Friday, September 14, 2018

What Would My Main Character Think About Me?


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HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I know it’s early, and some of us have not yet had our coffee. But can we take a moment for a standing ovation? It was thrilling, yes, when Jungle Red won this year’s Anthony Award for Best On-Line Content. But the ovation isn’t for us.

The ovation is for the terrific Kellye Garrett.
Yes, of course it was  thrilling to see Kellye win for Best First Novel! But there’s more. Her acceptance speech was just like Kellye—smart and brave and knowledgeable and timely and important. People usually thank everyone, and gush a bit (I mean, why not?) and connect with the audience. But I have never heard anyone articulate what Kellye did.  Of course she thanked people, and gushed, and connected.
Then she quoted Frankie’s List (do you know it? Sistersincrime.org/frankieslist ) and told the audience these numbers—the crime fiction authors Frankie Bailey counted who have been traditionally published. Not, like, last year. But, Frankie Bailey says, ever.
 81 Black Writers
18 Asian American / Asian
9 South Asian American / South Asian / South Asian British Writers
22 LatinX writers
9 Native American
38 LGBTQ
Bottom line, she reported to the astonished audience, 177 Marginalized Writers have been traditionally published in mystery. That’s all.
And Kellye is only the second black woman to win.
Let that sink in.
And now Kellye tells us all about her realization about her main character. And I had to laugh---you know, I just never thought about it this way. And now I am worrying, too.
  What Would My Main Character Think About Me?
            By Kellye Garrett


My second book, Hollywood Ending, came out last month. Needless to say, I’ve been thinking and talking— about my main character, Dayna Anderson, a lot. The most random thought popped into my head the other day.
What would Dayna think if she knew I wrote about her?
Here’s the thing. I’m always so fascinated when a writer says that a character just popped into their head one day fully formed and started dictating exactly what they wanted the writer to say. Because that was not the case for me. At all.
If I’m being honest, the process was more like building a house than picking the brain of someone you’ve just met. Sure, there were the basics. I knew she’d be black because I was black and I wanted to capture that experience. I knew she’d live in Los Angeles because at the time I lived in Los Angeles and was way too lazy to research another town or city. But that was all, folks.
Every other decision about exactly who Dayna was came from days and days of brainstorming and hours of discussion with my beloved Writers’ Group. And—here I go again with the honesty—so many of her most noticeable character traits were created because it fit my story or because I thought it would be a cute line in the book.
This was true even with her name. I knew I wanted to write a series and thought acronyms would be a great title theme. I literally chose the name Dayna Olivia Anderson because her initials were a very mystery appropriate acronym. 
I added the Y because my name is Kellye, which means I’m very partial to the struggle of people with unnecessary letters in their name. Plus I figured there wouldn’t be a real-life person named Dayna Anderson. (I turned out to be wrong in that front. There’s actually an editor out there with the exact name, spelling and all.)
I basically did a rinse and repeat when it came to my other main characters as well. They all have acronyms for names:
Sienna Michelle Hayes (SMH)
Omari Michael Grant (OMG)
Aubrey S. Adams-Parker (ASAP)
And even having put so much thought into every single thing about these characters from what they wear to what they eat, there are still choices I regret like nobody’s business. Like the fact that that Dayna never curses, which I decided solely because of the last line in Hollywood Homicide. Or that Aubrey never uses contractions when he talks. I thought it was clever. It’s turned out to be a pain in my side. Do you know how hard it is not to just stick an apostrophe in a sentence?
Past Kellye did not think about Future Kellye at all and not Present Kellye is paying for it!
As for that initial question—What would Dayna think if she knew I wrote about her?—I have put some thought into the answer.
At first she’d be thrilled, especially with the covers. She’s a millennial after all. There’s nothing she loves more than a good solo photo that looks like it’s been professionally styled, photo-shopped, and filtered with Lark on Instagram.
But then she’d read the book eventually and that’s where the problems would come in. She’s an actress. The idea of getting to a level of someone writing an “unauthorized biography” is probably more of a secret dream than most care to admit. Except it’s not so much a biography as me coming across her diary. One that I not only read but thought it would be a cool idea to print up and sell to a bunch of people. She might even consult with a lawyer.
And although I’d be happy to share some of the royalties, there’s no way I’m sharing any of my awards!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Aren’t those Anthony Awards incredible? Where are you putting yours?  

  And I cannot get over the acronyms in names. My initials growing up were HAS. And people always called me has-been. Yeesh.  What’s your name acronym—anyone have one, or heard of one?  !  (I am rushing off to the Southern Independent Booksellers Association Convention in Tampa. Uh-ph. There’s a hurricane between me and Tampa. Cross your fingers.

(And all you Reds and readers in the path—please let us know how you’re doing! We re worrying for you, and thinking of you! )

What are you all doing this weekend?  And give a cheer for  Kellye!

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, Anthony, Lefty, and Independent Publisher “IPPY” awards for best first novel. The second, Hollywood Ending, was 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.


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 popular Silver Sphere Awards publicist Lyla Davis is killed during a botched ATM robbery, the celebratory mood comes to an abrupt halt.
Dayna Anderson—an actress turned apprentice private investigator—uncovers the killer almost immediately. Unfortunately, what starts as an open-and-shut case turns out to be anything but. Lyla’s murder was no robbery-gone-wrong. Someone hired the gunman to kill her. Diving back into the investigation, Dayna gets a backstage look at the worlds of gossip blogging, Hollywood royalty, and one of entertainment’s most respected awards shows—all while trying to avoid her own Hollywood ending.


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89 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Kellye, on your Anthony Award.
    I enjoyed reading what you thought your character would think about you. And, in a book world overrun with offensive language, I am so glad that you decided Dayna would never curse. It’s very refreshing . . . .

    Alas, my name is not an acronym . . . .

    My fingers are crossed and I’m keeping good thoughts for everyone in the path of the hurricane. Be safe.

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    1. Yes, check in, everyone , when you can!

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    2. Thank you Joan!

      My name isn't an acronym either. It' KMG.

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  2. I was not aware of the character's acronyms. Fun! And I'm glad to hear that someone else finds creating characters hard work. One of the many reasons I have given up on writing fiction and stick to reading it.

    My initials don't make anything fun. Although I made a horrible discovery when I took the SAT. We had to but the first four letters of our last name, our first initial, and our middle initial on the back of the form. Mine? Bake ME. Yeah.

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    1. I'm going to start calling you that! :-)

      The first book has an entire acronym theme (because when I decide on a theme, I COMMIT!! lol) hence all the acronym names.

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  3. Congratulations on your Anthony, Kellye! The books sound terrific. And Frankie's List ought to be a real wake-up call for the publishing industry. I work in Dallas, which is a very diverse city, but you almost never see that diversity reflected in books set anywhere in Texas. That really needs to change.

    And acronyms? Well, my maiden name was Gigi Sherrell, so I got to see my initials on everything from Great Southern--a savings and loan company--to my Girl Scout cookies. Now that I am GSN, not so much. I'm still chuckling about Mark's little surprise.

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    1. So...that means the shortbread cookies have your initials! Whoa!

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    2. Yes, ma'am. But only in certain parts of the country. They did in Missouri, but down here in Texas those shortbread cookies have the three-profile logo on them.

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    3. Oh, and what I'm doing this weekend? Rehearsal. Our season-opening concert is September 18.

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    4. I would love to have the same initials as Girl Scout cookies! Thank you Gigi for the congrats. Definitely agree we need to see more diversity in all books.

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  4. Congrats on winning the Anthony Award Kellye! The books do sound quite intriguing, I'll have to add them to my want-list.


    My initials don't make any funny or memorable words or phrases. Nor do they inspire some kind of nickname. Although, when I was younger my full name spelled backwards made a perfect sounding character name when I played the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game.

    As for Hank's question about what we are all doing this weekend, my weekend is front loaded. Last night I went to an in-store signing held at Purchase Street Records. My friend owns the place and he brought in Dee Snider (former lead singer of Twisted Sister), who is on tour promoting his new solo album "For The Love Of Metal". It was very cool to get to meet him 34 years after my mother refused to buy me the Twisted Sister album "Stay Hungry" for Christmas because of the album cover and the style of music. HA! It was made even more memorable because when he saw one of the albums I brought to be signed, he said "I kind of love you right now".

    Tonight, I'm off to see German melodic speed metal titans Helloween on their Pumpkins United tour. I'm covering it for KNAC.COM and have a press pass to get in. It should be amazing as past and present members have united for a 23 song 3 hour set!

    After that, my weekend is pretty much just housework and the Patriots game. Well, plus writing my concert review.

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    1. Dee Snider and you=perfect together Jay! Have a great time at the concert

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    2. So terrific, Jay! Your life is so exciting!

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    3. Lucy, I don't know about perfect, he's infinitely cooler than I could even dream of being.

      Hank, more like moments of excitement surrounded by long stretches of boring...but thanks!

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    4. Thanks, Jay! I remember the We're Not Gonna Take It video so well as a kid. I thought they looked like that all the time.

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    5. Kellye, that would've been hilarious if they did. One of the kids of guitarist Jay Jay French made fun of how he looked in the videos and he had a great response telling the kid, "those videos and that look paid for your school".

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  5. Congrats again Kellye--we're proud to know you! And the mystery community is lucky to have such a live wire in our world. How many books do you picture Dayna starring in?

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    1. Thanks, Lucy! I really do appreciate you agreeing to blurb for me when I emailed you out the blue to ask.

      In terms of Dayna, I would love to write at least a few more. I admire you and other writers who keep a series fresh book after book. You made it look so easy that I was surprised when I realized it was so hard!

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  6. And Kellye, thank you for all your wonderful work for Sisters in Crime! What’s the latest?

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    1. Thanks again for having me. In terms of SiNC, we'll be rolling out more social media elements. So everyone should definitely follow https://twitter.com/sincnational on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/sistersincrime/ on Facebook to meet some cool writers and readers.

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  7. Congratulations, Kellye! It is thrilling to see new spokeswomen make themselves heard. I think you are helping to herd the mystery writing community, and Sisters in Crime in particular, toward a future that is more across-the-board inclusive.

    Character name acronyms: One I changed was HOT, which did not mean "hot" to me. Because I am from the South, it said Hell On Toast, and that just did not fit her. Every little thing matters when it comes to character!

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    1. Thank you, Ramona! That means a lot.

      And I have to confess, I've never heard of Hell on Toast but I need to start using it.

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  8. Several of my friends and some members of my family call me KAZ, so it was no surprise that I caught on to the acronyms in Kellye's book. (And I may have wondered, what is going to happen if one of these characters gets married? LOL - sorry to stress you out Kell.)

    As for the acceptance speech, it was perfect. Especially coming just weeks after N. K. Jemisin's epic Hugo Award speech. Did you all see that? Brilliant in very way. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lFybhRxoVM)

    The numbers are staggering and we MUST do better. Considering that three of this year's Anthony Awards were presented to writers of color and another was bestowed upon a book that looks closely at the abuses foisted upon the Native American community, I think we are headed in the right direction - finally.

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    1. Hi Kristopher! I have to check out her speech but I did just read an article about her in Entertainment Weekly where it quoted from it.

      And if one gets married, I'll have to pick a last name that hopefully still is an acronym. lol

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    2. Kristopher, I think you'd make a very cool Kaz.

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  9. Kellye, it was a pleasure to meet you at Bouchercon and, as it happened, to be sitting near enough to you during the Anthony Award ceremony to see your reaction to winning the Best First. I am so delighted for you!

    I was moved deeply by your acceptance speech. Thank you for your courage and clear-eyed comments. Problems (especially those invisible to the majority) don't get addressed until someone shines a light on them, and you shone a powerful light. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Brenda! It was nice to meet you as well.

      You probably saw my mouth fall open and then me turn to my agent like "Did you hear my name, too?"

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  10. Congratulations again, Kellye!

    My characters didn't pop full formed into my head. I discover new things about them all the time. Like the fact that Jim Duncan can look at a grisly accident scene without flinching, but the sight of his friend putting his contacts in freaks him out because...fingers, eyes. So I hear you.

    I don't think I've made any regrettable decisions...yet.

    My initials are MES - one off from "mess," not great. My maiden name initials were "MEL," but only my one brother ever called me, "Mel."

    Off to lovely Bedford, PA for a book festival tomorrow. Hank, stay dry!

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Have fun at your festival. And I love that small detail about Jim.

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  11. Congratulations on your Anthony, Kellye! I'm looking forward to reading your book.

    I'd never thought about how few minority writers and characters there are until I was at Midwest Writers last year. And it's not just race: there are few characters with disabilities. As a person born with hearing loss, there are very few characters I can truly identify with, so my protagonist shares my severe hearing loss. I'm still struggling through my first draft and your success is inspiring!

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    1. Cathy, I'm so happy to hear that you're writing this protagonist. Characters with disabilities are definitely lacking even more than characters of color. We need that book you're writing (no pressure or anything to finish!)

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    2. Cathy, do you remember Colin Dexter's Morse book, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn? I know Colin was inspired to write this book because of his own hearing loss. I've been partially deaf for many years, and I, too, find it surprising that so few people write about characters with disabilities.

      There's also Annie Hogsett's new series, the Somebody's Bound to Wind Up Dead books, where one of the protagonists, Tom Bennington, is blind. Love these books!

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    3. Deb, I forgot about that Morse book and I haven't read Annie Hogsett yet. Thank you!

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  12. Kellye, I loved your first book, and really looking forward to those crazy chicks in the second! Well done, and congratulations on what I suspect/hope is the first of many recognitions.

    My initials are sequential in the alphabet: KLM Which is also the name of a Swiss airlines, or it used to be. Are they still around?

    Big plans this weekend. Rhys, I'm having lunch with Teresa Michael today! Then dinner with my family, followed by a celebration of life for a friend who recently died. Everyone is asked to wear Hawaiian shirts or something equally colorful. Tomorrow is our local arts fair, and a big, fancy wedding tomorrow night. Sunday I hope to drag my husband to see the last day of the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Taft Museum.

    Watching the storms from here, and hoping for safety for all in Florence's path.

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    1. PS I was very fortunate to sit at Catriona MacPherson's table at Malice, and my seatmate was Frankie! She's a very well-spoken and highly educated woman, but a little shy. I had no idea she was such a goddess for diversity. Now I understand her connection to Catriona better, as she championed more diversity in crime fiction during her term as SINC president. We need more of all of this.

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    2. Thank you, Karen!

      Frankie is amazing and, you're right, definitely prefers to stay out the spotlight. I didn't get a chance to speak to her after I won to see if she was cool with me name dropping her like that. I didn't tell her beforehand. lol

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  13. A big CONGRATS, Kellye. Love the question: what would your main character think of you--and your book. Well, Norbert, the later-in-life rookie fortune teller would have a compassionate view of me, because he does of everyone. But having a book in print out there about him and his self-doubts, his heroism, and especially all his customers' secret concerns--you know, Norbert's the kind of guy who would be more worried about his customers'problems being exposed. He's a very ethical card reader. :)

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    1. Ha ha. I love that he would be more concerned with you telling her customers' business.

      And I love the name Keziah.

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  14. Congratulations, Kellye! I hope those of us who weren't at B-Con can hear/read your entire speech. Thank you for taking time to bring attention to the voices that we don't hear as much. In a moment when I imagine I'd be your basic blithering idiot, your willingness and ability to both honor those who went before and call for the creation of space for those who will follow is amazing.
    On the second question - A friend and I were pregnant at the same time. We lived overseas and both anticipated doing so for a while. We wanted to pick names that would be manageable in multi-lingual settings but didn't want to make them too unusual for a US context. MANY conversations were had. In the end, we deliberately named our daughters in a way that gave them second "initial" names in case they wanted them. These were first children for both of us, so of course both girls choose nicknames that used neither of our brilliant alternatives.

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    1. Ha ha, Lysa. Did you tell your daughter how much time you put into picking her name???

      If you do want to hear my speech, my friend Nadine Nettmann and her husband Matt taped it. I put it on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/kellyekell/videos/10156026389187945/

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  15. Thanks again for having me. And I know I told you all in person but congrats again on your Anthony!!

    I'm still trying to figure out where to put mine. It's definitely a statement piece (and it's probably the size of my torso). So it'll definitely get it's own special place in my apartment.

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  16. Kellye, bravo(brava?) on the award and on the speech.I wasn't there to hear it,(sadly) but I took the SINC workshop, at B'con New Orleans, on writing diversity and have written a couple of essays, published in inSinc and elsewhere, about it. There is still so much to say.So impressed you said it there!

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    1. Hi Triss! I have read your essays. Really appreciate you opening up discussion on this.

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  17. My initials don't spell anything--too many vowels! But this discussion reminds me of a book I read when I was in elementary school--don't remember the author or title--where one of the plot points was that there was a snooty girl whose name was Dorothy Orinda Talbot (DOT). She started a club that you could only join if your initials spelled a name. The protagonist desperately wanted to join the club, but her initials didn't work. And I think there was a girl named Jane Otis (JO) or something like that. I would have read this in the early 1960s, and it probably wasn't brand-new then. And it's sporadically driven me crazy over the years trying to remember what it was. Snooty girl eventually got her comeuppance, of course.

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    1. That is so amazingly cleverly mean girl! I actually love this… So perfect.

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    2. Hank is right. She is mean girl goals!

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  18. Congrats on your Anthony, Kellye! I must admit, I picked up on ASAP pretty fast, but it was book two when I first (correctly) theorized why Danya had the extra letter in her name. And I liked the peanut butter thing. Thinking of it as peanut butter is kind of amusing when you see someone losing it.

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    1. Ha ha. I randomly put the Y in there and then it worked out when it came to the Detective by Day series title. I feel like I should just pretend like that was my plan all along.

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  19. Congratulations on the Anthony Award. Well done! At my first teaching job the principals initials were DOA but 50 years later I don't remember what his name was. Maybe Donald something.
    But growing up I knew a girl named Pamela and her initials were PAM, which I thought was the coolest thing. When my kids were born I couldn't come up with any cool acronyms but I did make sure there weren't any jokes. My nephew is BO, which I would have realized and changed beforehand but not everyone cares about those things.

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    1. Oh, yes. That is so meta-! I read somewhere that someone was asking whether the word BEE had two extra es.

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    2. Now I'm thinking about my niece and nephew. My niece is MGM. Maybe she'll be an actress when she gets older.

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  20. Hi, Kellye! I'm so sorry I didn't get to meet you at Bouchercon, but I heard your speech and loved it. Fortunately the Jungle Reds had Hank to speak for us!

    Since I am DC, I supposed I could stand in for the comics. But my middle initial is L which was never fun with anything. Such an oversight on my parents' part!

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    1. Bummed I didn't get to meet you and Ingrid too. Luckily I was successful in stalking...err chatting with Hank, Lucy and Julia.

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  21. Hi, Kellye - Congratulations!!! I completely relate to problems that arise when you paint yourself into a corner with a character... I've done it with foreign accents. (I always hated it that my initials were HE. Or HEE with my middle name. So not funny.)

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  22. I loved hearing about creating Dayna and her friends, and I'm so happy to have had the chance to meet you in person in St. Petersburg! As for where to put your Anthony...and Agatha...and Lefty...and IPPY...I suggest asking Hank. She has SERIOUS award bling in her study!

    Naming characters: I've never thought of my characters initials! But I do try hard to spread first and last names across the alphabet, so I've had people named Quinn and Iola, a dog named Oscar, and last names like Yarter, de Groot and Urquhart. I have to keep a list because I a) forget my own characters names and b) tend to default to C and K names for some reason. No one wants to read a story where Kevin, Kara, Kellye and Keith have interchangeable adventures!

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    1. I am always using J and M and C. Why is that??

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    2. Julia, meeting you was a highlight of the conference! And I actually have a page in my bullet journal that just lists the letters of the alphabet. And I keep track of all character names like that. I tend to like M names.

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  23. Congratulations, Kellye, on your win! I had so many people I intended to meet at Bouchercon, and you were one of them. Sadly, I missed my chance. So glad I got to meet you though, Hank (and Roberta/Lucy and Julia)! And congrats to all the Reds on your awesome win as well. Kellye, thank you for being an advocate for more diversity in publishing. Hopefully with all of the awards your wonderful debut is racking up more publishers will realize there is an audience for diverse books.

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    1. Thank you, Marla. I actually just sent you DM on Twitter. (And I realize how creepy that sounds...)

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  24. Congratulations, Kellye!!! On the fantastic covers alone, I would think Dayna would forgive you for writing about her. I am so looking forward to reading this series! I absolutely love that you took your moment to shine a light on the lack of traditionally published marginalized writers. It should not be this hard in 2018 for everyone to have a seat at the table and accountability is critical. Bravo! Sidenote: My initials are JAM. I'm not sure what this says about me and I'm having a very small existential crisis but it's cool...

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    1. Hi Jenn! I think JAM is great. And I can't take credit for the covers so I don't know if I can get brownie points from Dayna for them lol Don't tell her this but I originally didn't want her on the cover at all.

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  25. Kellye, welcome to Jungle Reds! Congratulations on the award! When I read the line "what would Dayna have thought of you writing about her?", I immediately thought of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson because Dr. Watson narrated the stories about Sherlock Holmes. I wonder what Sherlock Holmes thought. LOL.

    And the list of marginalized authors, to my surprise, did not include authors with disabilities. I wonder how many?

    Beautiful covers! How did Dayna become an actress? Was she trained at the Yale School of Drama? Or was it like when Lana Turner was discovered at Schwabs?

    Look forward to reading the new Dayna mystery!

    Diana

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    1. All good questions! I never thought about where Dayna learned to act!

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  26. Good on you, Kellye! I'm afraid our initials are all pretty tame and meaningless. Something prodded my memory though. Some years back my husband and I used acronyms as a shorthand that was probably kinder to other peoples' ears. BB was bossy butt. MOS was mean ol' s**t. BFD was big f***ing deal. I'm ashamed to report that the acronyms are out and the filters have failed. Such is older age. As for what is up this weekend? Watching the weather. We've a depression in the Gulf, moving in to south Texas. We've had a lot of rain lately. The ground is saturated so there isn't any place for the rain to soak in. My husband is a Red Cross volunteer, so he may be going to south Texas to help set up some shelters. And another vacation may have just blown up. We are scheduled to go to Charleston SC early in October. Going to have to wait and see if they will be up for visitors.

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    1. Oh Pat! You are having the worst vacation luck! XOXO

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  27. Yay, Kellye! And all those awards are so well deserved! As for my protagonist, Sally Solari, it was only well after the publication of book one that I realized her initials were the same as for the Social Security Administration (as well as an unfortunate WWII acronym).

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    1. Oh, the things we figure out too late...xxxx

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  28. Congratulations to both Jungle Red Writers and to Kellye on your Anthony Awards!

    ***Confetti and champagne party!***

    Love this post, Kellye. I never noticed that your character names were acronyms...wow. Very cool.

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  29. Gas explosions in Boston area. Are all our New England Reds okay?

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    1. Incredibly terrifying… And they were north west of Boston… So very scary. Everyone, check in!

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  30. Welcome, Kellye! Congrats on all your rave reviews and your Anthony! I love the acronyms, and I can relate to the plight of misspelled names. Everyone seems to want to add an "r" to my last name, making it Throft, and I'm constantly having to correct them. Why?! It doesn't need an "r"! What's the story behind your extra "y"?

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    1. That’s so strange, Ingrid! Why is Throft any more logical?

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    2. It's not, which is what makes it so maddening!

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  31. So happy for you, Kellye, that Hollywood Homicide won an Anthony! And, I'm also happy that I was there to see you receive it. Congratulations on a great book and your award! I think I'm getting slow. I didn't see the acronyms, and I love word play. So clever. Keep up the great writing and standing up for yourself and others, Kellye.

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  32. Congratulations on winning still another award! I think I may have said this about your books on another blog, but you are so gifted at writing very entertaining and humorous stories that are also extremely suspenseful. Keep those stories coming!

    Names: When I was a freshman in college I was always tripping over air molecules and ending up with scraped knees, so I slowly built up a supply of first aid items. People in my building came to me for bandaids(of all sizes), mercurochrome, etc. Because of my first aid supplies and my initials (DR) a couple of people started calling me Doc. One of them thought it was my actual childhood nickname!

    DebRo

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  33. Quick update - I ordered Hollywood Homicide from my local B&N this afternoon. I should have it sometime next week.

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  34. Just landed in Tampa! Yes again! And I see you all had fun while I was gone… As soon as I get to the hotel, I will read all of these! XO

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  35. Oh Hank--here's a very close-to-yours acronym story. When my niece Hannah married a Talbot, one of her sisters started to tease her about her initials now being "HAT" and what fun we might make of that. Hannah gave her a very sour look and asked what she thought it had been like going through elementary school with the initials "HAM". Oops. How had we missed that?

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