Research Trip: Grand Park LA

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Grand Park LA is one of the location settings in my next book.  It runs from the Music Center to the iconic Los Angeles Courthouse.  It’s a beautiful green space, that has a nice Starbucks tucked away, fountains kids can play in, and plenty of benches.  

For more information: Grand Park LA

Work in Progress: The Empty Pen

 


While writing, I have a tendency to write old school!

Yes, that means the first draft is hand written into notebooks, and then it’s typed up in Scrivener (the best program ever … no seriously it’s the only program I’ll use, but that’s a whole different post!)

So when I get down to an empty pen, it feels like progress!

Book Review: Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca

Mrs. Sherlock HolmesMrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve read a few reviews saying this book felt like a let down.

Personally, I loved the book! I enjoyed reading about Grace Humiston, and her crusade to help those who were downtrodden by society. Grace was a strong willed woman, who took on the system, got her Law Degree and faced off with corrupt officials and police departments. And she did it all in a time where women didn’t even have the right to vote.

I will admit that the narrative was too jumpy, and it took some time to figure out the actual timeline of the story and where we were at in her life. The writer had a simple way of writing, that made it easy to read yet felt as if it was about two steps below you.

It’s a bit slow to start with, but as you work your way through the narrative, you start to see Grace’s amazing story.

What is fascinating about this book, is the realization of how much hasn’t changed – how police departments everywhere still look at ‘Missing Persons’, how Immigrants are looked at, how women are viewed by higher officials. Grace could step out of 1910’s in to 2010’s and wonder what if anything had changed.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Women’s History. I would warn it can be choppy and at times disjointed, but worth reading all the way to the end.

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Book Review: The Nice Guys by Charles Ardai

The Nice Guys: The Official Movie NovelizationThe Nice Guys: The Official Movie Novelization by Charles Ardai
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s easy language and the story flows in a straightforward way, but what I enjoyed most was getting more depth out of the lead characters that wasn’t presented in the film.

A great addition to a really hilarious film that’s begging for a sequel!

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Work in Progress: Note Taking


 

After researching, it’s time to put all the information together.  

For the next book, I’ve put together a folder full of printed maps, photographs, and a variety of useful factoids.

Example – Did you know that the Millennium Biltmore Hotel (original named the Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel) was built in 1923, and a Historical Landmark in Downtown Los Angeles?  It’s also hosted the Oscars, the 1960 Democratic Convection, was the headquarters for the International Olympic Committee in 1984 when Los Angeles hosted the Olympic Games, and recently hosted the Semi-Finals for American Idol.

If you would like to learn more on the hotel, check out it’s website: Millennium Biltmore Hotel

 

Book Review: The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1)The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the tale of this unsolved mystery. James Ellroy does an amazing job of bring to life 1940’s Los Angeles, making no pretense of the gritty underbelly along with the seedy police and political situations. I enjoyed this book, and got to a point where I couldn’t it down until I knew who had killed the Black Dahlia.

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New Book: Prep Work

 


When starting a new book, the first thing is research!

Ronald Kessler’s book ‘In The President’s Secret Service’ was a very insightful look into the Secret Service, it’s history and mythology.

Also, ‘Within Arms Length’ by Dan Emmett has been a useful look at how the Secret Service operate from one Presidency to the next.

It can be hard, trying not to perpetuate assumptions about institutions that are not personally known to a writer, but that should never stop anyone from writing about them.

Research often leads to a more creative storyline that is less stereotypical, and far more unique that in would otherwise have been.

 

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