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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

First Cut Contest: Mad Man

The last time she was alone in a room with a man and had pulled her weapon, she'd shot that man to death. That was five years ago, but it seemed like yesterday...Most cops retire without ever firing their gun in the line of duty. She thought that would be her story. She already had the blood of one man on her hands. This was different, she told herself...Watch the hands. The hands could get you killed.

In Dianne Emley's crime thriller, The First Cut, trouble starts for Pasadena Police Detective Nan Vining when she encounters T.B. Mann (her daughter's nickname for "the bad man") in one of Pasadena's early 20th century two-story colonial mansions. The address where the fictional incident takes place doesn't exist, but I thought I'd use this home as the example because it's used to being photographed. It's not the home of a Bad Man but of a Mad Man. I have it on good authority that AMC's Mad Men uses this as the exterior for the home of their hero, Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm).

As you may recall, we've been running a contest on this here blog. You can click on the label "Emley" below and see all the related posts. Midnight tonight is the deadline for getting your entry to me via email (the link is on the upper left side of the blog). Three winners will be randomly selected from all the correct entries, and those winners will each receive a free copy of Cut to the Quick, the second book in Dianne Emley's Nan Vining thrillogy! (Which goes on sale today, by the way.)

I've received only one request for a photo of location in The First Cut, but the offer's still open. If you want me to post a shot of a Pasadena location mentioned in The First Cut, send your request in an email or in the comments, and please mention the page number.

Meanwhile, the sun has returned. So, to fulfill the first request, I'm off to pool-crash.

11 comments:

Katie said...

Gorgeous house - and even more so knowing it's the Draper residence. Hi Betty! (Mad Men is such an excellent show, if any of you aren't watching it.) Of course it also gives me chills to think of what happened to poor Nan in a house like this. I'd still move in here in a second though.

Dianne Emley said...

Love it, Petrea... "Mad man" and "Mad Men"! This neighborhood with its gentle midwestern feel often turns up in TV shows and commercials. Even though my crime house at the fictional 835 El Alisal Road is a composite of many such colonials, people have come up to me and said they've indentified "the" house that was my inspiration. I'm tickled that fans got so involved with the story.

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

This house is a filming cash cow. It's been in tons of stuff.

Petrea said...

I've only watched the show once, Katie - they sure get all the details, don't they?

Dianne I looked long and hard for El Alisal - even looked up the meaning in the dictionary to see if there was an English counterpart!

WCGB: Can you tell us any other things it's been in? I often get a feeling of nostalgia driving around L.A. and environs, and I think it's because I recognize so much of it from films and TV.

altadenahiker said...

I'm playing the game from the sidelines, but I have a couple of ideas on who will win. (My hood is very popular in the filming biz. Nice work if you can get it.)

Christie said...

Pool Crash?? It was supposed to get up to 20 degrees here today. I hope you enjoy it for me!!

Lovely house as well. I haven't seen Mad Men (don't have cable), but it sounds interesting.

Petrea said...

Ah yes, Altadena fills in for many a pretty place on TV. So do Pasadena and South Pas. Rarely do our towns play themselves, methinks.

Too cold to swim here, Christie, but sunny enough to take a picture. Alas, I didn't get there, though (sorry, Katie!). Will have to try again tomorrow.

My friend Darcy Shean has played a recurring character on Mad Men. I've seen her once and she was great - Gloria, the lusty wife of Betty's ailing father.

Dianne Emley said...

Petrea, I always understood "el alisal" to mean sycamore in Spanish, although I can't find this translation in my pocket Spanish/English dictionary. It's the name Charles Lummis gave to his home in the L.A. neighborhood Highland Park. There's also El Alisal Ranch in Santa Ynez in central CA.

JCK said...

Pool crash? Didn't we just have a bizarre hail storm two nights ago?

I know I've seen that house...

I miss having a 2 storey house.

Oh, and love your Web Site where you have Acting & Writing links!

Trish said...

I had always known El Alisal to mean sycamore as well. Which, if you go back far enough, you will find another connection.

Think of some of the phone numbers in the area. Prefix starts 79x-xxxx which, back before we used complete numbers for dialing was SYcamore i.e. SY-6-1234. Both sets of my grandparents used to live in Pasadena and had SYcamore 6 numbers, along with some of their friends with SY 3 and SY 5, which is how I know.

And that, my friends, is a little Pasadena ancient history.

Petrea said...

Well, that shows you how crappy my Spanish dictionary is. Alisal wasn't in there and I was looking for variations.

Merci, JCK! I do need to update...

Always love the history, Trish. You embellish the blog so well and I appreciate it.