What’s so special about 1987?
I first began writing stories and skits in the fourth grade. I mostly wrote based on the people and places I knew. By the seventh grade, my stories began to take on aspects of continuing characters and mystery elements. I believe Death on Stoneridge, in its first form, was drafted during my freshmen year in high school. The Mysteries of Syracuse tag soon followed as more stories were developed. Initially the series focused on the characters that matched my real age, but as the series evolved, I began focusing more on the adult characters.
Deciding when the series would start became the question. I’d originally planned a trilogy to begin my series. A sort of family saga/mystery. Strangely, it was Circle of Crime, the third book in the trilogy, that I first finished and first tried to market. I later deemed the teenaged characters, which the story focused on, too young. So the trilogy was moved to a later date, and Death on Stoneridge became novel one.
I then chose the start date of April 1987. Death on Stoneridge had been originally conceived as taking place during our local school’s spring break, and this aspect hasn’t changed.
But still you may ask, why 1987? Then, it was a lot closer to when I was actually writing the beginning books. My characters became grounded in the time period, and their backstories matched. To change the date now would completely mess up the chronology I’ve built up for the series.
Ultimately, 1987 marked a transitional period in my life. After graduating the seventh grade, I transferred from my elementary school to a high school with a junior high. New experiences led to new stories and characters that threaded their way into my budding series. And let’s face it…the 80s rock!
The Mysteries of Syracuse series has become tied to the years I attended high school, but it is not just about teenagers. The mysteries are populated with characters of all ages.