OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- The Tuesday morning rush is basically over at Cuppies and Joe in Oklahoma City.
Most of the customers left are settling in for some screen time, a deeper conversation, or, like Lou Berney, the writing of another crime novel.
"It's such a big tent," says the author of his chosen genre. "You can write mystery. You can write hard-boiled. You can write noir, and so there's a lot of freedom."
This setting might seem like a funny little spot for fashioning stories about mobsters and 'skeevy' characters but this room has already produced four books in five years now so something is going right.
He recalls, "I walked in the door of Cuppies that first day and was completely sold. It's this old, creaky house, and it's such a family place. I felt instantly comfortable there."
His newest novel, 'November Road', takes place in the aftermath of the 1963 Kennedy assassinations.
The book also takes a turn right through Oklahoma.
One of the main characters lives in a house that echoes this building.
"When I picture the main character where she lives in a small town in Oklahoma I picture a house like Cuppies and Joe used to be, and like this neighborhood we walked through."
The old neighborhood in the book contains echoes of another city neighborhood where his grandparents once owned a big house.
"These houses definitely say Oklahoma to me," he says while walking.
Berney grew up in places like this.
For research he walked the streets and neighborhoods of nearby Guthrie, OK and drove west on Route 66.
In a car headed west a little later, he remarks, "This just gets my mind in the right spirit."
His upbringing, he says, seems to leak through to the page ever time.
"There's so much fresh territory with that," he continues. "It becomes exciting from a writer's point of view."
A half-century changes everything; the landscape, the people too.
Lou Berney likes where he is now, writing crime novels from a comfortable spot he knows really well, and wrapping the rest up in a suspenseful package.
Berney's newest crime novel 'November Road' goes on sale October 8th, 2018 with a signing and launch event at Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City at 7PM.
Another signing event is set for October 10th in Edmond at Best of Books.
For more information on Berney or his work go to http://www.louberney.com