Gentle Reader. . .
Should you decide to start an independent publishing company, as we have with Esotouric Ink, you'll find there is a lot to learn. From laying out pages to securing a wholesaler, designing the e-book to booking a blog tour, it's really a whirl of work. (We're told it gets easier with future titles. Here's hoping!)
One of the most satisfying parts of this process has been making personal connections with book people — from the talented guys who printed The Kept Girl to our gentle readers, who have been saying such nice things about the story, and telling us that they're telling their friends. We even shipped off the first box of discounted copies bound for a book club this week!
Perhaps our favorite book people are the ones who run independent bookstores. In these days of razor thin margins and steep online discounts, it's a tough business and one nobody sticks with unless they're in it for the love. We admire and appreciate these dedicated folks, and are proud to say you can find The Kept Girl in six Southern California indie shops, with more to come. Drop in if you're in the neighborhood; we're sure you'll find something you didn't know you'd love.
If you've got a favorite bookshop where you think The Kept Girl would fit, please suggest it to the proprietor, or send us an email and we'll get in touch. The same goes for libraries. You can let them know that the book is available from Baker & Taylor, or direct from us at Esotouric Ink.
We're back on the bus on Saturday, with a few seats left on a bookish Charles Bukowski bus adventure. Then on Sunday, we'll be on Broadway for the free LAVA Sunday Salon, which this month focuses on the art and craft of The Kept Girl and old L.A. inspiration with talks from Kim and cover artist Paul Rogers, plus a presentation on early L.A. growth and crooked politics from historian Tom Sitton. After the Salon, Richard leads a free Broadway on My Mind walking tour on the great Art Deco architect Claud Beelman. Join us, do!
Upcoming Tours & Happenings
Come explore Charles Bukowski's lost Los Angeles and the fascinating contradictions that make this great local writer such a hoot to explore. Haunts of a Dirty Old Man is a raucous day out celebrating liquor, ladies, pimps and poets. The tour includes a visit to Buk's DeLongpre bungalow, where you'll see the Cultural-Historic Monument sign that we helped to get approved, and a mid-tour provisions stop at Pink Elephant Liquor.
You are invited to be part of a transformative downtown experience. The Sunday Salon is the free monthly gathering of our creative consortium LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. From noon to 2pm, at Les Noces du Figaro on Broadway, we hope you'll join L.A.'s most innovative artists, writers and performers to enjoy good company, hearty comfort food, and presentations from fascinating LAVA Visionaries. This month, historian Tom Sitton, author of The Courthouse Crowd: Los Angeles County and its Government, 1850-1950, takes us on a tour of a rogue's gallery of early L.A. politicos. Then the focus turns to 1929 Downtown and Kim Cooper's new mystery novel starring the young Raymond Chandler, The Kept Girl. Kim will discuss the process of transforming real true crime stories into fiction, and ace cover artist Paul Rogers will share how he discovers remnants of L.A. history in the landscape and turns them into contemporary illustrations.
Join us on this iconic, unsolved Los Angeles murder mystery tour. Our excursion begins in the historic Olive Street lobby of the Biltmore Hotel and ends in time for you to take tea and crumpets where Beth Short waited out the last hours of her freedom before walking south into hell. After multiple revisions, this is less a murder tour than a social history of 1940s Hollywood female culture, mass media and madness, and we welcome you to join us for the ride. This tour always sells out, so reserve your spot today.
Ride along on a very pulpy path on a wide-ranging tour that digs deep into the literature, film and real life vices that inform that most murderous genre, film noir — from Double Indemnity (where Raymond Chandler's Hollywood career intersects with Cain's) to The Postman Always Rings Twice to Mildred Pierce and beyond. The tour rolls through Hollywood, Glendale and old Skid Row, lost lion farms, murderous sopranos, fascist film censors, offbeat cemeteries — all in a quest to reveal the delicious, and deeply influential, nightmares that are Cain's gift to the world.
You are invited to be part of a transformative downtown experience. The Sunday Salon is the free monthly gathering of our creative consortium LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. From noon to 2pm, at Les Noces du Figaro on Broadway, we hope you'll join L.A.'s most innovative artists, writers and performers to enjoy good company, hearty comfort food, and presentations from fascinating LAVA Visionaries. This month, in celebration of National Poetry Month, Suzanne Lummis, Cece Peri and Dale Raoul will present a series of Poem Noir readings, exploring the themes of crime, decay, anonymity, hauntings from the past and a palpable sense of place and feel unique to Los Angeles. The architectural historian Nathan Marsak, author of Los Angeles Neon, will give an illustrated talk on the revolutionary cemetery architecture of Southern California, from Garden Cemeteries to California Crazy to Modernism, and beyond.
Forget Hollywood, babe, 'cause the quintessential LA town in definitely El Monte, its history packed with noirish murders, brilliant thespians, loony Nazis, James Ellroy's naked lunch and the lion farm that MGM's celebrated kitty called home. See all this and so much more, including the Man from Mars Bandit's Waterloo, when you climb aboard the daffiest crime tour in our arsenal, and the only one that includes a dumpling picnic at a landmark playground populated with fantastical giant sea creatures!
Join us for a journey from the downtown of Chandler's pre-literary youth (but which always lingered at the fore of his imagination) to the Hollywood of his greatest success, with a stop along the way at Tai Kim's Scoops for unexpected gelato creations inspired by the author. We'll start the tour following in the young Chandler's footsteps, as he roamed the blocks near the downtown oil company office where he worked. See sites from Lady in the Lake and The Little Sister, discover the real Philip Marlowe (Esotouric's exclusive scoop, and the inspiration for Kim's novel The Kept Girl), and be steeped in noir LA.
Go East, young ghoul, with our newest crime bus adventure. Come visit Boyle Heights, where the Night Stalker was captured and a mad dad ran amok. Roam the hallowed lawns of Evergreen, L.A.'s oldest cemetery and home of some memorable haunts and strange burials. Visit East L.A., where a deranged radio shop employee made mince meat of his boss and bride–and you can get your hair done in a building shaped like a giant tamale. Explore the ghastly streets of Commerce, where one small neighborhood's myriad crimes will shock and surprise. Visit Montebello, for scrumptious milk and cookies at Broguiere's Farm Fresh Dairy washed down with a horrifying case of child murder.
In our very occasional guest tour series, a delightful excursion that only comes around once a year, the Tom Waits bus adventure hosted by acclaimed rock critic David Smay (Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Swordfishtrombones). This voyage through the city that shaped one of our most eclectic musical visionaries starts in Skid Row and rolls through Hollywood and Echo Park, spotlighting the sites where Waits was transformed through the redemptive powers of love and other lures: the Tropicana Motel, Francis Coppola's Zoetrope Studios, the raunchy Ivar Theatre and so much more. Join us for a great day out in 1970s Los Angeles celebrating the music, the culture and the passions of Tom Waits.
AND FINALLY, LINKS!
A peach of a place.
A genius for trouble.
Hardcore preservation for derelict Julia Morgan YWCA in Pasadena.
We own the night (sky).
Manhattan without books.
Time waits for no one.
KEEP THE TAGS AS THEY ARE FOR EMPHASIS SO THE SIGN OFF IS NOT LOST
Kim & Richard