At our June 2nd meeting, we welcomed back San Diego Noir authors, Taffy Cannon and Ken Kuhlken. Both spoke about their own writing and the “Noir” short story collections.
The “Noir” books, a collection of localized short stories, began on the East Coast and includes short stories from a number of cities, including Brooklyn, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, and Cape Cod. Mary Elizabeth Hart of Mysterious Galaxy edited San Diego Noir. She spoke with Akashic Books, the publisher, and local authors, many of whom she knew personally. Contributing authors to the San Diego Noir collection included T. Jefferson Parker, Don Winslow, Luis Alberto Urrea, Gar Anthony Haywood, Gabriel R. Barillas, Maria Lima, Debra Ginsberg, Diane Clark and Astrid Bear, Ken Kuhlken, Lisa Brackmann, Cameron Pierce Hughes, Morgan Hunt, Jeffrey J. Mariotte, Martha Lawrence, and Taffy Cannon.
When her brother, who had once been a policeman, suffered a series of seizures and strokes, Cannon realized that she needed to take a hiatus from mystery writing and help her brother. At about this same time, Cannon read a story in the New York Times about a Blue Cross executive who was helping to cancel people’s health insurance just when they needed it most. That story, combined with her brother’s illness, gave her the concept for the San Diego Noir story, is it a sin to kill a vulture? Cannon quipped, “It’s too grim for a full-length manuscript.”
Kuhlken, who hadn’t written short stories recently, had a novel he thought he could adapt to the short-story form and decided to use that concept. He told the attendees that they shouldn’t be surprised if they, someday, were reading a novel of his and suddenly wondered if they’d seen the concept used before. Never one to give up on a good idea, Kuhlken said that he may still turn that short story into a full-length manuscript.
Kuhlken’s story in San Diego Noir is about a man who disappears because he killed someone while trying to save his cousin. The “Noir” stories are usually about someone who ends up in a downward spiral, the dark side of human nature. Kuhlken said, “In the right place and at the right time, anyone can do anything.
The San Diego County Underwater Search and Rescue Team will talk to SMinC July 7. There will be a slide presentation showing rescues and the recovery of dead bodies. WARNING: Graphic, viewer discretion advised. The representatives will talk about their duties.
Social period, 6:30 p.m.
Meeting, 7 p.m.
Free, Joyce Beers Community Center, Hillcrest.