Hey you Baby Boomers out there….I need your help!
The year is 1967, Summer of Love. US troops are multiplying in Vietnam and anti-war protestors are taking to the streets in larger numbers than ever before. Skirt lengths are shortening and tensions heightening in Israel with the explosion of the 6 Day War. Young people are listening to The Byrds, The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and the first edition of The Rolling Stone magazine is produced. Elvis marries Priscilla and the world’s first ATM is installed in Barclays Bank, London.
Work is underway for my third novel as I mentioned in my last blog. A significant chunk of the new novel is set in the Summer of Love of 1967. But here’s the thing: I was born ten years later in 1977. So all of the above I’ve either been told about or I’ve read. As much as I adore researching older periods for my novels, I am loving the fact that the generation of my next novel’s protagonist are around to help me, to fill in those gaps and share their valuable memories with me.
So, will you help be a part of my next novel?
Here’s what I want to know:
What were you up to in 1967? What books were you reading? What brand of cigarettes were you smoking? What beer were you drinking? What was your favourite magazine? Band? Food? Clothes? What swear words were you using? What was going on across the world that made you angry? That made you smile? What films were you watching at the cinema? I’m setting the novel (or part of it, at least) during the summer of ’67, but anything you can think of from that whole year would be wonderful.
I also have another question for you, and this one may be a little trickier to answer. One of the themes I’m exploring in my novel is the relationship that existed between the baby boomer generation and their parents. I’m interested to know how the events and trauma of WW2 impacted on the way your parents interacted with you. I don’t want to pose any examples here or put words in your mouth, so I’ll leave this question very open and see what you come up with.
Don’t hold back! Mine those memories – I’d LOVE to hear them and for you to journey back in time with me. Anything you can think of to help me build a fuller, more authentic picture of 1967…
Thank you! I’m really looking forward to hearing from you. You can either respond to me as a comment on this blog, via my twitter or facebook page or just drop me a line through my contact page on my website.
Hi Rebecca, I was born in 1967 . My mum is in hospital at the moment so I will ask her on my next visit, & hopefully get some juicy details for you! x
Hi Sarah, brilliant, thanks so much, I would absolutely love some juicy details from your mum 🙂 Very best wishes, Rebecca
I was 17 in 1967. And part of a very active UN Youth Group …and we were organising an anti-Vietnam demo on The Campus, Welwyyn Garden City. Ib those days, organising protests in small towns just wasn’t on! It was what REDS in London did. So we got into a HEAP of trouble! And it was banned. And later, when I got to university, I discovered that as a result I was on the American Embassy blacklist, where I remained for 10 years. The surveillance society was alive and well in 1967!
Wow, Carol your few lines sounds like a novel in itself! I cannot believe you got on an American Embassy blacklist just for doing that…shocking! This is really fascinating and illuminating, thanks so much for your input 🙂
Hi Rebecca, I’d love to help, if I can! I was 16 in 1967. It was an exciting year; I had completed the first year of my A Levels in Guyana and persuaded my mother to send me back to boarding school for the final year. The reason being, both of my closest friends had moved to London! So of course I had to be there. she said yes and I sailed across the ocean from the Caribbean with one of them and her father. London was swinging! Oh, it was heady. I remember mini skirts, Mary Quant cosmetics, Twiggy, Carnaby Street, psychedelic clothes and colours, Bell bottoms were about to become the rage. I remember discos in London: Les Enfants Terribles and La Poubelle.Losing my virginity (the following year) in Notting Hill to a Spanish guy called Miguel, who was terribly sweet and very very innocent. I remember my friends writing me crazy letters from London to my boarding school al about what they were up to — but I never got them because the mail was censored! U remember the Wet Look — a kind of plasticy, rubbery material that came into fashion and went out just as quickly. I have a photo of myself in my yellow Wet Look dress somewhere…
It was wild and unforgettable. But actually it was a few years later (1971 especially) that were game changing for me. I had not yet smoked pot in 1967…
BRILLIANT! Ah Sharon you have so many fabulous stories 🙂 I love all these memories of yours, they conjure up so many pictures. PLEASE find me your picture in your yellow Wet Look dress and send it to me!!