Sunday, December 14, 2014

Skype Chat With EOW Author Monday Night

I will be doing the first of my informal Skype chats Monday night, Dec 15 at 7PM PST. Please send me a personal message for further details prior to 6:30PM PST Monday. Topics will be Empire of the Wheel and Secret well as my fiction ventures with Lost Continent Library.



  1. This is my second or third attempt to post this. I guess the internet doesn't like me very much these days.

    Anyway, I decided to reread the first _Empire of the Wheel_ book and I remembered another book I read but no longer have... with a plot involving a drowned woman who eventually turns out to be a victim of both murder and identity theft. And the crime took place in San Bernadino County.

    The book is _The Lady in the Lake_ by Raymond Chandler.

    I don't know if any of that is interesting. I looked up online resources re: Chandler, and found out that he was living in Pasadena in 1915.

    I don't know if I can do html links here, and I don't want to push my luck, anyway, the next question that comes to mind is, did Chandler write about real-life cases in his fiction? Searching the web found a couple web pages on the subject, detailing the intersection of Chandler's writings with the cases of Thelma Todd, Ned Doheny, and how Ben Siegel inspired plot elements in _The Little Sister_.

    Going further, I found out there's a historical novel out called _The Kept Girl_ (by Kim Collins) whose plot speculates on the subject "What if Chandler investigated The Blackburn Cult..."

    Looking up the Blackburn Cult... they were put in jail for having bilked one of the Dabneys (as in Dabney Oil Co., where Chandler worked) out of 40,000.00 cash and some land in Santa Susanna. BUT they were suspected of killing several members.

    By poison.

    And then it occurs to me to check, "Maybe Walter talked about this group already and I missed it because it was one of the parts I skimmed or forgot."

    And no, BUT: one of the spiritualists in San Bernadino mentioned in the first book was named L. A. Blackburn.

    If you look up the Blackburn Cult on wikipedia, it mentions the book written above, plus another historical novel, and a straight nonfiction book by Samuel Fort.

    Now to click 'publish' and see if the comment actually appears this time.

  2. Yep. I suspect Chandler did that and knew about the case of Cora Stanton (You know who, per EOW2). It was big news in So Cal in 1915. The Blackburn data came to me from Rick Spence after we were deeper into getting the book out. I may include it in a note in a future revision.

  3. Re: Lady in the Lake....That I was very much aware of and doing analysis on, during the writing of EOW1. There are more instances of the same thing and I will comment on those at a future time.

    Good eye :)