January 29, 2012

Award Winning Author Barry S. Willdorf Shows Off California

 Like many citizens of California, I am a transplant, having grown up in Massachusetts. But I came to California in 1970, so I guess that I’ve now put in enough years to qualify as a homey.
By population, California is the nation’s largest state, holding twelve percent of the population. By area it is larger than every state except for Alaska and Texas and it occupies around two-thirds of the lower forty-eight’s west coast. Its population is diverse: forty percent white, 38 percent Hispanic and thirteen percent Asian. 
California is so large, in fact, that it really has three distinct geographic regions that might, in their own rights be states. Indeed, on several occasions, the southern part of the state has attempted to secede. In one instance, only the Civil War prevented the state from splitting in two. 
I live in Northern California ¾San Francisco ¾close to Silicon Valley, the hub of the high tech industry. It is the home of many famous writers, past and present and to mention any few would be a slight to others. The SF Bay Area is a welcoming place for writers’ It hosts an annual Litquake literary event that draws tens of thousands of bookophiles as well as numerous independent bookstores, writer’s groups galore and salons where reading events take place on a daily basis. They say that in Southern California everyone is an actor with a day job. The same might be said of writers in Northern California. 
The northern part of California is home to about ten million people. We make a lot of wine, grow a lot of marijuana and chop down a lot of trees for lumber, although the lumber industry is declining due both to forest depletion and the current economic crisis. We also have a vibrant tourist industry that is attracted to San Francisco for its world-class cuisine, our great rivers and mountains and our spectacular rugged coastline. Parts two and three of my 1970s Trilogy are set in northern California. Part Two, A Shot in the Arm, takes place in San Francisco and Marin Counties, while Part Three, The Fourth Conspirator, involves marijuana and wine production in Mendocino County, further north. 
Southern California is both geologically and culturally a very different place. It is a land of urban sprawl and home to about twenty-two million folks. Everyone knows its major industry is entertainment, and all the glitzy peripheral industries that go with it. Nearly every giant entertainment corporation has staked a presence in the area. But is also is the venue for a vast aerospace and military complex. The land is literally a patchwork of military bases, such a Camp Pendleton, Vandenberg, the naval complex in San Diego, to name a few. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention Southern California’s fabulous beaches. 
California’s third distinct region is the Central Valley. Although its population is relatively small by California standards ¾five million ¾ it is know as “America’s breadbasket” due to its enormous corporate agricultural industry. In addition to a cornucopia of food crops, the region also produces cotton, oil and gas. Politically and culturally, the Central Valley is more akin to Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle than it is to the coastal regions of the state. Its large cities, Fresno and Bakersfield, are famous for the honkytonk sounds of its native country stars, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

Barry S. Willdorf, author of
The Flight of the Sorceress, winner of a 2011 Global E-book Award for historical literature and a finalist for a 2012 EPIC award for historical fiction.
·         Burning Questions, Part One of the 1970s Trilogy.
·         A Shot in the Arm, Part Two, currently in pre-publication editing.
·         The Fourth Conspirator, Part Three of the Trilogy, under contract to Whiskey Creek.

My blogs: www.flightofthesorcerss.blogspot.com  and www.1970strilogy.blogspot.com

(photos provided by author)


  1. Hi, Barry, great post on my home state. I now live in Virginia, but I was born and raised in the SF Bay Area, so I know it well. I'm a true native! But you're right, so many are transplants.
    Your book sounds interesting and I wish you many sales

  2. Rolling down I-5. Catch me if you can!

  3. Thanks Diane. My books ARE interesting. Was in VA this summer. Brought you guys an earthquake. Hope it brought back fond memories.

  4. Great summary on a great place to visit. There's more to California than Hollywood.

  5. Hi, we went to California over 30 years ago. Would love to go back and see what we missed in the fog. It was my first trip too to Disneyland too. I was so excited. I know there's more to see and do. It must finally be time for trip two!

  6. I have been to California. We once drove from top to bottom. It is truly diverse. I would love to read one of your books, adding it to my list.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  7. Yes, Nora:
    We're here awaiting those tourist dollars. We're a little overbuilt at the moment so there will be vacancies. Not sure about Disneyland though.

  8. My son was married in San Diego last fall. Beautiful and the weather was great in January. Gotta love that.

  9. A lot of places to visit in CA.



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