Where would you go if you could travel back in time? Who would you want to meet? What historical event would you like to witness? What era’s pop culture, fashion and music would you like to experience? Of all the concepts, I think time travel would be the most amazing adventure.
That was the idea that sparked our Young Adult series CUL8R (for all you old folks, that’s See You Later). We wanted our teenagers to be able to go back and see how average people lived, and, along the way, experience the feelings and textures of different times and places.
So when Kelly moves to Fort Myers Beach, Florida to live with her aunt and meets Scott and Austin (who live on the same street), they come up with an interesting way to spend the summer. Scott, who loves to tinker with inventions, has created a time travel app for his phone, but it takes three points to activate it. The three teens decide to try it out even though they don’t actually believe it will work. To their surprise, they are swept back to 1966…but with an unexpected stowaway.
Since that first trip, they have traveled to a deserted island off the Florida coast in 1980, dropped in on a traveling train circus in Texas in 1927 and, most recently, visited the famously haunted Stanley Hotel in Colorado in 1911. During all of these trips, they risked their own lives to save someone else’s. But, along the way, they get to bump into famous people and experience life as it was in a circus or as part of the staff of a luxury hotel.
When creating the series, we decided we didn’t want our teens to actually change history or influence major decisions. Instead, by blending into the masses, they get to see what real life was like back then. They get to witness historical events, but the actual impact they make is on the life of a single person or family.
The CUL8R series is a lot of fun to write because the four teenagers are free to go back to any time or any place. They are regular 2014 teens thrust back to save a boy from being killed or a child from being kidnapped. They still see things through their contemporary eyes, but without any modern conveniences. Instead, they have to use their wits, their skills and their ability to work together to solve the mystery, save the life or whatever mission they are on, then, most importantly, to get safely back to 2014.
Hopefully, along the way, they…and our readers…will get an unusual look at people and places from the past.
Where would you go if you could travel back in time? Who would you like to meet? What would you like to see…and hear…and feel? Come along with Kelly, Scott, Austin and Zoey and have some fun.
About Bob Kat
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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