My time travel saga, Touchstone, has finally concluded with the release today of Touchstone (6. Fade to Grey), but while it’s the end of Rachel’s story, it’s not the end of Touchstone.
When I first started novelising Touchstone, back in 2011, I adapted it from a couple of TV spec scripts I’d written. I had these ideas for a teenage time travel TV drama series, but unfortunately it was just about the most expensive idea anyone had ever come up with.
A big budget time travel drama series, you say? A different era every episode, you say? We’ll get back to you.
So in light of the TV world’s indifference, it made much more sense to pursue it as a series of novels. And over the last three years, as the story of Rachel Hines’s quest to get her life back has progressed, it has somehow hit a chord with readers.
I get fan mail about Touchstone. I get people emailing me to say they’re taking trips to Moseley to see the locations.
It’s clear there’s a lot of interest in the Touchstone universe, and it’s clear that I should be setting up a dedicated Touchstone website so fans can delve deeper into that universe (it’s on my very long list of Things To Be Done, I promise).
As I’ve written these six books, the story has grown and taken turns that I never saw coming back when I was writing out those TV episode ideas. What started out as a fairly simple teenage time travel adventure series, with a portal to the past, has become something much deeper, darker, more complex, till we’ve ended up with a mindbending Gods-Amongst-Us saga on an epic scale.
What I’ve loved about it is having the chance to mythologise this small corner of the world where I live: two little neighbourhoods in south Birmingham called Moseley and Kings Heath. And I can’t even walk to the shops now without seeing my characters out there.
What I didn’t have, throughout that three year period of writing, was a single idea for how to continue the Touchstone story. Nothing at all. I just had six stories about Rachel and nothing more. But then, a few months ago, it suddenly came in a dam burst of dreams.
What I was writing was simply Season 1 of Touchstone, but the series would continue with Touchstone Season 2 and six novels that pursue the experiences of characters like Danny, Kath Bright, Veronica Wethers, Jez (from The Very Thought of You and Touchstone 5), but not Rachel. I’ve already begun work on ‘Buried in Time’, which will continue Danny’s story, and it’s one I’m very excited about.
There will also be a concurrent series – Touchstone Origins – which will look back at how various characters from Season 1 first fell into the Touchstone universe. Characters such as Mrs Hudson, Mitch, the mysterious Kieran Fickley, and sixties photographer Pete Wethers. But it will most likely begin with the story of Kath Bright’s first forays into time travel in ‘The Ghosts of Paradise Place’.
There goes the next three years.
To celebrate the publication of Touchstone (6. Fade to Grey) I’ve been giving away some freebies. Six readers on my mailing list have received free copies of the latest book (so if you’re not on that mailing list, get on it – because I’m always giving away free books).
But also, for this week only, I’m making the first book, Touchstone (1. The Sins of the Fathers) FREE on Amazon Kindle. So if you’ve never read a word of the Touchstone saga and want to give it a whirl, you can get it at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com free of charge from roughly Monday morning (9th June) through to Friday night (Friday the 13th).
And if you’re already a Touchstone fan, why not recommend it to your friends while it’s free?