My process in writing begins with the selection of an interesting point in time. Failed Moments, which took place from 1790 to 1863, began with the Haitian Slave Revolution and ended with the American Civil War. A Wave From Mama, set in Brooklyn, spans the great period of change between the end of the Civil War and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. When I began to work on my third novel, I made the decision to move forward chronologically, but stopped my research once I reached 1904—a truly memorable year that featured all of the following:
- Henry Ford sets a new speed record for automobiles with an impressive 91.37 mph.
- Cy Young throws the first perfect game.
- A big year for St. Louis, which includes both the World’s Fair and the Olympics.
- The debut of the ice cream cone.
- Theodore Roosevelt is elected President.
- The Great Baltimore fire destroys more than 1500 buildings covering 140 acres of land.
- Peter Pan debuts in London
- Roosevelt sends the Marines to Tangiers.
- The U.S. gains control of the Panama Canal
- Pope Pius X bans low-cut dresses in the presence of churchmen.
- Japan and Russia declare war.
- A massive fire in Toronto destroys over 100 buildings.
Local New York Events-
- The first underground subway opens in Manhattan.
- The Boston Herald refers to the NY Highlanders as the “Yankees” for the first time. This will become their name in 1913.
- The tragic fire aboard the General Slocum Steamship in the East River claims over one thousand lives.
- Longacre Square is renamed Times Square and the first New Year’s Eve celebration takes place.
- A woman is arrested on Fifth Avenue for smoking a cigarette in a car.
As I read about each of these events, my next novel of historical fiction began to emerge. Minetta Lane takes you back to this special year—look or it in January 2018!