Why did I want to write about going back in time and living forward?
When I was a boy, my father read Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court to us, enjoying the story of a modern man who found himself far in the past, as much as my sister and I did. It wasn’t until I was writing this novel that I understood why Dad might particularly have enjoyed it, as I savored the idea of a second chance at doing something significant. I came to see this diary of my falling back to early adolescence and living forward as a perfect medium for bringing to life many things I care about. Ah, and my body was literally rejuvenated.
Why did I choose the diary format?
As I wrote, the novel transformed into a worldwide saga, with a sizeable cast needing to feel their lives, blending eventually into a great friendship, a noble undertaking. To keep track of them all, for me and readers, a blended diary let me economically identify the POV in each diary entry, along with the place and time. It also let me give immediacy their strands—a goal that also led me to write it always in the first person, present tense. I enjoyed, in the process, playing out some events from different points of view, like the son who had no idea why his mother broke off with the man he wanted as a step father….
David McCracken was born in Louisville, KY, in 1940. Raised mostly in Winchester, KY, he now lives in Northern Virginia, with his third and final wife. He has three children, two stepchildren, and six grandchildren.
After three years in the U.S. Navy following a lackluster academic start, he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1963, in Diplomacy and International Commerce. He then worked as a Latin American country desk officer in the U.S. Department of Commerce until he returned to school to earn an M.A. in Elementary Education in 1970 from Murray State University, having always been intending to teach. Eventually realizing his children qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his own teaching salary, he studied computer programming at Northern Virginia Community College and worked as a programmer until shifting back into elementary teaching.
He began working on what became Fly Twice Backward in 1983 and finally finished it in 2019! At 79, David strongly doubts he’ll be doing another novel of such scope and complexity, but is preparing to work on a children’s science fiction novel with a progressive bent, being a devout progressive in politics and religion, as well as a lover of learning.
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