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:

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 and

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