The Time Traveler's Guide

Writing Time Travel Stories and Historical Fiction

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
122 Pages
Reviewed on 11/18/2016
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Author Biography

Simon's first novel for middle grade and young adult 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, Future Imperfect in 2016, the Flashback series, comprising Flashback, Twisted Fate, and Parallel Destiny, in 2015, 2016, and 2018, the Shadowzone series, comprising Shadowzone, Into the Web, and Black Dawn, in 2017, and The Stone of the Seer series in 2022. He's also the author of The Children’s Writer’s Guide, The Working Writer’s Guide, The Time Traveler’s Guide, The Social Media Writer’s Guide, a contributing author to The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction Volume One, and has written more than a hundred non-fiction books.

Simon offers a number of services for writers, including editing, manuscript evaluation, coaching, mentoring, and writing workshops, in addition to copywriting services for the business community. He's a writing instructor for adults with the University of Calgary and offers online workshops for both children and adults. He also offers a wide variety of presentations, workshops, and author in residence programs for schools and libraries, as well as virtual author visits.

Simon is a regular presenter at conferences and festivals, and served as the Writer-in-Residence with the Canadian Authors Association.

Full details can be found on his website at

    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.