Distant Drums: RARA-AVIS: Re: Fade to Blonde

From: Victoria Lavagette ( lavagette@yahoo.com)
Date: 19 May 2005

Jeff Vorzimmer < jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com> wrote:Thanks, for the inside information, Charles--interesting. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for Distant Drum references.

I want to reiterate, as been said on the list many times before, these books are great, especially the two books from you guys. Great stuff. Keep 'em coming!


> Yes: Max and Elizabeth are friends, so the reference to Carter and
> Sharp is an inside joke. (You are the first person I know to have
> spotted it.) I don't recall any significance to "Friendship Ranch,"
> though there might have been some.
> Another inside joke is the reference to a ficitious movie called "A
> Sound of Distant Drums": "I make you now. William R. Metz. Production
> design at Paramount. You were really up there for a while...Catherine
> the Great's palace in 'Scarlet Monarch.' That big, ah, that kind of
> desert fortress in 'A Sound of Distant Drums.' Lemme think."
> Back in the PBO era, a number of writers, including Donald Westlake
> and Lawrence Block, made an in-joke out of including references to "A
> Sound of Distant Drums" in their books -- for instance, in 361
> Westlake writes "A little after midnight, we went down to 42nd Street
> and saw an important movie that had been made from a Broadway play
> called 'A Sound of Distant Drums.' It was about homosexuality and
> what a burden it was" and in GRIFTER'S GAME Block writes "The movie
> was lousy, a historical epic called 'A Sound of Distant Drums,' a
> technicolor cinemascope package with pretty girls and flashing swords
> and people getting themselves killed flamboyantly. I dozed through
> most of it." So when the time came for us to write our books for the
> line, we carried on the tradition. (In LITTLE GIRL LOST, when John
> Blake goes out to Flushing, Queens, he comments, "A video store was
> promoting the latest Chow Yun-Fat import, a film whose two-character
> Chinese title was translated as 'A Sound of Distant Drums.' ")
> Here's a challenge for the experts on the list: What other authors
> were participants in the great "Distant Drums" conspiracy? (Our
> special guest this month once wrote a book called DIE TO A DISTANT
> DRUM, but that's different enough that it may just be a
> coincidence...)
> --Charles

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