02 December 2006

What makes us write unusual historicals?

I got to thinking about what led me to write 1920's historicals.

My trip to the 1920's took a bit of a circular route. It started with my love of the old TV western, Bonanza, and my favorite character on that show. Unlike most of the world, who remember the four Cartwrights with fond nostalgia, I fell for a later season character, Candy, played by David Canary. My love of his character, Candy, impelled me to search out other things David Canary starred in. One of my favorites is St. Valentine's Day Massacre, a pre-Bonanza role from 1967. This movie, filmed a bit like a documentary, reenacted the events leading up to the Chicago gangland massacre of February 14, 1929. After watching that, I was hooked on the Roaring Twenties. Unable to do things halfway, I took it upon myself to learn all I could about that intriguing era.

After learning about bootleggers, speakeasy, jazz singers and those awful flappers, who dared show their knees in public, all other periods of history seem so staid to me. Where else can you fine flagpole sitters, dance marathoners and bathtub gin?

I feel the 1920's is a sadly under-appreciated time historians tend to skip over on their journey between WWI and WWII. I'm making it my personal mission to enlighten the world on the joys of The Charleston and the Model A. Come join me!


Eliza said...

I love you for loving the 20s! I've got a rough draft of a novel set in the 20s, just sitting around here, waiting patiently for my attention. When it comes to rewriting it, I'm going to be picking your brain a lot--just be warned!

carrie_lofty said...

The '20s feels like a time when so much could happen, romantically speaking. Women had more rights than ever, many single women worked and had the freedom to socialize, and the economy boomed. You can tell how much potential it had by how stridently some complained about the lack of morals among young people! Good times!

And yay for Delia, being brave to post. C'mon ladies -- your turn.

Vicki Gaia said...

I also plan on writing a historical during the Roaring Twenties. I'm finishing up my story set in NYC during the 1910's and one of my characters will be around her early twenties in the 20's...that period always fascinated me!