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Why the 90s?

Why is descended set in the 90s?

Because I’m a child of the 90s and this book is an ode to a time before mobile phones and social media, before the internet even. It was a time when the insults were slurrier, society was more laid back but less tolerant, and kids had unsurveiled freedom. Back then, trials, tribulations, and mistakes mostly stayed at the scene of the crime, and political correctness was a largely theoretical concept not many abided by. 

The 90s in general was a lot more relaxed; a more personal time, when people had no choice but to connect face to face. There was no texting and no DMs. If you wanted to speak to someone, you had to call their home phone and go through their parents. Or worse yet, an older sibling who was waiting for a call of their own and was pissed off you’d called and were about to tie up the one and only phone line.


We had nowhere to save phone numbers except in our heads, and I can tell you most of us knew all our besties’ digits by heart.


You had to make a firm meeting place and time with friends before you left home because once you were out the door, there was no way to reach them if plans changed.


Our sex ed was gleaned from the pages of Dolly Doctor and Judy Blume books (especially Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, and Forever).

Magazines were our bibles: they were where we got our makeup tutorials, and the only way to find out what was trending (aka what’s ‘hot or not’). We got all our fashion advice from staring at photos of Drew Barrymore, Alicia Silverstone, Winona Ryder, Jo Beth Taylor, Toni Pearen, Dani Minogue, and Alison Brahe our OG girl crush.


We swooned over Cameron Daddo, Nathan Harvey, Bruce Samazon, Marcus Graham, Ryan Kwanten, and Simon Baker (back when he still had the ‘Denny’), and if we were lucky our magazine of choice came with a removable centerfold poster of one of them.

There was no TikTok, so when we made up dances with our girlfriends, we performed them for our parents, not the internet.


Netflix or Amazon and Disney Plus didn’t exist, and whilst the US had cable, Australia did not. This meant our only options were free-to-air TV (complete with ad breaks), or the video shop. If we were going to be out and miss our favourite tv show, we had to beg or bribe someone in our household to record it for us on the video player.


We didn’t have iPods or iPhones or Spotify or Apple Music, so our main source of tunes was our DIY mix tapes. We’d spend hours listening to the Top 40 Countdown on the radio with a blank tape at the ready in our boomboxes, poised to hit record the second the song we were waiting for came on over the airways.


90s music was so deep and angsty and evocative. It made you feel and it made you think and to this day it has the ability to magically transport you to another time and place. I listened to so much 90s music for inspo whilst writing this book, it seemed a shame not to share that playlist with you.



Each chapter of descended shares its title with that of a 90s song that conveys the mood and emotion of the characters and the scene, which will get the reader into the right headspace, and transfer them back to the era in question.

So welcome to the 90s. I hope you enjoy your time here as much as I enjoyed living (and re-living!) it.

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