It’s 1989, and high school seniors Alex and Roger cannot wait to graduate. High school may be heinous, but they have big plans for adulthood. Then, something goes wrong with their science project – it rips open a hole in time, a tunnel to the year 2021. The boys journey into the future to find out how their lives will turn out. But when they meet themselves at their high school reunion, they are not pleased with what they’ve become and set out to change their fate. Their future selves, however, remember this journey and compete to influence the outcome.
Here is a Spotify playlist of songs referenced in the book:
Q: What inspired the book?
Doug: I went to my high school reunion, and it made me think about what my high school self would think of me today. And he'd be disappointed by some things about my life, but some of those things I'm actually very happy about now. It got me thinking about how our priorities and dreams change. And I thought that would be a good story to explore by making the "meeting" between younger and older selves literal.
Q: Was your high school experience much like Alex's?
Doug: In many ways, yeah. The high school is based on my high school - Juneau-Douglas High in Juneau Alaska. For example, there was a graveyard a block away where kids would hang out or go to fight sometimes, so that inspired the graveyard in the book. My experiences weren't specifically like Alex's - obviously no time travel! And there are other differences. For example, we didn't have a football team. Basketball was the big sport at JDHS. But it's a loose approximation of my experiences.
Q: Any other ways you were like Alex?
Doug: I probably pushed the boundaries of 80's fashion a bit more than I should have. It didn't always go over well at school.
Q: The book has a lot of interesting music. How did you pick it?
Doug: It's music I listened to when I was in high school. I wanted to find stuff that would instantly register to someone who was a teen or young adult at the time, but I also wanted to stay away from the super obvious like Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince. Some of it is certainly campy, but I love a lot of the songs. I was really into both new wave like Pet Shop Boys and Adam Ant, but also hard rock like Def Leppard and ZZ Top. And really everything in between. My tastes were broad.