Tales from the Road: Scenes from Rattlesnake

I recently visited Vegas. Part of the drive back from there mirrors Jimmy’s drive at the beginning of Rattlesnake, so I took a couple of photos.


This is near the town of Mojave, which isn’t far from where Jimmy picks up a hitchhiker. And that’s how the story begins.

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If you’ve read the book, you know a pivotal scene happens at a rest stop in Fresno. I made that rest stop up, but here’s a real one nearby. With pretty paving and a recruitment ad for the Highway Patrol.

Tales from the Road: Scenes from Motel. Pool.

As you may know, I recently spent a week in Vegas for the RT Booklovers convention. See? Here I am, ready to sign books.


While I was there, I also took some photos of scenes from Motel. Pool. I thought those of you unfamiliar with Vegas might enjoy seeing these.

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Above, some photos from the Strip: people playing Blackjack at Bellagio, the Strip, Caesar’s Palace, and Treasure Island.


And there’s the Venetian, of course, with Treasure Island behind it.

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Remember when Tag went to the mall? This is it. There’s the Apple store where he researched Jack. And if you look at that third photo, you’ll see I found Tag at the mall. 🙂

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These final 3 photos are from outside of Vegas. There’s the sign to Zzyzx (which is in California, not far from the Nevada border). There’s the big solar farm Jack and Tag discuss. And there’s Whiskey Pete’s, where the guys stop for a hamburger.

Next post? A couple photos from Rattlesnake.


Soooo tiiiiiiiired

I am back from RT in Vegas. It was an amazing experience but I’ve had to jump right back into the day job–and I’m exhausted. I know, I know. Poor me.

006 007 004Let me begin by saying that if you must drive 500 miles each way, you want to do it with Amy Lane. Who’s still totally fun and interesting to talk to even after 8 hours on the road. And it’s not a particularly exciting drive. Our highlights included someone with a trailer full of the ugliest furniture on the planet, a flash flood alert in the desert, and a sign for Zzyzx (which you might remember from Motel. Pool.). At our lunch stop east of Bakersfield, Amy heard an interesting conversation in the bathroom, in which we also learned how to say chicken in multiple languages.


We’re also pretty sure we’ve discovered where lazy mobsters go to dump bodies: behind Whiskey Pete’s.


Vegas is not my favorite city. But I have to admit, the scenery can be very nice. On the left, the view from my room at the Rio. On the right, a different view. 🙂 I went with Eli Easton and Charlie Cochet to the Chippendales show, and we were all impressed. It’s a great show, and of course, well, the scenery.

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The RT events were fun and interesting–and by the end, exhausting. Above you can see photos from a few of them.

I also did a tour of the Strip to illustrate scenes from Motel. Pool., but I’ll post that another day.



There’s busy, and then there are the kind of weeks when you work until midnight every night, wake up to work again at 6:30, and still don’t get everything done. Guess which kind of week I’ve been having.

075 We had a minor crisis when younger daughter woke up and couldn’t find her glasses. This is her bedroom–and you can see how glasses could easily be misplaced. Hell, she could have a herd of elephants in there, and as long as they were quiet, we’d never know. (No, that’s not a bloody handprint under the shark. It’s paint. Don’t ask.) I tried to get her to search for the glasses by putting things away, but she accused me of just trying to get her to clean her room. Which had crossed my mind, to be honest. Anyway, she did not clean but did find her glasses two days later, so that’s mostly good.

070Tomorrow morning I leave for RT in Vegas. It’s a 475 mile drive, which I would be dreading except I get to do it with the amazing Amy Lane. In the last 6 months, she’s put up with me on a road trip to San Diego (400 miles each way) and a flight from Orlando to Houston, which proves she’s a patient woman. And we have fun together.

I’ve packed more for a week in Vegas than I did for 5 months in Europe. Here’s my suitcase with my younger daughter, for scale. She’s 5 feet tall and probably weighs less than the suitcase. I also have a box of swag. Plus I shipped two other boxes–one of which the USPS has misrouted, and the delivery status of which is unknown. And, according to the people at the USPS, unknowable. Nice.

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In preparation for RT, I redyed my hair. And got a manicure to match. I may be missing half my swag, but I will be colorful, dammit!

In celebration of RT, Dreamspinner has temporarily priced 35 books for $1! One of them is my Motel. Pool.–which takes place mostly in Vegas, and was inspired by a road trip a few years ago. If you’ve been hesitant about this book because it’s a ghost story, now’s your chance to give it a try. You won’t regret it.

Have you checked out my Upcoming Releases page lately? In the next 7 months, I’ll have 5 (!) novels and a novella come out, plus translations and several audiobooks. And Venona Keyes and I are just finishing up another novel. This explains the busyness I mentioned at the beginning.

Okay. I have exams to grade before I hit the road. If you’re going to RT, make sure to say hello!