Sunday, April 22, 2012

Branching Out

Whatever happened to the "Wild West" in Laurie's Wild West? Believe me, the west and the western is a big part of the blog. Celebrating my grandfather's work as a western writer has not gone by the wayside. In fact, I plan on posting more on his writings later on this week.

But I've also got another project now, researching the life of Daisy Bacon, editor of LOVE STORY, in hopes of writing her biography. I really couldn't tell you why I picked Daisy, other than the obvious: that she was a female editor in a male-dominated field. There was just something about her that just drew me to her.

I've been lucky enough to be granted custodian of her personal papers while I do my research. And it's been a surprising journey. "Yes, her life and career were interesting. She was the highest-paid editor in New York City of her time, male or female. She was considered one of the best dressed women in the country. She continually made the social pages, the "Who's Who" columns and rubbed elbows with celebrities, writers and politicians alike. Yet while her business and public life seemed to be picture perfect, her personal life was very complex and not as "put together" as the feature articles, like the one below, liked to portray her.

(Sorry about the quality of the article: if you click on it, you can open it into a wider screen to read it.)

Writing someone's biography, especially someone who was in the public eye and who has not been written about before, can be overwhelming at times. I hope I can do her justice. I hope that eventually I can bring her back to the public eye so she can have a place along with all the other writers and editors who have been resurrected in the ongoing renaissance of pulp fiction study.

So I think you can understand the difficulty between keeping up the western posts while I'm working on something related to the romance genre. I've never been good at multi-tasking. As for my grandfather, I think he'd be glad to see me branching out.

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Walker Martin said...

Though I collect and read the western pulps, I fully support your research efforts into the interesting life of Daisy Bacon. She was one of the top editors, male or female, and we need a biography pointing out her achievements. She has been unjustly neglected and your book will be a groundbreaking piece of original research. I'm very interested in seeing this project completed. I know there are other collectors who feel the same as I do.

Barry Traylor said...

I have long been interested in what went on behind the scenes in the pulp magazine industry so this should be fascinating.

darwination said...

This promises to be a very interesting project, and I look forward to reading the fruits of your research. Good luck!

What magazine issue is the above article from?

Richard R. said...

Looks great, Laurie! Do you have an estimated time frame for your research and first draft?

Ron Scheer said...

Excellent choice for your creative energies. Recalling the wonderful essay in your book about your grandfather, I have no doubt that you will do justice to the subject and illuminate it in a thoroughly readable and compelling way.

You have the storyteller's gift that's needed for such a book. I've worked with biographical material in the past, and my own leaden attempt to put another person on paper (for the stage) taught me a lot about my own limits as a writer.

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks for all the encouragement. Ron, that's very nice of you to say. Darwination, thanks for the reminder, I should have mentioned where the article came from. It was from PARADE'S WEEKLY, October 8, 1942. Possibly the predecessor to the PARADE we know that comes with the Sunday newspapers.