Recently, I posted an article on my blog titled "The disappearing pieces of my childhood." I posted it because of a lot of reasons: a news story on CNN, conversations with my young niece and nephews, and more.
After that post, I thought even more about how whether writing historical, contemporary, or paranormal "we" can capture snapshots of time and save them for the next generation.
In one of my books, I had a very specific idea of who the grandfather needed to be. And as he formed more and more in my head there were elements of his character that after I wrote him, I recognized them. They were pieces of my own grandfather. Any member of my family who reads that story will automatically recognize the hat and suspenders. That's a personal part of my life captured forever.
The same can be said for technology, pop culture, and history itself.
I think one of the most interesting uses of pop culture I've read was the use of Elvis Presley as a vampire! Loved it. I'm from Memphis, TN...why didn't I think of that?
When I decided that writing was a part of me that could not be denied, I wanted to tell "my" stories. I didn't realize that although they are told in "my" voice, they are all of "our" stories.
Every time one of us plots around a news story, writes a historical or contemporary, or writes about vampires trying to commit suicide in the sunlight of Italy we're introducing a reader somewhere to something. Food. Travel. History. Science.
I guess as long as there are writers, nothing will disappear.
For all of the writers out there, do you see yourselves as historians?