Commentary 5: Five Seconds to Hold You

Although Timely Persuasion has a science fiction premise, I really wanted to ground the story in reality as much as possible outside of the time travel. Thus I knew I wanted to send the narrator back to save Kurt Cobain, but I also knew that his mission would ultimately have to fail. The physics of time travel in this world made sure of that, and the narrator and I continue to learn the ropes together in this chapter.

Other tidbits:

  • The record reviews stolen from the library were baseball box scores until the final draft.
  • Were you able to guess the name of the city 76.7 miles east of Seattle? An even bigger coincidence is the name of a town slightly to the west that I just noticed right now when linking to the map.
  • I went to Viretta Park and Kurt’s old mansion on a research trip after the first draft of the book was done and actually walked through the majority of the actions in this chapter. The rewrites came from that hands-on trip, including it starting to rain in the park as I stood photographing the bench.
  • All of the bad concert karma events (sadly) actually happened to me.
  • I’m trying to draw a red herring of a connection in this chapter by alluding to the sister’s death as a murder when it’s really a suicide, but I’m not sure if I actually pulled it off. Feels to me that the Cobain connection actually telegraphs how the sister died, but maybe I’m just too close to it.
  • The two men searching the house are Tom Grant and Dylan Carlson. It’s based on real life, though I don’t think they realized they had a ghostly visitor watching them…
  • My cousin Adam commented that “the world is rarely ever on a plane” (pun intended) after reading the first draft, which made me really scrutinize foot placement above and below the normal “ground” in subsequent drafts. I also inserted his comment almost verbatim into the narrator’s analysis of the situation.
  • The chapter title “Five Seconds To Hold You” comes from a great song by an LA band called Devics. It doesn’t hold much relevance, though I guess it could be the small window of time when the narrator actually thinks he’s going to solve the mystery.
  • There are 28 intentional musical references in this chapter.

Read Chapter Five Online

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