Tuesday, June 23, 2009

For the Love of Chrysler ...

I'm a big believer in serendipity. You know, those chance encounters and opportunities that come your way and (as long as you're not actually starring in a noir) can lead to fabulous fun.

As a writer, I like to let serendipity guide me sometimes, through plot points and character development ... and this weekend, a bit of research fell into my life the same way.

I was in Tiburon Saturday--one of Marin County's most beautiful towns--visiting my brilliant and wonderful agent. And it just so happens that Tiburon was hosting a one day Classic Auto festival at the same time.

Now, I love classic cars--you know, when American cars were truly special, built to last, and featured rumble seats or (a bit later) some truly amazing fin work.
These cars are wonders of engineering, and at the Tiburon show, many were
lovingly restored or sported full ownership histories posted on the window.

An event like this gives me the chance to really develop a feel for a period car model--a tremendous research opportunity for my 1940 series ...

I'm not in Tiburon very often, but last year, when I was writing CITY OF DRAGONS, I happened to stumble in to Tiburon on another warm day. And--you guessed it--they were hosting the very same car show. The odds of me being in Tiburon on the day they host a day-long annual car show--twice, in consecutive years--well, that's just serendipity for you.

Of course, inspiration struck. I'll be starting the sequel to CITY OF DRAGONS very soon, and it was both lucky and wonderful, lighting upon the chance to see

a glorious 1940 Packard Station Wagon (Wood Sides)

Or a 1940 Cadillac Convertible

Or Gertie, a 1939 Chevrolet "Master Deluxe Business Coupe"

Or a 1934 Pontiac

... or even a 1918 Pierce Arrow.

What car was my favorite? Well, I love the rumble seated 1934 Pontiac ...

but I liked the idea of driving this 1967 Jaguar convertible.

In a word ... classic. And serendipitous!! :)

BTW, we launched Criminal Minds, our group blog and virtual panel, last week--and traffic has been brisk! Come by and comment in the month of June, and you could win a $50 Independent Mystery Booksellers Association member gift certificate, a $50 Barnes and Noble, and signed copies of our books! I post on Thursdays.

Back soon, with photos of San Juan Bautista ... and a talk about Vertigo.

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