Pant-sers, Planners, and In Her Own Time, Bean 2—Sequel to Time Runs Away With Her
You come to know your characters like friends if you write fiction. I was happy for my friend and main character Bean Donohue at the end of Bean 1, Time Runs Away With Her. At the close of that book, 16 year-old Bean’s crazy in love with her boyfriend, artist Zak Grant. She’s got a good folk-rock band together. Her impossible mother has been…well, slightly less impossible. The spring of 1970 has been good to Bean. She should be able to stay put in her own time—right?
But Bean let me know she wasn’t done with her travels to the past not long after I finished that first book. There are two kinds of fiction authors, they say: planners and pants-ers. Pants-ers are writers who steer their stories “by the seats of their pants.” Planners have charts and maps and circles and arrows. I’m totally a pant-ser (and I’d like to share with you that I have on some very nice pants as I’m writing this. Rayon. A cool black and white print, for what it’s worth 🙂 )
Anyway, I listened to what Bean was telling me, and so I started the second book, In Her Own Time, RIGHT after the close of Book One. Often, when I’m making fiction and I’m really into it, it’s like watching a movie, and it was super-true this time. Except this movie was a darker and scarier one than anything I’d written before. I knew right away that there were going to be other people capable of time traveling with Bean. And they began to introduce themselves to me…
No spoilers, but I’ll tell you right now that some of the stuff that started to play out in the theatre of my computer screen scared the snot out of me. As in I was so wrapped up in it that I couldn’t stop thinking about it before I went to bed. And then it gave me some pretty interesting dreams.
There’s also some really funny stuff in the new book. Bean gets involved with an FM rock and roll music station. Radio of that period is dear to my heart…well, because I did some. As in I spun discs and stuff. And so I had a great time putting Bean and Zak and gal pal Samantha in the middle of 1970 rock and roll DJ’s! If you’re kind of interested in what it was like to listen to your music on vinyl back in the day, you are going to love this story. (Hint: vinyl just SOUNDS better. It does.)
There’s also more from the ghosts of the Deerwood Academy, and some time travel to a new and very scary period. Plus two places in the book where you WILL cry. I did, writing them. And my editors cried, too.
Official announcement: there WILL be a Bean 3. I wrote the first chapter of it this month. But my lips are sealed about what’s even in the opening. You’ll have to read In Her Own Time first!
Evernight Teen Publishing
finally got a good band together, and she’s crazy in love with her artist
impossible mom’s conveniently out of town.
ending up in 1953…or 1779?
the Kent State t-shirt?
be worried—or should Bean?
sexuality and adult situations
house. The air was sharp. Tall trees that had just been in full summer leaf
were suddenly bare, and smaller than they’d been seconds before. Bean tried to peer
back in through the kitchen window, but the lights were off, and she couldn’t
see anything. She stood in her side yard, sometime in the past. It was
that she didn’t even know how she felt. She’d been glowing from the night
before with Zak, happy to have had Sam pound on her door with music and
laughter. Bean stuck her hands in the pockets of her thin blue cotton robe, and
looked up. The sky looked like early afternoon: pale sunlight behind a thin,
high layer of clouds. In front of her house, underneath the living room windows
stood three overgrown barberry bushes. Bean had never seen them before. The
ground was hard and cold, and she was barefoot.
it. Lately, Bean had been perfectly fine with life in 1970. What
year is this supposed to be? She had no idea.
But then she felt the happiness beginning to leak out of her. If Zak were
right, why had she slipped backwards just now? She had a whole June weekend to
spend with him, feeling nothing but love…and now, this.
in place to warm up, which helped a bit. Her toes were soon numb, though.
After a few minutes, a black car with big, round bumpers pulled into the
driveway and clattered to a halt. There was the rasp of an emergency brake
being set. And Bean’s father—very
young, and too thin for his thick, grey winter coat—got out of the driver’s side. Bean put a hand
over her mouth, and watched as he ran urgently around to the passenger’s door. He yanked it
make it,” said her mother’s voice. A high-heeled
shoe and a nylon stocking-covered leg emerged. Then came the rest of Bean’s
mom, wearing a brown tweed overcoat and a floppy green beret. She walked a bit
unsteadily, clutching a bundle of white blankets wrapped around a baby, which
began to wail.
the walk. She stopped when she got to the front door.
house keys, would you, Tom?” she called. Tom patted down three pockets in his
coat before something jingled. He rushed a key into the lock. Then he looked
back at the car. Both its front doors now stood wide open, and he sprinted back down the
walk toward them. Bean sucked in her breath hard, taking it all in. Was that
her days-old self,crying, inside the house? Sixteen-year-old Bean felt a little
weepy, too. It’s 1953, then, she thought. Just after my actual
from the setting of Time Runs Away With
Her, near the mighty Hudson River, in a very old (1740) house with two
ghosts. According to a local ghost
investigator, they are harmless, “just very old spirits who don’t want to
leave.” She doesn’t want them to.
husband is a choir director/organist), two spoiled tom cats, and too many
books. She’s also a poet, and the author
of two collections of verse, Zero Degrees
at First Light, and Sheltering in
Place. Christine taught English and Creative Writing for years in the
Clarkstown Schools. She DJ’s free form
rock and roll weekly on Area24radio.com, and plays guitar, dulcimer, and tower
author will be giving away 1 book copy per day
comments left at the tour stops.