The Time Traveler's Guide

Writing Time Travel Stories and Historical Fiction

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
93 Pages
Reviewed on 11/18/2016
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Simon’s first novel for middle grade readers, The Alchemist’s Portrait, was published in 2003 followed by The Sorcerer’s Letterbox in 2004, The Clone Conspiracy in 2005, The Emerald Curse in 2006, The Heretic’s Tomb in 2007, The Doomsday Mask in 2009, The Time Camera in 2011, The Sphere of Septimus in 2014, Flashback in 2015, and Future Imperfect in 2016. Simon is also the author of The Children’s Writer’s Guide, a contributing author to The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction Volume One, and has written many non-fiction books.

Simon offers a wide variety of presentations, workshops and author in residence programs for schools and libraries, covering such topics as the writing process, editing and revision, where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories, character development, historical fiction and historical research, story structure, the publishing world and more. He also offers virtual author visits by video using Skype. He works as a creative writing instructor for students throughout the year and at summer camps each July and August, is an instructor for adults with the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and Chinook Learning Services, and offers a variety of online workshops for both children and adults.

Simon is a regular presenter at conferences and festivals, and served as a juror for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Children’s Literature, the Saskatchewan Book Awards, the Parsec Awards and the Sunburst Awards for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. He is the founder of Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook, and served as the Assistant Regional Advisor for SCBWI Western Canada.

Simon offers a number of services for writers, including manuscript evaluation, editing, writing workshops and coaching, plus copywriting services for the business community. Full details can be found at his website You may also visit his blog, his channel on YouTube, follow him on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Carla Trueheart for Readers' Favorite

The Time Traveler’s Guide: Writing Time Travel Stories and Historical Fiction serves as a go-to reference when writing both historical fiction books and novels that include elements of time travel. The book begins by asking the question: What is time travel? The concept of time travel is portrayed in both books and movies and, as such, a writer should be aware of the problems associated with time travel. The author should also note that time travel goes hand-in-hand with historical fiction in many cases and, with the exception of traveling into the future, it is crucial to know the facts about certain time periods. Author Simon Rose stresses the importance of accuracy in depicting historical eras, and making sure to incorporate realistic backgrounds and landscapes. In other words, the writer should make sure modern items such as cell phones, zippers, or even foods are not used in the wrong time period. The book also mentions how time travel is used in popular stories, such as Back to the Future and the Harry Potter novels.

I enjoyed reading The Time Traveler’s Guide: Writing Time Travel Stories and Historical Fiction and learning about how to construct stories in genres that might include the topic. In particular, it was useful to learn about the ways time travel might be accomplished, such as magic, machine, and even sleep. My favorite part of the book was the list provided of different time periods, including Egypt, medieval times, the Renaissance, the Victorian era, and the pirate era. Author Simon Rose also provides writing tips in general, such as character description (flaws and fears) and how to pace a story. This is a unique book, overall, and I recommend it to writers and those interested in methods of time travel in general.