We’re ending our Holiday Celebration with a retrospective of the 1980s by author Joanne Renaud. Her look back at the prosperous and somewhat sanguine 1980s is certainly apropos as we enter 2013. Read on and enjoy her story of a less complicated time, followed by her a blurb of her time-travel novel, A Question of Time, about one woman’s unexpected trip back into the 1980s.
Nowadays we often associate the Holidays with snowy black-and-white 1940s and 1950s retroscapes a la It’s a Wonderful Life or White Christmas. But I am a child of the 1980s, and I will forever associate the Yuletide with garish plastic crap, cheesy FX laden blockbusters, Sweet Valley High and She-Ra.
Christmas in the 1980s was awesome. I read books like Sweet Valley High’s Special Christmas, watched movies like the bizarre fantasy Santa Claus: the Movie starring… Dudley Moore as an elf? (Yes, this was actually my first exposure to Dudley Moore.)
As a child of the Reagan years, I was accordingly materialistic. Every year we received a Sears catalog in the mail, and I would pour over all the Crystal Barbies and Career Barbies, as well as the She-Ras and He-Mans (I dreamed of owning such toys, being a huge fantasy nerd, but my parents were pretty conservative toy-wise; they didn’t even allow me to see The Dark Crystal when it was released, alas).
Speaking of He-Man and She-Ra, a special note must be made of the He-Man Holiday Special (The Nostalgia Critic’s hilarious takedown of this ‘special’ can be seen here). This, and the Star Wars Holiday Special, really take the cake for awkward shoehorning of Christmas themes into the space opera/high fantasy genres. Do they know it’s Christmas on Eternia? Or maybe it’s Life Day! Oh what the hell, I don’t know…
The ’80s was a great decade for kitschy pop songs, such as the Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping,” Wham’s “Last Christmas,” and of course Band-Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmastime.” Whatever charm these songs might have had when they were originally released, it can be argued that they have worn out their welcome by overplay in various retail environments. I actually remember my mother finding Wham to be “annoyingly repetitive,” when I played a few singles for her back in 1987. No doubt she was far wiser than I was…
Years later, successful author Celia Cavalotti is still mourning the death of her favorite teacher, who died in a car crash in 1989. But when a car accident of her own hurtles her back in time to the week of his death, she has a chance to change the future.
Finding herself in the 1980s is a shock to the extremely modern Celia– but even more shocking is seeing her dead English teacher, Alan Forrest, alive and well before her very eyes. Alan is far more handsome than she remembers, and she can’t resist the urge to flirt. After all, they have so much in common, like writing and a shared love of science fiction. Celia knows she’s falling in love with him– but can she use this opportunity to prevent his tragic death? What is happening to her? And why can’t she seem to stay in one place and time?
You can buy A QUESTION OF TIME on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks, Book Strand, Kobo, and at Champagne Books. Note: Joanne didn’t mention that she is an OUTSTANDING professional artist. Visit Joanne at http://www.joannerenaud.com/index.html to check out some of her gorgeous illustrations. Rita
Tomorrow, my new webpage debuts which will highlight the anniversary of an historical event each week, as well as weekly features on grammar/writing (This Writer’s Pen), a couple of interesting pictures, and a guest feature (An Author’s Desk) that includes a pic of a guest writer’s desk and his/her latest book. January will feature The Emancipation Proclamation (with an interesting poster printed to recruit blacks into the Army in 1864 and a pic of black soldiers preparing for combat in the Civil War ), MLK and his last sermon (with a poignant picture seldom published), Andrew Jackson and The Battle of New Orleans, and Lord Byron. ‘Til then, Rita Bay