Writer Talks: I was so thrilled to be interviewed by fellow Australian author, Nadia L King

I recently interviewed Queensland author, Ellen Read about writing, self-publishing, and what it’s like to undertake research for historical fiction… NLK: How did you first begin writing fiction? ER: I began with reading books. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading and living in a story. As a child I made up fictional […]

via Writer Talks: Ellen Read — Nadia L King, Author

1920s Men’s Fashion

My new novel The Dragon Sleeps is set in Victoria, Australia in the 1920s. I recently did a post on women’s fashion from that era.

Men’s fashion was equally as stylish. It was influenced by the new heart-throbs of the silent films, although the term ‘silent films’ wasn’t used during that era. They were called ‘the flicks’ or ‘the pictures’.

Rudolph Valentino liked to set a style.

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Clark Gable shows an example of men’s hair styles that were slicked back and held in place with brilliantine cream.

John Gilbert wears the pencil-style moustache that was popular during the 1920s and 1930s. He was known as The Great Lover of the Silver Screen. The Merry Widow launched him to fame in 1925, and by 1928 he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

Benedict Archer in The Dragon Sleeps looks like John Gilbert, or so Edith claims.

Men in the 1920s wore suits and, at least the highly fashionable ones, wore many accessories. There were so many types  of hats (here we see fedoras, straw boaters, and Newsboy hats).

Below shows the Porkpie hat that Sergeant Smith wears when he accompanies Alexandra and Edith to the Victorian State Library.

mens-hats

 

Canes were popular accessories as well as small rings, tie pins, and collar pins. Three-piece suits were also worn – one for every occassion.

Shoes were very stylish, with examples here of brogues, two-tones, white tennis shoes and the exquisite art deco shoes.

Even the working man and boy liked to don hats, ties and jackets.

The Parry and Brady men in The Dragon Sleeps would have worn similar outfits.

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This could easily be one of the Parry boys in The Dragon Sleeps caring for the horses.

 

I hope you enjoyed looking at male attire in the 1920s.

The Dragon Sleeps is available in paperback or as an e-book on:

Amazon

Amazon – Australia

Booktopia

Angus & Robertson

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

I’d love to hear from you. To follow me go on to:

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The Thornton Mysteries – Book Two

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I’m excited to be working on research for book two of The Thornton Mysteries. Next week I’m heading down to Victoria to do research for the location/setting of the story. Thornton Park, as the family home, will still feature but some of the story will be in Daylesford, a beautiful village in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. 

The Thornton Mysteries

It was originally my intention to have my newly released novel The Dragon Sleeps as a stand-alone book. As I drew close to the ending, I started to think that I should write a second book. Through all the editing, proof-reading and finally the publishing, I still hadn’t made up my mind. I had another novel I was working on and I really wanted to finish it.

I had no sooner given approval for the printing of The Dragon Sleeps, than I thought, of course I must write a second book!

the-thornton-mysteries

Since then I’ve decided to write at least two more books. They will be under the series title of The Thornton Mysteries. Each book will have a separate title, with it’s own mystery. The thread linking them will be Alexandra’s personal story.

Thornton Park  will remain the focal point of the lives of Alexandra, Benedict, Edith and Thomas, Alexandra’s father. However, the second book will also be in Daylesford, Victoria. Daylesford is a beautiful town located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range,  approximately 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It’s principally known for it’s spas, and it has many antique stores and art galleries.

The scenery in the district is pure postcard stuff!

I am going to love writing about this beautiful place. My story will be still set in the 1920s and I can’t wait to bring Daylesford to life in this exciting era. To make certain that I achieve this, in January, I’m going to Victoria and will stay at Daylesford to do some research.

I’ll be taking heaps of photos and I will feature some of them here, on Instagram and Facebook.

I hope you’ll follow me on my journey to create the second Thornton Mystery.

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The Town Hall, one of Daylesford’s beautiful buildings.

 

1920s Fashion – dresses, hats and hair

My new novel The Dragon Sleeps is set in Victoria, Australia in the 1920s. I had such fun in so many ways,  writing in this era. One of these ways was the fashion. I take a look here at ladies fashion.

1927-1928
These dresses were the rage in 1927 and 1928.

Hemlines were shortened, while waistline were lowered.

finger-waves

The 1920’s were a turning point for women. The Great War (WWI) had ended and women had become more independent. During the war, they had gone out to work for the first time.

With their new found independence, women wanted to cut ties with the old feminine images of the past.

Hair was cut short into ‘Bobs’ or styled into ‘finger waves’, so-called because the hair was dampened and fingers and comb were used to create this look.

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The cloche hat, in all its variations, was the hat of the 1920s. It clung to the head and was pulled down on to the forehead. Sometimes the cloche hat featured a brim, with flowers or feathers decorating the sides. Add pearls, beads or feathers, and the cloche could even be worn in the evening.

The woman with the golden curls and green hat – Copyright 2012 Tracy J Butler

hat-pins
Stylish Art Deco hats pins  were used to keep hats in place.  The pins were surprisingly strong and sharp.                                  Alexandra and Edith, in my story, wear hat pins like these.

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This is a fabulous example of 1920s evening wear, complete with finger waves.

tabard-evening-dressblack-tabard-dress

These are Tabard-style evening dresses. They are typically a sheer beaded overlay, with a silk chiffon shift of the same colour or contrasting colour beneath. Tabards frequently featured low backs and thin straps.

Alexandra wears a tabard dress in The Dragon Sleeps.

The bias cut was popularized, which allowed the fabric to hang and drape in sinuous folds and stretch over the contours of a woman’s figure. The beauty of the bias cut was that the dress could be pulled on and off with ease.

It heralded the free-form look of many gowns in the 1920s.

significant-flapper-evening-dresses-of-the-1920s

Chanel’s black evening dresses with huge transparent draperies.

Molyneux’s transparent printed dresses with full scalloped skirts and arm draperies.

Paquin’s acid green moire dresses with a V-neck and bulk at the hip.

source –Vintage Fashion Sourcebook – Carlton Books

The modern ‘myth’ of the ‘flapper’ party dress is more a relic of the 1960’s revival. In fact, generally the hemline was below the knee. Women enjoyed the swishing of the softer more feminine fabrics against their legs. Silk, velvet and taffeta were the favoured fabrics.

Many gowns were designed with the new dances in mind. Freedom of movement was important.

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A page from the Ladies Home Journal, May 1927

The Dragon Sleeps Released

tds

The day has finally arrived. My book is released.

It’s available on Amazon as paperback and eBook. Apple iBooks, Kobo and other eBook retailers have the eBook. Paperback will be there soon. The paperback will also be in Australian bookshops soon.

 

 

The Dragon Sleeps – My new novel

the-dragon-sleeps-ebook-cover

Published on Friday 4th November 2016

in Paperback and eBook.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.

A Dragon statue. An ancient sword.

What treasure is worth killing for?

It’s 1927 in Victoria, Australia. A hedonistic time after the Great War when young people knew they could enjoy life without the threat of war hanging over them. A time when women have more options opened to them.

There is a weekend house party at Thornton Park and Alexandra Thornton thinks it will be a good time to break the news to her father that she wants to be an antiques dealer, like him, her grandfather and great-grandfather before her.

Only a small number of people are invited. Amongst the guests are Zhang Huo, the Chinese antiques dealer who, with his son, has brought a Ming dragon statue from China for Thomas Thornton.

Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne and who has been secretly helping Alexandra learn more about her family business, is also invited. Alexandra asks Benedict and Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, to be with her when she approaches her father.

When Edith claims that Benedict is in love with her, Alexandra can’t believe it. In all the time they’d been at Thornton Antiques together, he’d never said a word. Now, Alexandra looks at him differently. Can it be true?

Then a body found in the orchard and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artefact is stolen.

Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eight years?