Proceed to the Crocodile!

In Desert City Diva (both the book and the podcast), Rolly Waters’s investigation leads him to a late night rendezvous at a place known as Desert View Tower. Someone calls to him from the rocky boulders above – “Proceed to the Crocodile!”

You’ll have to read the book to know what happens next, but the crocodile and other animal sculptures described in the book are real. They’re part of what’s known as Boulder Park, adjacent to the Tower, with folk art carved by a man named Merle Ratcliff in the 1930s during the Great Depression.

Stone animals guarding an entrance to Boulder Park.
First you have to face the snake.
Then pass the buffalo
Lions guard another entrance
Not sure what he is, but you don’t want to mess with him.
Secret entrances and tight squeezes
Proceed to the Crocodile!

I’m always looking for interesting locales and places in San Diego County to include in the Rolly Waters mystery novels. Desert View Tower and Boulder Park made a great setting for chasing after scofflaws and escaping from villains.

Desert View Tower Entry on Wikipedia
Vacation Rentals as Desert View Tower
Desert View Tower for Sale
Desert City Diva – the Novel
Desert City Diva – the Podcast

DCD Podcast Music

One thing I decided when we started putting together Desert City Diva: The Podcast was that we needed a theme song. Nothing says “high production values” like your own custom musical theme. I whipped out my trusty Garageband software and put together the number below:

Drums, bass, and a couple of repeated keyboard chords came first. I played around a bit and finally came up with a melody that had the right feel (and sounded guitarlike). Then a little tag for all the instruments to play at the end. Rolly’s Theme was born. Not exactly Hans Zimmer or Danny Elfman level scoring, but not bad for a podcast.

The theme did prove fairly malleable, though. After Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman, who plays Macy, started humming along with the tune during rehearsal, we captured her voice on tape and I built a slightly different version of the tune. I call this one Macy’s theme:

I passed the tune over to guitar pro (and former bandmate) Ian Vatet with instructions to “come up with an acoustic guitar version of this, like Rolly might play at home”. Here’s what he came up with:

Nice, huh? I think so.

There’s more music from the podcast posted on SoundCloud, including some “atmosphere” stuff and the blues jam Ian produced on his own (my instructions – “killer guitar player sits in with adequate garage band”).

Meet the Cast & Crew

One of the more enjoyable parts of the Desert City Diva Podcast production was the live recording where got to put it all together with our cast. Four actors played a total of ten different characters for the production. We had a blast! Here’s some photographs from the session.

Dino deLucy Recording Studio
Inside the studio. L – R Nancy, Corey, Maria and Steve share a laugh
Kevin Hafso-Koppman plays Rolly Waters
Kevin Hafso-Koppman expresses his chill, inner gumshoe as Rolly Waters
Kyrsten Hafso-Koppman brings the proper level of sass as Macy Starr
Nancy Snow Carr as Kinnie, Dotty and Norwood
Nancy Snow Carr channels the woo-woo as Yoovits guru Dotty
Robert Drake puts on his mean face for bad guy Parnell Gibbons
Steve Cotter, owner and producer at Dino deLucy Studios
Our producer Steve Cotter keeps an eye on the recording levels
Corey Fayman and Maria Carrera
Corey and Maria give notes (or try to figure out where they are in the script)

Cast News:

A round table discussion with Corey, Maria, Kevin and Kyrsten is now available on the podcast website

Nancy Snow Carr will be appearing in Alice! at Lamb’s Players Theatre February 29 – April 12, 2020.

Desert City Diva:The Podcast

The Desert City Diva Podcast is now live. This ain’t one of those two guys sitting around a microphone things, but a full-on audio adaptation of my 2016 mystery novel. Professional actors! High production values! Heck, I even dusted off my compositional skills and wrote a musical theme. Put on those headphones, close your eyes, sit back and give it a listen. I’ll be posting more information soon.

Desert City Diva: The Podcast

The Old Monsters Bar

Forge Journal Winter 2019
Forge Journal Winter 2019

I’ve got a new short story on the internets. Published by Forge, it’s called “The Old Monsters Bar“. A print edition of the magazine will be published shortly, but you can read it online now at Forge Journal.

An American expatriate hangs out in a Tokyo dive bar and shares a drink with a colossus of Japanese cinema. Monsters get lonely, too.

This story’s quite a departure from the Rolly Waters mystery series. I’ll be interested in what fans of my previous work think. If you read it and like it, please share on the social media of your choice. Or email me back and tell me how weird I am. Either choice works for me.