About The Time Slip Girl:
Interview with Elizabeth Andre:
The idea came to me in a dream. I dreamt one night nearly two years ago now that I had somehow gone back in time to 1908 London and found myself living with a young Englishwoman who worked in a shop. When I woke up, I thought, “Well, why not?”
Have you always been interested in time travel?
I think so, yes. It’s intriguing, the notion that time could allow one to move through it, back and forth, at will. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that it could really be possible. It was just something fun to daydream about.
What books, movies or TV shows do you like that have dealt with time travel?
Well, there are several movies and TV shows I’ve enjoyed that use time travel as their central premise. Any number of Doctor Who episodes have used it, and I get a kick out of Doctor Who. When I was a kid I loved Quantum Leap starring Scott Bakula. I also liked Life On Mars (U.K. version) as well as movies like Time After Time, Somewhere In Time, Back to the Future and Edge of Tomorrow. And I can’t forget Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and Night Watch by Terry Pratchett.
The Time Slip Girl, unlike your favorite books, movies and TV programs, is unusual in its protagonist, Dara Gillard, because she is African American and a lesbian. Do you think it’s about time we had a protagonist like her in a time travel story?
Sure, but I didn’t get here first. The protagonist of Octavia Butler’s Kindred is a 20th century African American woman who travels back to early 19th century Maryland when slavery was still an important part of this country’s economy. I must say I haven’t read Kindred. I thought while I was writing The Time Slip Girl that maybe I should, but I decided against it because I thought it might hamstring me in one way or another. Butler’s work is phenomenal, so I think I might have felt too intimidated to continue writing my story.
What would you say was the greatest challenge of writing The Time Slip Girl? I’d say the greatest challenge was imagining what it would be like for a young, African American lesbian from the 21st century to navigate a life, her new life of finding a job and love, in the utterly bewildering time and place of 1908 London. It was actually an exciting time in London then. The Olympics were held there that year. The drive for votes for women was picking up steam, so lots was going on. Still, it would have been mystifying to find yourself there if you’re used to smartphones, TV, movies, international air travel and round the clock access to a variety of food even if you don’t have the layers of being a different race and sexuality from the majority of the population.
What do you hope a reader gets from the book?
Frankly, I just hope readers enjoy it and think it’s a good story.