The old ones are still there, but new ones get added to the list all the time, everyone and everything from Walter Mosely, Carol O'Connell and Michael Connelly, to movies like Ghost World and Pulp Fiction. And finally, the other early — and continuing — inspiration for my writing, as much as any writers or movies, is the City of Angels itself.
Android: Free Fall by William H. Keith Jr.
I remember it well enough from when I was a kid that it still resembled Chandler's L. And later, my friend Linda and I would drive around the city, heading out in all directions, searching out the old buildings and the ghosts of old L. She is my mistress and a harsh mistress, indeed.
But she is also my muse.
Android: Free Fall
But that's a whole 'nother story for the sequel. Originally posted on 7 Criminals Minds Blog. Marks , Raymond Chandler , White Heat , writing. Thursday, November 19, Midnight at the Internet Cafe. What is the research tool you turn to most often? How important is visiting the site of your story to your research? Marks reprinted from 7CriminalMinds.
Well, most of the time.
I mean much of the time. In the olden days, BI—Before Internet—one had to go to the library or the bookstore. Not impossible, but also maybe not close by. But you used to be able to go there. I hiked up there with a friend one time when we were doing research on a screenplay. It was fun and exciting and before the neighbors were perpetually upset—and before it was fenced off.
So what do you do? You turn to the internet or books. And when that fails you hit the books again or the internet. The one in downtown L. When it began in the late s, Bunker Hill was a neighborhood of fancy Victorian homes for the wealthy near downtown.
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Over time the swells moved west and Bunker Hill became run down and the elaborate houses were turned into rooming houses. In the late 60s, redevelopment began. The people were kicked out. Some of the houses were torn down and others were packed up and moved to other locations. So, though my story takes place today it deals with elements of the long-lost and lamented Bunker Hill of yesterday. How did I research that? Well, the usual, the internet, books, etc. Watching old movies shot there—many film noirs were shot on and around Bunker Hill.
But I had also spent time there as a young man, exploring the houses, getting into some, riding the original Angels Flight funicular railway. And I still have the top of a newell stairway post I liberated from one of those old Victorian houses—a memento both to L. And I remember it pretty well—first-hand research you might say. I lived through that and used both personal experience and recollections of others, both civilians and cops that I know who were there to add flavor to the story.
Pre-internet, I was working on a screenplay set there, so I researched it in books, etc. But I also drew on personal experiences of being in other riverine environs, transposing some of those experiences and adventures to the Amazon. I wrote a novel with Bobby that should be done soon. But I know L. So I had a good foundation to start with. But I also turned to primary resources: My family goes back here a long way and my mom was an L. I supplemented that with—what else? But also with maps.
I wanted to know how people got from point A to point B in a time before freeways.
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So I bought several period street maps on eBay, as well as looking things up on the net. And, aside from the good research the maps gave me for the story, I just love looking at them and seeing how things change over time. I also got some of the flavor of the era from old movies and music of the time, both of which I love. When I was working on a script set in New Orleans I had to go research it in person. So if I had to pick one winner, it would be the internet.
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The world is at your fingertips. Click here to subscribe to my Newsletter: Subscribe to my Newsletter. Please join me on Facebook: Sunday, June 21, Vortex My noir-thriller novella Vortex is just about ready to go — finally. Advance Readers Copies are available. Anyone interested in checking it out please let me know by e-mail. Zach Tanner is on the run.
Marks is an authority on all things noir and L. Chandler and Cain have found their heir. Have you ever killed off a character you loved? Well, I've certainly wanted to kill off a lot of 'characters' I've come across in my life, but we're talking fiction here. The answer is yes. Killing off a character that you like is never easy. We all love killing the bad guys, seeing them get their just desserts. But when you kill off a sympathetic character, a character that you and your readers like and, who is a good guy and good friend to your protagonist, well, that's another story.
But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do for the sake of the plot and the story and a dash of realism. He's a friend of Bobby's, the story's main character. And someone who knows Bobby's deepest secrets. But knowing them, he is sympathetic to Bobby and a friend to him.
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So when he goes missing, Bobby wants to find out what happened. And it isn't pretty. And though Gaby meets an untimely end, I liked the character. So, sometimes through the magic of fiction you can bring back a character that you like. Showing 1- 2 of 2 Add a comment.
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