Fiction? Or fact? Writing in a way to disguise the innocent – and the guilty

17 minutes

•  Author’s Bakersfield is much more than country music and oil fields

•  “You really can get away with murder here”

(Total Recorded Time is 23:35)

The sunbaked streets of Bakersfield. Bodies in the nearby desert.  A larger-than-life attorney pulling the invisible strings that shape life in a growing town.

These are some of the locations, characters and events that Sarah Burns has woven into her first novel, one that might do for California’s Central Valley what the late Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles with his novels of the 1940s and 50s.

This is not the first book for Ms. Burns, but it’s sharply different from her nonfiction works, written as a real-life college professor and researcher in the field of gender and race relations in Bakersfield.

She joins us for this Bizgnus Interview Podcast to talk about her new book, writing and a thinly disguised Bakersfield….

Please click here to watch the Bizgnus interview:

“The central theme is … how the West was won,” Ms. Burns says of her book, “and the fact that it was on vigilante justice and that it’s never really gone away.”

Ms. Burns says the Bakersfield area is rife with human conflict that can be a gold mine for an author. “It’s like a ‘Peyton Place,’” she says, referring to the 1960s television prime time soap opera.  “You really can get away with murder here,” she says.

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