Monday, January 7, 2013
Staying ahead of the curve
Sue Ann and I decided to celebrate the New Year with a Criminal Minds switch and now we'll each be seeing the blog from a different point of view. So Monday is my new spot. Usually I cap off the week on a Friday with a lot of "what he said" and "she's brilliant"--but now I'm the first one out of the gate. No pressure or anything...
The question this week is whether we put pop culture or current references in our work, or do we fear that we'll date our books? The answer for me is yes--and no.
Let me explain. My Lydia McKenzie books exist in a fictional Williamsburg, Brooklyn where there are places that are a bit like actual places, and people that resemble people that are living--but have been altered enough to not be completely recognizable. I have lots of fun inventing silly artists, horrible bands and trendy spots. I do mention fashion a lot, but that strangely enough doesn't seem to get me into trouble. Fashion never seems to change much any more. It just seems to repeat and revolve around and around like a puppy chasing its tail until what was out is quickly in again.
Lydia doesn't mention reading the latest best seller or listening the latest hits. Instead she's a mystery fan and a film noir freak. She likes vintage clothes and is disdainful of pop stars. So I get to skip over mentioning anyone that might be completely "hot" this year and totally forgotten next (Brittany? Brittany who?) and might make my book feel dated. This is also good for me because my pop star knowledge is a bit spare (especially when it comes to reality TV).
The books also exist in a late 90's never land, before the luxury condos and the Whole Foods came to Williamsburg. They happen before NYU put a dorm there, and before the rent got so high all the galleries moved to the Bowery. For me the neighborhood will never be so cool again as that time, partially because I will never be that young again. They exist in a time when I was a young film maker and had just moved to New York. I can never go back to that time so I just visit with Lydia from time to time.