Guest Chick: Anne Louise Bannon

Sorry about the delay, friends! Sometimes… stuff happens. Anyhoo, we’re happy to welcome Anne Louise Bannon, author and president of the Sisters in Crime Los Angeles chapter, to her first visit with the Chicks, where she shares her very unique-for-L.A.-situation.

I’M CARLESS IN L.A.

My husband and I don’t own a car. We do live in the greater Los Angeles area, which is all about the car culture. But several years ago – I think it was 2012? 2013? – our last car gave up the ghost and we decided to try doing without as part of our commitment to saving the planet.

It’s worked out pretty well. Most of the time, we walk or use public transportation, wearing masks on the buses and trains in these days of COVID, and, no I’m not going places nearly as often as I used to. Nor have we gotten sick. In fact, our recent COVID tests came back negative.

I’ve found I like using public transportation a lot more than I thought I would. I have bus buddies, including one who’s becoming a very good friend. Walking frees my mind up from thinking about where I’m going to what my next plot line is going to be. I get exercise, too.

In fact, being carless has been really good for my writing. My bus friend and I came up with a really great way to pull off a hit, which will be in my next novel. Walking around Downtown Los Angeles, I found a plaque for the site of one of the hotels in the area, and that became a scene in my latest novel, Death of the Chinese Field Hands. I figured out the exciting ending thanks to a walk to the local store.

I get some amazing photos, such as the image of the Los Angeles City Hall as reflected in the new LAPD building.

We do rent when we need a car, such as when my husband, an amateur wine maker, needs to get grapes. Or when I need to run errands to certain parts of the county. But I’ve gone all the way to Orange County by bus, and it was great. I brought my laptop with me and got a lot of writing done.

Will we buy another car? Possibly. I’m not excited about it. They’re expensive, they require maintenance, and when you have one it’s way too easy to use it instead of walking the five blocks or so to the local market to pick up that extra can of tomatoes.

In fact, I’ve got to head out now and get some groceries and drop some stuff off at the post office. I’ll be walking to the post office, then taking the bus to the store. It’s takes some juggling, but I’m happier being carless, even in L.A.

Connect with Anne Louise Bannon on her website, and order her book here.

Readers, what’s your favorite mode of transportation? Car, bus, train, or walking?

Buy Link

BIO: Aside from her tendency to think of weird ways to kill people, Anne Louise Bannon is appallingly normal. Her only real quirk is wearing earrings that don’t match. She is the author of the Freddie and Kathy series, set in the 1920s, the Operation Quickline series of cozy spy novels, and the Old Los Angeles series, featuring Maddie Wilcox, a doctor and winemaker in 1870. Anne and her husband have a dog and three cats. They live in the Los Angeles area, where they make the things most sane people buy. Which would be a quirk, but seems to be increasingly normal these days. You can find more about her at www.annelouisebannon.com.     

 SYNOPSIS: A night of chaos leads to more murders. It’s October 24, 1871, and violence errupts in Los Angeles. Eighteen Chinese men are lynched by a mob. Physician and winemaker Maddie Wilcox is glad that the three Chinese field hands she employs are safe. Until one is found dead in her vineyard. A distinctive boot print and a bit of jewelry are all Maddie and her friends have to go on, as Maddie continues to battle the usual panoply of injuries and rampant diseases that plague the pueblo. Surrounded by prejudice, daunted by her own limitations, Maddie’s hold on her passions starts slipping. Can she keep her temper in check long enough to find the killer?     

26 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Anne Louise Bannon

  1. I don’t think I could get away without a car in Pittsburgh. One, the public transportation in the suburbs (where I live) isn’t that great – the buses don’t run on the weekends (thank you latest round of cost-cutting). There is too much up and down to walk or bike. So car it is.

    I don’t particularly like traveling by car, but having done a trip to Elkins, WV at the end of October, I’m not sure I like the bus either (except for the fact that someone else is driving). Maybe by train. Haven’t done that one yet.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Guess what, Leslie? There’s a plan in the works to do just that on the new light rail lines we’ve got going. Actually, you’ll supposedly be able to get from Azusa, via Pasadena, to the beach on one train. Right now, I’d have to take three.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for being on the Chicks, Anne! I used to take the bus everywhere when I went to UCLA. However, I’ve now upgraded to a car, and I enjoy the convenience too much (especially when needing to haul groceries, furniture, etc. around). I do like train rides, but I reserve those for long treks. And I’ve taken the light rail, which is a lot of fun. My faves are biking and walking, but I only like doing so on quieter streets.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love urban hiking. And, yeah, sometimes having a car is necessary. Although my husband and I brought home a laptop, small desktop, something else for the house and a week’s worth of groceries on the bus. That was a challenge.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I didn’t own a car when I lived in Seattle, but public transit was much better there than it is where I am now. I enjoyed taking the bus more than I do driving. Do they have Zipcar or something similar in LA? I never used it myself, but it always struck me as a great alternative for those who only need a car sometimes.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Zipcar is like renting a car, but you can reserve one for as short as an hour or so if you’re just running to the store or something, and they’re generally parked in residential neighborhoods.

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  4. Welcome, Anne!

    I count on my car for hauling kids and groceries, but when the weather’s nice, I love walking wherever I can. I have friends and family who are even more dedicated to traveling under their own power and snowshoe or cross country ski to their destinations when the conditions are right!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post, Anne. Kudos for your commitment to put a little less strain on Mama Earth.

    I’ve been writing full time at home for about six years now, so I had little use for a car. I was using mine to pick up my son from school in the pre-Covid days, but now he’s going virtually. My wife just retired in June, so we had a long discussion about (gasp!) downsizing to one car. We actually had to pay for battery charges for my car because it wasn’t being driven enough to keep it charged. We finally took the plunge and are down to one new Jeep Gladiator. We’ve only put 2K miles on it since June when we got it, which is a hoot, because when we were both working, we’d put that much and more on each car in a month!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a really good point, Mark. When Terri and I were both working, we did get calls from school to pick up kids ASAP because of illness or accident. It didn’t happen often, but it was still necessary to be able to drop everything and get there at once.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Welcome, Anne, it’s nice to meet you! Thanks for visiting Chicks today. I lived in NYC for many years, and didn’t have or need a car until my younger kids were born. I racked up a lot of parking tickets! But now I’m in NH, and the nearest bookstore is 26 mikes away. That would be a looong walk! We don’t really have a public transportation system here. Of course, we can go down to Boston and ride with good ol’ Charlie on the MTA—you know, that guy who never returned?

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    1. Nice to meet you, too, Lisa. I love the whole urban thing. New Hampshire sounds lovely, and you just had the good colors, didn”t you? I’d love to see that someday. And I have done the Boston T (it was called that the last time I was there, which should give you an idea of how long it’s been).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, it’s still the T, Anne! Fah-evah. The MTA was just a reference to the old Kingston Trio song, where an unsuspecting Bostonian gets permanently stuck on the T because they upped the fare and he doesn’t have the extra nickel.

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