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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

MYSTERY AUTHOR ANNE LOUISE BANNON ASKS: ARE BOOKS SET IN THE 1980'S CONSIDERED HISTORICAL FICTION?

Mystery author Anne Louise Bannon is an author and journalist who wrote her first novel at age fifteen. Her journalistic work has appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, the Los Angeles TimesWines and Vines, and in newspapers across the country. She also spent more than ten years as a TV critic. In addition to her mystery series, Anne is also the co-author of Howdunit: Book of Poisons with Serita Stevens. Learn more about Anne and her books at her website 

Is it Historical Yet?
In my youth, I came up with a perfectly lovely series of spy novels that turned out to be more romance than spy. Over the years, I’ve re-written them, fleshed out the characters, officially named it the Operation Quickline series, but one thing held up – the original 1980s setting.

So, fast forward to a couple of years ago. I’m at a writers’ meeting and someone asks this agent what she considers historical, and she says late 1980s and before. Okay. The days of my tender youth are now considered history. Hmmm.

When it comes to my own aging, I’m pretty cool with it. I wear my gray hair proudly. I’m working on accepting my extra pounds with the same grace. I’m certainly not going to lie about my age, which is almost sixty-two. After all, I have had the good fortune to last as long as I have, and with God’s grace, I’ve got another couple of decades or so to go.

But wrapping my brain around the idea that people consider the time of my early twenties as history. That one is going to take more work than getting used to the extra weight. I get that it’s over thirty years ago, almost forty. But that still says recent past to me. I mean, it doesn’t feel like it was all that long ago.

Yet, in some ways, it really is. The daughter I gave birth to was born in the middle of that decade and is now thirty-five years old. The world has changed quite a bit since I was the first person in the theatre department at Cal State, Fullerton to write a masters thesis on a word processor. The phone I put in my pocket has more computing power than that Apple IIe that I wrote on.

Attitudes have changed. I have changed. I hope I’ve gotten more resilient since then, and I really hope I’ve gotten a lot more open-minded. I know I’m a better writer than I was then, which is why I made the decision to re-write the Operation Quickline series. 

The joy of working with something I wrote so long ago is revisiting those times, looking at the person I was then, and realizing, yeah, I have grown, and not just my waistline. And there’s also looking at my old work and realizing that I was not a bad writer. And that I was pretty darned cute in my mid-to-late-twenties. Yes, that is a mullet I’m wearing in that photo – it was the best-damned haircut I ever had. If only it weren’t so dated. Sigh.

Finally, there’s the blessing of having those everyday kinds of details already in the text so that I don’t have to remember when we got word processors and when the full Star Wars trilogy was first available on video. Even if I have to look something up, I have a starting point and a frame of reference that I will never have for Nineteenth Century Los Angeles, no matter how many pictures I look at, and books I read.

So, I guess it’s not all bad having someone call the time of my youth history. It’s still going to take some time to get used to, but with luck, I’ll be around long enough to call it ancient history.

Operation Quickline Box Set
A compilation of the first five books in the Operation Quickline series, featuring Lisa Wycherly and Sid Hackbirn, agents for an ultra top-secret organization, who may seem like opposites but have a lot more in common than they think. The set includes the following titles:

That Old Cloak and Dagger Routine
Lisa Wycherly had no idea what she was getting into when Sid Hackbirn recruited her as his partner in an ultra top-secret organization called Operation Quickline. But then, neither did Sid.

Stopleak
Lisa and Sid are set up as bait to plug a leak in the system. Surviving the elaborate trap will be a lot easier than learning to appreciate each other.

Deceptive Appearances
When Sid and Lisa are called to Lisa's home town of South Lake Tahoe, they find themselves in the middle of a murder and a drug operation. 

Fugue in a Minor Key
Lisa's nephew is in trouble at school. An old girlfriend of Sid's has dropped his son into his lap. Oh, and they have to find out who's selling secrets from local defense plants.

Sad Lisa
Lisa gets engaged to her boyfriend only to have the case she and Sid are working blow up in the worst possible way.

2 comments:

Anne Louise Bannon said...

Good to be here and thanks for having me.

petite said...

Historical fiction is meaningful, memorable and profound but not 1980 era.
1930's, 1940's. and perhaps 1950's.
Having grown up in the 1950's my favorite era is the 1940's.
I do enjoy 1920's as well.