It’s time for another edition of #AskMeAnything, where we put one Chick on the hot seat and pose the questions we’ve been dying to ask her. Today, it’s the inimitable Kellye Garrett’s turn…
I’ll admit there’s a bit of me in my protagonist. Is there some of your DNA in Dayna? If so, what traits did she inherit from you?
Kellye: My go-to joke is that if you like Dayna, then there’s a lot of me in there. And if you don’t, then she’s nothing like me at all! We definitely have the same sense of humor. If you’ve read Hollywood Homicide, you know that Day’s at a huge transition in her life. She lost her commercial spokesperson job. She’s dead broke. She’s quit acting and has no freaking clue what to do with her life. And I came up with the character when I was going through the essentially the same thing. So there’s definitely a lot of my angst and ambivalent feelings about Hollywood in the book. I will say that Day’s personal journey in the second book, Hollywood Ending, isn’t based on any personal issues, though. Thankfully!
Here’s what I want to know: How’d you get to be so awesome? Okay, seriously, you do so much. In addition to writing your awesome series and doing Chicks on the Case, you’re also a highly sought after Pitch Wars mentor *and* you started a whole other group with ‘17 Scribes. You also just joined the Sisters in Crime national board. (All this in addition to working a full-time job.) How do you pull it off?
Kellye: You make me sound way more fancy than I feel, so thank you! I’d love to pretend like I’m super organized and ambitious and driven. I’m not. I just work really well with deadlines. When someone asks me to do something, whether it’s my boss or someone who just wants me to contribute a blog post, the first thing I say is, “When do you need it?” It helps me when I’m working towards a goal or end date. It also helps that a lot of what I do is spread out over the course of a year. I was lucky in that my book deadline was literally RIGHT before Pitch Wars started this year. And right after Pitch Wars ended, I started working as the PR liaison for SinC.
What are some of your favorite aspects of writing the Detective by Day mysteries?
Kellye: My two favorite things are dialogue and plot, but if I had to go with one, I’d say plot twists. For me, writing mysteries is like putting together a puzzle piece by piece so that when it’s all laid out there’s a big picture of killer you weren’t expecting. So it always makes me happy when someone is actually surprised by a plot twist or tells me they’d didn’t see the killer coming. In terms of characters, my favorite to write is Day’s celeb obsessed BFF, Sienna. She says the stuff we think but never have the balls to actually say in real life. It makes her so much fun to write.
So Kellye, I’ve only been to LA once, when (added bonus!) I got to meet Ellen in person for the first time. I had a blast and can’t wait to go back. All that sunshine and chill (the vibe, not the air) and you got to live there every day!! When do you miss LA the most and would you ever move back? And how does the social scene stack up against New York?
Kellye: I definitely miss the weather, but I miss my family and friends most. My uncle’s family lives out there so I became close with many members of the Dad’s side of my family. It’s hard to compare the social life because I lived in LA in my 20s and in New York in my teens and 30s. I found the social scene in LA easier to navigate–literally. I had a car so it’s easier to get places. With New York, it’s all about mass transit so there’s a lot of waiting for the subway or Path train both coming and going. But because of that, New York’s parties last longer. I used to get home at 6 in the morning. Everything shuts down at 2 a.m. in LA. In Hollywood Ending, I describe it as: New York is the city that never sleeps and LA is the city that loves its beauty rest.
Kellye, working at iHeartRadio sounds like such a cool job. But I’ve always wanted to know, what exactly do you do there?
Kellye: I work with the most amazing Communications team at iHeartMedia. I’ve been there for three and half years, which is by far the longest I’ve ever been at a job. I mainly do a lot of writing so that could be anything from a press release to a blog post to writing an internal announcement. I’ll also help out with the press room at some of our tent-pole events when needed, like our iHeartRadio Music Festival or the iHeartRadio Music Awards.
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Readers, what would you like to ask Kellye, author of the awesome Detective by Day mystery series?