I write mystery novels that feature a private investigator named Rolly Waters. He’s also a guitar player – a very good guitar player, but not a particularly successful one. That’s why he has a day job as a detective. Here’s 10 ways working guitar players are a lot like your classic fictional detective.
They have easy access to alcohol
They have easy access to women who drink too much alcohol
They enter buildings through the back entrance
They employ a protective layer of cynicism
They see bad behavior at both ends of the socio-economic scale
They’re used to sketchy lighting (or moody lighting, depending on your take)
They know how to talk their way out of a fight
They feel nervous around cops, and vice versa
They have a business partner who’s been mugged
They put in more hours than they’ll ever get paid for
What do you think? Are there any other traits guitar players and private detectives have in common?
Have a look at this photo I came across recently. Anybody know or recognize anything about it?
I found this in a large collection of old photographs from the San Diego area. The writing on the back credits the photographer as Bill Reid and simply says “Charros.” Other than that I know nothing about the photo, except I’m pretty sure it was taken somewhere near the San Diego/Tijuana border. There’s no date, though I’m guessing 1960’s, perhaps early 70’s.
The slope of the land up to the bullring suggests it might be the area near Border Field Park where many of the chapters in Border Field Blues take place, but it doesn’t look exactly the same. I may have to do a little research.
Below is a current photo of the area near the bullring-by-the-sea, from the USA side of the border. If it’s the same area, things have certainly changed.
On Saturday, July 20, Maria and I took the Amtrak train to Los Angeles to collect my award from the Hollywood Book Festival. Border Field Blues was the winning entry in the Genre category of this year’s competition. Yay!
We connected to the Metro at Union Station (still a great relic of L.A. history), and got off at the Hollywood and Highland stop, a couple of blocks from our hotel, the slightly rumpled, but friendly and quiet Liberty Hotel.
The evening’s festivities were held in The Academy Room at The Roosevelt Hotel. That’s right, they used to have the Academy Awards here. When I lived in Los Angeles in the early 80’s, The Roosevelt Hotel had gone to seed. One of the local bands we played with then had even written a song called “No Answer at the Hotel Roosevelt.” Now it’s been revitalized and upgraded to a “luxurious boutique hotel“. They’ve kept much of the original and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
We were joined at the party by our niece, Sasha Carrera, who’s recently complete her short film, Mr. Hopewell’s Remedy. After grabbing some food and an adult refreshment, we found a table and met some of the other folks who were there.
Next to me was Mark Bego, who’d won an award for his book, Paperback Writer, a memoir that starts with the opening of Studio 54 and takes off from there. Mark’s written over 55 books, including biographies of Elton John, Martha Reeves and other rock stars and celebrities. There’s fifty or so people in the room, and I manage to sit down next to the other rock and roll guy!
We also met Gregory Paul Ogden, an animator who’s written his first children’s book, Franklin Frog and the Fallen Tree. His own spectacular line drawings illustrate the book.
At any rate, the ceremony soon began, and after a few glitches with the KeyNote projection being shown on the screen, all the winners present got to go to the podium, accept their plaque and make a short speech. I didn’t prepare anything, but I think I improvised pretty well (always thank your wife). It was a splendid evening for all, as far as I could tell.
After the ceremony, Sasha, Maria, and I went to check out the David Hockney pool at the Roosevelt. There was quite a collection of would-be, and some actual, hipsters hanging out among the palm trees, the bar stools and easy chairs. Several parties were going in the rooms that surround the pool and patio area. I mentioned that I suddenly felt like I was in an Eagles song (or more likely, Warren Zevon’s Desperados Under the Eaves). Maria thought it was more like a scene from The Player. You get the picture.
We headed home the next morning, jumping on the train again after a brief stop in Olvera street for tacos.
Oh, and one last thing. On the Metro to Union Station Sunday morning, I met Raj, a music and talent agent from Mumbai. He’s looking for acts. So if you’re a musician looking to book that tour of India, let me know. Raj might be your man!
The inspiration for Border Field Blues happened many years ago, when my wife and I first stumbled on Border Field Park while out for a Sunday drive. It’s a rarely visited California state park along the San Diego-Tijuana border. It’s the most southwesterly corner of the continental United States. It was a rare combination of place – beautiful and forlorn. There was only a single rusty fence separating the border at that time, a flimsy chain link structure. Separated families met at the fence – passing food, money, and conversation through the rusted links. Beautiful and forlorn.
Anyway, I originally set the climactic action of my first Rolly Waters mystery, Black’s Beach Shuffle, here, but the location didn’t really fit the scope book, so I dropped it. I found a way to build the second book around the place, although the plot of Border Field Blues ended up a long ways from where I started.
Tijuana River Valley Regional Park is the larger area around the park, managed by the County of San Diego. Border Field Park is the California State Park within the regional park, and Friendship Park is the parking and people-friendly area at the top of Monument Mesa, across from the Tijuana bullring. It gets complicated. For fiction’s sake, I just referred to the whole area as Border Field Park.
Welcome to the website of Corey Lynn Fayman, author of the Rolly Waters mystery series, including Black’s Beach Shuffle and Border Field Blues. The website is still in development, but should go live by July 15, 2013. Feel free to look around, as most of the site is in place. You can pre-order a signed copy of Border Field Blues or just peruse the site. See you soon!