Congratulations GinnyJC you are the winner of Kellye’s book. Watch for an email from her!
I am so happy Kellye Garrett is back with her Agatha Award winning series! I hope you all get to meet her some day in person because she is a ball of fire and has the best smile. Kellye is giving away a copy of one of her books to someone who leaves a comment (US only)!
And the award goes to . . .
. . . Dayna Anderson, the semi-famous actress turned PI who steps up her sleuthing swagger in this follow-up to breakout hit Hollywood Homicide, winner of the Lefty Award and the Agatha Award for Best First Novel!
Tinseltown’s awards season is in full swing, and everyone is obsessed with dressing up, scoring free swag, and getting invited to the biggest awards shows of the year. But when celebrity publicist Lyla Davis is killed, the festive mood comes to an abrupt halt.
Apprentice private eye Dayna Anderson thinks she’s uncovered the killer. Unfortunately, what starts as an open-and-shut case turns out to be anything but. Diving deeper into the investigation, Dayna gets a backstage look at gossip blogging, Hollywood royalty, and one of entertainment’s most respected awards shows―all while trying to avoid her own Hollywood ending.
Thank you guys for having me back! My second book came out on August 8, which means I’ve been talking about the book a lot—with interviewers, on panels, to random strangers stuck in an elevator with me. One of the questions that always comes up is: Where did you get the idea for the book?
It’s obviously a great question. One that most authors have gotten and probably have better answers than I do.
For me, I subscribe to the truth is stranger than fiction ideology. Much like your favorite Law & Order: SVU episode. I love to rip straight from the headlines.
For Hollywood Ending, I based the investigation on the murder of Ronni Chasen.
My victim is an awards show publicist named Lyla Davis. Chasen was an extremely popular and renowned publicist who directed over 100 Academy Award campaigns.
Lyla is murdered during an ATM robbery gone wrong after leaving an awards show cocktail party. Chasen was tragically killed during a botched carjacking attempt after leaving a premiere party for a movie.
My main character, Dayna, uncovers the actual triggerman within days. Just as quickly, Dayna realizes there may be more to the story. Police found Chasen’s killer within weeks. But questions still abound years after her death.
There are more similarities but for the sake of spoilers, I’ll stop here.
As you can imagine, Chasen’s murder was the talk of Hollywood. It was covered religiously by all the major entertainment trades, local news outlets and even The New York Times. Law & Order—okay the short-lived Law & Order: Los Angeles spin-off—even did their own take involving a Hollywood stylist. Fellow mystery writer Nancy Cole Silverman also based her amazing book very loosely on the case, opting to make her victim a powerful Hollywood agent coming home from an awards show.
There’s always the risk when you base fiction on a real-life event that people will already be bored before they even started because they know the story so well. How do you make it fresh and new?
For me, that’s where the characters and world of the series come in. My Detective by Day series are funny, lightweight books that skewer towards being cozy mysteries. So my take on the Chasen story isn’t going to be similar to what they did on Law & Order all those years ago.
It’s also important for me to use anything ripped from the headlines as a jumping off point versus following actual events. (A lot of movies do this too. That’s why they always say based on a true story. It gives you leeway to be creative.)
In Hollywood Ending, I follow the Chasen story for the first act and then let my imagination take hold for acts two and three. I lead Dayna into two other worlds that I find equally as fascinating as real-life crime—gossip blogs and awards shows. Hopefully, the end result is an entertaining story that ultimately surprises the reader.
Readers: Are there any books that you’ve read where you recognized the crime?
Kellye Garrett writes the Detective by Day mysteries about a semi-famous, mega-broke black actress who takes on the deadliest role of her life: Homicide Detective. The first, Hollywood Homicide, won the Agatha, Lefty and Independent Publisher “IPPY” awards for best first novel and is nominated for Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards. The second, Hollywood Ending, will be released on August 8, 2018 from Midnight Ink. Prior to writing novels, Kellye spent eight years working in Hollywood, including a stint writing for Cold Case. She now works for a leading media company and serves on the Board of Directors for Sisters in Crime as the organization’s Publicity Liaison. You can learn more at KellyeGarrett.com.
Social Media Links: