So, life was creeping on in its steady pace from day to day. I was about to turn 40, and I was in a pretty terrible mood. For no real reason: things were fine. I’m an English professor at Bryn Mawr College, I live in Philadelphia, it’s a good life. Philly’s great, I love my students, I like thinking deep thoughts about 19th century literature for pay. But my birthday was looming and my mood just got worse and worse…
One morning I woke up and instead of heading down the rickety old stairs in my little Philly row house to make a cup of coffee, I headed up the rickety old stairs to my study. I sat down at the computer and opened a new Word document. I stared at the screen for a second, and then I started typing.
I wrote for fourteen hours straight. The next morning I made the coffee, but carried it upstairs with me and it grew cold while I typed. There were four weeks of summer break, and even though I had a ton of other responsibilities I shoved them aside and I wrote all day every day, like a person possessed.
I was writing a time travel novel.