Many years ago, my husband was on the board of a local 1920s movie palace that had been saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s. He purchased a book about old theaters that had been resuscitated. The book, filled with photos, obsessed me. I had the glimmer of an idea for a story.
Fast forward a decade or so. My husband got involved with another 1920s movie theater in a nearby city. They had started a film festival highlighting silent films and early talkies. That theater had been built in 1928 and still had its original installation Moeller Theater organ. Several years into the festival, I started attending with him. The glimmer from years earlier grew brighter. I started making notes. Thumbnail character sketches. Lists of relevant things.
In 2016, the festival included a rarely seen “race film”, Richard Maurice’s 1926 release 11 P.M. This was my introduction to something I’d never before thought about: Black people making and starring in their own motions pictures. Now I was getting sparks on my idea. More notes. Research. So. Much. Research.
I took a class in which the instructor suggested I read Wild Women and the Blues. I did. Thank goodness it wasn’t what my plot was shaping into, although there are similar elements. My husband purchased a box set of “race films” for me for my birthday. He took a day off from work so we could travel to another nearby city to visit a museum with relevant materials.
I’m very excited about the story. I’m still trying to shape the characters in my head. I’m not quite sure what it is–it’s not baseball, it’s not werewolves, but there is a paranormal aspect. It may be a mystery, probably a murder mystery. All I know is that It’s what’s next.