Hollywood Dispatch

luis

Greetings from Le Montrose Hotel in Hollywood! Cindy and I are in the middle of phase one of the big book tour. So far, it has been amazing, surprising, and a little tiring. We left our home at 5 a.m. (it seems like five weeks ago) and flew into LAX. We rented a rolling bathroom garbage can of a car from Avis and hit LA! All four horsepower kickin' ... Of course, one of my first stops had to be Tower Records on Sunset to buy obscure CDs. And then the next very important stop was Barney's Beanery on Old Route 66. But you don't care about Barney's Beanery, you want to know how the reading went. The first reading was at the Los Angeles Public Library downtown and I think it went pretty well. If the signing line is any evidence, we had about 50 yards of solid bodies. I signed so many books and was moving around so fast that my pants started to fall off. I consider THAT a successful reading -- when you end up in your underwear. I was happy to have family there. My cousins Paul and Javier and my friend from the Shawn Phillips world, White Eagle Rouleau. Cindy and I and Paul followed Rudy, our Mr.Movie, across town to an Italian restaurant for a late supper. There, I was delighted to hook up with the young actor Nicholas Gonzalez (Resurrection Blvd). A whole bunch of us stayed up too late eating and drinking too many toasts and overcharging on Rudy's credit cards. We were delighted to get back to our room, but unfortunately we were too tired to get the fireplace going and fell right asleep. The next day, we went back to Barney's Beanery. I was happy to see some metal rock stars eating chili and immediately called our boy Eric on the cell phone and said, "Dude, that guy from --- with the flames tatooed on his arms is in the next booth!" The gig that night was a reading and reception at Dutton's Bookstore in Brentwood. We drove out there early and had a wonderful time sipping fancy coffee with my movie agent, Michael Cendejas. Can you believe I just said "my movie agent"? This reading went extremely well also. There were about 150 people there and I noticed a strange new thing at these readings: people are buying books in twos and threes and even fours now. I guess that happens when you've stuck around as long as I have; you suddenly have a lot of books for people to choose from. Though I am astounded that people are buying three or four copies of The Devil's Highway for themselves. Nicholas Gonzalez very rightly sensed that I'm the kind of guy who likes swag, so he kindly brought me the entire Resurrection Blvd. series on DVD. Once again, after the reading was over we ended up at a restaurant for yet another round of elaborate toasts and late-night supper. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were too tired to light the fireplace again ... sigh. We got the day off today, so we slept late. Then we went down to Hollywood Blvd. and gawked at wierdos. We went to the Chinese Theater and looked at the footprints in cement and then we drove around Beverly Hills looking at mansions. Evil billionaires with bleached hair and Jaguars angrily revved their engines and honked their horns and the longer we are driving around their neighborhoods, the happier we are not to live here. But it certainly is a great place to be a tourist. Tomorrow morning, I have a breakfast meeting that I am not at liberty to discuss. Doesn't that sound intriguing??? San Diego Friday night. See you there .... Luis

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Book club members have been some of my most enthusiastic and careful readers. I’m thrilled to share my work with you, answer your questions and tell you some of the stories behind the stories. This is our spot, just for us. Here, we can chat:  If I’m nearby, I’ll come and visit your club. Otherwise, we can Skype, talk over the phone or email. Sometimes, I’ll send surprises or hold contests.

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