Commentary: Prologue

Ok. Here’s the long awaited debut of the chapter by chapter commentary posts. Let me start at the start, then take it away…

Once I decided to write a time travel novel, the first idea to be brainstormed was a character going back in time to save his relationship with the one that got away. He’d basically keep reliving their courtship and give himself a do-over any time he screwed up. I’d actually written a couple of pages of notes on this concept before I realized that I didn’t want to write a romantic comedy. (I’m also glad I didn’t go this route since a year later the movie 50 First Dates came out, and this concept would essentially be that plus time travel.)

It struck me that it would be more interesting if this “fixing” had already happened and not gone so well, and the book was really about the aftermath. The last piece to the puzzle was making the motivation less selfish by moving the mission from himself to his sister.

From here I took about 3 weeks to brainstorm and outline, then dove right in. Wrote the prologue in one sitting in a little over two hours. It came a lot easier than I expected, and actually didn’t change that much from first draft to final. Some additional lyrical references were accumulated over the years, but the only major change was to be more coy as to what the “bad thing” that happened between Nelson and the Sister actually was.

Other tidbits:

  • The “sister” does not represent my real sister, hence the note on the copyright page.
  • Thanks to early reader Kathy Legendre for pointing out the difference between fiancé and fiancée, sparing me the embarrassment of a typo in sentence number four.
  • Of the 18 intentional lyrical references in this chapter, 4 of the first 5 are from the band Carter USM. This was primarily for my own amusement, as well as for Jon Mack’s benefit since I knew he’d be my only guaranteed reader once I got to Luxembourg. Carter was (and still is) our favorite band.
  • The “too erratic of a speech pattern” line is a reference to something a girl really said to me once.
  • The general concepts of “overprotectiveness” and “boy who cried wolf” are thinly veiled apologies that some readers may pick up on.

Read the Prologue online.

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