Thursday, February 25, 2010
Time in a Bottle
This is a post from the road, so to speak--though I'm not traveling over the desert, I'm traveling over a lot of bridges in the Bay Area, and tonight I have an event at Book Passage, one of our fabulous indies. So please forgive my (un)usual brevity! :)
What era would I write about, given the chance?
Easy. Like Syd on Tuesday, I'm writing about the era I most resonate with: the 40s. I've always felt at home there ... so City of Dragons is, in many ways, a celebration and a homecoming of the time I feel most comfortable in. Plus, it allows me to visit other decades that also draw me (in flashbacks): the teens, the 20s, and of course the 30s.
My first book and series is set in Roman Britain, and I enjoy that period immensely--plus, it puts my graduate degree to good use. But there's something about the 40s that speaks to my soul.
I'd love to continue writing Miranda all the way through the Cold War. Curiously, I start to feel out-of-touch with history right around the time I come into it ... I was born in '64, and the late '60s hold no allure. I don't get sentimental over the bell-bottoms and Donny Osmond posters of my childhood in the 70s (and TV shows like Shields and Yarnell--yikes!) ... loved the 80s (I was young and in college and finally--no dry look hair and boffo mustaches, Cyndi Lauper made clothes eclectic and fun again and Joan Collins was around to bring back shoulder pads. Plus, the music was excellent. Yup, I did love the 80s ... but still wouldn't want to write about them.)
On the other hand, I do want to write a few contemporary tales--albeit in places without a lot of ultra modern conveniences, like Humboldt County, where I grew up. There's a Redwood Country noir thriller in me, waiting to germinate ... just needs time and a bit of bourbon, the necessary ingredients for story growth. ;)
Back when I was writing screenplays, nearly all of them were contemporary. One was, I suppose, urban fantasy, though to me it was just an old-fashioned romantic drama with comic highlights and a time-travel theme. Too long for the elevator pitch, though, so I guess urban fantasy fits. The other was a romantic comedy; and the first was a chick flick drama. So maybe, for me, it's easier to write in today's world when I don't explore crime--perhaps--and I'm just playing self-psycho-analyst here--writing crime fiction in the past is an attempt to, well ... keep it there.
On the other hand, the past has always beckoned ... three out of four of the screenplays dealt with the past in some fashion, some more prominently than others. So it's always been there for me, rumbling through, the Oz of my imagination.
The Elizabethan era is one of my favorites ... but so far no plans to write a crime story, though the murder of Christopher Marlowe is always fair fodder. :)
So for now, I've got first century Roman Britain--and plans for Humboldt County. And most of all, the early 40s and late 30s with Miranda. I'm keeping my time in a bottle ... of Old Taylor bourbon. ;)