Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Amanda Quick Goes Hollywood, 1930's Style

Posted by Susan B James on 1:36:00 AM with No comments

Amanda Quick, Jayne Anne Krentz's nom de plume for her Victorian suspense thrillers, has taken a step into the future. The Girl Who Knew To Much is set in the world of 1930's Hollywood. 

Amanda/Jayne Anne Krentz held a question/answer session at The Ripped Bodice in Culver City.
The Ripped Bodice is the only bookstore I know devoted exclusively to the romance genre. I waited to buy her book until the session because it didn't seem polite to come with an already purchased copy and ask her to autograph it. After the session I hurried home to read it. It was worth waiting for. But then I knew it would be.
I filmed the Ripped Bodice interview, thinking to use portions of the video in this blog. Alas, the sound is too soft. You can watch it on Vimeo. Here are a questions from it.

Why 1930's California?
This is the first book in my whole life that I've ever come up with a one sentence description of a book. We call it the elevator pitch. "A failed magician, a hired killer and a celebrity gossip columnist walk into a 1930's Hollywood bar." And I have to tell you when I started this book I got that same rush as when I started my first Regency. I knew this world. I realized the vibe of the world clicked with the kind of characters I do. My heroes and heroines are usually in the process of reinventing themselves and that fits perfectly in 1930's California.

 What are some of the things you discovered in your research that were interesting?.
Well, I can tell you right now that Jockey Briefs were invented in 1935.
And the elegant draped men's cut suit. The one we know today that is broad in the shoulders and kind of narrow at the waist? It was invented by a Brit and was a real hit in the US. One of the reasons was you could wear a gun under it.
I usually start from a sociological point of view. The clothing they wear interests me. They food that they eat. Hey, when was the last time you saw abalone on a menu? It was on every major menu in 1935.
I stumble across factoids and sooner or later I know that one of those factoids will translate into a plot point I can use.
I stumbled across the fact that radar, which became so critical to World War II, was in the process of being developed in the 1930's. Every major nations was working on it and in every major nation, it was all top secret stuff. Getting that information into a small device that could sit on a battleship was the big goal. Do you have any idea how hard it is to write a book about radar when the word didn't get invented until 1941?
And of course there were great cars. The hero drives a Cord. 

I love Cords. They are beautiful pieces of art.

What's coming next?
The next book will definitely be set in the thirties. In the same world. After that I'm going to wait and see how my audience reacts. I hope they love it as much as I do. 

Personally, I loved every moment of The Girl Who Knew Too Much  
Amanda Quick's traditional wit and style fit beautifully in this new venue.
I love her protagonists and the beautifully developed characters surrounding them. I know there is going to be another story in Burning Cove and I wish I didn't have to wait a year for the next one.

Anna Harris runs from a dangerous nightmare to start a new life in Hollywood. Her new identity is Irene Glasson, string reporter for a Hollywood gossip magazine.

Irene's first big story leads her to The Burning Cove Hotel, an exclusive resort in a small town up the coast. The favorite haunt of Hollywood moguls and stars who want privacy.

When Irene arrives for her meeting, she expects to get a tip on the latest up and coming leading man, Nick Tremayne. She doesn't plan on finding the body of her source at the bottom of the pool.

Now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…


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