Author J. B. Hogan On His New Time Travel Book, Time and Time Again: The Curious Case of Mr. Stephen White

The opening story of Time And Time Again is set in a cave above a river bank. I chose that because my cousin and I found a large cave on a bluff above a river several years ago. I had written some time-travel stories before and this cave seemed like a good place to begin the adventures or experiences that the protagonist, Stephen White, encounters.

Name: J. B. Hogan
Book Title: Time And Time Again
Genre: Time Travel
Bio: J. B. Hogan grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas but moved to Southern California in 1961 where he finished high school and attended junior college before entering the U. S. Air Force in 1964. After the military, he went back to college, receiving a Ph.D. in English from Arizona State University in 1979. He has published over 250 stories and poems and seven books: Tin Hollow, Fallen, The Rubicon, Living Behind Time and Losing Cotton with Oghma Creative Media and The Apostate and Angels in the Ozarks with Pen-L Publishing. He is a former president of the Washington County Historical Society and chairman of the Fayetteville Historic District Commission. He plays upright bass in East of Zion, a family band that plays acoustic Americana and roots music. His next book, Time And Time Again (time-travel stories featuring the same protagonist), is scheduled to be released May 15, 2018.

J. B. Hogan is the author of the new #scifi time travel book, Time and Time Again. Time travel books 2018.
J. B. Hogan is the author of the new #scifi time travel book, Time and Time Again.

Questions About Hogan’s Latest Book, the Science Fiction Time Travel Collection Time and Time Again:

  • How did you come up with the idea for your book? The opening story of Time And Time Again is set in a cave above a river bank. I chose that because my cousin and I found a large cave on a bluff above a river several years ago. I had written some time travel stories before and this cave seemed like a good place to begin the adventures or experiences that the protagonist, Stephen White, encounters.
  • What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I had to do a lot of research for this book: a raid by Quantrill-like raiders during the Civil War, the false execution that Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski experienced in 1849, the actual process of a Roman crucifixion – almost every story required some amount of research.
  • How did you come up with the title of your book?
The title was chosen after several other options were discarded. One early title option was Time Witness. I usually come up with a title very quickly but this one required me to write out maybe 12-15 versions and then I went back and forth until settling on Time And Time Again – this seemed to work best because it indicates the recurring nature of Stephen’s strange travels.
  • What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?
I am most involved in a local history nonfiction book right now. I do not have any plans to do a sequel to Time And Time Again.
  • Do you put yourself in your books/characters at all?
Sometimes people who know me think that I’m a character in my books but that’s not really the case. My attitudes and such are certainly reflected in my stories, events, locations, characters and dialogue but I’m not a character. The book that might be closest to this is Losing Cotton because I use more autobiographical material in it than in any other work by far. People think Frank Mason, the protagonist as a young man in Losing Cotton, is me but my novel Living Behind Time, with Frank as an older man, contains 11 major sections and not one of those ever occurred to me in my own life. People like to identify you in your own works but it’s not really true.
  • If your novel were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?
For Time And Time Again – the Stephen White character would probably work for an actor like Jonah Hill or Jack Black.
  • If someone is brand new to your work, what book do you think they should start with?
I think I might aim them at Living Behind Time. It’s a road trip novel crossing the U. S. from west coast to east. The protagonist relearns who he is and simultaneously relearns what the pre-911 country is/was about as well.
  • Is there anything interesting about this particular book we haven’t covered yet? If so, what?
I think it might help readers to know that Stephen White of Time And Time Again is not a traditional or stock heroic character – much of the time Stephen is baffled by his experience and often terrified by it. Hopefully he is likable enough for us to go through these intensely strange events with him.

Questions About Writing:

  • What started you on the path to writing for a living?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. It was a natural path to me. My mother was a poet and musician and she trained me in a sense to be a writer.
  • Are you traditionally published or self-published? What do you like about that path? What do you dislike about it?
I am published by a small, royalty-paying press. After decades of grinding out book after book, I am most gratified to have my work in print.
  • What were some of the challenges you faced on the road to publication?
Like almost all writers – hundreds of rejections over many years. Loss of writing energy from time to time – problems we all have to overcome.
  • What are the upsides and downsides to being an author?
The upside is selling a few copies of your work and finding people who appreciate it and you. The downside is not selling enough copies and not reaching a larger audience.
  • What does a typical workday look like for you?
I usually do research in the mornings and then the afternoon and evening are set aside for writing or writing-related activities.
  • What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process? Least favorite?
Research and writing are my favorite parts. My least favorite would be the editing and reviewing process once the book goes to the publisher.
  • What does your writing space look like?
I have a long thin table with my laptop and writing materials on it. It’s a little cluttered and someday I would like to have a large, wing-type desk so I could lay out my work all around me.
  • Why do you write? What keeps you motivated during creative slumps?
Like others, I seem compelled to write. During those slumps – and I have had several, even tried to quit writing cold turkey once – I just wait and every time, so far, the drive has returned of its own accord.
  • Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
I am an outliner – excessively so. I have actually killed maybe 3-4 books by over-outlining them.
  • What do you do in your free time when you aren’t writing?
My main interest outside research and writing is music. I play upright bass in a family band, East of Zion.
  • What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
It feels really good when you get an unsolicited compliment about you as a writer or your work.
  • Out of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite?
I would probably say Living Behind Time, but I feel strongly about all of my books or I would not have tried to get them published. I feel that my first book, The Apostate, Fallen a collection of my short stories, as well as The Rubicon, poetry (with some very short fiction tossed in) have all been a bit overlooked. Tin Hollow and Mexican Skies, my last two books, and Losing Cotton are up there, too.
  • Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?
I think many people believe we are all rich and famous – which is pretty comical in reality.
  • What was your job before you started writing full time?
I was briefly a college literature professor, then worked many years as a technical writer.
  • Are there any nuggets of wisdom you can impart to aspiring writers? 
Don’t give up. Keep working. Keep improving. Believe in your work. Look at your work realistically and always try to get better. And I repeat – never give up.

J. B. Hogan's new #scifi time travel book, Time and Time Again. Time Travel books 2018.
J. B. Hogan’s new #scifi time travel book, Time and Time Again.

Bonus Questions:

  • Who are some of your favorite authors?
Because my doctorate is in literature, my tastes run to the classics and to traditional authors. I love the 19th century Russians (Dostoevski, Tolstoy, Chekhov). I love Stephen Crane, Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor – also James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia-Marquez – on and on and on.
  • Who are some authors in your genre that inspire you?
Because I’m a genre-buster, there’s all kinds. But in sci-fi, I’m a big fan of Heinlein, Asimov, Frank Herbert, and especially Arthur C. Clarke.
  • What are some great books you’ve read recently?
I frequently reread Hemingway and O’Connor short stories. I read certain passages from Huckleberry Finn a couple of times a year. Lately I’ve been reading or rereading a lot of poetry – Coleridge, Poe, E. E. Cummings, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath, Randall Jarrell and so on.
  • What types of books do you enjoy in your downtime?
I like to read Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko novels.
  • What are your top three favorite books of all time?
The Brothers Karamazov, The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and 100 Years of Solitude.
  • Can you recommend any new or upcoming authors to us?
I would recommend the work of my friend John Biggs. I would also recommend the books of the late Robert Stone. There are many, many to choose from.

Author J. B. Hogan can be found on Facebook here.


V. R. Craft is the author of Stupid Humans, the first in a #scifi series that asks the question, “What if all the intelligent humans ran away from Earth—and we’re what’s left?”