Monday, February 18, 2008

Research & other pursuits

I've been working on my new novel, The Keeper of the Pond, and while doing so I keep having to stop to look up details I otherwise wouldn't have to if the front end of the story wasn't set in the 1930s and 40s. This is new for me, because my other novels have been set in current day. Still, I'm enjoying it.

ie., I had to insert three lines into a scene where a family is listening to a radio, but what kind of radio? (Philco radios were common back then btw) While googling I found this photo. Isn't it gorgeous? Oh, how I wish I could have this sculpture in my office!

Also, while looking for info on shipping & distribution in the 50s, I found this snapshot of a man who built a 'traveling hotel bed' which he pulled 1200 miles behind a bike from Michigan to Boston to save money along the way. Can you even begin to imagine sleeping in this thing?!

Moving on from that burst of enthusiasm...

Reminder: This month's contest to win your own jazzy little silver compass and an autographed copy of the book (due out April 1/08) closes Feb 29th. If you haven't already done so, you can enter by sending an email to holly@hollykennedy.com including your name and an email address where you can be contacted. Good luck everyone!

18 comments:

Therese said...

That era makes for such a wonderful setting. You have to work that bike-and-trailer into the story--a sighting? An encounter at a cafe? I love the way images provoke ideas.

Happy writing. :)

Melissa Marsh said...

I love writing in this particular time period - specifically 1939-1945. There are such fantastic resources out there - even down to copies of old magazines.

And no, I can't imagine sleeping in it! It would feel too much like a coffin!

Ramona said...

Ugh! That would feel like sleeping in a coffin. I'd be flipping out.

P.S. I think it's so great how you finish writing one novel and quickly seem to move into the next one. Do you find it hard?

Travis Erwin said...

If you died in that traveling hotel bed they could just dig a hole and roll you in. No coffin needed.

Katie Alender said...

And it has his name on it! CHET.

That is the weirdest thing. What, specifically, are the advantages of that box over a sleeping bag and tent? Like, the bad guys can't get to you? But they'd just toss you into a lake or something.

And you'd still need a place to park it.

Larramie said...

A simpler life, back then, wasn't it, Holly? Now if we could only remember and incorporate some of the values...

Happy time traveling.

kyla-dale said...

I'd die in that sleepy-time
thing! Good God. Claustrophobia move over.

Victoria said...

I have to say I'm very curious about your new book, and I LUV LUV LUV the title!! That portable bed creeps me out though.

ORION said...

I think it's KEEN!
Canned human.
Great taste for bears.
I wonder if they made small ones for cats?

Holly Kennedy said...

TF -- Good idea! Maybe I will work it into the story.

Melissa -- It really is a great time period. I love movies set in the 30s and 40s. Recent favorites that come to mind are Cinderella Man and Seabiscuit :)

Ramona -- No, I don't. By the time I'm done one novel, I'm itching to dig into the next one and this new one (Keeper of the Pond) has been on my mind for 4-5 years so it's exciting to tackle it full force.

Holly Kennedy said...

Travis -- I couldn't agree more. You couldn't pay me to crawl into that thing!


Katie A -- Clearly the guy had a ton of time on his hands.... and no family, perhaps?! Ha!

Larramie -- I so mirror your opinion and love that I get to visit this era for the story.

Kyla-Dale -- Wonder what he did when it rained... or hailed, huh?!

Victoria -- I'm glad you like the title. I'm kind of attached to it myself. It came to me 5 years ago when the initial germ of the story did and it has never changed.

Holly Kennedy said...

ORION -- Only you would come up with this: Canned Human.
How perfect!!

Adam said...

I personally like the canned human in a metal coffin look. I woulda done that, pedaled across the country pulling a few dozen cases of beer that is.

The guy's CREATIVE folks!

wordman17 said...

I'm with Adam above.
Fill it up with ice and booze and it'd be a great trip.

LadyBronco said...

I do love the sculpture, Holly.

And I can't stop laughing at the thought of 'Canned Human'...

Nice!

ChristineEldin said...

First of all, Thanks for the contest!

When I wrote my first story, set in 1500s, I read a lot about the time period to put me in the mood and also become acquainted with the details of daily life. Then I wrote, and came back to those books as references.

Chumplet said...

When I was a kid I imagined having a little portable bunk to take wherever I went. That thing is cool, as long as there's a breathing hole in it!

Wendy Roberts said...

I love the radio sculpture!

Pat had me laughing at 'canned human'!!