Working Stiffs welcomes back our good friend Kelli Stanley.
She Works Hard For The Money
by Kelli Stanley
Hi, everybody! It’s wonderful to be back among my Working Stiffs buddies, stretching my legs in front of the electric fireplace in Annette’s RV. ;) Ha! I loved that post … I remember when camping meant camping, and don’t talk to me unless you’re willing to compare mosquito bites. ;)
Seriously, thank you all so much for having me over! Blog tours are not only fun visitin’ time, but one of the few occasions when authors get to pretend we’re famous and making the rounds of talk shows to talk about our next vehicle. ;) In my case, of course, it’s CITY OF DRAGONS—my second novel, first in a new series, and Bente’s god-child, because she let me borrow her (real) name for a character--Bente Gallagher, an old friend of Miranda Corbie, my PI protagonist. Cool, huh? But I owe the inspiration for the character completely to Jennie. When I heard her real name, I *knew* my Bente—she sprang fully formed.
In my case, I’m following up a blog tour at some of my favorite hang-outs with a face-to-face tour on the West Coast. And I’m trying to figure out what sections of the book to read. I confess that I like reading—I was a Drama major, after all—but CoD has a lot of dialog. What do you guys think? Do you like dialog scenes read aloud or straight prose? Any preferences? Any dislikes?
I’m kind of nervous, as this is my first chance to actually see my book in a lot of stores-- NOX was distribution-challenged. So I’ll be hoofing it like a chorus girl, up and down the coast, talking about 1940 San Francisco and noir and Chinatown and … oh, yeah. Probably the point I’ll get questioned on the most: Miranda was an escort before she earned her PI license.
“Escort” means a lot of things to a lot of people. Most people assume it means she was a prostitute. Some have labeled her a call-girl. I’ve already been asked “Did she or didn’t she?” and the book’s not out until February 2nd …
The truth is that Miranda is an extraordinarily complex woman. I honestly don’t feel like she’s a creation at all—more like a writing partner. She’s someone I know well, but even I don’t know all the answers.
By the time CITY OF DRAGONS opens in February, 1940, she’s already been through:
A rough childhood. The Jazz Age and bootleg gin and women’s emancipation. The Great Depression. Teaching English to dirt poor dirt farmers. Falling deeply, deeply, deeply in love and volunteering as a nurse in the Spanish Civil War. Losing her lover—and herself.
Then there’s the escort experience, working for Burnett, a sleazy detective and her old boss … and finally, the Miranda of CITY OF DRAGONS.
You only get bits and pieces of her backstory, and that’s as it should be. I’m hoping to write about Miranda for a long, long time, and I’ve got some prequels in mind (one is already going to be published—a short story called “Children’s Day”, set almost a year earlier than CITY OF DRAGONS. It’s proud to be included in the next ITW anthology, FIRST THRILLS: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors—releasing June 22 from Forge).
CITY OF DRAGONS will be released from Thomas Dunne/Minotaur on February 2nd. You can order your copy here.