Craig Vann is the proud father of three strapping sons who thankfully take after their mother, Audrey, in the looks department. He feels blessed to live in beautiful Vancouver, Canada, with its vibrant literary community. Craig retired in 2015 after 33 years as a transit planner. He has always had an interest in words and history. He is Gramps to two whose imaginations are already blossoming.
Thanks to the author’s son, Clark Van Alstyne, who penciled the portrait of the author.
Ticking: A Tale of Two Time Travellers (2018 -- available through FriesenPress or available at Amazon or on your Kindle)
Skypilot Sewell loves the past. It’s no surprise then, that when his brilliant inventress aunt Beatrice provides him with the opportunity to time travel, Sky is immediately on board. His best friend Zachary Burling will take a little more convincing…
So begins the young men’s journey through time, space and 18th century England—where, separated from each other immediately, they meet a host of fascinating characters. Among them are people of fancy and fact, including the charming highwayman Jacques DuTemps, the beautiful Lady Rachel, and Brummbär the famous bear, as well as history’s own Henry Cavendish, the celebrated scientist and natural philosopher, and John Fielding, the ‘Blind Beak’ of London and co-founder of Britain’s first police force, the Bow Street Runners.
The pair has 39 days to find each other and enjoy what history has to offer without being found out… or hanged for witchcraft. Will Sky and Zac have the wits to survive the 1700s? Can Sky really leave Helena to the history books? And how to explain their Nikes?
Ticking: The Hawking Sequence (2019 -- available at Amazon or on your Kindle)
The Hawking Sequence continues the time travel adventures of Skypilot and Zachary after their historic inaugural mission to England in the year 1766.
Sky’s Aunt Beatrice developed time travel. Now, she reveals to her friend and colleague, Alim, that she has sent two people back in time and that a young woman, Helena Harrison, was brought to Fraserdale from 1766.
The story unfolds at the theme wedding of Sky and Helena, two young lovers who traversed through time to be together. Invited to witness their vows is family friend Sam Richter, a CSIS agent, who is not in town just for the wedding; he has been directed to investigate the work of the scientist, Beatrice Westover.
Bea outlines for Sky and Zac a mind-numbing mission; “to go to Jesus’ time, find him and record him, to prove his existence.”
Just as the time travel process is engaged, Beatrice’s cat, Hawking, steps on the unattended keyboard, sending the chrononauts to the wrong time and space.
Richter witnesses the glitch and confronts Beatrice, who has no choice but to have Sam attempt a rescue. Richter follows the chrononauts, who have been captured. What wonders will they see? What characters will they meet? Will Zac ever forget the taste of Sassafras?
Oh! Bring your goggles…
Ticking: Finding Jesus (2021 -- available at Amazon or on your Kindle)
Chrononauts Skypilot and Zachary journey with Alim to ancient Galilee in search of Jesus Christ to prove his existence. And to confirm his family lineage; they carry a DNA kit, to try to get a sample. An overwhelming task by itself, but they may have underestimated the influence of the Roman Empire at that time.
Zachary is kidnapped by the Roman Legion and forced to become a trainee, a tirone. He learns how hard, and how fleeting, life can be for a soldier; a hard life, but one that many made by choice.
Kaleidoscopic, the story is set on a background of sea blue and blood red, the latter being the colour of Mars, the Roman God of War. Throw in the oily silver of tilapia, or St. Peter’s fish, taken from the Sea of Galilee and the rich brown of garum and you have the basic palette used to paint the story.
The story seems to fit with recent global events. The tragedy of the pandemic may be offset, somewhat, by a healing process that includes a viral appreciation of the goodness in people and life's fragile essence. And, perhaps of a higher being.
Will the chrononauts meet Jesus? Will they get a sample of his DNA? Will they rescue Zac from the clutches of the Roman Legion? And eww…did they really wash their clothes in urine?
Ticking: Southumb Pride (2022 -- now available at Amazon or on your Kindle)
The fourth adventure of chrononauts Skypilot Sewell and Zachary Burling finds them returning to Southumbria, a world that resembles our world in the late 1800’s, with a whirring steampunk vibe. This vibe includes the ticking of clocks, the clicking of gears, the sheen of burnished metal, the softness of velvet, and steamy goggles everywhere. This time, Sky's aunt Beatrice joins them, leaving a nervous Alim in charge in her basement laboratory.
They land in the middle of a civil war, and reconnect with their friend Nelly Lovelock, the captain of a privateer airship and leader of the rebellion. Nelly, mysterious and charismatic, convinces Bea to join her on a trip into the future; the future of Southumbria!
They also reconnect with Sam Richter, the spy who decided to remain in Southumbria on their previous trip there. Sam had stayed to be with his new bride, Tabitha Tremaine. Tabitha is expecting their first child. But she is kidnapped as a victim of the war. Sam is desperate to find her.
Get your copies
available at these fine locations...
Ticking: A Tale of Two Time Travellers
306 pages, Black & White, 6 x 9 inches
Ticking: The Hawking Sequence
432 pages (including a hand-drawn map), Black & White, 6 x 9 inches
Ticking: Finding Jesus
309 pages, Black & White, 6 x 9 inches
Ticking: Southumb Pride
432 pages, Black & White, 6" x 9"
Historical action and adventure
Eighteenth century England
Inter-dimensional time travel
Roman marching camps
Ticking: A Tale of Two Time Travellers
Karen B.: A MUST READ BOOK! TICKING captured and held my attention from beginning to end. I am really looking forward to reading TICKING II: The Hawking Sequence to discover what adventures are in store for Sky and his best friend Zac.
Sue K.: The first thing that connected me to this novel was the beautiful, poetic prose. This novel was not only highly entertaining (and sometimes suspenseful), but it was also very informative. Craig blended an astounding amount of research with a solid, fictitious premise. The title, Ticking, created a thread that wove all parts of the story together. I have to admit that I chuckled at the familiar names: Westover, Pickett, Sewell, among others! Can’t wait for your next one, Craig.
Sheila W.: Thoroughly enjoyed your book. Liked all the twists and turns that you threw in. Looking forward to the next one. I have ordered 4 more (from Indigo) for my Book Club. We would love you to come and discuss it (soon). Keep writing.
Cam A.: I love time travel books, and especially if they engage me in the period (or periods) visited. Craig Vann does this masterfully in his story for two visitors from our era to the year 1766, England. He adds such vivid details of what daily life - sights, sounds, events, social mores, societal values, ranging the spectrum from aristocracy to the lowly poor and destitute. He even throws in some science, and that appealed to the techie in me. The story moves along at a pace that keeps you turning pages and saying OK - 'one more chapter before ...' (whatever) For a good read, check this one out!
Doug P.: Craig, I recently read your book. A great read and am looking forward to the sequel. Lots of research, a great job. Congratulations.
[From Amazon Reviews, Kindle Edition] George J.: A superb time travel novel -- Young Skypilot is sent fleeing into the African night jungle by his Missionary parents as their camp is attacked. Sky's inventor aunt sends Sky and his friend Zac (carrying modern aids) back to 1766 in an inaugural run of a time travel device. Interesting and memorable characters are introduced as Sky and Zac spend their 39-day adventure in 1766. There's a lot of historical info that's been capably researched by the author to give the reader a very satisfying journey back in time. The ending is a surprise as well.
This book is suitable for the whole family, with no excessive violence, language or suggestive situations to make parents uncomfortable. I would recommend for the entire family. You'll all love it! The author promises more to come. I'm excited already!
Sheila F.: Our English friends loved your book - high praise! Let us know when the next one comes out.
Miriam H. : I finished your first book. Enjoyed every page while learning some history as well.
Tim D. : Wow wow wow. Just finished Ticking and u may have created a diehard reader out of me. First of all; very impressed with the story and detail. A true work of art; I was riveted to the story and really felt I was watching a movie as I read. Very much enjoyed it and bring on The Hawking Sequence. Can I get it at Chapters? Can’t wait; the preview is a serious tease.
Gerry S: With the dramatic opening, we now have a glimpse of our main character. It would have been a natural transition to the body of the novel and a focus for the reader as Sky developed in his role of time traveller. [It would have been good to] more fully develop Sky’s character but retain the story line and all the interesting players and events. I thought introducing more reflection related to his parent's demise, success achieved by mistakes or good luck as well as fear and mental fatigue would have additional appeal. The well-researched story was told in an entertaining manner with crispness to the writing and a sense of authenticity. Occasionally, sentences became lengthy and that crispness was momentarily lost. The Epilogue was a wonderful capper to the novel. Perhaps a Foreword might have been appropriate to present your thoughts about Time Travel and its place in literature.
Ticking: The Hawking Sequence...
[From a Beta Reader after she had made suggestions for the manuscript): So good to hear how you address changes. Being a writer is such an amazing craft. It's funny how things from the book pop into my mind from time to time. Demonstrates that I really connected with it. Waiting for your next one now.
Cam A.: It was amazing. Most enjoyable read. Imagination unbounded is on display. A colourful romp in time and space, if you catch my gravitas. Is there a best book list for reading during quarantine - this one gets you out of the house and sailing the skies. Well done Craig, can't wait to read the next. Keep those fingers flyin'
Brenda M.: Loved both books! Excellent reads. Can hardly wait to see where Sky and Zachary end up next and the adventures they will have! I highly recommend both books and am so looking forward to Book 3.....
5.0 out of 5 stars (reviewed June 2020) Wow! Great escapism! Craig Vann has done it again! Great story. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read his first book, this stands alone, but you’re missing a treat if you haven’t. I can’t wait to see if we’ll be lucky enough to get a third. Please keep writing Mr. Vann
Ticking: Finding Jesus...
Amazon customer reviews say..."4.3 out of 5 stars"
W. L. :There was a point in "Finding Jesus" that had a profound impact on me. That’s when I know I am deeply involved in a book.
Corinne D.: So glad you are recovering from your heart problems! No surprise that this should happen while you were writing “Finding Jesus.” I’m excited to read all your books! I’m going to re-read the first one to refresh myself with the story and characters. Such a fun and entertaining adventure with great historical detail! Just what we need today. See you at the book launch in April. Can’t wait!
Ticking: Southumb Pride
George J.: I just finished the book. Fantastic read! Can’t wait for further adventures with Sky and Zac (and maybe others?)