May 14th, 2007

The Blinking Clash

Bands on tour

Good day, O Detailed ones.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m writing about three not very wealthy punk/underground bands (headlining band American, supporting bands English) on tour in Europe in January 1976. The headlining band is well-known on the underground scenes in Europe and the US, but the supporting bands are known only in their home town of London.  As I’m struggling to write about the tour, I’m realizing that there are many things I don’t know. I'm not sure how to search for this stuff, seeing as most information online seems to be for modern-day bands (which makes sense) and things were VERY different back in 1976. 

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Soul Suckers Mythology?

Google is not my friend today. My setting is modern day North America (based around Canadian/ Northern US Geography, but not specified) I've looked for "soul suckers" "soul eaters" "soul seekers" + mythology.

Basic premise of the book is that Character A's wife dies, and when she dies, he loses his soul, because she "took his soul with her when she died." He meets a woman, and has to protect her from other soul suckers. I'm just at a loss as to how to get the info.

Now on to my question. I could have sworn that I remember a mythology around beings that suck the soul, not vampires, but another "monster" for lack of a better term. I've searched and found various poems and song lyrics,and a book reference but not anything like what I am looking for.

If I'm on the wrong track with my search terms, I'm more than happy to do the research, but I'm just not finding what I am looking for with what I came up with on my own.

Social Class of Professions

Setting: Detroit, 1928

I grew up in the Detroit area, and have a fondness for the city still. A few weeks ago, a plot bunny bit me, telling me to write a supernatural mystery set in 1920s Detroit. Unfortunately for me, I'm currently at school in Kalamazoo, and am about to move away for about nine months, so I can't just skip down to the Detroit Public Library and see what sort of records they have. Therefore, I turn to you, good people of little_details.

I have four characters pretty solidly formed in my head, and I have a pretty good grasp of the social class of two. However, the others? No bloody clue. What standard of living would these characters be expected to have?

Character #1: A young newspaper reporter for the Detroit News who wants nothing more than to be on the crime beat, but keeps getting "fluff stories" about the arts. His father is a furrier, and their family has been around the US so long that their immigration status doesn't really matter.

Character #2: A young Catholic priest, and the most junior in St. Florian's parish in Hamtramck (a suburb adjacent to the city, populated mainly by Polish immigrants). He is a first-generation Polish-American.

Search terms used: standard of living 1928 Detroit, reporter salary 1928 Detroit, priest salary 1928 Detroit, priest 1928 Detroit

As an aside, does anyone have tips on researching a historical project from afar?
alan dare

Floor plans for 19th century manor houses

Hello! I'm working on a book set on an alternate world kinda-sorta like, at least for the purposes of this question, Victorian England. Like Jane Eyre or Rebecca, much of the plot revolves around the hidden secrets within this big manor house, so I'd like the the house to be clearly defined in my head. I own a few books with floor plans for Victorian middle-class homes, but I'd like sources for 19th century manor house floor plans, including what each room was used for. This house needs to be big so, um, stuff can be hidden in it. I've tried to just draw up my own but I always run out of room for stairs and such...

If anyone could direct me to websites or suggest books, I'd greatly appreciate it! The closest thing I've found so far is this floor plan of the Vanderbilt mansion, but it's not really quite what I'm envisioning, although it's a start.

Google terms I tried: floor plans manor house, 19th century manor, 19th century manor floor plan, regency manor, victorian manor floor plan
"His turn to die a martyr was yet to com

Low/middle brow english fiction of the 30s with fascist leanings

My character is a respectable blimpish 50 yearold Englishman in 1938, with strong sympathies for European fascism.

He has a stash of cheap readingng which he hides from his wife which pander both to his racism and his more sadistic tendancies.

What suggestions can you offer for his shelf? Bonus points if illustrated!

(I've started his collection with Bulldog Drummond...)