Interview: Author ‘Mike Chen’ Talks His New Time Traveling Novel Here And Now And Then And Doctor Who

When I was young, I wrote (and drew) my own fan fiction before I even knew what fan fiction was. Most of this involved crossovers between my favorite franchises, because mashing up Robotech with Space Quest made total sense in my brain. I knew I’d hit on something when I wrote a parody of The Grapes of Wrath in my high school English class. Entitled The Oranges of Evil, it featured many moments of “skitters” and a twist ending that turned the Dust Bowl into a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles origin story. I had one classmate laughing so hard, she couldn’t talk for several minutes.

In college, I took creative writing alongside my “practical” engineering degree, and I also began freelancing about the NHL for various sites. This led to a long career of writing technical/marketing copy and developing WordPress websites while covering NHL and international hockey for some of the biggest names in sports: Fox Sports, SB Nation, and Versus (now NBC Sports Network). But I’d always been a storyteller at heart, and although I loved writing about my favorite sport while earning a living from tech writing, my head was constantly filled with stories. Today, I’ve found my niche, blending science fiction elements and themes with a more grounded and intimate story. In my stories, there are no epic wars or fate-of-the-universe events; instead, they’re tales of family and friendship and humor that just happen to have some time travel or an apocalypse.

Check out his website here and Twitter. The book is in stores on Tuesday, Janaury 29th from Mira (Harper Collins). You can listen to the interview below.

Kin Stewart is an everyday family man: working in IT, trying to keep the spark in his marriage, struggling to connect with his teenage daughter, Miranda. But his current life is a far cry from his previous career…as a time-traveling secret agent from 2142.

Stranded in suburban San Francisco since the 1990s after a botched mission, Kin has kept his past hidden from everyone around him, despite the increasing blackouts and memory loss affecting his time-traveler’s brain. Until one afternoon, his “rescue” team arrives—eighteen years too late.

Their mission: return Kin to 2142, where he’s only been gone weeks, not years, and where another family is waiting for him. A family he can’t remember.

Torn between two lives, Kin is desperate for a way to stay connected to both. But when his best efforts threaten to destroy the agency and even history itself, his daughter’s very existence is at risk. It’ll take one final trip across time to save Miranda—even if it means breaking all the rules of time travel in the process.

A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, Here and Now and Then captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.

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