La La Land

The launch party pictures are up, accessed through a link on the home page or from the Locked Rooms page. Sorry you weren’e2’80’99t there?

The trip along the coast from San Diego to Los Angeles ought to be sold as a tourist trip, it’e2’80’99s such an adventure in Californiana. Long beaches decorated with neoprene-clad surfers, beach huts here and there constructed out of driftwod and palm branches, the palms themselves, long and short, smooth and shaggy. And at either end, classic rainway stations, with colorful tile and high ceilings. The one in San Diego has been restored to its original 1915 splendor’e2’80’94plus the notice that the terminal has wireless connection. Sometimes modern life is most satisfying.

So I had a nice relaxing train trip, three hours rocking along in comfort on the tracks as opposed to two and a half hours fighting into an airport and back or two and a bit hours on the road. California really ought to try this mass transit stuff.

Once in Los Angeles I was met by peerless escort Ken Wilson, who knows everyone and everything in the city, and has the knack of keeping a weary author on tas and in good cheer. We paused for a bite with Les Klinger, author of the New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, with whom I hope to do some sort of event when volume three is published this fall. Noon was an event at the Mystery Bookstore, people dropping in and chatting while I signed their books. We then went down to tape a television interview with Connie Martinson, which is broadcast on a lot of cable channels including UCTV. We then got to the hotel at quarter to four, I ran another shirt under the iron and called in a sandwich order from room service, and at four Suzanne Gibson and Warren James came to my room to tape an online interview for their program (sorry, can’e2’80’99t do a link from here) We had to cut it short because Ken was waiting for me downstairs, so I swallowed the sandwich and a quick coffee and left for two drop-ins, one of them at my old friend and long-time supporter Barry Martin at Book ‘e2’80’98Em in Pasadena, the other for Mystery and Imagination bookstore. We were running late, and we were late for the event at Vromans, but the hundred or so in the audience didn’e2’80’99t seem too upset. I talked and they asked questions, and Meredith from this blog brought some great pictures from the San Francisco launch last week. Meredith is also going to be at the Corte Madera conference next week, so you may get a report on that, too.

Nine thirty Ken dropped me off at the hotel again, and I hope to have an actual night’e2’80’99s sleep (yes! I did) before meeting my Hollywood agent for breakfast.

One advantage of all this is, writers then don’e2’80’99t complain at long hours bent over a laptop.

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  1. Erin on July 1, 2005 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve always wanted to take the train somewhere; it sounds like a really cool way to get around. The trip from NorCal to SoCal is apparently something like 9-10 hours on a good day, though, so it is rather less appealing than the 1.25 hours on a plane.

    Do they actually have compartments still? Like Russell and Holmes always get to take?

    Do you have any information about the interview on UCTV? I would like to watch that, I think.


  2. Jennifer Ice on July 2, 2005 at 2:20 am

    Dear Laurie,
    Trains are a great way to travel when time is not an issue. My husband and I took the Coast Starlight from Ventura, CA to Albany, OR and although the train never made it to Albany we had an amazing trip. We went first class with great meals in the dining car and an attendant to change our chairs to beds in the evening and back in the morning. Such luxury! I can see why Russell perfers it.

  3. Anonymous on July 2, 2005 at 6:01 am

    Dear Laurie and fellow blog-ites,
    so glad you liked the photos; I took them after empathizing with blog comments from those far away. I thought you looked a little tired at Vroman’s….I can certainly see why. you keep telling us about the glamorous life of the writer! My husband still believes trains are the only civilized way to travel, but erin pinpoints the problem. o, well. –Meredith T.

  4. Kathy on July 3, 2005 at 3:31 am

    Erin: the AmTrak Surfliner has sleepers, but not for the San Diego-to-LA leg, which is, after all, only a mere 2-3 hrs. Laurie was lucky to be northbound; the southbound return trip is an extra 30 minutes, because northbound trains have priority on the single track. But the view is fabulous. You go right along the coast and see the beaches and towns. And San Onofre all on its own gives you a power plant and a nude beach jammed up against a Marine base where you might see helicopters and tanks on maneuvers blowing things up, before you go past Irvine concrete, Disneyland, and (best of all) traffic-jammed cars on the I-5. It’s the best way to make the trip.

    I’m not sure, however, that SoCal’s ready for public transit–the LA Metro still doesn’t link up to LAX. And it’s the only subway system I know that names stations after freeways.

  5. Anonymous on July 19, 2005 at 2:21 am

    I’m sorry. I am new to this whole blog thing. Did you say Hollywood agent? Are the Russell books coming to film? Who will play Holmes? I would like to request Patrick Stewart. I know he is too short but that can be dealt with…

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