keep the series fresh and original.

What does Lauren have to do? I won't go into the reasons why, you'll find that out when you read it, but she's required to go to five other universes on her quest. This gave me the flexibility to both revisit some places we've been before and develop some new ideas.

Her first destination was inspired in part by Back to the Future II when you'll recall Marty and the Doc revisit the events of the first film in 1955. I thought it would be rather fun to take Lauren back to where it all started - that very first day when Charlie and Josh discovered the Time Bubble. There is a nostalgic section when Lauren heads back to 1984, and also another opportunity to explore the nineteenth-century style universe that Josh first visited in Splinters in Time. You may recall that there was a version of Lauren in that universe called Annie - well, here, we get to explore the world from her perspective.

Finally, there are a couple of dystopian worlds, reminiscent of the sort of scenarios you might find in Black Mirror. I've long been fascinated with the idea of an Orwellian-style world where people have become enslaved by technology, without even realising it, so I've delved into that for a hefty chunk of the plot. And also, in a similar vein, I've wondered how dangerous it would be to become dependent on robots that are stronger and faster than us. Now there's a chance to find out.

It all adds up to a rip-roaring adventure that's dark in places but with plenty of humour elsewhere. There were plenty of opportunities to slip in a few old favourite recurring characters so I hope you'll enjoy those, as well as a chance for another one of Charlie and Kaylee's famous annual barbecues, which first featured all the way back in Book 3.

There is so much more I could tell you, but if I tell you the whole plot there will be no need to read it, and we can't have that! I really hope you enjoy it and keep your eyes peeled because in just another couple of months or so, the first in my new series, The Crooked Line, will be coming out. I am very excited about that and will tell you more about it nearer the time.


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