Hey, we’re talking about my time travel novel, The Long Chron this week, which is on sale for the very low price of 99 cents right this very moment!
For the Christmas of 2015, my wife and I decided to forego the traditional gift exchange for the purposes of buying ourselves a trip, sans kids. Considering how much we had traveled before we had kids (not to mention how much we’ve traveled since we’ve become parents), it seemed the perfect idea, to plan something where it would be just the two of us, like it used to be.
Not that we don’t like traveling with kids or anything, just that sometimes, you know, it’s nice to have some time away.
After a lot of discussion, we planned on travelling to Ireland and the U.K.. That didn’t really trim down our options much, since there is obviously a great deal of country to explore in either one of those alone.
But we finalized our plans, and I convinced my wife to spend a night (actually two) in York, which just so happens to be the city where most of The Long Chron takes place.
And then, much to my surprise, my wife ended up booking us a couple night at a lovely little place called the Lamb & Lion. Inn What she didn’t know is that the place where this hotel/restaurant/tavern was located is precisely where the tavern Chelle and Griff wind up, which I called The Goat and The Mare.
In other words, this part of our trip had suddenly become a trip where I would explore places I had spent a lot of time in…but only in my own little fictional world.
When I was doing my research for The Long Chron, I spent a lot of time researching the city of York, the old portion of it anyways, within the walls and whatnot. I used Google Street View to get a sense of what it was like to walk down the cobblestoned streets, I used the websites of places like Lamb & Lion and York Minster to get an idea of what it would be like inside these ancient buildings, and overall, I had a fairly solid grasp of what it might feel like to actually be in that city.
But, of course, things are quite different when you actually step foot into a place, verse seeing the pictures.
The feeling was more than surreal, to walk from the Lamb and Lion to the imposing cathedral that is the York Minster. It felt like I had been there before, while also feeling completely different than I could have expected. I was always happy when I had guessed certain details correctly, surprised when things were slightly off from my expectations.
And then, when walking around York Minster, I couldn’t have been more happy than the moment when I found Saint Christopher, a pivotal character in The Long Chron, places within the stained glass.
I was quite simply giddy.
Obviously I’ve been to other places I’ve written about. The Agora Files takes place in many locations I’ve spent time in. My home town makes an appearance. And I took the experience I had of seeing Niagara Falls when I was a kid as a jumping off point for when Cyrus and Eve arrive there. And driving from Chicago to western Wisconsin, as Bert and Guy do in Daddy of the Dead is something I’ve done countless times over the years.
But walking the streets of York was something I had only done in my mind. And doing it for real, even if it wasn’t a bucket list item for myself, was simply an amazing experience. And having only my wife along, meaning I got to explore the little corners and crevices I had written about which would only serve to be of interest to me, made it that much better.
And then, for The Lamb & Lion Inn to be the amazing little hotel it was, with the best food in York, and the most spectacular view from their beer garden in back, well, let’s just say that this little side trip ended up giving me a place I want to go back to.
And reading through The Long Chron again, now that I’ve visited the locations within, made that read so much better for myself. It brought back all those memories of the trip I took.
It was almost like traveling back through time 😉
Have fun out there!