Had a tough day yesterday. First an email from my new editor asking me to update Love On The Rocks from 1984 to present day. My first reaction was to throw a colossal tantrum, dig in my heels, and say NO WAY!
After all, do you know how much 80's pop culture is in my books? I wrote it at the time because it was the book I wanted to read. I could not find any books which talked about college life, such as the Anne Emery books I'd loved with Tobey as the heroine. That series followed her through high school and into her first year of college in the 1950's. I wanted to show a college in the 80's, and also throw in some social issues so it would have more of a plot.
Book #1 takes us from 1984-1986. Included is the space shuttle Challenger exploding; certain clothing styles; and songs.
Book #2: !985-1986, and shows pay phones and the heartache of having to wait for letters to arrive.
Book #3: 1986-1988. There's a discussion on AIDS, and how at the time there were only three ways to catch it.
Book #4: 1987-1988: Mainly songs from 1988; discussions about computers being more popular and would soon be in every home; political discussions.
Book #5: 1988-1989: Discussions about CD's vs tapes and the election of George Bush (senior).
Book #6: 1988-1989: Songs; attitudes toward homosexuality/AIDS
Book #7: 1989-1990: Songs, clothing, the arrival of the Lottery in Indiana
Book #8: 1989-1990: Attitudes toward interracial relationships (wip)
Book #9: 1990-1991: (not written yet)
Book #10: 1990-1991: (not written yet)
Book #11: 1991-1992: (not written yet)
Book #12: 1992-1993: (not written yet)
Book #13: 1993-1994: Computers had arrived, but no internet yet.
Book #14: 2003-1005. A reunion of the girls in books #2-6.
I asked my daughter, who's read the first two books if the time period bothered her; she said she didn't even notice; she just enjoyed the characters and storyline. The initial beta readers all enjoyed the 'trip down Memory Lane' or told me, 'I never went to college; this was fun to read!'
So what's your take? When you read a book, does the time period bother you? How much time to elapse before something is considered 'historical'? Would you read something from the time period in which you grew up, or would you rather read something more modern, or from 100 years ago? Some people are fascinated by the Regency period; others the Pioneer Days, Ancient times, or Civil War era.
And would I be shooting myself in the foot if I refuse to update it? Or 'caving' if I did? My heart and gut tell me to leave it as is...but then again, I DID make drastic cuts to several of the books to make them 'publishable'. Should I just table it and wait another twenty years, until they meet the 'historical' qualifications?
And a half hour after that email, I received the heartbreaking news a former classmate of mine had died. Alan and I had dated for four months in HS, and he used to play his guitar compositions for me. He played Tuba in Marching Band; Oboe in concert band; Bass in Orchestra and Jazz Band, in addition to the guitar. He also got me hooked on the classical songs The Planets; we'd listed to Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars the most. He and I had just reconnected on Face Book two months ago, and he'd sent me three songs he'd composed. I happened to think about him over the weekend; I realized I hadn't seen any updates on FB, and was going to shoot him an email. And then my mother called with the news.
I'm going to try to make it to the funeral on Saturday. The world has lost another musical genius; I'm sorry it took us twenty-five years to find each other again, however briefly.
In other Family News, daughter saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday, and today we're taking her for an MRI, and back to the surgeon next week. She doesn't have to wear the imobilizer, so that makes her happy!