make a Mr Right?
That’s today’s question, as I hand over to Stella H. Birrell…
Thank you for hosting me on your blog Jennifer! I ‘met’ Jennifer recently as we are both signed to Crooked Cat Books. She wrote a lovely poem for my blog, atinylife140, which you can view here.
Jennifer writes historical fiction, and when we talked about me blogging today, I jokingly said I could write about using settings from history, because my own book is set in…2001.
Note to self: my jokes have a tendency to become the plan.
How Many Wrongs make a Mr Right? is set in 2001 because I wanted to write about characters that were in their 20s. But I don’t pretend to know the first thing about millennials. I don’t understand how young people socialise these days, heck, I don’t understand half the words they use. My characters would have to be grown-ups now, twenty somethings then.
I’m not one of those writers with an amazing memory (I have two children), so I can barely remember the year 2001, let alone yesterday or last week. Or where the swimming things are. But I do have an advantage over writers like Jennifer: I was actually there at the time.
I can remember my first mobile phone. We rely on them in 2016, and in 2001 most of us (the twenty-somethings anyway) had one already. But we’re not talking about the shiny-beautiful-does-it-all smart phones, a mini computer in your pocket, attached to the internet, attached to your fingers. We’re talking this:
There was texting, but it was new, and some people used ‘text speak,’ and some didn’t. People used phones for texts and calls – that was all they could do. Ancient history! Some people had more minutes than others, no one had unlimited minutes, and a lot of people used pay as you go, which could cost 25p per minute or more. It was kind of like the price of using your phone abroad, but all the time. In one scene in my book, a character lets the phone ring off, and then calls the person back on the landline. It was cheaper. That was what you did back then.
Another thing that helped me to immerse myself in the land of 2001 was music. Music has the power to do pretty much anything to my emotions, and time travel is no exception. The main character in How Many Wrongs… is often teased for liking what I term chart dance music. Do you remember these guys?
This was the cutting edge of popular music (ahem), played in the market town clubs, like the one where a lot of my characters hang out every weekend.
Music and phones. They were invaluable for imagining myself back in the dim and distant of 15 years ago. Not quite how to immerse yourself in, say, the 17th Century I’d wager – forty three hours for a letter to travel by coach from London to Edinburgh? Bit of baroque anyone?
Thanks for joining me Stella! And S Club 7… Well, I have to admit, as I was preparing this post on a slightly dreary morning, it was a very happy memory to see that lot show up – I still have the albums, and this may now form the core of this afternoon’s playlist!
She can also be found blogging here, on Facebook and Twitter, and is always happy to have people head over and say ‘hello’. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and she can also be found wandering the streets of various East Lothian villages.