The Next Big Thing: Musing on my time travel with Aphra Behn

I was tagged by Renata Barcelos to explain why my novel is going to be the Next Big Thing. *g* But seriously, the blog hop is more about stopping by different blogs to discover new writers, or maybe a great read down the road somewhere. A lot of us are talking about books that have yet to be finished, but maybe our WIPs will make people curious about the books we’ve already published!

On to the questions:

What is the working title of your latest book?

Chameleon in a Mirror

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The historical figure of Aphra Behn, the first professional woman writer in English. From the moment I read about Behn in graduate school, she fascinated me. I knew I had to do something with her beyond academic articles.

What genre does your book fall under?

That’s a very good question. It’s a time travel fantasy involving magic mirrors and literary history with a romance that doesn’t end happily. I think I can safely say it falls between lots of genre chairs.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’m really bad at casting my novels. I know what all my characters look like, but I can never think of any actors who fit my ideas.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Billie Armstrong has always dreamed of traveling back to the English Restoration to meet her idol, Aphra Behn, but when she accidentally activates the magical properties of a baroque mirror, she discovers that a dream come true can get complicated, not to mention dirty.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About a year and a half.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Hm. I can’t offhand think of any other books with the same weird combination of genres. There are plenty of time travel books out there, but my novel definitely isn’t a science fiction TT, nor is it a romance like Outlander, or a literary TT like The Time Traveler’s Wife, despite the subject matter. I will definitely have to think on that a bit!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

The answer to that one is the same as the second question: Aphra Behn. She deserves to have more people know about her, and who knows, maybe I can help with this book.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s part self-discovery, part vindication, part love story, part secret history, part historical novel, and (hopefully) all fun! Billie’s journey to the past turns into an unwilling masquerade in a tale of literary politics and passion, a high-spirited Restoration romp, as Billie does her best to survive in a strange era and ensure Aphra’s literary survival in the future. The subject matter is serious, but first and foremost, I hope people will find the novel entertaining. Aphra was a great entertainer herself, and she deserves nothing less.

Now to tag 5 fellow authors, who will share something about their own books next Wednesday on their blogs, if they choose to do so. :)


Shah Wharton

Maya Lassiter

Luc Reid

Aliette de Bodard

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About Ruth Nestvold

Ruth Nestvold's short fiction has appeared in numerous markets, including Asimov's, F&SF, Baen's Universe, Strange Horizons, Scifiction, and Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction. Her fiction has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella "Looking Through Lace" won the "Premio Italia" award for best international work. Her novel Flamme und Harfe appeared in translation with the German imprint of Random House, Penhaligon, in 2009 and has since been translated into Dutch and Italian. She maintains a web site at
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3 Responses to The Next Big Thing: Musing on my time travel with Aphra Behn

  1. Shah Wharton says:

    Very interesting Ruth… I’m intrigued. And thanks for the tag too, I’m just writing my post now for next Wednesday. :)

  2. Pingback: A little writing progress and lots of free Halloween fiction | Ruth Nestvold – Indie Adventures

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