Young-adult author Angie Stanton (BS’98, Journalism) dove deeply into University of Wisconsin history while researching her latest novel.
Waking in Time, published in spring 2017 by children’s publisher Capstone, follows college freshman Abbi Thorp as she accidently starts traveling backward in time on the UW–Madison campus. Abbi’s adventures feature real-life events, such as the Sterling Hall bombing and a Cheap Trick concert at the former Headliners club.
“I’ve always loved time-travel stories, and I’ve always wanted to write one, but I could never figure out what the vehicle of travel would be,” Stanton says.
While accompanying her daughter on college tours, Stanton was struck by the interesting history of the campuses they visited. The people and events that she learned about inspired her to set her story on a campus — and what better choice than that of her alma mater?
Abbi travels as far back as the 1920s, so Stanton began her research by delving into the campus archives, spending days in Steenbock Library flipping through old copies of the Daily Cardinal student newspaper and the Badger yearbook. She also interviewed UW alumni from earlier eras to learn details such as what students wore and how they spent their free time before watching Netflix became popular. She gleaned nuggets such as the fact that students would carry bandannas and wear tennis shoes everywhere during the late ’60s and early ’70s in case they needed to cover their faces or run to escape tear gas or pepper spray during antiwar protests.
Waters [formerly Elizabeth Waters] Residence Hall plays a significant role in the book, and researching the iconic building was one of Stanton’s favorite parts of writing the story.
“There used to be typewriting rooms and a fudge kitchen. They used to have an outdoor patio and a pier where the girls would go out to spend time and watch the boys on the lake,” she says.
After earning a degree in journalism, Stanton worked as an event planner in the Madison area before transitioning to writing. Waking in Time is her eighth novel, and she’s also a contributing editor to Broadway World.
“The campus served as the perfect setting for a time-travel book,” Stanton says. “Anyone who’s stepped foot on it knows it’s historic and beautiful, but after doing all the research, I have an even greater appreciation for UW–Madison. I hope other Badgers feel the same way after reading the book.”
Story originally published in the Winter 2016 edition of On Wisconsin Magazine.