I don’t think I could have made it any clearer in my article “Beyond The Time Machine” that I think that Epilogue: Time Machine Chronicles by Jaime V. Batista is a superb sequel to H.G.Wells’ The Time Machine.
It’s a sentiment which is of course echoed in my 5* review of Epilogue and also on Amazon where Epilogue is currently averaging 4.8 star reviews.
I mentioned that Epilogue should be on every bookshelf next to Wells’ classic, though I qualify that further and say that ideally it deserves its place in the same binding. Yes, it’s that good!
Today I’m really happy to announce that Jaime has very kindly agreed to give us an interview which I hope will provide a deeper native insight into Epilogue, and to the man behind it.
Jaime – many many thanks for taking the time to let us know more about you and Epilogue!
The Time Machine is probably the most famous time travel novel, and is responsible for introducing many readers to the wonderful world of time travel. Did you feel under pressure in writing a sequel to such a classic book?
Jaime: I enjoyed The Time Machine so much that I felt there had to be a sequel to it…I read everyone that I could find and found myself disappointed..Each one seemed to track off in a direction that didn’t compliment the original, as well as not maintaining the Wells vocabulary and style…I felt under pressure to do a story that would complete the original in a satisfying manner for myself as well as other Time Machine fans..
Is reading The Time Machine a pre-requisite for reading Epilogue?
Jaime: I tried to write the story in a fashion that would give the reader a feel for what happened in the original story…However I have received many e-mails from readers who stated that after reading Epilogue they reread the Time Machine and found it even more enjoyable the second time around..
Have you read many other sequels to The Time Machine, and if so, what in your view, makes Epilogue different to them? Did you have a favorite?
Jaime: Yes–As I mentioned in my answer to question one, I read every sequel I could find…I can’t say that anyone was my favorite although the beginning of Time Ships did give me hope but only for a short while…I feel that Epilogue is different because of the research that went into it..If I mentioned what the weather was on a particular day that is what the weather really was on that day—the Time Traveler’s explorations into the subway system were not random. I actually used a map of the present subway systems to describe his path…When he ventured into an area that was affected by the radiation from a long abandoned nuclear plant, I studied what environmental effects had been caused by past power plant accidents such as Chernobyl and used those findings to describe what he was likely to encounter…Because of the passing of time, I also linked certain events and conversations to actual happenings such as the Panama Canal–the Spanish flu—certain minor things such as stamps, coins etc…Everything that happens in Epilogue is very possible..There are no great leaps of imagination necessary to enjoy the story..What makes Epilogue different is that it is believable (once the reader accepts the reality of a time machine).
One of the things I love about Epilogue is the way it ties into the original, but also within itself – a lot of thoughts and ideas recur which bring about a solid feel of consistency. Did you plan the novel out at the outset before writing, or did you write and see where the characters and plot lead you as you went along?
Jaime: Actually a little of both..I took a large piece of cardboard and and drew a “map” of how I wanted the story to go..Along the story line (map) I inserted key events that had to happen which helped to keep things in order…Then, as I wrote from one point to the next, I let the characters develop and guided them from one point to the next but I kept the main plot following the original story line (map) with the necessary tweaking and adjustments as we (the characters and I) went along.
Many authors spend a lot of time in finding, developing and fine-tuning their own writing style. I noticed that the writing style in Epilogue stays true to that of The Time Machine. Did you find writing in the style of H.G.Wells easy to do, or did you need to train yourself to write in this way?
Jaime: That was a VERY important feature to me…I wanted the story to seem as if H.G. himself had continued it…I read and reread the Time Machine—Invisible Man—War Of The Worlds—Food of The Gods—The Sleeper Awakes—The Island of Doctor Moreau—First Men on the Moon—The Days of the Comet..I read much of Jules Verne as well as Robert Louis Stevenson to get a feel of the dialogue of that period of time…I kept a notebook of adjectives and phrases that were commonly used and studied certain nuances and referred to the notes I kept many times when I felt my efforts were not keeping in tune with the writing style of Mr. Wells…It was a bit of a chore to rewrite entire pages at times but necessary to maintain the continuity of style…
The Traveler is curious and open-minded. How did you feel writing as first person through his eyes?
Jaime: A confession is due here—I modeled much of the Time Traveler’s personality and actions after my own….Other than his initial fleeing from the Morlocks and leaving Weena to an uncertain fate, his latter actions mirrored what I would have done..I felt at times as if I were the Time Traveler (kind of spooky)..
Time travel is an infamous genre in which authors need to choose how much attention to pay attention to methodology and those bothersome time travel paradoxes. Can you tell us what challenges or pitfalls (if any) did you encounter in incorporating time travel in this book?
Jaime: The famous “grandfather” paradox posed a bit of a challenge…There I encountered a problem or two…I decided to have a family tragedy occur because of his journey into the past–but he was powerless to prevent the incident from happening in spite of being witness to the incident as it unfolded…I decided to approach the paradox from a different angle..He could witness the past but was unable to participate or physically exist in the past..Hence the grandfather paradox was solved…After some brain storming, I think I got the concept to work pretty well.
There are many insights into human nature in Epilogue. Are these an extension of those presented by Wells, or are they your own?
Jaime: Actually those insights are mostly my own..I read somewhere that if one morning we all woke up and had the same color skin–hair–eyes–and if we all spoke the same language–believed in the same GOD–that we would find something to fight about by noon-time….The insights into human nature were mostly my own based on the day to day observations of interactions of others as well as my own experiences…
If you could travel into the future, would you expect to see a future similar to how you described in Epilogue?
Jaime: Hopefully not..However, if things played out in a manner similar to what happens in Epilogue, I do think that the whole scenario would be very similar..Crumbling buildings, survivors banding into tribes seeking defensible shelters against the others that would be roaming the country side acting as predators etc..
In Epilogue The Time Traveller returns to the future armed with knowledge of it, and therefore some preparation. How would you prepare for a trip into the future? Are there any items that you’d take with you, or items you’d deliberately leave?
Jaime: Previously I mentioned that I modeled some aspects of the Time Traveler’s actions and personality after my own..The things he took with him are the very things I would have taken but I would have also taken a pair of binoculars–which he did not….A deliberate oversight on my part as the author to ensure that he would have to leave the “safety” of the Time Machine and explore the unknown leaving him vulnerable….
I’ve found keeping a blog active an incredible amount of work – I dread to think how much time and effort is spent in crafting novel! How on Earth do you find the time to write?
Jaime: Very little television–NO facebook time to speak of—No video games—winter time kept me from many of my outdoor activities which I would use that time to do considerably more writing–I would carry a small notebook and write ideas and sometimes entire paragraphs as they came to me…In Epilogue there is a section where the Time Traveler is speaking of his frustrations and set backs while attempting to build the machine…..That section is a parallel and a description of how I felt trying to write the story– “a madness that must be stopped.” And yes, a blog takes a enormous amount of time and I’m sorry to say that mine has essentially died.
Are there any plans afoot in writing a follow-up novel to Epilogue?
Jaime: The “survivalist” community has sent a few e-mails wishing I had expanded upon a section on Epilogue…I actually did start another story that coupled into that section of Epilogue but (for now) I have put it on the back burner so to speak.
What would you say to someone who approached you and asked if they could write a follow-up novel to Epilogue?
Jaime: I would be flattered if someone saw fit to continue the story, but other than the link up that I mentioned in the previous question, I would like to think that I answered all the questions that The Time Machine left in limbo and brought the story to a rather conclusive ending….
What’s your greatest passion?
Jaime: I would be pressed to come up with only one favorite…I enjoy the time spent on my motorcycle, been riding since 1971. …I love astronomy as well as cave exploring…The time I spend fly-fishing is just short of being sacred to me….I have great passion for playing piano (wish I was better at it)…..
What sort of things rile you up?
Jaime: First and foremost–Individuals who prey upon the weak and infirm….The indiscriminate and senseless acts of terrorism that seem to make the news every night….A justice system that fails to deal justice, drug dealers that destroy the lives of users as well as their families, politicians who act more like royalty than public servants–case in point….In Connecticut 67% of the citizens favored the death penalty–our “royal” governor thought it was wrong, so he abolished it (supposed to be representing us, not what his personal feelings are)….Consequently we (the tax payers) spend about $45,000-$75,000 annually to keep death row inmates alive and healthy while our senior citizens struggle to make ends meet…The money would be better spent on sending under privileged children to college, medical research, infrastructural maintenance.. The list could go on and on…The state spent over $500,000 dollars to keep one inmate who tried to commit suicide alive BEFORE he even went to court and was eventually sentenced to death for his role in a particularly gruesome triple murder and rape of a mother as well as her two young daughters….When my blog was active I did a story on the crime…But now we must keep him alive and well for the rest of his life….$45,000 / $75,000 a year for what???…Sorry but this type of waste does rile me up BIG time…
And check out my article Beyond the Time Machine which explains further why Epilogue: Time Machine Chronicles is such a blindingly great sequel to The Time Machine!
For those of you who enjoyed the H.G.Wells classic, I can only recommend that you rush out and get hold of a copy of Epilogue!