You gotta pity the poor souls who lived next door to guys like Hugh B. Cave. Typewriter keys hammering away around the clock, nonstop, for days on end, the sound often banging through cheap, paper-thin walls.
If you were creating a mood with someone from the fairer sex, then you might want to break a finger or two of the writer, and if you were nursing a hang-over, then no court in the land would call it homicide. Still the typing never stopped. It couldn’t. These guys made their living at two cents a word!
The golden age of pulp magazines were the twenties and the thirties, when the industrial revolution was in full throttle and literacy was at an all-time high in the US. Before World War II, and before television, the average Joe was hungry for things to read.
Multiple editions of newspapers were the norm, and breaking news called for special editions. Paper, especially cheap pulped paper, was plentiful, and speculative fiction was everywhere, even in big-named magazines like Ladies Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post.
The real bread-and-butter for mystery and suspense stories, however, were the pulps, and this was where the writers of the day learned their stock in trade.
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Copperopolis resident and make believe detective Steven Gomez will be at Angel Camp Mercantile on Sunday, June 17th from 1-3PM reading from his new book, Taco Noir, Tales of Culinary Crime.
Steve will be presenting a mixed-media reading, signing copies of his book, and hosting a question-and-answer session.
Join Angels Camp Mercantile for this unique Father’s Day event. Dad will also get a free scoop of ice cream!
No fatalities reported
The sounds of a deliberate jazz baseline heralded in the first of a series of literary offenses to be perpetrated by the make-believe detective agency known as the Noir Factory. A small but cozy mob welcomed mystery writer and Chief Investigator Steven Gomez. As he took the stage, Gomez welcomed his accomplices to the scene as they enjoyed microbrew pilsners and Black Sheep Zinfandel.
As the dedicated crew at Alchemy served up sinfully rich Crab Macaroni and Cheese, crispy fried Calamari, and fresh Prawns, the scribe from the Noir Factory unfolded the Case of the Awkward High Note from the debut of Taco Noir, Tales of Culinary Crime.
After the reading, guests were treated to the first Taco Noir raffle, with the grand prize, a reproduction of the Maltese Falcon, going to a longtime supporter and friend of the agency. Reports of any curse on the statue have not been substantiated.
The evening concluded with a screening of The Gorilla, a classic comedy who-done-it featuring Bela Lugosi, the Ritz Brothers, and a gorilla suit. The movie, a power-house in its day, is considered by the Noir Factory to be the “Citizen Kane” of gorilla suit comedy who-done-its.
Gomez thanked his guests as they left, shutting down the café as they did so. As the last of his accomplices left the building, the staff locked up and began to count the silverware. As the agency loaded up their wagon and moved back to HQ, Gomez remarked that it they had indeed not seen the last of him.
(Destroy this post if arrested)
In today’s guest post over at Renee Pawlish’s blog “To Become a Writer,” the Chief Investigator discusses ways to spread around the Noir darkness outside the office.
For the Factory, it involves getting out and visiting friends in low places, but for other writers, it is partnering with nice people in cool places doing things that they really like to do. While you are visiting her blog, look at some of Renee’s other posts for her thoughts on writing, artists, and all things noir.
(Destroy this post if arrested.)
Taco Noir is now for sale as a Kindle Edition for your digital pleasure! If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can “borrow” the book from Amazon for no cost whatsoever. Free. Gratis.
A great deal at three times the price… uh… (carry the two… uh)
You can also find the books in the Murphys area in good-old-fashioned, low-tech print version at The Spice Tin and at Sustenance Books starting next week.
And for a signed edition, a separate e-Book novella, and an evening of Private Eye-like goodness, check out the Noir Factory’s first Speakeasy event on June 7th at Alchemy Café in Murphys.
(If arrested, please destroy this post.)