Kudos for “I Was, Am, Will Be Alice”

alice blue cover

I Was, Am, Will Be Alice is the winner of the A Woman’s Write competition for 2015!

Here’s what Barbara Bamberger Scott of A Woman’s Write had to say about Alice:

Elise, who hails from Canada, has composed an elaborate time-travel fantasy based on Lewis Carroll’s world-famous classic “Alice” books. Her book is entitled I Was, Am, Will Be Alice. Starting with her mysterious role in a school shooting, we follow the heroine as she grows up, seeking the identity of the shooter, traveling back and forth in time to encounter characters reminding us of a modernized conception of Wonderland. Well conceived and cleverly carried through. Congratulations, Elise Abram!

In I Was, Am, Will Be Alice

When Alice Carroll is in grade three she narrowly escapes losing her life in a school shooting. All she remembers is the woman comforting her in the moments before the gunshot, and that one second she was there, the next she wasn’t.

It’s bad enough coming to terms with surviving while others, including her favourite teacher, didn’t, let alone dealing with the fact that she might wink out of existence at any time.

Alice spends the next few years seeing specialists about her Post Traumatic Stress as a result of VD–Voldemort Day–but it’s not until she has a nightmare about The Day That Shall Not Be Mentioned, disappears from her bed, is found by police, and taken home to meet her four-year-old self that she realizes she’s been time travelling.

Alice is unsure if her getting unstuck in time should be considered an ability or a liability, until she disappears right in front of her high school at dismissal time, the busiest time of day. Worried that someone may find out about her problem before long, Alice enlists her best friend (and maybe boyfriend), Pete, to help her try to control her shifting through time with limited success. She’s just about ready to give up when the shooter is caught. Now more than ever, Alice is determined to take control of her time travelling in order to go back to That Day, stop the shooting, and figure out the identity of the stranger who’d shielded Alice’s body with her own.

I Was, Am, Will Be Alice is scheduled for a summer 2016 release.

Announcing the completion of “I Was, Am, Will Be Alice”!

Graphic by Parker Knight, "Family 1353" under Creative Commons

Graphic by Parker Knight, “Family 1353” under Creative Commons

Announcing…

Hot on the heels of The Revenant‘s release I am thrilled to announce the completion of my next YA novel, I Was, Am Will Be Alice.

After narrowly escaping death in a school shooting, 8 year old Alice Carroll realizes she can time travel when under extreme stress, a situation she is determined to learn to control in order to go back to that day and save the lives of her teacher and classmates and discover the identity of the woman who sacrificed her life so Alice could live.

My Inspiration

I began writing Alice when, while shopping for agents and publishers for The Revenant, I found a call for clients for a new agent on Chuck Sambuchino’s excellent “Writer’s Digest” blog. This particular agent said she would love to read a young adult version of Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife (TTW). I absolutely love TTW, and adopted her request as a personal challenge. I began with a similar premise: what if someone, a young girl, discovered she had the ability to time travel? In Niffenegger’s novel, the main character, Henry, keeps returning to his first episode of time travel, when he was in a car accident with his mother. Henry survived because he time traveled out of the car avoiding the crash which killed his mother. In my novel, Alice’s defining moment is being caught in a school shooting in grade three in which her favourite teacher killed. There is a romance and an episode with frostbite, too, but that’s where the similarities end.

The name Alice Carroll comes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I appropriated that name for my character early in the writing because the more I wrote, the weirder the character’s predicament until it was almost like she’d entered a bizarre world where nothing made sense to her any more. Why did she survive when others perished? Why did she time travel? What kind of future could she possibly make for herself? Would she ever learn to control it? Why did the shooting happen? Could she find a way to save her teacher? These questions, and more, confuse my Alice, much like Wonderland confused Carroll’s. To drive the parallel home, I borrowed other names from Wonderland to draw further connections.

Though a mouthful, the title for the book comes from something Henry says in TTW:

I love. I have loved. I will love.

I liked the juxtaposition of the different tenses and adapted this for my novel. Late in the writing I decided to use the title, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice, as subtitles and divide the book into sections. I Was Alice describes Alice of the past, when she discovers she can time travel and is traumatized by it. I Am Alice describes Alice of the present, when she realizes she can’t continue randomly traveling through time for the rest of her life and she decides to do something about it. I Will Be Alice describes Alice of the future, after her life comes full circle and she returns back to the day of the shooting and learns answers to some of the questions that have plagued her for most of her life.

Looking for Support

I am reaching out to the reading and writing community to look for “beta readers” and help printing and publicizing my YA sci-fi time-travel romance novel when the time comes.

If you would like to volunteer as a beta reader–finding errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and consistency in story and possibly writing a review further into the process–please contact me at info @ eliseabram.com

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If you would like to donate to support my project, you may do so by visiting my PubSlush page at eliseabram.pubslush.com. I am giving away an eBook to all $20 donors and a hard copy, autographed, to all $50 donors (please note an additional $10 is required for international shipping outside of Canada). If you donate over $75, I will also throw in a free study guide in full colour, available as a PDF and/or printed copy sent along with your novel.

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All donors will receive a mention in the acknowledgements section of the final, printed novel (eBook and hard copy).