I'm in California this week. Specifically, right now, I'm in Longbeach just south of LA. I was up near Oakland earlier in the week and got to stay smack dab in the middle of the area I used for the setting for my third book (see here), just near Concord, CA. I think that area is pretty, the bay area. Down here, in LA and south of LA, I'm not too sure what I'm supposed to be impressed with.
I'm currently reading a book about how to write mysteries, a book on the craft of writing. A few years ago I had a pledge to read one book on the writing craft for every two fiction books (see here). I'm re-starting that project under slightly different terms. This latest book began with a chapter on setting. One of the elements of mysteries that this author of the first piece focused on was setting. He stated that a mystery writer must choose either LA or New York for the setting. (I'm not too sure how seriously I should take this book). Having been to New York last year and having read so many Lawrence Sanders novels that took place in New York, I can understand using that city as a setting. LA? I don't see the appeal.
I understand the noir aspect of LA but I think that time has come and gone. I can also understand the glitz and glamour of the city, but for the most part LA is just dirty, busy, and self involved.
I'm sure that there are places here that I've yet to suss out, and I'm also sure that many people will say, "You live in Houston! Houston is just a dirtier, hotter, more humid LA that is on a disgusting Gulf rather than on the Pacific." They'd be right. But I don't have my settings in Houston. It's boring as a setting.
Long and short, I don't understand the LA fascination. New York, sure. LA, still not buying it.