Time Travel & Nikola Tesla!
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Today I'm joined by author Diane Byington, celebrating her newest book: If She Had Stayed. A blend of women’s fiction, thriller, and time travel that features Nikola Tesla in a cameo role.
Sometimes the past is better left alone.
Kaley Kline is thrilled to have landed a job as director of the new Tesla Museum in Colorado Springs. To make the museum successful, she searches for undiscovered works to display. When she finds an old safe that might have been Tesla’s, she’s shocked to find some diary pages supposedly written by the inventor himself.
Kaley initially thinks either that the journal is a fraud or Tesla was experiencing a nervous breakdown when he wrote it. However, if his experiments were real, the world will never be the same. She decides to secretly build Tesla’s time machine and attempt to go back into her own life to change a decision she has always regretted.
She prepares for a trip to the past, not knowing whether she will electrocute herself or travel back to the Boulder of her sophomore year in college. But an old boyfriend might have hidden some secrets from her—secrets that could have her fighting for her life.

Available from:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I wrote the first draft during NaNoWriMo one year, and I finished it in six weeks. I had a general plan for the book, but I discovered the specifics during the writing. It was fun to write my 5,000 words during one day, never caring whether I was making a mistake or not, then think about what should come next in the book, and write that the next day. It was a freeing experience to write that first draft. Of course, writing the next dozen or so drafts wasn’t as much fun, but they were definitely necessary.
What did you edit out of this book?
I loved writing in Tesla’s voice. I read everything about the man and by him and did my best to channel his voice in his journal entries. I had to edit out one journal entry that I really loved, in which Tesla talks about achieving world peace. That was always his goal, but, of course, he fell woefully short.
What was your hardest scene to write?
That would be the beginning. Where and how to start a story is always the hardest thing for me. I must have rewritten this one a hundred times, and forced my critique group to read most of them, which they did with kind hearts and red pens. The first scene must pull the reader into the story and let them know what to expect. Eventually, I ended up with the first scene being Kaley trying to break into Tesla’s old house in Colorado Springs so she can search for Tesla artifacts that others might have missed.
How important is research to you when writing a book?
I spent years as a college professor, which required doing research as part of the job. I don’t teach anymore, but I still love doing research for novels. In this case, I spent most of a year studying about Nikola Tesla and reading what other authors had written about time travel. It’s such an interesting topic that I could read, research, and write about time travel for years without repeating myself (hopefully). I loved the process of trying to make my time travel be as close to what Tesla might have done as possible. He invented lots of gadgets, from engines that ran AC electricity to x-rays to remote controlled boats. Why wouldn’t he invent a machine to facilitate time travel?

Excerpt from If She Had Stayed:

“Time of the Season”
Struggling to keep her teeth from chattering, Kaley pushed on one of the back windows of the dilapidated Victorian home where Nikola Tesla had once lived. The hinge let out a loud squeak, and she froze. The houses were close together in that part of Colorado Springs, and a neighbor might call the police.

As the seconds ticked by, she considered what she should do if a police officer appeared around the corner of the old house. She was a fast runner, but no one could outrun a bullet. Fear flooded her chest, and her heart hammered, but uppermost in her mind was how embarrassed she would be if she had to call one of her friends to post bail for her.

After another long moment with no sign that she’d been caught, Kaley’s heartbeat returned to normal. She’d come too far to stop. She placed a concrete block beneath the window, grabbed her flashlight and other tools, and hoisted herself over the sill.

A thrill ran up her spine. She’d never done anything illegal before, but she couldn’t miss the opportunity to possibly discover something of Tesla’s that no one else had found. She’d waited months for the previous tenant to move out, and the landlord had shown her the house that morning.

After looking around for a bit, she’d said, “Three thousand seems a little steep for this old neighborhood. Would you consider twenty-three hundred?” Even at that rate, she’d have to get roommates, which she was reluctant to do. She liked her privacy. Still, she would do it if she had to.

He laughed. “I just put up the sign yesterday, and five other people have already called to see it. I’m showing it to someone else in an hour if you don’t want it.”

She took a breath. “Has anybody found any Tesla artifacts here?”

“Not in the ten years that I’ve owned the house. If he’d left anything, it would have been snatched up years ago. Every single tenant asks about it, and I tell them all the same thing, but they think they’ll discover something no one else has found.” He shrugged. “Everybody’s got a fantasy, you know?”

Continue reading...

About Diane

Diane Byington has been a tenured college professor, yoga teacher, psychotherapist, and executive coach. Also, she raised goats for fiber and once took a job cooking hot dogs for a NASCAR event. She still enjoys spinning and weaving, but she hasn’t eaten a hot dog or watched a car race since.
Besides reading and writing, Diane loves to hike, kayak, and photograph sunsets. She and her husband divide their time between Boulder, Colorado, and Dunedin, Florida.
To learn more about her or join her mailing list, visit her author website at https://dianebyington.com/