The “Roaring Twenties” You May Not Know: Post 10 – The Great Gatsby

Jazz was a strong cultural influence on the twenties. Here's another: Gatsby: The Novel That Gave Us Flappers When I began writing SIRENS I immediately re-read one of my favorite books: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s THE GREAT GATSBY. It is an iconic vision of the 1920s.  Scott Fitzgerald, aspiring writer, met Zelda Sayre, a southern belle and his future wife, in 1918. She was a beauty and she was … [Read more...]

The “Roaring Twenties” You May Not Know: Post 9 – The Jazz Age

Last time we had a look at spiritualism. Now it's time for... All That Jazz Jazz was a big part of the scene in the 1920s, especially in New York City. In SIRENS Jo Winter falls for sweet jazz musician Charlie, who moonlights as a waiter at the Algonquin Hotel. The music revolution of “the Jazz Age” is a backdrop to the Roaring Twenties and the novel. By 1920 jazz as a musical form had … [Read more...]

The “Roaring Twenties” You May Not Know: Post 8 – Spiritualism

The previous post discussed the radicalism that grew in the 20s. Here's something else altogether: Calling All Ghosts: Ouija Boards, Spiritualism, and Harry Houdini One of the central images of SIRENS is that of ghosts and spirits and magic. I found this facet of the 1920s by accident, but it fit so perfectly into the novel I couldn’t ignore it. Cue the spooky music... Maybe it was the … [Read more...]

The “Roaring Twenties” You May Not Know: Post 7 – Radicals

As I discussed in my last post, gangsters were one negative aspect of the Twenties. Here's another: The Wall Street Bombing of...1920? The Wall Street Bombing of 1920 plays an important role in SIRENS, as the brother of one of the characters died in that blast, and the brothers of two other characters may be implicated in the bombing itself. Since no one knows to this day who carried it out, … [Read more...]