Know Anyone in Santa Fe?

… in New Mexico, that is, not Texas or Spain. If you do, tell them to mark their calendars for Wednesday, March 23, at 6pm. I’ll be doing an in-store appearance and book signing at the Collected Works bookstore there.

Not going to bother with an address. It’s Santa Fe. You either know where everything is or you’re not from around there.

It’s serendipity, really. The Left Coast Crime convention (of mystery writers and their fans) is being held this year in Santa Fe, literally the week my novel, set in Santa Fe, comes out. I’ll be at the convention, of course (be kinda crazy to go all the way from LA to Santa Fe just for one bookstore, and yes I’m crazy but not that crazy). While I’m there I imagine I’ll spend a lot of time answering the question, “How did you come to set a novel in Santa Fe?” For the record, I got the idea when I was vacationing there. Mostly I got the idea that I could write off my vacation as a “research trip.” Mostly, also, I really didn’t rely heavily on first-hand knowledge of Santa Fe. When I needed information, I just yanked it down off the web. Wikipedia, Google Maps, Google Earth… these were my New Best Friends. And in the end, I don’t think the novel lacks verisimilitude. Research is just easier these days, that’s all. You can target your searches so precisely. Why read a whole book when you really only need one fragment of data?

It’s interesting. The novel I’m working on now is set in 1969. Much of my “research” just consists of digging into my own memory. But trust me, if your memory stretches back to 1969, it’s not entirely to be trusted. So I augment with Wikipedia, again, and various other online resources. Aging hippies, it seems, love to archive their past. And it’s amazing how much time you can waste digging up the exact words of that old Tonka Toys jingle…

For boys who like real lifelike toys

That they can operate, too

Attention boys! Tonka Toys

Were made just for you!

And this, for no apparent reason, is a Tonka Toy.

JV in Santa Fe. Tell your friends!

More later, -jv

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