It’s that time of the year again, when my hometown hosts it’s annual Jailhouse Rock Festival. It’s the 19th year the festival’s been run and its quickly becoming one of the longest running of its type in Australia. Picture hordes of rockabilly’s descending on the town with their hot-rods, vintage bikes, pompadours and bobby socks. The whole weekend is full of music and dance-offs, pinup girl contests and markets.
There’s something about catching a glimpse of another era that has always fascinated me. History is so intriguing, but sometimes I find the smaller aspects of it more interesting than the epic events. Considering I write steampunk romance set in a pseudo-Victorian setting, one of the things I find a challenge is incorporating all of these day-to-day aspects. So whilst my boyfriend’s checking out the horsepower, I’m wandering the festival daydreaming about the cherry-print dresses, the slang the rockabillies use and even about the different types of values people had back then.
Since I’m a writer, that sets off a whole chain of what-ifs… A writer can read a thousand facts about an era but it’s the daydreaming I find that really fleshes out the book when you’re writing a historical. Wondering just what life might have been like back then.
The 1950’s isn’t really the era I prefer – I love anything pre-1900’s – but it’s always fun for a visit. I’m feeling a real nostalgic buzz for movies like Grease or La Bamba. Any other movies you can suggest that were set in that era?