A trip back in time to 1980
2024 marks the beginning of a new
era in The Time Bubble world. A new era that began back in 1980. Apologies if
that doesn't make sense, but that's time travel for you.
The most recent Time Bubble
book (Gone to the Rapture) was released in October and was very well received
(4.6-star average on Amazon from 139 reviews). I was most pleased with how it
turned out and consider it to be one of the best in the series yet. It proved
that I can still come up with fresh concepts, even after fourteen books in the
However, there is something
that has been bugging me for some time. I feel that The Time Bubble series has
become too long. Before everyone gasps in horror, in fear that I'm not going to
write any more, don't panic! (as fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide might say). No,
what I mean is that I feel having fourteen books in one long series makes it rather
unwieldy. It leads to a situation where I can write one of my best works, like
Gone to the Rapture, yet it's unlikely anyone who hasn't read the previous
thirteen will be interested in it.
I say this as a reader, that if I
spot a book I like the look at and see it is part of a very long series I will
think seriously about passing on it. Do I have the energy to tackle a saga that
long? And what if I decide to go back and give the first book in the series a
try to see if I like it and it doesn’t grab me right away? I may well check out
at that point and never get to the better books later in the series.
Of course, when I started
writing the first book, I didn't even know there was going to be a second book,
let alone fourteen. If I had known in advance exactly what I was going to write
I would probably have planned them out as several shorter series e.g.
The Time Bubble/ Global
Cooling/ Man Out of Time (The initial trilogy)
Vanishing Point/ Cause of
Death/ Lauren's Odyssey (Vanessa trilogy)
My Tomorrow Your Yesterday/
Return to Tomorrow (two-book set). And so on…
Hindsight, as they say, is a
wonderful thing. If I had done it this way I would have split the series up into
digestible chunks, giving people more entry points. They wouldn’t all have to have
started with the first Time Bubble book, a point at which I lose many people because
they mistakenly assume it’s a teen romance series. You only have to read the reviews
of the first book to realise that.
With that in mind, I’ve decided
that Book 15 will be the last in the main series, but again, don’t panic! It
won’t be the last Time Bubble book. On-going, I will do exactly what I said
above and write some shorter spin-offs. For example, I might decide to have a
three-book series focused on the pub around Andy, Kent, Lauren and co. Or I might
write a series all about some of Josh and Alice’s earlier adventures when they
first invented the tachyometer. These could have been Time Bubble books 16, 17,
and 18, but instead, they’ll be something else numbered 1, 2, and 3. I hope everyone
can see the logic in my reasoning about all of this.
To reiterate – The Time Bubble series
is not ending. It is only the current numbering system that will be ending with
The process of branching out into
a venture has already begun. For the past year, I have been planning and
beginning to write a series set in the 1980s. Writing stories set in that era
was always quite difficult with the main Time Bubble characters as Josh, Lauren
& co weren’t born until around 2001. Therefore, what I’ve done is utilise
some of the older characters from the existing series instead.
I plan to produce a set of ten books
each set in a different year of the 1980s. That might sound like another long
series but the beauty of these is that they will all be standalone. When the
series is complete, anyone will be able to pick up any book from the series without
ever having to read any of the others. I believe this is what in television
terms is known as an anthology series – like The Twilight Zone or Tales of the
Although these will be standalone,
they will have an interlinking theme. Without revealing too much in the way of
spoilers, there is a bracelet which is passed on every year from person to
person. It sends each new recipient back exactly forty years in time to spend a
calendar year in the past. There they are given the responsibility of looking
after the timeline, which can involve both changing things or preventing things
from being changed. These changes range from confronting issues in their
personal lives to major, world-changing events.
This all takes place within the
existing Time Bubble universe, with plenty of nuggets for fans of the series.
Each person going back in time will have appeared in earlier books and while
there, they will encounter other familiar faces. For example, in both the 1980
and 1981 books, everyone’s favourite security guard, Barry, makes an
The stars of the first two books
are Keith Diamond, who appeared in Lauren’s Odyssey, and Nick Taylor, who was Thomas’s
best friend in his two stories. Although they both go back in time with the
same mission, the settings couldn’t be more different. The first book revolves
around the world of Fleet Street tabloid journalism in the 1980s, whereas the
second has a rural setting and is more about family life and the experience of
growing up in the 1980s. And here they are:
I’ve got a few candidates lined up for future books, with Nobby from the pub a possibility for one, and Charlotte, the girl Thomas got involved with in Return to Tomorrow earmarked for 1988. That will give me the chance to revisit that story from a different perspective.
All of it takes place against a
backdrop of the music, fashion, attitudes, and culture of the time, all of which
as someone who was a teenager in that era, I remember with great fondness.
I’m really excited about this new venture and I am hoping you will be too. It’s probably the most important book launch I’ve ever done so anything you can do to help in terms of spreading the word and positive reviews all helps. You can pre-order your copy here: Link to pre-order