Today I’m interviewing Gianlorenzo Bernini, the other main character in my time travel novel, The Renaissance Club, a story that has been called “enchanting, rich, and romantic”! The 17th century genius artist Gianlorenzo Bernini is the hero of my time travel novel, and the passionate interest of May Gold, a young art historian who specializes in his masterpieces. More
time travel romance novel
Finding Love in a Past Era
A lot of contemporary time travel fiction involves finding love. And it magically happens. On paper, one can simply step through a fold in time’s curtain or penetrate a magical standing stone and voila! meet your soulmate in a past time. This is magical realism time travel — it just happens.
But think about it: love across the centuries has a lot of messy aspects. First, the customs of love are very different. Like trying to speak a different language, you can get the nuances and protocals wrong. When to touch, when not to touch, what does a smile mean in another society than your 21st century one, and what constitutes an invitation for a woman to be treated as less than a lady? Writing love stories across the centuries is complicated.
Love stories — three reasons we adore them: 1) love is essential to wellbeing, 2) stories are essential maneuvering through life, and 3) every love is unique. Are our brains hardwired for stories? Story Genius author and master story coach Lisa Cron thinks humans evolved by learning how to solve problems through hearing stories. And if there’s one big problem in your life, it probably has the tag “love” on it. More
Having a book out in the world isn’t a new experience for me. With three poetry books out in the world, I’ve experienced the elation, stage fright, happy overwhelm, and sheer joy in completing a book and giving it an audience. But to have a novel published is in another sphere. It’s a goal I’ve had since I was a child. And yesterday, I achieve it, with the release of The Renaissance Club from Fiery Seas Publishing.
I’ve partied, celebrated, and emailed and passed out bookmarks to spread the word. Right now, I’m happy to share an excerpt, published at Escape Into Life. Thanks to the editors there, you can read the cute-meet of my two main characters, one who lives in the 21st century, and the other who lives in the 17th, but who find a fold in time that allows them to be in the same moment.
If you suddenly found you could time travel, what good could you hope to do by traveling into the past? Could you time travel to prevent a war or a plague? Would you want to ensure that friendly, intelligent aliens landing on our planet weren’t obliterated by weed-killer? Would you want to change your own history to become richer, more successful, or healthier? Would you try to spare someone close to you a catastrophe?
Some of those things are the goal of my main character, May Gold, in The Renaissance Club (now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo). Time travel has been a philosophical problem ever since someone devised it. It’s the problem I asked myself as I sent May back to the 17th century.
And it’s a question I kept pondering as I thought about George St. James, the club’s guide to Renaissance Italy, and for a few the guide to time traveling.
Why did George have this gift? How did he decide to use it only to aid others? In George’s case, time travel appears to be genetic. His grandmother had the ability, though neither of his parents did. But I’m getting ahead of myself, because that’s not in the prologue of The Renaissance Club. It will appear in my third novel, Time’s Wily Thief, which features George St. James.
In The Renaissance Club, art historian May Gold time travels with George’s aid, and she finds herself face-to-face with her hero, 17th century Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. As she goes back and forth into his timeline, she starts trying to change things in his life, to prevent disasters that impeded his art.
Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate?
That’s the question my main character, May Gold, has to ask herself when her adventures in Italy in The Renaissance Club bring her face-to-face with her idol, 17th century genius sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. She has always admired — maybe more than admired — the fiery, expressive artist who could make marble come alive. What would you do if you could meet the historical person you most admire?
Click the link below to get a preview:
I’m thrilled to share that you can pre-order it, in either ebook or paperback, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Delivery date will be the official release: January 23. If you grab a copy now, you’ll do a sort of time-traveling yourself, having it in your hands in January, when it releases. You can congratulate your past self for giving you a New Year’s present! Perfect for a cozy read during winter nights.
If you’re picky about history, but love a time-traveling heroine going back in time, if you love love stories and romance, but don’t like the formulaic romances the major publishers put out, you might find it hard to locate books you like. I do. My must-haves for a time-travel love story include: good historical research, a well-defined sense of place, believable characters, and love that goes deeper than just a steamy attraction.
That’s a lot to ask! The gatekeepers of publishing use very narrow formulas, So I delved into backwaters of Amazon categories: time-travel romance, historical fantasy, science fiction romance, historical time-travel, and other secret pockets, where I’ve even found the likes of Alice Hofmann and Mark Twain. Because sometimes a good story is just unclassifiable. I’ve made a list of my finds, which I hope to keep adding to. I’d welcome your suggestions!
RACHEL’S LIST OF TIME-TRAVEL NOVELS INVOLVING LOVE
We can’t change the past, but the past can change us. (That’s one of my favorite statements in a time-travel novel!) Fern’s vacation in Italy turns into a nightmare when she’s snatched back in time and lives the life of Cecilia, lady in waiting to Queen Caterina Cornaro. Luca, a local architect, comes to Fern’s aid when Cecilia embarks on a passionate affair with the artist Zorzo. Echoes of the past manifest themselves increasingly in the present until past and present collide.
When Eva’s film star sister Katrina dies, she leaves California and returns to Cornwall, where they spent their childhood summers, to scatter Katrina’s ashes and in doing so return her to the place where she belongs. But Eva must also confront the ghosts from her own past, as well as those from a time long before her own.
Echo In Time, Lindsey Fairleigh
Kind of a conventional romance formula, but such an unusual setting, and a twist for the heroine. Alexandra Larson isn’t quite human, but she doesn’t know that. Lex simply considers herself an ambitious archaeology grad student with a knack for deciphering ancient languages. When she’s recruited to work on her dream excavation, Lex’s translating skills uncover the location of the secret entrance to an undiscovered underground temple in Egypt. She is beyond thrilled with what she’s found…as is the enigmatic and alluring excavation director, Marcus Bahur.
I thought of Bernini as a mage and master — a magician and a master of sculpture — long before I saw the title of the article. As I worked on my novel, The Renaissance Club I studied the great Gianlorenzo Bernini and his works. Bernini plays a leading role in my story, along with a young art historian who worships the 17th century artist. I looked at many still images and videos of his work, and I had been lucky enough to see many in person, in Rome. This wonderful article discusses the three major sculptors of all time, and Bernini was one. More