Tour: More Writers Who Have Walked the Walk

Remember the “guy from Australia” who asked for the tour on June 17? Turns out he was none other than Christopher Sequeria, big into Sherlock Holmes, with sidelines in horror, comic book scripting, etc & etc. When I found that out I made sure to show the group the only place Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever stayed in San Francisco (the Clift Hotel, if you didn’t know). And I told them the story of 2151 Sacramento Street which has a big plaque on it stating that Doyle occupied the place (yeah, for a couple of hours, one morning).

The last writer who came out for the walk that I remember offhand was Chris Ewan of the Good Thief series — and before him you had Charles Willeford and Ace Atkins and a host of others. I did a tour by appointment for fantasy and science fiction writer David Drake one time, who told me about his first story being accepted by August Derleth at Arkham House — who informed him in detail of every little thing that was wrong with the story and how he would rewrite it to suit himself — the “most brutal acceptance note” he ever got. And later when the World Fantasy Convention came into the area I did a couple more tours for more f&sf guys — didn’t catch all the names, but bestseller Steven Erikson and Laird Barron and a bunch more.

Clark Lohr apparently wasn’t a published writer when he walked the walk, but he is now, he tells me, with The Devil’s Kitchen — kind of that Southwest soaked by heat thing I associate with Dennis McMillan after visiting him in Tucson when it was 115°.

And during the last Bouchercon that stopped in San Francisco I learned that Ken Wishnia apparently took the tour long before he became a writer, too — in the early days of the walk when the grooves in the mean streets weren’t as deep. I believe he said he was a student at State (or City College, as the case may be) at the time. I did some walks for that convention, too, and doubtless some writers snuck in without me knowing who they were — I do remember Jonathan Woods in his white suit, not least because I actually had read Bad Juju at the time (nice souped up neo-noir).

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