When people hear the premise of my new book, The One That I Want, in which my protagonist is given the unwelcome ability to see into the future, the first thing that I’m usually asked is, “Would you want this ability yourself?” And it’s a question that I’ve given a lot of thought to. My first inclination was “of course,” and then, with further consideration, I realized what a slippery slope this might be. What if I saw something that I didn’t like, something in which my family was harmed, something like 9/11 when the world imploded? What then? What would I do with that knowledge other than spend the rest of my days frantically wondering what, if anything, could be changed.
It leads to the bigger question though: how would our world – and history – be altered if people knew what was going to happen? Sure, of course, we’d jump at the chance to undo terrorist atrocities and plane crashes and personal tragedies of friends and family who were diagnosed with incurable diseases two months too late…but then what? There would be a ripple effect: if something hadn’t happened, everything else would shift too. Some people would argue that their lives would be better off, but surely some would argue that you don’t mess with fate and that what has happened has happened.
It’s an interesting – and difficult – concept to grasp. I’d be hard-pressed to say that if given the option, despite not really wanting to see into the future, that I wouldn’t accept the responsibility – and thus change history – if I knew that I could prevent atrocities such as 9/11. I mean, who wouldn’t say that? Who wouldn’t want to salvage those lives lost and in doing so, not only change the future for their families and loved ones, but also shift the future of our nation? Before 9/11, none of us walked around with the thought that we were vulnerable, that – as I frequently wonder when I see a plane overhead downtown Manhattan – if we’re still vulnerable. If I could eradicate that fear, wouldn’t I, shouldn’t I? But then what?
Allison Winn Scotch is the New York Times bestselling author of The One That I Want, Time of My Life and The Department of Lost and Found. She lives in New York with her husband, and their son, daughter and dog. To read more about the author and the book (which released today, Shaye Areheart Books), please click here.
IMAGE: Former Twin Towers – New York, New York
Congratulations to the following winners of this book!