Re: RARA-AVIS: Jim Sallis

Date: 01 Mar 2004

Dear Jim,

In response to your question about the origins of Chester's detectives, it's quite true that when he began writing the first novel, he was focusing on the crime and the marks. He returned with a hundred pages or so, and Duhamel told him he had to have police in a policier, so he put them in.

You're also correct that the cops were partly based on a couple of actual cops Chester had met in earlier life.

Chester was always an intuitive writer, picking out threads of what he'd done before and braiding them into new forms. You see this clearly in the Harlem cycle, which begin as fairly standard pulp fare and gravitate towards ever more serious, engaged writing, culminating in the masterpiece BLIND MAN WITH A PISTOL.

I suspect that, yes, his Harlem was modeled on the Ohio criminal underground of which, in his younger life, he'd been so much a part. He had, however, spent considerable time in New York and in Harlem, so I'm certain he did that magpie thing we all do as writers, taking a bit of this, a bit of that -- whatever he could use to make his nest.

Jim k

# Plain ASCII text only, please.  Anything else won't show up.
# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 Mar 2004 EST