James Ellroy, the "Demon Dog of Crime Fiction," Brings LA Noir to Orange County

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Los Angeles-based crime novelist and essayist James Ellroy makes the trip south Saturday as the Orange County Screenwriters Association's latest speaker.

The author of The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz, The Cold Six Thousand and his autobiographical My Dark Places, speaks at 10 a.m. at Regency South Coast Village Theatre at 1561 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, across the street from South Coast Plaza.

After speaking, Ellroy takes audience questions and signs copies of his books, which will be available for sale.

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Photo by Mark Coggins
James Ellroy at the April 2009 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
To give visitors of the free event a taste of what they may be in for, the screenwriters association notes that the blunt and opinionated Ellroy often begins his talks with:

"Good evening peepers, prowlers, pederasts, panty-sniffers, punks and pimps. I'm James Ellroy, the demon dog, the foul owl with the death growl, the white knight of the far right. I'm the author of 16 books, masterpieces all; they precede all my future masterpieces. These books will leave you reamed, steamed and drycleaned, tie-dyed, swept to the side, true-blued, tattooed and bah fongooed. These are books for the whole family, if the name of your family is the Manson Family."

Ellroy has gained critical acclaim with his "L.A. Quartet"--The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential and White Jazz--but the 62-year-old is quite prolific, having also cranked out Blood's a Rover, Crime Wave, American Tabloid, Suicide Hill, his latest The Hillicker Curse and many, many more.

He's also written original screenplays and adaptations, and several of his novels have been turned into film and television projects (L.A. Confidential, Dark Blue and The Black Dahlia, among many others). Perhaps he'll regale the OC crowd with his comeback to little old ladies who say they saw and loved Curtis Hanson's L.A. Confidential movie adaption.

Well-known Ellroy-LA Weekly connection: He used to be married to Helen Knode, a former Weekly film critic, and herself a novelist.

Little-known Ellroy-OC Weekly connection: For years we employed Laura Stoner, whose father-in-law Bill Stoner is a former Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigator who worked with Ellroy on the cold case murder of the author's mother, Geneva Hilliker Ellroy, and several other projects.

For more on the event, visit ocscreenwriters.com. For more info about the theater, call 714.557.5701.

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