I might be British but, like Lila, my heart resides in California. I think I watched too much tv as a kid; was far too heavily influenced at the age of 5 by the likes of Dynasty (ok, I know, wrong state and yes, that is how old I am), Beverley Hills 90210 (the original of course), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sunset Beach (guilty pleasure) and shame on me – because by then I was certainly old enough to know better – The OC.
I was 18 when I first travelled to LA. I went back when I was 20 (and came this close to going to the movies with Owen Wilson…but that’s another story) and then went back again when I was about 23.
It was about ten years after I first saw Joshua Tree and took the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to the top of the San Jacinto State Park that I wrote Hunting Lila, drawing on the memories of motels and malls and bars and houses I’d stayed in and visited to bring the scenes to life.
Spoiler warning: don’t read beyond here if you haven’t read Hunting Lila yet and don’t want to know anything about the story.
Last year I dragged my husband and small daughter on a Hunting Lila road trip – from LA to San Diego to Oceanside, past Pendleton, through the desert to Palm Springs, up in the cable car and then a final showdown in Joshua Tree National Park.
The only thing missing was an RV.