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becke_davis
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Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

Today we have a guest blog by our good friend KELLI STANLEY! 

 

 

Welcome-Banner-typewriter-final.gif

 

 

Congratulations to Kelli on winning the 2011 Macavity Award:

 




 

Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery
City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur)
 
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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

I had the opportunity to meet Kelli at the Left Coast Crime conference in Santa Fe back in March. Here we are with Rosemary Harris:

 



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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

City of Dragons  

 



It's the Year of the Dragon for Miranda Corbie.

 

You’ll leave more than your heart behind in 1940 San Francisco.

 

February, 1940. In San Francisco's Chinatown, fireworks explode as the city celebrates Chinese New Year with a Rice Bowl Party, a three day-and-night carnival designed to raise money and support for China war relief. Miranda Corbie is a 33-year-old private investigator who stumbles upon the fatally shot body of Eddie Takahashi. The Chamber of Commerce wants it covered up. The cops acquiesce. All Miranda wants is justice—whatever it costs. From Chinatown tenements, to a tattered tailor's shop in Little Osaka, to a high-class bordello draped in Southern Gothic, she shakes down the city—her city—seeking the truth.


 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Year of the Dragon for Miranda Corbie …

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

 

Guest Blog: “Where Do You Get Your Ideas?”

By Kelli Stanley

First, let me thank Becke Martin and Barnes and Noble for all their support of writers and readers. It’s an honor to be a part of the B&N Community!

 

Speaking of communities, I just returned from Bouchercon in St. Louis, where I’m thrilled to report that CITY OF DRAGONS won a Macavity Award (Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award) for best historical mystery! It was one of the most wonderful moments of my life, especially because my mom was with me (her first Bouchercon).

 

Bouchercon is so much more than a conference or convention. It’s a coming together of a large, sprawling family, the crime fiction fans, writers, readers, publishers, bloggers, reviewers, booksellers, and librarians who make up the backbone of the mystery genre. The energy at a Bouchercon is tremendous ... you could power the lights of Broadway with it. I always come away from a Bouchercon with renewed creative and emotional energy.

 

In fact, Bouchercon is a fertile field for idea generation. Where writers find ideas is a complex process, and different for every writer, but one thing I know we all have in common: the inspiration we glean from gathering together, particularly at a Bouchercon. 

 

CITY OF DRAGONS was dedicated to my first Bouchercon (2007, in Anchorage, Alaska). It was my first large conference, my first entrance into the community. And it was during the conference that I became determined to write CITY OF DRAGONS.

The specifics came a little later. My ideas are often triggered by photographs or objects, and in the case of CITY OF DRAGONS, a photograph of a Rice Bowl parade in San Francisco’s Chinatownand another photograph of a Japanese-American owned business on Grant Streetgave birth to the main, tragic conflict within the novel. I thought about how horrible the tension must have been, neighbor boycotting neighbor, both trapped in Chinatown, their mother countries at war. I thought about what it must have been like, the sorrow and the anger.

 

CITY OF SECRETS was inspired by a similar process, an extension of my imagination and empathy into a different time and place: a time when America was markedly anti-Semitic, when you couldn’t live in certain places or hold certain jobs if you were Jewish. About whispers and bottles of blonde dye, about California eugenics laws and swastikas staining a synagogue. About hate groups with patriotic names, resentment of the government, and domestic terrorism.

 

As a young woman, I studied the Holocaust, and I tried to learn how and why the greatest evil the world has witnessed could have been perpetrated. I learned as much as I could, traveled to Dachau, to Anne Frank’s little hiding place in Amsterdam.

Eventually I learned about the home-grown versions of Nazis, the men and women who boycotted Jews and opposed aid to Britain, who called themselves “Defenders of the Christian Faith” or “The Musketeers”, and who thought Hitler was doing a fine job.

There were more of them than you might guess.

 

So I decided to write CITY OF SECRETS. There was a specific photograph that inspired me: one of a Nazi flag planted on Treasure Island, from the ground-breaking ceremonies in the mid-1930s in San Francisco Bay. But what really gave birth to the book was a lifetime of mourning: personal losses in the Holocaust (I’m Polish, and we lost people in our family), and the tragic loss of over 6,000,000 souls, some of whom could have been saved if American laws and policy hadn’t been anti-Semitic.

 

Miranda Corbie, my tough-but-vulnerable, broken idealist of a private eye, is out to find out who is murdering Jewish women in 1940 San Francisco. The journey takes her from backstreets in San Francisco to the sunny vineyards of the Napa Valley to the neon lights of the World’s Fair Gayway.

 

It’s a noir thriller, a page-turner, but it’s also a book I’m proud of. I hope you will be, too.

As always, thanks for reading, and see you on the B&N Boards!

 

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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

Great blog, Kelli. I always imagine how authors get their ideas and what triggers them. A lot of books I read must come from fertile imaginations that branch out everywhere. Then again, there are some books that make one wonder as they read, where the author was going with that book. Thanks for joining us today!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

Hi Kelli! Big congratulations on your Macavity win! What are you working on now?

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Kelli_Stanley
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

Thank you, maxcat! Every writer I know has a different process ... not just in how they go about writing, but how they generate ideas. Some people start with a puzzle, some with characters, some with a thought or a theme.

 

For me, a central conflict and a setting are super important, and character emerges from that. I don't think I could ever write something set in a fictional environment (unless I was writing fantasy, in which case I'd have to build my own world).

 

As a crime fiction author, though, I like to use real places and real events as much as possible, so that fiction and fact are so intertwined that even I forget which is which! :smileywink:

 

Thanks again for stopping in, and for your support of books, authors and B&N!

 

Warm regards,

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
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Kelli_Stanley
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

Hi, Becke, and thank you!! :smileyhappy:

 

I'm writing the third Miranda Corbie book, which is tentatively titled CITY OF GHOSTS. I also have a short story due for an anthology very soon.

 

Short stories are kind of palate-cleansers for me ... they give me a break between novels, and a much quicker sense of completion! :smileywink:

 

I have to write this particular short story at the same time that I'm working on CITY OF GHOSTS, though, because of deadline due dates.

 

After the third Miranda book, I am on to plot the fourth, work on a new Arcturus project, and then I have in mind a couple of contemporary novels ... the challenge is where to find the time!!

 

Unfortunately, I haven't found a way to do without sleep ... :smileywink:

 

Thanks again, Becke--it's always a great pleasure and honor to be on the B&N Boards, and I'm glad to say that both the paperback of CITY OF DRAGONS and the new CITY OF SECRETS hardcover are in B&Ns nationwide!

 

Warmest regards,

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

Kelli - It sounds as if you need to clone yourself!

 



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eadieburke
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

[ Edited ]

Welcome Kelli,

 

Enjoyed reading your blog.

 

Thanks for visiting with us again!

 

I have read your CITY OF DRAGONS and really enjoyed it very much. It was like visiting San Francisco again - I love that city! Congratulations on your award for CITY OF DRAGONS! Now I'll have to play catch-up and read the rest of your novels!

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

Thank you so much, Eadie!! :smileyhappy:

 

I hope you get a chance to visit San Francisco in person soon, but in the meantime I'm really delighted that the Miranda Corbie books can transport you here. It's a city where past and present feel like they mingle interchangeably sometimes ... especially when the fog billows through the street.

 

CITY OF SECRETS is also partially set in Calistoga, a small town at the northern edge of the Napa Valley famous for its hot springs and mud baths.

 

Hope you enjoy CITY OF SECRETS, and thanks again for dropping by--and reading!! :smileyvery-happy:

 

Warm regards,

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com
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Kelli_Stanley
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KELLI STANLEY!

I would, Becke, except that there are already too many voices in my head!! :smileywink:

 

I depend on lists to get everything done ... so long as I can remember everything to list!!

 

Warm regards,

 

Kelli


Kelli Stanley
CITY OF SECRETS - "One of crime's most arresting heroines" - Library Journal (starred review)
CITY OF DRAGONS - Macavity Award Winner (Sue Feder Historical Mystery)
www.kellistanley.com