As a fan of British culture of the 1960’s I was so excited when I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for YESTERDAY by Sheila Norton. I love the music (of both mods and rockers) and was a huge fan of Quadrophenia when I watched it as a teen in the mid 90’s! I feel that this will be quite a thrilling read for most that love this era and cannot wait to sink my head into all of the drama and clashes between the mods and the rockers!!
“Music, Mayhem, Mods and Rockers…
Set against the backdrop of the violent clash between mods and rockers at Clacton-on-Sea in 1964, YESTERDAY is the brand new novel from acclaimed author Sheila Norton, published as an eBook this Easter to coincide with the 50th anniversary of that notorious conflict.“
Blurb: During the riots between the Mods and Rockers in the early Sixties, teenager Cathy finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the events which follow will haunt her for the rest of her life. Forty years later as a middle-aged journalist, she’s forced to revisit her past, deal with her unhappy memories and try to find out exactly what did happen back in 1964.
I am delighted to introduce you to the author of Yesterday, Sheila Norton, who has taken the time to write a fantastic and informative author post of the background and setting of the novel. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! – Caroline
The 1960s as the background to a novel
Although I grew up during the 1960s myself, and have always looked back at that era as being an interesting and exciting time, writing my new book YESTERDAY, which is set in the Sixties, really brought home to me just how much our country, and indeed the world, changed during that decade.
The most obvious example was pop music. Up till then, most of the big stars were American. It’s true we produced our own big favourites – Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Billy Fury – but the whole phenomenon of Rock ’n’ Roll had originated in the States, and most pop singers owed more to Elvis Presley than anyone else. And then – along came the Beatles, and fast behind them, a whole swathe of other groups, producing their distinctive Merseyside sound. It was fresh, it was different – they were writing a lot of their own songs and they seemed to capture the mood of the Sixties teenagers with their light, catchy, beat numbers and their informal stage performances. The Beatles were a phenomenal success in the UK, but more significantly, once they went on tour, they conquered the world: Australia, Europe, Asia and America saw scenes of absolute mayhem as hysterical fans came out in their thousands to see ‘the Fab Four’.
The result was that England suddenly became ‘cool’. English pop songs were hits around the world, and even minor English groups were able to take advantage of the popularity their accents seemed to grant them abroad. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, our nation – still recovering from post-war poverty – began to flourish again. ‘England swings!’ proclaimed the lyrics of a hit song in 1965, performed by Roger Miller, an American country singer, and according to the editor of Vogue magazine: ‘London is the most swinging city in the world at the moment.’
London’s popularity and its new title of ‘Swinging London’ owed a lot to the new youth-centric fashion scene, particularly Carnaby Street, which was first known for its Modernist fashions, snapped up by the original Mods at the very beginning of the Sixties but which later became a mecca for tourists from around the world. Fashion designer Mary Quant is credited with inventing the mini skirt, and other icons of the time were models Jean Shrimpton (known as both ‘the face of the Sixties’ and ‘the symbol of Swinging London’) and later, Twiggy, and Cathy McGowan (‘the Queen of Mod’), who hosted the TV music programme ‘Ready Steady Go!’ All these became international legends.
Such was the height of worldwide interest in the Brit scene by the mid-Sixties that even our Union Jack flag became a popular symbol, appearing on all manner of consumables. Winning the football world cup on our home ground in 1966 seemed to sum up all that had gone before. Britain had shown the world we’d shaken off the misery of war and the deprivation of rationing.
Back in 1957, Prime Minister Harold MacMillan had told us we’d ‘never had it so good’ – assuring us: ‘You will see a state of prosperity such as we have never had in my lifetime – nor indeed in the history of this country’. For some, back then in the Fifties, it would have been hard to believe this. But during the Sixties, MacMillan’s optimism finally seemed justified.
For teenagers like myself – and Cathy in YESTERDAY – it was in the Sixties that young people first had our own fashions, our own music, and our own places to go (coffee bars, dance halls). Becoming a Mod or a Rocker was all part of the excitement of the time. Most of us weren’t interested in the fighting between the groups. But there was violence – it kicked off at Clacton-on-Sea in 1964, fifty years ago this Easter, and it forms a lot of the background to the story of YESTERDAY. I hope my readers will enjoy Cathy’s story as well as the historical background to this new book.
YESTERDAY by Sheila Norton is available as a Kindle e-book from Amazon from 17 April 2014, price £1.99.
About the author:
|Sheila Norton grew up in 1960s in Romford, Essex where she spent her teenage years collecting 45s and dating boys with scooters. Sheila is still a card-carrying member of the original Beatles Fan Club and draws inspiration from her own experiences of the 60s in her most recent writing.YESTERDAY is Sheila’s twelfth novel, she has been published by Little Brown/Piatkus (as Sheila Norton and as Olivia Ryan) and also enjoys a successful self-publishing career
You can follow Sheila Norton and all info on Yesterday on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/YesterdayTheBook
We all hope you enjoyed this post, and checking out Sheila Norton’s ‘Yesterday’. We will be reviewing it a little later in the year. Have a fantastic Easter.
Caroline & Tina, A Reader’s Review Blog 🙂
All blogs taking part in the Yesterday blog tour are as follows:
17th April: http://compellingreads.co.uk
19th April: http://mebookshelfandi.co.uk
20th April: www.areadersreviewblog.com
21st April: http://erins-choice.blogspot.co.uk
22 April : http://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com/
23 April: www.jeanfullerton.com/jean’s-blog
24 April: http://fenellamiller.blogspot.co.uk/
25 April: http://authorsophia.wordpress.com