Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Sunset Palomino Ranch at Siren Bookstrand

My publisher, Siren Bookstrand, set aside January 20th to feature my Sunset Palomino Ranch series. They did a series showcase on the three books focusing on the setting of Last Chance, California near Palm Springs. 

1. The Sunset Palomino Ranch series has a very specific retro quality, as the setting is inspired by Desert Modernism. What inspired you to draw heavily upon these aesthetics and ideas?

 I grew up in an Eichler house. They were horrible plywood shacks. I guess your formative years are ingrained in you, and now I’m in love with mid-century architecture....

2. Expanding a bit more on the retro aesthetic and pop culture emphasis—how much research went into this series? Did any information about the time period come as a surprise?

The background research was so fun it was effortless. I imagined myself hanging out in Elvis’s honeymoon hideaway cave or golfing with Sinatra. One big surprise was to find out that the Sunnylands estate on which I based the Stinson’s Shining Lands Ranch was known as “Camp David West.” Nixon was staying there when Ford pardoned him.

3. Judging by this series and previous ones, it seems you prefer M/M/F ménage relationships. What is it about this type of triad that appeals to you?

It’s a matter of convenience for the poor overworked heroine. In M/M/F, she can kick back and enjoy the scenery. She isn’t the sole amusement for the men, so she doesn’t get as worn out.

4. So far, readers have been introduced to Willow, Rose, and Violet. Which heroine was the most fun to write? Most challenging?

  I based Violet Stinson on someone already a fictional character—Temperance Brennan of “Bones.” I love that show, so it was easy to picture her walking, talking, and moving around, but I had to keep her human and relatable and not a totally humorless stiff, as Bones herself can be!

5. The single image that endures throughout the series is that of the bordello menu, with options like Salt and Pepper Party, Pony Express, and Irish Cream Party. What’s your favorite?

I think the Hand Relief Party has gotten the most coverage. Again, it’s a matter of the most convenience—and satisfaction—for the tired, stressed heroine.

6. Can you give any clues to the next madcap adventure awaiting our heroes and heroines of the Sunset Palomino Ranch?

That rodeo star who is Harper Davies’s biggest circuit competitor, Damon Blanchard, will take center stage. Damon also pops up in the upcoming THREE TIMES A LADY as being a baseball player for the Rough and Ready Rowdies, so we know where he’s from now. I think it’s time someone acted out some bordello menu items at the Bee Line Bowling Alley, too.