Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy 420 from Katie Arnoldi!

Here's a special 4/20 guest blog from Katie Arnoldi. The paperback of her novel Point Dume goes on-sale today.

The hardcover of my novel Point Dume was published a year ago. At that time you stopped me on the street and said, “Hey Katie, what’s next? Are you going to write a sequel? Will we find out what happens to Felix Duarte’s girlfriend? Are you going to throw yourself at Mexico? Will you start eating carne asada tacos at least three times a week? Do you want to further explore the insanity of the drug-fueled war and the barbaric crimes of the Mexican drug cartels?”

I smiled, shook your hand, and said, “No, no, dear reader. I am done with Mexico and drugs, forever. My exploration of human trafficking and the atrocities that poor migrants like Felix suffer on a daily basis almost did me in. The savagery of that drug war is too much for me. Plus in Point Dume I said everything there is to say about marijuana, the death of surf culture, illegal pot farms on public lands, environmental devastation and obsessive love. Surely another writer will try to pick up where I left off. I have new fish to fry. In fact I am going to write a brilliant novel about environmental terrorists. Guys like Sea Shepherd and Earth First. It will be my finest book thus far.”

I probably gave you a hug of gratitude because let’s face it I NEVER get stopped on the street and then we carried on, me with my certainty that environmental terrorists held the key to my greatest truth and you with an almost overwhelming excitement at having met me and enormous anticipation for my next novel.

Six months later we were walking down that exact same street.
“Katie, you look much thinner.”
“Thank you. I’ve been eating a lot of carne asada. It seems to be making me lean.”
“You must be thrilled that the Japanese stopped whaling in Antarctica”
I look confused.
“Surely you’ve been following Sea Shepherd’s progress.”
“Not really. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Mexico.”
You look confused.
“I’m picking up the story where Point Dume left off. I open with Violeta Sanchez. You remember her, right? When Felix doesn’t come home she sets out to get some answers. It’s tough stuff. I’ve been in Tijuana, Mexicali, Ensenada talking to migrants, visiting shelters, doing recon. I’m bringing Violeta across the border soon. The book is called La Rumorosa.”
You tear up. It’s such a beautiful title, such an important subject.
“But Katie, aren’t those border towns dangerous?”
“Dear reader.” I take your hand. “You remember that I am the queen of dangerous research. For Point Dume I snuck into active cartel-run marijuana grow-sites surrounded by armed guards. And for The Wentworths I alone infiltrated dangerous and isolated polygamous compounds so as to inform the lives of my characters (also spend a lot of time shopping with the very rich). I shot testosterone into the buttocks of three hundred pound bodybuilders so I could accurately portray steroid abuse in Chemical Pink. I put danger in my coffee.”
I sign your autograph book and we part.

And here we are on 4/20 (420). Your eyes are red my friend, why is that? You tell me that you’re a little stressed. There is tremendous demand for a Katie Arnoldi action figure and your trying to figure the whole thing out. The paperback of Point Dume is flying off the shelves and there is talk of an emergency second printing even though it just came out. You’re desperate for news.

Well, you’re in luck because there is a lot of news. It turns out that several of my other characters have thrown themselves into the middle of La Rumorosa. When word when out that Violeta was starring in the new novel all my other charters were bitterly jealous. Charles Worthington from Chemical Pink pointed out that he has made an appearance in all of my books. He insisted that I would be doing my readers a tremendous disservice if I didn’t continue with his fascinating story. Then the entire Wentworth crowd organized a revolution that sent me to bed with a debilitating headache, which lasted for days. Finally we reached an agreement and several members of the Wentworth family will be prominently featured in the new book. La Rumorosa will be the novel that connects all the dots.

You offer me a brownie.
I decline.
You say that you made them and they’re special.
I point out that I’m watching my weight.
You beg me to finish my next novel as soon as possible.
I make a promise.
We part.

We will meet again soon, my dear friend. And I thank you for your loyal support.

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