It was during the Edwardian Era that America entered WWI, the Spanish Flu killed between 50-100 million people across the globe (affecting up to 500 million people in all), aviation drew the imagination of the world and the Silver Screen began to shape our culture.
|Actress Colleen Moore arrived in Hollywood in 1917.|
I have the basic story plot for Enchanting Lydia Walker structured, giving me a direction to take my research--however, this era is a little further outside of my historical expertise. My last two novels--set in 1857 and 1898--were in familiar time periods--this one is not. This means I have a lot more research ahead of me! Not only do I need to learn as much as I can about national and international history, I also need to brush up on my local history, because my stories are set in my hometown in central Minnesota.
Based on the early ideas for my novel, I also have these areas I need to research: barnstorming/early civilian aviation, local logging history, pilots in WWI, local effects of the Spanish Flu, social customs, clothing, food, transportation, education, architecture, farming, orphanages/adoption, house servants, vacationing/cabins/lake culture, and motion pictures. And that's just the beginning! Once I get immersed in my research I almost always discover more I need to know. But that's the fun part. :)
|Photo courtesy of ameshistoricalsociety.org. This is a flying school in|
Davenport, Iowa in 1917. If you look closely there is a woman student
in the front row named Neta Snook.
I have the basic story for Enchanting Lydia Walker in my head (I'm just starting to lay it out on paper), but I know I will find a wealth of new ideas as I delve into my research.
What about you? If you're a writer, does this kind of research excite you, or overwhelm you? If you're a reader, what do you enjoy most about historical novels?