Updated on June 1, 2018
19. ‘Anachronism’ by Jennifer Lee Rossman
Today’s review – of Anachronism by Jennifer Lee Rossman – will be a little bit different, because Jennifer herself is here to talk about the story behind her new novella.
Anachronism is a story about time travel, involving a visitor from the future, a young woman whose life is in the gutter, and a powerful assassin. I thought this was an exciting, fast-paced story, with characters that I instantly cared for and a genuinely brilliant twist at the end (I gasped!). I love the way Jennifer plays with language, and the self-aware, sarcastic voice of her narrator is a joy to read.
So without further ado, here’s Jennifer to tell you more about how Anachronism came to be.
Hello! My name is Jennifer Lee Rossman, and today I’m celebrating the release of my first novella, Anachronism, available now from Kristell Ink, an imprint of Grimbold Books!
Anachronism is a time-traveling, adventure-filled novella with a whole bagful of danger, twists, and snarky banter. It’s the same old story: Time traveler meets girl, time traveler tells girl she’s the future president, time traveler and girl go on a road trip to prevent a war…
Petra Vincent is at the end of her rope – or rather, the edge of a bridge. Her world is falling apart around her and she sees no way out of the meaningless existence the future has in store. But when stranded time traveler Moses Morgan tells her that she will one day lead the country out of the rubble of a nuclear civil war as President of the United States, she’s intrigued – and when another time traveler starts trying to preemptively assassinate her, she realizes Moses might be telling the truth…
Anachronism is my favorite thing I’ve ever written, but it almost didn’t make it past the first few chapters.
It took a year or two on and off to get through the first draft, but I wrote the majority of it in the summer and fall of 2015. That summer was the worst of my life. Long story short, depression + birth control that screwed with my hormones + dealing with doctors to try to finally get diagnosed with ADHD = not a nurturing environment for my confidence. I was an unpublished writer at the time, not even thinking about querying or submitting, and I’d pretty much convinced myself that Anachronism was awful.
Then I had a doctor’s appointment and the elevator broke, leaving me and my wheelchair with no way to get home. It was 5 o’clock, the elevator people were supposedly on their way, and all the staff had gone home except for Jessie.
She’d been one of my favorite nurses when I still went to the pediatrician that shares an office with my doctor, and she was prepared to camp out with us all night if the elevator people didn’t come. She sat with me while my mom went to get dinner, and the conversation turned to sci-fi. For some reason, I mentioned that I was writing a book about time travel. I still don’t know why I brought it up, but she insisted I tell her all about it.
I did, even the twist ending that I reeeeaally wasn’t sure about. It sounded good in my head, but what if it was actually really obvious? Or worse, gimmicky? But Jessie loved it; she gasped at the twist and everything.
The elevator got fixed soon after, and as the door closed, Jessie yelled out, “I want a copy of that book someday!” Laughing, I joked, “You’ll get the first signed copy!”
Because it was a joke. Me? Published?
But I kept writing, kept editing. I still wasn’t confident about the story, but I focused on the parts Jessie had liked, and asked for other writers’ advice about the parts I wasn’t sure about, and I had an acceptance the next year.
I’ll be honest, I love my book, but there are still parts I’m not sure are good. There are still doubts in my mind that the entire plot is just silly and that no one will actually buy it. I don’t think those thoughts will ever completely go away, but I do know a lot of people like it, and I’m going to choose to trust them.
And Jessie is definitely getting the first signed copy.
Jennifer Lee Rossman is a science fiction geek from Oneonta, New York. When she isn’t writing, she cross stitches, watches Doctor Who, and threatens to run over people with her wheelchair.
Her work has been featured in several anthologies and her novel, Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow, will be published by World Weaver Press in 2019. You can find her blog at http://jenniferleerossman.blogspot.com/ and Twitter at https://twitter.com/JenLRossman