I hope that by the time you read this, the sky over my house will be blue and I will be able to open the windows again. You see, I live in Southern California and you may have heard that the entire freaking state is on fire. Well, not the entire state. But one of the bigger fires is burning in the foothills to the northeast of my home and it’s been a little hard to breathe this past week, thanks to all the smoke.
I have to say that I’ve not done badly during the pandemic. Being home is normal for me. Having my husband home is actually turning into a major plus. But the smoke. There is something oppressive about the pall that lays over us right now, and it’s not just the number it’s been doing on my sinuses.
It’s kind of a problem since my new book, Death of the Chinese Field Hands, will be released on Friday. It’s the third book in the Old Los Angeles series, and it was not the easiest book to write. Most of the action takes place in the aftermath of the mass lynching of eighteen Chinese men on October 24, 1871. That was a real event, by the way. The rest of the story is fictional.
Death of the Chinese Field Hands
Two of the three Chinese field hands working on the rancho belonging to my character, Maddie Wilcox, are brutally murdered, and Maddie wants to find out who killed them. The problem is, thanks to the horrible racism of the era, almost everybody hates the Chinese.
In many ways, the smoke outside matches the sad tone of the book. There are a couple of bits of humor – it would be way too oppressive if there weren’t – and Maddie is her usual, forthright self. Plus we get to learn more about her friendship with Wang Fu, the Chinese doctor who works for her.
But the history which sparked this one is sad, and the smoke outside is pretty awful. Which is why I’m asking today, Why do you hide under a blanket?
Anne Louise Bannon is the author of the Old Los Angeles series and the Freddy and Kathy series, set in the 1920s. You can find out more about her on her website, AnneLouiseBannon.com, or follow her on Twitter or on her Facebook page.