When I was a kid, I spent most of my time with my grandparents and my great-grandmother Dearie. I don’t think I saw a film in color before I was 10. I considered Shirley Temple a contemporary. My favorite television shows were I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
Naturally, I have a love for all things nostalgic. I’ve often wished I could travel back in time to see the world at different periods, eras that are lost to me, unrecoverable. I suppose that’s why I write. The Perilous and Sparks books are a series about adventure and secret societies and girl power, but they’re also my attempts at peering through the space-time continuum. I pore through vintage travel reels and immerse myself in scratchy, old albums, and I allow my imagination to time travel. Then, I bring back what I see while I’m gone.
I found this charming reel while trying to visualize a scene set in the Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter. Of course, I’ll take liberties, as I do. In addition to the junks and sampans, there will be dragon boats and water bound lanterns and a gaudy floating restaurant – not to mention villains and a high speed chase. I’ve never been one to leave well enough alone, but what author ever did?
From the second book in the Perilous and Sparks series The Kowloon Jukebox:
At last, they broke through the city’s confines onto the broad belt of Connaught Road, which offered an expansive view of the harbor. The promenade’s port side bristled with rickety, weather-worn piers protruding haphazardly into the murky waters. Dockworkers in loose, indigo jackets and trousers unloaded sacks filled with rice from the mainland and heaped them along the wharf as gulls helped themselves to scraps of anything edible that they could swoop down on. Jane steered toward the North Point Ferry Pier, and they eased the Vespas among the queue of cars waiting to be loaded into the underbelly of one of the cumbersome, green and white vessels.