How it Happened: Yesterday Again

Archvillain #3: Yesterday AgainThe title came first.

I’ve always loved time travel stories. I mean, I’m obsessed with them. You give me a good time travel story and I’m a happy guy. Give me a mediocre one, and I’ll deal with it. Give me a bad one and I’ll figure, Well, at least it was a time travel story.

The title “Yesterday Again” wouldn’t leave my mind. It was perfect for a time travel yarn, right?

In the very first Archvillain, I made a reference to Kyle trying to build a time machine. I knew that one day — in some book — he would succeed and travel in time. Now, I had originally signed on to write three books and two were done. I was hopeful that the publisher would want more than three, but no one had said anything yet. I figured I’d better do the time travel story now, just in case.

When deciding where/when in the past Kyle would go, I settled on the time of my own childhood — the 1980s.1 That worked out such that Kyle’s parents would be his age, which meant I could have some fun with a generational storyline. Throw in the idea of a 21st century kid trying to navigate the pre-internet age, and I was happy to get started.

The first draft of the book flowed. Not as easily as The Mad Mask, but pretty easily.

Then, my editor gave me the bad news: The publisher didn’t want any more Archvillain books. This would be the last one.

Anticipating further adventures, I had actually left Yesterday Again very open-ended. But that just wouldn’t be fair to the readers. So I dug back in, added in some more material, and rounded out the story so that Yesterday Again could act as a finale.

If you’re interested in what could have been, stay tuned for an upcoming installment of “Stories I Never Told,” in which I’ll peel back the curtain a bit on how I had intended to continue the Archvillain saga!

  1. And believe me, it makes me feel unfathomably old when I realize that to my readers, the 1980s are as ancient as the 1880s.

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