Caught up in the '40s

I briefly mentioned my latest story in my last post. You’ll also recall (I hope!) that I mentioned part of it is set in the 1940s.

The idea itself was inspired by an article I read. The article was about a woman who, in 1949, disappeared. Her purse was found, along with a note to a man, but she herself was never found. To this day, it is unknown whether she was killed, committed suicide, started a new life under a different name, or…well, the possibilities are endless, really.

I began thinking about all those options and started thinking about what I could do with that. I also began to wonder what someone investigating today would find, if they were to attempt to figure out what happened to this woman all those decades ago.

Of course, I was not alive in the 1940s. This has meant tons of research.  And I must confess, this is proving to be at least as fun as writing, if not more so. The things I am finding are absolutely fascinating to me. I’ve learned about 1940s (and other surrounding decades) payphones, cars, clothing, hair and make up styles, the war, rationing, diapers, and Hollywood.

I’ve always been a fan of old movies from the ’30s and ’40s. But I never went into any depth of those decades beyond watching the movies. So now, finding out what life was like during that time has been incredible. I’ve used online sources, naturally, but I’ve also used my grandmother. She is 83 years young, and although her memory isn’t perfect, she has been able to fill in some of the day-to-day details that aren’t found anywhere because they were so mundane and unimportant – yet those details count in making a realistic story.

I love the technology available today. Being able to go online and order a pizza, use my smartphone to figure out where my car is parked in a huge parking lot, and being able to carry more than 3,000 books (at this moment) on my Kindle and go anywhere is….well, awesome. But I must admit that I can’t help but think that living in the ’40s would have been pretty cool.

I realize that some of that is idealism. In large part, we’ve kept records of the good parts, and tried to let the bad parts fall into the fog outside the records. But I still think the simplicity of life back then would be a wonderfully unique experience, for a lot of people.

I have a title for the book already, as well. This is actually unusual for me, as most of the time, the title comes much later, after I’ve nearly finished at least the first draft. But this morning, my sons and I were reading another chapter of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for school, and the discussion drifted to sirens and the mythology surrounding them. As we looked up a few details, I came across mention of the siren song. It explained the meaning of the song, and that was when it hit me.

My fourth novel, set partly in the 1940s and partly in current times, will be titled The Siren Song. I don’t have a release date yet, as I’m still very early in the first draft. I’m also not quite ready to release any more details about the story, since so much could change.

What do you think of the title? Does it intrigue you? Are you interested already?