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  • Writer's picturelauraquinnwrites

Cause Down the Shore Everything's Alright

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Proud Jersey Girl here.

Every August, I’d watch with glee as my grandparents loaded the car for our 2 week vacation “down the shore”. While our state boasts 130 miles of beautiful coastline, paradise, for us, meant the small island of West Wildwood.

Those were simple, happy days. My Pop and I- out on the floating dock behind the house. We’d spend hours there. Fishing, crabbing, a quick dip in the bay to cool off, then right back at it again.

Sometimes we’d listen to the Phillies on the radio. Others, he’d regale me with stories about what life was like for him growing up during the Depression; how his family would take the train down when he was a boy.

Of course, no post about the shore would be complete without mention of The Boardwalk. At one point, every seaside town had one. Thrilling rides, creamy confections, with games and shopping galore. A constant in our rapidly changing world with a nostalgia so iconically intoxicating that companies like MTV, HBO, and even Disney have capitalized on the allure.

This summer, like all others, I’ll delight in taking my own children on the same piers I loved so much as a kid. Bellies full, their little fingers sticky from cotton candy and taffy; no different than my grandfather and his siblings at that age. And that connection to the past is at the heart of my historical fiction novel.

Full disclosure though: I’m no historian. That said, I’ve taken great pains to ensure the historical accuracy of the time period I’m covering, the Gilded Age through the Great Depression (1910s -1930s). While some things remain the same- like seagulls swooping down and stealing your food- others have, indeed, changed significantly.

My main characters are all entirely fictional. However, they do come into contact with some real life figures of their time. And, let me tell you, some of these folks are deserving of a novel unto themselves. Who knows? That might even be my next work. Until then, though, you can learn more about them starting THIS FRIDAY in a series of companion posts devoted to my research.

This ain’t your high school history book, people. We’re talking entertaining anecdotes as well as regionally-specific accounts about what life was like in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area a century ago. The United States entry in to World War One, the Spanish Flu, Prohibition, and the Roaring 20's are just a few of the topics I've got lined up so far.

So SUBSCRIBE now- you won’t want to miss these!

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