Guest Post by Susanna Kearsley, author of The Rose Garden
One of my very first crushes was Errol Flynn. I still remember the Saturday afternoon I sat and watched Captain Blood on TV in our family room—I would have been about twelve at the time—and fell head over heels for that dashing guy wearing the cape slung across his one shoulder, the way that he usually wore it in films, so his sword arm stayed free. I was totally smitten…and totally crushed when I learned that the man I’d just fallen in love with on screen had been dead twenty years.
That’s the thing about films—you can find yourself being attracted to men who are no longer living. This happens sometimes in my research as well, when I come across letters or journals from someone whose thoughts I begin to connect with, until I think how much I would have enjoyed sitting down face-to-face with them, getting to know them.
One of the great things about being a writer is that I can bridge that time barrier whenever I choose. I can resurrect those men I’ve met in letters, interact with them, and let them walk and talk and breathe, but it’s a far cry, still, from truly meeting them.
The same year I saw Captain Blood I also watched a made-for-TV movie called The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan, in which Lindsay Wagner travelled back in time thanks to an antique dress and met her soulmate in the past, the man that she was meant to love and be with.
That’s likely what set me to wondering, what if the right man for you really did live in some other time? And it’s probably that thought that, thirty years later, inspired me to do what I’d always said I’d never do: write a time travel story.
I’m still searching, though, for a time-travelling dress that can carry me back to the forties so I can get Errol Flynn’s autograph…
What about you? Have you ever found yourself liking a person long dead?