So last night, I took The Kept Girl show on the road, for an evening of scintillating dinnertime conversation surrounding 1920s Los Angeles, the young Raymond Chandler, cults, judicial appeals, archival research and the joys and frustrations of independent publishing.
I was the guest of a wonderful group of Westside women who have been gathering to talk about books for 25 years. They don't typically read mysteries, or books set in Los Angeles, so I was honored that they put The Kept Girl on their list.
Our hostess, Martha, set a beautiful and clever table dotted with a selection of packaged foods that were available in the 1920s. We began with Waldorf Salad. Dessert, naturally, was Jell-O.
I brought along little packets of photos of the real-life characters who appear in the book, wrapped in a replica of the limited edition art deco slipcase. It's fun to share these faces, which I've lived with for so many long hours, with folks who have only met them in the novel. I didn't take a formal poll, but it appeared that Raymond Chandler (at 12 o'clock) and Manly P. Hall (at 3 o'clock) were tied for book club dreamboat status.
The night ended with a lively discussion about the group's summer reads, and the gift of this lovely bouquet of purple hyacinth flowers from our hostess' daughter, Alissa. Their perfume today reminds me of a very sweet night.
Is your book club interested in reading The Kept Girl? Esotouric Ink offers discounted copies for group orders, and can provide discussion questions on request.