My book, It Had to Be You, opens on Thanksgiving in Manhattan, 1924. It was the first year Macy’s sponsored its parade. It was also the year Isham Jones and Gus Kahn published a catchy tune called “It Had to Be You.”
Their ditty was a big hit, but, depending on the list you choose, it wasn’t the number one song that year. It had stiff competition. (Remember “The Charleston?”) Since then, “It Had to Be You” has emerged as one of the most enduring romantic songs of the twentieth century.
Ever wonder what makes a song timeless?
Is it a series of notes that causes the toe to tap? Brings a tear to the eye? Words that ring true to even the most jaded heart? That’s simplicity at its finest. And it stands the test of time.
Our favorite books and movies are no different.
When I started It Had To Be You, I wasn’t sure if it was a mystery or romance—as it turned out, it’s both—but I knew exactly what I wanted it to feel like. Timeless.
I wanted readers to step from our hectic, internet-saturated twenty-first century into the soft, sepia-toned set of a classic movie. You know the kind… The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon, His Girl Friday.
I had the place—1920s Manhattan—and two leads made to order. One bright girl reporter who could give Lois Lane a run for her money and one homicide detective with a seen-it-all, Philip Marlowe kind of attitude. Toss in a murdered gangster and a sultry ex-fiancée, and I was primed. A little mystery, a dash of noir, snappy dialogue and a splash of romance…
Some things never get old.
What’s your favorite film, song or book that has stood the test of time?
New York City, 1924
Determined to pursue her dream of becoming a crime reporter, heiress Trixie Frank believes she’s off to a running start when she lands a job at the most successful tabloid in Manhattan. Unfortunately, her high hopes fade fast when she’s assigned to the rewrite desk.
Sean Costigan is a demoted homicide detective on the commissioner’s blacklist. The last thing he needs complicating his life is a perky debutante with delusions of becoming the next great American journalist. Too bad she happens to hold one of the keys to solving his latest case, the Central Park murder of a notorious gangster. The other key? Sean’s childhood sweetheart, the victim’s widow, who has gone missing.
Sean soon has more trouble with dames than any good man deserves. But that’s the least of his worries. When he suspects deadly corruption within his own department, it’s not just his and Trixie’s careers that depend on finding the killer. It’s their lives.
Find It Had to Be You at Carina Press.
Delynn Royer writes historical fiction for the light of heart. Aside from the research that inspires her novels, she enjoys classic movies and yoga. Stop by her blog or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.