If you could go back in time and change one thing, would you do it? What will you change? And would you take the chance even if you knew that this single change could alter the course of your life completely?
Would you choose death or a redo of a life unfamiliar and possibly worse?
These questions are raised in G.M. T. Schuilling’s The Watchmaker’s Doctor ― a novella from the Erase and Rewind series. This collection of new adult tales delves deep into the stories of those inching ever so plainly to the end of their days. In these novellas, we explore the regrets of the dying.
The Watchmaker’s Doctor is the first novella from this collection. It’s the story of Anaya, a disillusioned 35-year old doctor working at an aged care facility. One of her charges is Gregory, a retired watchmaker. One day, equipped with the knowledge that Anaya will meet a tragic end, Gregory hands her a finely-crafted watch. He tells that the watch will turn back time.
But this kind of power, this chance to escape death, comes with one condition: Anaya could only change one thing in her life. She must choose a particular time and place to turn back the hands of time and redo only a single thing.
Anaya chooses to change the fact that she dropped out of school at seventeen. And from that crucial moment, we follow Anaya’s “new” life as set against the one that she has already lived. We get to experience the domino effect of changes that resulted from the magic of the watchmaker’s gift. Does Anaya’s life take a turn for the worse because of the one thing she changed? Does this change contribute to deadly disasters? Should Anaya not have turned back time? Should she have just accepted her fate and refused the watchmaker’s gift?
If you were in her place, would you choose death or to turn back time to face unknown tragedies?
Beyond the sci-fi and fantasy aspects of The Watchmaker’s Doctor, this novella also delves into mental health issues. Our main character suffers from bipolar disorder. And through her journey back in time and forward, we explore lessons on feeling different and seeking help. It should be noted, however, that G.M.T. Schuilling commitment to spreading the word about mental health doesn’t stop in just this story. A fraction of this book’s proceeds will go to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation ―an organization that aims to bequeath scientific research grants for the improvement of the treatment of mental illness.
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G. M. T. Schuilling is an author who writes for new adults, mixing unequal parts of urban fantasy and time travel, to create a special blend of science fiction.
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