Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Welcome to Sara Gran--Occult noirist?

From: Patrick King (
Date: 20 Jun 2008

--- On Fri, 6/20/08, Miss Gran <> wrote: Thanks patrick, but it was really just stupidity on my end, not rising to a challenge. It never occurred to me that people wouldn't like the character for being a petty criminal or an addict. So it wasn't really cleverness, just sheer dumb luck that it worked out. I know people like josephine and I like them, so I just assumed everyone else would like her, too.
***************************************************************** Your blend of hard boiled detective story and noir was a very interesting decision and one you don't see too often. Perhaps if you didn't know you were doing it, that's why it was so successful. Cain's and Thompson's protagonists were usually con men or criminals but with a few exceptions, they involved the reader with what was going to happen in the plot. They usually didn't attenuate the reader's natural discomfort with the protagonist's lifestyle by easing backstory into the plot the way you do in DOPE. The one exception I can think of, and there are probably others, is Thompson's RECOIL in which we learn how the protagonist was sent to prison for a very dumb bank robbery. But that protoganist was seeking atonement from chapter one. Josephine is unrepentant from chapter one and her special brand of integrity and sheer courage as well as coming to understand the challenges she faced growing up changes the reader's initial dislike to a kind of

I think it's interesting that you say it never occurred to you that people would be less than sympathetic to a drug addict, prostitute, and petty criminal. Obviously you've contemplated these types of life choices carefully in creating Josephine Flannigan. Do you still maintain friends who come from the counter culture? I ask because in my own research I've come very close to this type of lifestyle, myself. (Perhaps I did not know it was 'research' at the time!) But in recent years I've withdrawn from it because I just can deal with the madness that infects my life when I'm around such people. How much real life is in Josephine?

I've ordered COME CLOSER on Amazon.

Thanks for your inspiration and talent.

Patrick King


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