The story behind Pacific Coast Highway is quite simple. My friend literary critic and blogger Kevin Cummings would often tell me these stories that related back to his youth back in the States, we were both transplanted to Bangkok – Him from California, me from just outside London. We’d both been living in the Far East for over a decade and hung out at bars and seedy nightclubs where plastic flamingos were lit by 1950s floor-standing lamps. Real classy, you understand.
The story he told that night was about a beautiful airline hostess he had driven home from the airport in his 1964 Dart.That night, the story fresh in my mind I wrote a short flash fiction piece set in San Francisco with the same ’64 Dart. I changed the airline hostess for a male hitch-hiker and the driver of the Dart who was some Hill Billy type cooked up from some Deliverance-inspired nightmare.
Sent the story the next morning to Kevin and then as chance would have it…. ….We both duly forget about it.
Well, forget about it until Kevin mentioned that he’d been asked to contribute to a charity anthology called Exiles and asked me, of all people, if I could help.
“Sure, use the Dart story,’ I said with a chuckle.
Well, why not? for a start we had both deleted the story and due to the beer drank that evening it was difficult to recall clearly. I tried the drunken recall trick (drink a couple of beers and you’ll remember what you did drunk) and yeah, it came back. Sort of. I rewrote the short piece from dazed memory and that’s how it came to be included here in Exiles.
Pure luck, really.
Bio: James A. Newman is exiled in Bangkok where he writes dark pulp fiction and short bizarre short stories across many genres. He best known for the Joe Dylan detective series, the latest of which The White Flamingo ruffled a few feathers in the crime noir charts. Newman is also the founding editor of Spanking Pulp Press and host of ceremonies at the Bangkok Night of Noir crime literary fest. This short flash fiction piece was inspired by a tale told by friend and blogger Kevin Cummings who may or may not have been the hitcher on the Pacific Coast Highway circa ‘78.