Tonight in LA: James Ellroy and Helen Knode
Tonight, James Ellroy, the self-proclaimed "demon dog of American crime fiction," will turn his attention to writer Helen Knode. The occasion? The publication of her new novel, "Wildcat Play." The twist? The two were once married. To each other.
Knode and Ellroy have been splitsville for a while, but are apparently on speaking terms. He'll be asking her questions about the book, a mystery among oil rigs in the San Joaquin Valley, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Knode was a longtime writer at the L.A. Weekly, where she did stints as a movie critic and columnist; she now lives in Austin, Texas. Ellroy is known for, among others, his books "L.A. Confidential" and "My Dark Places"; recently, he penned the screenplay for "Rampart," the film about dirty cops starring Woody Harrelson.
The two will talk books and, maybe, crime and murder, at Skylight Books in an evening the bookstore is dubbing "apocalypse noir." Admission is free; things get started at 7:30 p.m.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photos: Helen Knode, left, and James Ellroy, right, at the book release party for her 2003 novel "The Ticket Out." Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times