January 29, 2017

Michele Drier Says California is All of That

Do you like lettuce on your hamburger?
Snack on almonds?
Drink wine?
You’re a contributor to California’s ranking as the sixth largest economy in the world, surpassing France and Brazil.
California is the leading state in cash farm revenues, shipping $47 billion in products in 2015. Then there’s the revenue from high tech Silicon Valley and the fantasyland of movies and entertainment. In fact, the Legislative Analyst’s Office is forecasting a $2.8 billion surplus in discretionary funds for the 2017-2018 budget year.
Beyond having the largest economy in the United States, California also has the largest population, the tallest and oldest trees, the tallest peak and lowest low in the contiguous states: Mt. Whitney (14,505 feet) which is at the Southern end of the Sierra Nevada, just over 100 miles from the lowest spot on the continent, Death Valley (282 feet below sea level).
We also have two active volcanoes and a lot of fault lines, including the famous San Andreas which shake things up from time to time.

What we don’t have, despite being home to just under forty million people (12 percent of the entire population of the US) is adequate representation in the Electoral College. True, we have the largest Congressional delegation (53 representatives, but only two Senators), which means every elector represents 727,272 people. Compare that to Wyoming (population 586,107) where each elector represents 195,360 people.
We’re a blue state. Although we’ve had Republicans hold high office, (Ronald Reagan, recently Arnold Swarzenegger) our policies are progressive and liberal, making California the target for the emerging super-conservative right. Some percentage of Trump supporters even believe California should have no voice in the Electoral College and that our votes shouldn’t count.
Disenfranchising 12% of the population of the country because you don’t like their politics? What kind of crazy talk is that?

Jerry Brown, now in his second term and second iteration as governor, has sworn to take on Washington if the new administration threatens to gut legislation that supports such progressive ideas as pollution control, global warming, alternative energy and sanctuary for illegal aliens. In a speech before scientists in San Francisco in December, he said, “If they cut back on satellites that measure global warming, we’ll put up our own damn satellites.”
California is a state of mind. There are few people in the world who don’t have a picture of California in their mind’s eye. “California Dreamin’”, “California Girls,” Hollywood, television, Google, facebook, Twitter, have all shaped the view of our state. And it’s wrong and maybe partially right.
Movie stars. Surfers. Skiers. Miles of Southern California beaches. The Golden Gate bridge. Palm Springs. Lake Tahoe. Silicon Valley.
California is all of that…and more.

It’s a state where traffic clogs some freeways for twenty out of twenty-four hours. 
Where miles of orchards line Interstate 5, the north-south freeway that links Canada with Mexico.
Where the only Big Surf contest in the continental US takes place at Mavericks.
Where artichokes and strawberries are harvested in the cool coastal fog. Where wines rivaling France’s are made.
Where two species of redwoods have the tallest and largest tees in the world. 
Where almost 1,000 miles of Pacific beaches run from the flat sands of San Diego County to the jagged, rocky shoreline of Del Norte County. Where twelve lane freeways are jammed with traffic near Sacramento to sparse traffic on two-lane Highway 49, a few miles away, winding through the foothill towns that housed the Gold Rush.
Where it’s possible to surf in Santa Cruz in the morning and ski at Lake Tahoe in the late afternoon.
It’s a state of contrasts and extreme beauty from deserts to mountains to coast and I’m a fifth generation native. The first of my family arrived in San Francisco, traveling around the Horn, in 1849. Others came in 1850 and a great-great grandmother crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1852. My grandmother and grandfather survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and were married there in 1912.
My mystery series takes place in Northern California, in the Sacramento area, and the third in the series, “Delta for Death,” is set in the Delta where the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers meet and flow into San Francisco Bay.
The saying “Write what you know” is true for me. I write what I know and love, the state of California.

Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home.  During her career in journalism—as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers—she won awards for producing investigative series.
She is the president of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of Bouchercon 2020.
Her Amy Hobbes Newspaper Mysteries are Edited for Death, (called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review), Labeled for Death and Delta for Death.

Her paranormal romance series, The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, was the best paranormal vampire series of 2014 from the Paranormal Romance Guild. The series is SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story, Danube: A Tale of Murder, SNAP: Love for Blood, SNAP: Happily Ever After?, SNAP: White Nights,  SNAP: All That Jazz, and SNAP: I, Vampire.

Michele Drier offers her prize of One Copy of Delta for Death in winners choice of E-book or paperback (because of mailing costs--paperback or Ebook in US/E-book only overseas) Leave a comment to win.  please include a link for contact in case you're the winner. 

(All info provided by Author) 


  1. Love wine, almonds and avocados! Thanks for chatting about your state. www.facebook.com/rlbayne

  2. Michele, I was fascinated with all the facts you presented about your state. I have lived for short periods of time in San Diego, Coronado Island, and LA and visited many other parts of the state. I have often said that when I die, I want to go to Coronado so you can see how highly I rate your state! Your life and books sound very interesting and I'd love to be the winner of your offer today. I wish you continued success with your writing career and many years of pleasure in your beloved state.
    Linda Swift (LSwiftR@aol.com

  3. I would love to one day visit California, since the first book I wrote was based on a friend's experiences at George AFB. I'd like to see what facts I got wrong and which ones were accurate, lol! That 'write what you know' certainly applies; most of my work since is set ONLY in areas where I've actually visited:)

    I've also heard good things about Napa Valley and would love to visit that area:)


  4. Big thanks to Annette for hosting me today and giving me a chance to climb on my California soap-box! I always feel like a Chamber of Commerce person when I talk about my state, but I have an almost physical love for it.
    Molly, if/when you get here,drop me a note and I'll give you a tour. Linda, San Diego and surrounds (and Coronado!)are beautiful. And Robin, it's hard to go wrong with wine!
    Thanks everybody! The sun it out today!

  5. Lovely portrait of a wonderful state. Haven't been there in years, but...

    1. Come back and visit! With all the rain this year, spring and early summer should be lovely.

  6. Well, come on over! With the rain, this spring and early summer should be beautiful. California, the Green and Golden state...

  7. I've visited California a few times and would enjoy visiting again. I went whale watching, visited the San Diego Zoo, and took a few wine tours. And, I love the veggies from your state -- making guac from avocodes is one of my favorite weekend activities! :) And, though I live in Wyoming, I'm NOT a cowboy conservative (LOL) -- my husband and I do believe in climate change, and we use solar panels. Thanks for sharing so much great information about California!

  8. Congratulations from a fellow Californian, albeit a fairly recent transplant. I've lived here two and a half years and love it. You did a great job of capturing California.

  9. Hi Michele -
    Thanks for crowing about our beautiful state. This week the forecast calls for a whopping 7 inches of rain in my neck of the woods - Shingle Springs, California. WooHoo! Bring it on! We need it! And keep writing! I love your books!

  10. Having been raised in Phoenix, Arizona and living there until my mid-thirties, I made lots of trips to California. I also lived in the state twice. Once in 1980 for a year in San Mateo. Then my husband and I lived in Hanford (in the Central Valley of California)for 5 years ending in 2007. In my lifetime I've vacationed in many parts of LA and also San Diego. San Francisco numerous time, Sacramento and old Sacramento. Lots of good memories. Enjoyed this post.

  11. Linda, I love that it's such a small world! While you were in Hanford, I was a metro editor with the Modesto Bee.
    Thanks for commenting. It's going to be a green spring.

  12. WyomingAuthorGale, yep, I do know that not all Wyomingers, Wyomingists? are conservative! My next-door-neighbor was born and raised there and she's an outspoken liberal. Spent 27 years on the Board of Supervisors here! It's a beautiful state.
    Thanks for commenting.

  13. Hey Karen,
    With these current storms, you may get washed down to my backyard, LOL!
    Thanks so much for the comment and for everyone who commented, Karen does my covers...a woman of many talents.


Follow 50 Authors from 50 States blog for the latest