Living in New York at the Turn of Two Centuries

Astor Place, where Eighth Street, Lafayette Avenue and Fourth Avenue converge, in 1896 and in the present.

 

10 things Susan Spann Didn’t Know She Needed to Know Before Writing her Novel

Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Blog, Five Things, Things I didn't Know | 0 comments

10 things Susan Spann Didn’t Know She Needed to Know Before Writing her Novel

I’m excited to begin a series of guests posts featuring authors who will be telling us THINGS I DIDN’T KNOW I’D NEED TO KNOW BEFORE WRITING MY NOVEL. For me, the research aspect of writing a novel — especially a historical one — was the fun part. It’s much easier to passively take in information than actively create a story. This past year, I’ve been having the chance to connect with lots of historical authors, and I’m constantly amazed at how far they travel, both in time and geographically.A?...

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Menstruation: The Bloody Reality

Posted by on February 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Menstruation: The Bloody Reality

Menstruation wound up having an important presence in my novel ASTOR PLACE VINTAGE. The story alternates between two different time periods, and the subject flows (sorry, couldn’t resist) in both Olive’s story at the turn of the 20th century, and Amanda’s story at the turn of the 21st. Why did I include this rather messy subject that is usually kept out of polite conversation as well as public discourse in my novel? After all, there’s something unsavory about bodily fluids, and do we really need to know what goes on in...

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Five things I didn’t know I’d need to know before writing my historical novel

Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Blog, Five Things, Things I didn't Know | 0 comments

Five things I didn’t know I’d need to know before writing my historical novel

ASTOR PLACE VINTAGE was my fifth novel, but my first with a historical setting. I like to joke that when starting out, I figured the research would just involve Googling a few details and I’d be good to go. Okay, I wasn’t really that naïve, but still, I never would’ve imagined how much research would be involved. And I never would’ve guessed how much I’d enjoy doing it. Gathering information is nice and passive compared to writing a story that will use it. So here, in no particular order, is a list of five things...

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Astor Place Vintage is a Deal on Amazon

Posted by on February 1, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Astor Place Vintage is a Deal on Amazon

The Kindle ebook edition is on sale for just $1.99. Here’s the link!...

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I Am On Pins and Needles!

Posted by on December 9, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I Am On Pins and Needles!

Because I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned about the history of pins and needles.   It’s hard to pin down when people first began to use pins and needles. As a matter of fact, it’s rather like looking for a needle in a haystack.   Archeologists have found pins from the Paleolithic era that were made from bone and thorns. Bone needles from 61,000 BC have been found in South Africa. Tiny fish bones were used by ancient Egyptians to pin the eyelids of the dead closed. Sumerians used pins made of iron around 3000 BC....

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Andy Warhol, Steve Jobs and Louis Prang

Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Andy Warhol, Steve Jobs and Louis Prang

Continued from Color Lithography Revolution

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Do you know how to eat an artichoke?

Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

Do you know how to eat an artichoke?

Evidently, many people avoid artichokes in grocery stores because of the mystery of how to sit down with one of these vegetables and actually eat it. In this short film, my mother, who was born and bred in California (the state where all American artichokes are grown) explains how to eat an artichoke. And, since I can never resist doing some historical research, viewers will also get some tidbits (tidbites?) about artichokes in days of...

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Color Lithography Revolution

Posted by on October 16, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Color Lithography Revolution

Prang’s chromos could be found in homes everywhere. He created a huge market for color reprints of famous paintings. He even imitated the subtle textural lines of the linen canvas and added a layer of shellac to imitate the sheen of oil paint. Albert Bierstadt painting of sunset in California 1864 I will even venture to say that Louis Prang had the vision of Steve Jobs crossed with Andy Warhol, establishing the first Kinko’s and Posters.com rolled into one. img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-4317″...

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Lots happening this week… 92nd Street Y, Etsy Giveaway, Book Giveaway

Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Lots happening this week… 92nd Street Y, Etsy Giveaway, Book Giveaway

A giveaway for Astor Place Vintage just began at Modern Commonplace Book. Check out Ginny’s write-up of my book on her blog, where’s she’ll be giving away a free copy. My Etsy Gift Card giveaway is running until September 19th on my Facebook page. And… I’m doing my talk on department stores and New York City history this Wednesday at 2:00 at the 92nd Street Y. More info...

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