I just finished reading a wonderfully fun YA/NA time travel story, Wishing You Were Here, by author Catherine Chant.
Callie Reinard, a 21st century Boston teen, has just graduated from high school and is looking forward to college and an exciting career in radio. So how is it that she finds herself thrown back in time to 1957 and to London’s Heathrow Airport, trying to stop the tragic death of ’50’s Rock’n’Roll heartthrob, Joey Tempo?
After Callie succeeds in keeping Joey off that doomed plane, she thinks her job is done and that she’ll be returned to her own time. But things aren’t that easy and Fate, it seems, has other plans for Callie and the cute and talented Joey. Oh…and did I forget to mention that Joey’s already engaged to a small-town beauty queen who’s none too happy when Callie sticks around?
I really enjoyed Callie agonizing over whether she should stay in 1957 with Joey, knowing that he’s seriously unavailable. Or should she try to return to the present. And how exactly is she supposed to do that, anyway?
I recently talked to the author herself, Catherine Chant, and she was kind enough to give me some insight into Callie, Joey…and ’50’s Rock’n’Roll.
Welcome, Cathy, and thanks for checking in with us today!
I’m so excited to be here! Thank you for having me.
So, please share with readers…why a time travel story?
Easy answer: it’s what popped into my head first. 🙂
Longer answer: A song I liked prompted me to look into the history of a popular 1950’s musician, and when I learned that he died at age 20, I found myself asking, “What if he hadn’t died so young?” My imagination took over from there. Time travel seemed the logical way to bring someone dead back to life.
Later on I realized there was more to it. I love the idea of the “do over,” the chance to fix past mistakes, or right a wrong, and it’s a theme that ran through several of my works-in-progress before I started WISHING YOU WERE HERE. Time travel is the perfect mechanism for the ultimate “do over.”
You’re certainly far too young to have any personal memories of the 1950’s. What was it about that decade and its music that made you choose them as the setting for this story?
Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved the 50s and 60s. My parents had lots of music from that era that influenced me, and there were always old movies on TV when I was growing up–Elvis movies, Annette and Frankie movies, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin. I loved them all.
Then of course, Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley came on the scene when I was in junior high. The shows naturally made my parents nostalgic for their high school days (they strongly identified with the characters and situations on the show) and they were excited to share their memories with us kids. My curiosity took over. I’d look through my parents’ yearbooks and memorabilia. trying to get a sense of what it was really like to live back then.
In addition, both my sets of grandparents still lived in the houses where my parents grew up, so it was easy to picture myself back in time when I visited. I loved looking at old photos, especially when I’d recognize things like the same garage or a piece of furniture we were sitting on. Seeing familiar items in these photos brought the past and present together for me.
I’ve never lost that fascination. I love looking at photography books where the artist shows a city square 50-100 years ago and then the same spot/same angle in the present day so you can compare them.
Tell us, if you would, a bit more about Callie and Joey…are they based on any real people from the ’50’s? Or are they a mixture of people you’ve known personally?
Joey Tempo was initially inspired by the late, great Eddie Cochran, but he’s really a combination of a lot of 50’s/60’s performers who left us far too soon.
Callie Reinard evolved over the course of writing the book into her own unique person. The fascination with old music was probably inspired by my own interests at the time, but her ambition and determination for a career in radio grew from scenes unfolding in the book.
What are you working on now, or what’s your next project? And do you have other books available that readers can check out right now?
I’m working on Book 2 in the Soul Mates series, NOTHING STAYS THE SAME. This time around Callie’s younger sister Leah travels back in time to 1973 to find herself the star of Hollywood’s latest pop music sitcom. I’m also working on a new young adult suspense novel.
Other books that are available now include:
LOST WITHOUT YOU–a sequel novella that comes between Book 1 and Book 2 in the Soul Mates series. It picks up where events left off back in 1957 the end of Book 1, and follows one of the major secondary characters as she finds her happily-ever-after.
Two Vampire Diaries novellas–PURSUED BY EVIL and EVIL AFTER MIDNIGHT. I thought after the whole Damon-Elena thing came to be at the end of Season 4, Stefan deserved his own happy ending, so I gave him a new love interest. Unfortunately, she doesn’t come without a price.
Details can be found here on my Amazon Author page
Thanks again, for stopping by, Cathy. I assume you enjoy hearing from readers anytime? If so, I’ll include links below where readers can connect with you via your site and on social media, and sign up for your newsletter.
Thanks for inviting me! And, oh yes, I love to hear from readers!!!!
You can find me online at my website (where you can sign up for my newsletter – newsletter subscribers hear everything first and are eligible for freebies, sneak peeks and other fun things!) Of course, I’m also on Facebook and on Twitter.