Monday, September 11, 2017

Brewing and Stewing with Voices in My Head


Today, I'm all over the place with my musing. Inspiration struck me last week, and I'm anxious to get going on my next book...but...I need to decide on the time period.

My sister is taking me for two days in Jerome, Arizona. Jerome is a ghost town turned artsy mecca that clings to the side of Cleopatra Hill in the Mingus Mountains. In the 1920s 10,000 people populated the area, but when the ore dried up the town was abandoned. By the 50s, the town had shrunk to about 100. Slowly, a mix of artists and wanderers settled there and by 1967 it was being settled by people known as hippies. To this day, an eclectic mix of residents, still artsy and free-thinking, have made their homes there. The population hangs just under 500 and is a tourist stop.

Shortcut between streets
My initial thought was for a romantic suspense with a dash of mystical set in the 1970s. Keep in mind, I'm not writing about
the 70s, but the story I envision would be suited for a less techy time period and people who reside slightly outside of conventional norms. I want to plunk my characters down in Jerome. The city will make a great backdrop for the stories.

So...before I begin, I have to know if the time period will work. I've gotten all kinds of mixed opinions on this. Some tell me, the 70s are a dead end for interest. Some tell me, my genre concept is exciting and would fit perfectly. Some tell me, they don't pay attention to the time period as long as they like the story. Some tell me, they wouldn't bother if it's set in the 70s.

I'm excited about the stories brewing in my head, but my muse tells me to hold up until I know what
Old mining aparatus
era before I take the get-it-on-paper plunge.

I'd love to hear you opinion.

Meanwhile, I'll keep stewing on the idea.


  1. I'm sorry I can't be too much help as I'm probably a lot older than a lot of your readers. I'm one those who care more about the story concept than the time in which it was set. And aren't Sue Grafton's mysteries set in the 80's? It doesn't seem to have affected her popularity.

    1. Ah, thanks for that Mary. I think that when someone doesn't like a certain time period, it has more to do if the book is about that period rather than in that period.

  2. I lived through the '70s. For someone who didn't, they might seem charmingly nostalgic. I'm now seeing "vintage" stuff from the '70s in antique stores. The thing I'd stress, if you do decide to set your story then (or in any other period), do your research. It isn't just that we didn't have computers and cell phones; all kinds of things were different. Ordering from a catalog typically meant filling out an order form and mailing it with your check (or maybe credit card info). There were pay phones. No one assumed they could get in touch with you whenever they wanted to. Shoot, answering machines were a rarity for most of us.

    1. It's my time period too, Kathleen. Very vivid for me. But that said, I'll still do my research for Jerome. Heck, they might not even have had a public pay phone. Who knows?

  3. In my opinion, you should go with the time period you selected, the one fits your story the way you envision it. The 70s were also my time. I think we'll see many more books written about this interesting time. I enjoy stories set in those days. Best of luck!