Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hollywood Ending Location Scout: Guest Post by Kellye Garrett

Kellye Garrett:
Hollywood Ending Location Scout

I always love when I start a new book and see a disclaimer from the author explaining that although their book takes place in a real place, they took liberties with exactly where things are located. As someone who writes a series set in a Los Angeles, I completely get it.

My series is about the entertainment industry so it was essential I set it in Los Angeles and I wanted to make it feel like my main character, Dayna, actually lived there. When I started the first book, Hollywood Homicide, I actually lived in L.A. It was easy for me to name-drop real life streets like La Brea and Vermont. Much like Dayna, these were the streets I drove—or rather sat in traffic in—every day.

I’ve since moved to the East Coast, which made it trickier to nail the geography when I was writing the second book, Hollywood Ending. It’s not as easy to remember how to get from Beverly Hills to downtown if you want to avoid the 10 freeway at all costs.

And since I’m a reader who loves when I recognize a place I’ve actually been in a book, I knew that I couldn’t just cop out and make up a bunch of places Day and her cohorts needed to keep taking actual streets to actual places.

As much as I would have loved to make weekend jaunts to L.A. for research, I couldn’t. (Blame my job and my bank account!) Instead, I relied on two things: my friends and Google Maps! So if you’re reading Hollywood Ending and think, “Day shouldn’t have used that exit off the 405,” don’t write me, write Google! Or write my friends Stephanie and Linda. I’ll be happy to give you their contact info.

I was able to pack a few of my favorite places and things in Hollywood Ending. Here’s a few of them:

Runyon Canyon 

Runyon Canyon can probably best be described from this excerpt from Hollywood Ending: Aubrey wanted to meet at Runyon Canyon, which was technically a park situated in the Santa Monica Mountains. Key word: technically. It was Hollywood’s outdoor workout of choice. On a good day, you could find more celebs than on NBC’s primetime lineup. Even on a bad day, you might catch a news anchor. If you entered from the southern end at the bottom of the hill on Fuller Ave., it wasn’t uncommon to pass outdoor yoga classes before making your way up a hiking trail that ended way up on Mulholland Drive. At least that’s what I’d heard. I’ve never made it that far. Haven’t even tried.

Fun Fact: I once was a complete smart aleck to Jake Gyllenhaal while hiking there. You can read about it over at my Chicks on the Case multi-author blog: https://chicksonthecase.com/2015/08/18/two-lies-tuesday/

Shrine Auditorium 

The granddaddy of all the fancy venues is an LA landmark across the street from the University of Southern California campus. The Shrine has been around since the 1920s and has had more movie icons in its seats than you’d find on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At one time or another, the Shrine has hosted the Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammys, American Music Awards, BET Awards, MTV Movie Awards, NAACP Image Awards, the People's Choice Awards, the Soul Train Music Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the Miss Universe Pageant. That’s a lot of acceptance speeches and people being played off by the orchestra.

Fun Fact: I actually was a seat-filler for the Emmy Awards in 2005 at the Shrine! It was also where we had my graduation from film school at USC.

Food Trucks 

I know food trucks are everywhere now but I’d like to think Los Angeles was where it first became a “thing.” The portable food trend boom began about ten years ago, when a truck with an on-board kitchen pulled up outside of a nightclub and started hawking Korean tacos during the let out. Though Kogi may have been the first gourmet food truck, it certainly wasn't the last. In the ensuing decade, hundreds have popped up, each more creative than the one before it.

Like everything in Hollywood, they’d gone from hot to passé, but they hadn’t gone away. Every day, trucks hit different locations in the city, using Twitter and the like to let LA’s hungry know exactly where'd they’d be during the lunch and dinner rush. It wasn't uncommon for five or six trucks to line up back to back on the same busy street.

Fun Fact: I used to be a hard-core Kogi addict when I was in L.A. And every time I went, I got the short rib tacos. I still dreams about them and I’ve been gone for 7 years!

***

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 and ChicksontheCase.com

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Head Wounds: Guest Post by Dennis Palumbo

DENNIS PALUMBO:
HEAD WOUNDS

Nietzsche once wrote, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”

Perhaps. Then again, Nietzsche never met Sebastian Maddox, the villain in my latest suspense thriller, Head Wounds. It’s the fifth in my series about Daniel Rinaldi, a psychologist and trauma expert who consults with the Pittsburgh police.

What makes the brilliant, tech-savvy Maddox so relentlessly dangerous is that he’s in the grip of a rare delusion called erotomania, also known as De Clerambault’s Syndrome.

Simply put, erotomania is a disorder in which a person—in this case, Maddox—falsely believes that another person is in love with him, deeply, unconditionally, and usually secretly. The latter because this imaginary relationship must be hidden due to some social, personal, or professional circumstances. Perhaps the object of this romantic obsession is married, or a superior at work. Often it’s a famous athlete or media celebrity.

Not that these seeming roadblocks diminish the delusion. They can even provide a titillating excitement. Often, a person with erotomania believes his or her secret admirer is sending covert signals of their mutual love: wearing certain colors whenever a situation puts them together in public, or doing certain gestures whose meaning is only known to the two of them. Some even believe they’re receiving telepathic messages from their imagined beloved.

What makes the delusion even more insidious is that the object of this romantic obsession, once he or she learns of it, is helpless to do anything about it. They can strenuously and repeatedly rebuff the delusional lover, denying that there’s anything going on between them, but nothing dissuades the other’s ardent devotion.

I know of one case wherein the recipient of these unwanted declarations of love was finally forced to call the police and obtain a restraining order. Even then, her obsessed lover said he understood that this action was a test of his love. A challenge from her to prove the constancy and sincerity of his feelings.

As psychoanalyst George Atwood once said of any delusion, “it’s a belief whose validity is not open to discussion.”

This is especially true of erotomania. People exhibiting its implacable symptoms can rarely be shaken from their beliefs.

Like Parsifal in his quest for the Holy Grail, nothing dissuades them from their mission.

In Head Wounds, Sebastian Maddox’s crusade—when thwarted in his desires— turns quite deadly, and requires all of Rinaldi’s resourcefulness to save someone he cares about. In real life, the treatment options for the condition are limited to a combination of therapy and medication, usually antipsychotics like pimozide. If the symptoms appear to stem from an underlying cause, such as bipolar disorder, the therapeutic approach would also involve medication, typically lithium.

What makes erotomania so intriguing as a psychological condition, and so compelling in an antagonist in a thriller, is the delusional person’s ironclad conviction—the unshakeable certainty of his or her belief.

Nonetheless, as philosopher Charles Renouvier reminds us, “Plainly speaking, there is no such thing as certainty. There are only people who are certain.”

***
This post originally appeared on the Mystery Scene blog and is reprinted with permission of Mystery Scene.

Dennis Palumbo, M.A., MFT is a writer and licensed psychotherapist in private practice, specializing in creative issues. Formerly a Hollywood screenwriter (My Favorite Year, Welcome Back, Kotter, etc.), Dennis Palumbo is now a licensed psychotherapist and author. His mystery fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, The Strand, and elsewhere, and is collected in From Crime to Crime. His series of crime novels (Mirror Image, Fever Dream, Night Terrors, Phantom Limb, and Head Wounds) feature psychologist Daniel Rinaldi, a trauma expert who consults with the Pittsburgh Police. All are from Poisoned Pen Press. For more info, visit www.dennispalumbo.com.

Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 NED KELLY AWARDS LONG LISTS


The Australian Crime Writers Association announced its long list for the 2018 Ned Kelly Awards, in three categories. The winners will be announced at the Ned Kelly Awards to be held during the Melbourne Writers Festival.

2018 Ned Kelly Awards Long Lists

Best Crime
  • Marlborough Man by Alan Carter
  • Under the Cold Bright Lights by Garry Disher
  • Redemption Point by Candice Fox
  • The Lone Child by Anna George
  • Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill
  • Class Act by Ged Gillmore
  • Pachyderm by Hugh McGinlay
  • Big Red Rock by David Owen
  • The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham
  • The Student by Iain Ryan
  • Clear to the Horizon by Dave Warner
Best First Crime
  • The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
  • Wimmera by Mark Brandi
  • The Girl in Keller's Way by Megan Goldin
  • All Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane
  • The Echo of Others by SD Rowell
  • See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
  • She be Damned by MJ Tija
Best True Crime
  • The Contractor by Mark Abernethy
  • Unmaking A Murder: The Mysterious Death of Anna Jane Cheney by Graham Archer
  • The Suitcase Baby by Tanya Bretherton
  • Whitely on Trial by Gabriella Coslovich
  • Last King of the Cross by John Ibrahim
  • The Last Escape by John Killick
  • The Fatalist by Campbell McConachie
  • Once a Copper: The Life and Times of Brian ‘The Skull’ Murphy by Vikki Petraitis