Saturday, January 15, 2011

ROBERT CRAIS @ DIESEL: A Book Store… and Joe Pike & Elvis Cole in VENICE!

Joe Pike & Elvis Cole? Nah. Just Robert Crais and that man from Venice.
I love books, and I love meeting the folks that write them. Last week I noticed in The LA Weekly (our town’s great free go to magazine) that kick-ass L.A. crime writer Robert Crais was going to be doing a release party in Brentwood at the independent book store; Diesel (in the Brentwood Country Mart.) I figured what a great way to spend a damp Tuesday evening (and also a great way to start my yearly journey into photography.) So with my camera I made the twenty minute drive from Venice to Brentwood. 

Robert Crais's latest: THE SENTRY
I actually got a little lost on the way over and got there a little late. So when I entered the book store, I found everyone out in the cozy back courtyard where author Crais was charming his peeps. He was sharing antidotes of his correspondence with his outspoken fans with the crowd  (most notably on Facebook ... of all places!) Crais also poked a little fun at his crime writing competition… he wondered how Michael Connelly felt that Crais has a pizza named after him at the Sidewalk Café on Venice Boardwalk? Then Crais got down to business and went to read a few select pages from his newest book, THE SENTRY. The book is the newest adventure featuring his popular fictional L.A. based private detective characters, Joe Pike and Elvis Cole. By coincidence this time around most of the action takes place in Venice... now how cool is that?! 

The Books

Robert got a big laugh, when he recounted one of his readers asking; when are Elvis & Joe finally going to kiss?

After Crais finished his reading he went into the book store to do his signing. This event I might add was really nice! The restaurant next door to Diesel called FARMSHOP did a continuous tray passing of the tastiest items (a pleasant surprise indeed!) They had this one item that night, I believe it was a cubes of Kobe steak… man, it was so delicious it was like steak candy... ! Farmshop and their friendly staff get big thumbs up from me (and I’m sure all that attended!)

Them Kobe cubes didn't last on the tray too long!

This young lady was a delight... and so were those chocolate cookies she was handing out!

Hey kids love crime novels too!
 And as for Mister Crais himself, what a pleasant fella, you can tell that he really enjoys meeting his readers. He took time to chat (and joke) with everyone as they got their book signed. I was one of the last folks to get signed that night. Mister Crais and I had a great little chat about Venice (my hometown... if you hadn't all ready guessed?) Crais had mentioned that he’s spent a lot of time in Venice and has always wanted to find a story where he could use the colorful part of L.A. as a backdrop for his tough guy heroes. Crais was even cool enough to let me shoot an impromptu portrait of him, like I said, cool guy. And FYI in this novel, Crais's stoic P.I. Joe Pike takes center stage… but as expected his partner Elvis Cole isn’t to far away. So pick up, The Sentry… and if you’re from Venice, Mister Crais promises you'll dig it!

Ray - Venice rules. You'll see places ya know!

Quick portrait: Robert flashes the David Janssen furrowed brow for me!

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