Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Case of the Jade Dragon - Have Gun Will Travel

Tales from the Bayou
After I finished The Case of the Bourbon Street Hustler I had already decided the next story would be based upon a scene from the television series Have Gun Will Travel. While Jonas has some characteristics of Paladin, he is by no means the same character. Both men are for hire, and both live in San Francisco, and they both travel about the United States on assignments. There could be more similarities, but there are a dozen other characters that share similar storylines. Jonas is younger and from a different era.

China Town
For this specific story, the genesis comes from a story where Paladin helps out an elder Chinese gentleman and his daughter at the beginning of an episode. There the similarity ends. This is another case of myThe Case of the Jade Dragon was born. I spent a fair amount of time researching Trains in the 1930s, where they went, what thy were called and the passenger accommodations. I also returned to San Francisco, which I was familiar with from The Case of the Running Bag. I introduced the invisibles in the first book and utilized them in my second book The Case of the Bourbon Street Hustler. In the third book, I wanted to expand upon the development of these characters and strengthen their presence in the series. I should acknowledge Arthur Conan Doyle for the existence of the invisibles as they were derived from the Baker Street Irregulars.
Hop Alley?

I researched the Chinese community in both San Francisco and St Louis. I discovered the history of Hop Alley in St Louis and the discrimination that was perpetrated upon the Chinese in both cities. ChinaTown in San Francisco was much more developed that St Louis and continues to survive today while Hop Alley has all but disappeared from St Louis. I also did a fair amount of research on the mythology of China, and discovered that in is quite varied depending upon the provinces studied.

Admittedly I adapted events in Chinese history and integrated some of my own elements into the mythology I presented in the story. The book is after all fiction. I did take real events and adjusted them for my own use. The families are real enough, the feud was real, but the rest is my fiction.

I used a plane trip on the return from St. Louis to San Francisco. The plane used, the De Havilland Dragon, was quite real and was one of many used as airlines begin to build themselves up. The descriptions of the early airports are fairly accurate also. As I developed the story, it was amazing how many elements just fit together as I was doing research.
The Dragon Flies

I have published The Case of the Jade Dragon and released it for public consumption. As I finish the outline to The Case of The Looking Glass Mirror, I have started writing the fourth book. This venture is a bit of a diversion for me as I am adapting the outline based upon the structure in another book and not using any of the books published material. Travel through the mirrored images of who done its of the fourth book; the next post in this series.