October 2011


Georgina Young-Ellis is the author of The Time Baroness and does fortnightly movie reviews for the Chicklit Club. You can check out her websites Nerd-girls, Romantics and Time-Travelers, and (Interview by Leah Eggleston Krygowski)

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  1. 1. Where did the idea for the book come from?

    One night I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep and had just been reading Jane Austen. I began to tell myself a story, which is something I often do to get to sleep. It began with a time-traveler that went back to the Regency period and tried to fit in. But I had to make the story interesting, so I added a love affair and some danger. I knew I had a good story when I became too interested in it to fall asleep.

  2. 2. Is time travel something you have always been interested in?

    Not really. It wasn't until I fell so in love with 19th century English literature that I found myself wishing there were a way to travel there and experience the Regency and Victorian eras.

  3. 3. What type of research did you do for the futuristic/time travel aspects of the story?

    The time travel aspects weren't too hard because I already felt I knew the era well from my immersion into Jane Austen. But besides that, I read histories and biographies of the era and found a lot of good websites with expert information about the Regency period. The future parts didn't require as much research as imagination. Also my husband is a science fiction buff so I brainstormed a lot with him and included things he said he'd like to see in the future. Also he's my technology guru. He helped me figure out what kinds of technologies might be used and how they could be logical. Since I've read a fair amount of science fiction myself, I already knew about some certain useful ideas like the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, the wormhole theory that can be applied to time-travel.

  4. 4. When did you first become interested in Jane Austen?

    When I was about 21, my best friend started checking Austen's books out from the library and would get completely immersed in them. I wondered what they were all about, so I picked up Pride and Prejudice and instantly adored it. It wasn't until about 15 years later and I'd read each of her books several times over that I began to be aware I was something of a fanatic.

  5. 5. Was it intentional to name your main character after the author's mother and sister?

    I would say it was subconscious. I'd read Austen's biography several years before, and then when I started writing The Time Baroness, I just decided to call the main character Cassandra. When I picked up the biography again for research purposes, I was reminded of it being an Austen family name. It was a good joke on myself.

  6. 6. Is the Mr Collins whom Cassandra rents the house from meant to be the same Mr Collins from Pride and Prejudice?

    No, he's not actually supposed to be the same one (interesting thought, though) but I did name him after that same Mr Collins as a sort of a tribute to Jane and her delightfully smarmy character.

  7. 7. Without giving away too much of the plot, did you know when you started writing how the book would end or did the ending happen once you began writing?

    I actually didn't know exactly how it would end. Though I have the general plot in mind when I start writing a book, I let myself be surprised by things that happen. I tell myself the story as I write and it keeps me interested.

  8. 8. What genres do you read on a regular basis? Were stories set in the future, or the past, something you have always been interested in?

    I do love stories set in the past, I think I always have, but not so much those set in the future. I'm more interested in stories that take place in a reality very different from my own, which, of course, those set in the past are. And though I like science fiction, I don't really want to read about weird, post-apocalyptic worlds, I want to read about worlds that are different in some beautiful and fascinating way. In terms of genres, I tend to always come back to classic literature, but I also like chick lit, historical fiction, modern literary fiction and science fiction. I love romance in a story, but I'm not a big fan of the traditional romance novel. I think that The Time Baroness is a little different from a typical romance, and though not technically chick lit, it's definitely a book for women.

  9. 9. As movie reviewer at, you review a lot of different chick flicks. Do you have a favorite? Do you have a preference for period pieces versus modern movies?

    I don't want to say I have a preference for period pieces, but I do like them a lot. I also enjoy modern rom-coms if they're done really well. I am a total movie fanatic, and I love many, many kinds of films: over-the-top comedies, intense dramas, great love stories, classic older films, foreign language and art films, sci-fi, animation, you name it. But as you see from my reviews, a movie has to be well written and well acted to earn my stamp of approval - those are the two main things. In terms of chick flicks, some of my favorites are The Devil Wears Prada, 500 Days of Summer, Becoming Jane, and Thelma and Louise (that last one is what I consider the mother of all chick flicks). I think it's sometimes tricky categorizing a movie as a chick flick because guys might love too if it's really good.

  10. 10. If The Time Baroness were to be made into a movie, who would you like to see play the main characters of Cassandra and Ben?

    For a long time I could only picture Nicole Kidman as Cassandra, but now I could also see Kate Winslet. For Ben, I go back and forth between Jude Law and Ewan McGregor. Oh! Here's a great website where you can go and cast a book with your dream actors. I cast part of The Time Baroness here. It's fun to take a look at.

  11. 11. What's next for you in terms of writing? Can we expect another book, perhaps again about time travel?

    Yes, as a matter of fact, the second book in the series is almost finished and should be out in about a month. It's going to be called The Time Goddess (or possibly The Time Heiress). In it, Cassandra goes back to pre-civil war New York and meets Ben's descendants. But she travels with a young woman who ends up having a secret agenda which messes things up and throws them both into romantic and dangerous situations connected with the Underground Railroad.

  12. 12. Finally, if you could go back in time and experience another era, which time period would you choose?

    I would actually choose a more recent time. There are too many pitfalls and discomforts to travelling far into the past (as Cassandra finds out!) I think I would go to the 1950s USA. In that fantasy, I would sometimes run with the beat poets and sometimes with the rock’n’rollers. I would do the jitterbug, also known as lindy hop or swing dancing - because in my real life I take lessons and love it! (I know that style of dancing is more 'from the 30s and 40s but they still did it in the 50's.) I'm into vintage clothes, so I would love wearing the clothing of that era (and often do!) However, I would not only have fun with the music, clothes and dancing, but I would love to have had a chance to be a part of the civil rights movement. I'm ultimately planning to write five books in what I'm calling The Time Mistress Series and in the last one, 1950s USA is where I'll have Cassandra travel to.


The Time Baroness - Georgina Young-Ellis (2011)

Set in the year 2120, time traveller Dr Cassandra Reilly travels back to 19th century England in order to spend a year experiencing life during Jane Austen’s time. As a wealthy American widow, Cassandra arrives at Sorrell Hall in Hampshire, ready to immerse herself in Regency life. She quickly adjusts to weekly baths, large, meat-filled meals, and obedient, yet cautious, servants. Her neighbours find her fascinating, and she soon feels as if she has indeed stepped into a Jane Austen novel as she is welcomed into her adopted community. All of her scientific preparations, however, cannot prepare her for the more emotional side of her journey when she meets a man who has the potential to be more than a friend. Coupled with an unexpected adventure that may blow her cover, Cassandra suddenly realises life in 1820 is anything but genteel. While I was fairly sceptical of a story set in the future involving time travel, I was intrigued by the aspect of going back in time to Jane Austen’s England. The intricate details and well-crafted story had me hooked from the very beginning and I loved everything about this book. The combination of science and romance worked nicely as the science parts weren’t too technical and the romance parts were more prominent. The Time Baroness is one of those books you can’t put down but don’t want to read too fast, wanting to stay in the story with all of the wonderful characters as long as possible. A definite must-read. (LEK)

The Time Heiress - Georgina Young-Ellis (2011)

Time-travelling scientist Cassandra Reilly is back in this sequel to The Time Baroness. This time, she is travelling to 1853 New York City to escort young artist Evie back in time to meet her abolitionist ancestors who were instrumental in the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War. Unbeknownst to Cassandra, Evie has an agenda of her own, which ends up putting the time travellers in harm’s way and at risk for changing history as they frantically try to make their way back to the present day. As with the Time Baroness, I devoured this book in no time at all. The rich period details and careful character descriptions are so vivid you feel as if you have stepped back in time with Cassandra and Evie. The ending caught me a bit off-guard but after contemplating it since finishing the book, it seems fitting for this second instalment of the Time Mistress series. (LEK)

The Time Contessa - Georgina Young-Ellis (2013)

The Time Contessa, the third instalment in the Time Mistress series, has Dr Cassandra Reilly reluctantly time-travelling to Siena, Italy in 1509 with her co-worker, Jake, in an effort to fix the historical timeline during the Renaissance period. Their goal is to make sure an artist who began a famous painting titled Giuliana remains alive to finish his work. As with her previous time-travelling adventures, Dr Reilly and her friends become entangled with the people of that time period and must remain extremely vigilant of changing things beyond what history shows. While the main characters and time-travelling concept continue in the third book of the series, the time period and a slight twist with regard to returning to the future keep this story fresh. Again, the details of the people and characteristics of the time are superb and truly transport the reader to that particular time and area of the world. I am looking forward, once again, to more of the Time Mistress. (LEK)

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