October 29, 2018
I just got back from the California book tour. I had a GREAT time -- met some pretty wonderful people, had nice crowds for the book events, sold lots of books, and saw some new sites out there as well. I even went on a Hollywood tour one afternoon!
I did book readings/events everywhere from Corona Del Mar up to the Burbank Barnes & Noble store. The timing of the trip was very interesting as Los Angeles, where the events of the book took place, was currently in the middle of a horrible Typhus "epidemic" (the exact word used initially by NBC News!). What I discovered was yet another case of "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Why? Well, at one of the book readings, I had a huge crowd. In the middle of my reading I asked how many in the room had heard of the Typhus outbreak taking place, and only *four* individuals raised hands. One of the four said, "I don't think much about it because it is taking place in the homeless around Los Angeles." This person was shocked when I revealed I had just seen on NBC news that "ground zero" for the epidemic was in the million dollar homes just north of the city. This is merely speculation on my part, but my best guess would be that the pets of those who live in those million dollar homes somehow got the fleas that help transmit Typhus -- and then it spread from there. Still, listening to that individual reminded me so much of what took place in my book. Back in 1924, many weren't concerned about the illness because it seemed, at first glance, to be focused on the Mexican community and not with mainstream Los Angeles. It really does seem that as long as there is a group to "pin it on," outbreaks like these don't seem all that important to some people -- and that is so sad. So sad.
The Typhus outbreak going on right now also sparked added interest in Plague in Paradise because, I think, people were curious about how a similar situation played out in the past. Maybe a reading of my book will help individuals in that area better come to grips with what should be done now. I sure hope so.
I'm still coming out of jet-lag, so I'll sign off for now. In the next post I'll try to post some pictures from the trip. In the meantime, happy reading!