My friend Rosey had the great idea to annotate a copy of Hollywood Homicide for a giveaway. I thought I’d take it one step further and share some insights in a blog post as well. (And I’m not just doing this because my handwriting is atrocious!)
Here’s some “insider info” on chapters 6 – 10. You can find the first five chapters here.
Warning: This does contain slight spoilers if you haven’t already read these chapters. It doesn’t ruin anything beyond these chapters though. I hope.
I love gossip blogs but Anani isn’t based on any one in particular. Instead, it has some of my favorite elements from several different ones, plus a few gossip site staples.
Page 48: “OMG! That’s his nickname on Anani. He’s officially big-time.”
As I mentioned in the previous post, I have a big acronym theme in the book so Omari isn’t the only character whose initials are acronym. All my main characters have them. Some are more creative than others, like Sienna Michelle Hayes. SMH sums her up perfectly.
Page 50: The last thing I needed was to be in the throes of hypnosis and have to buffer.
This is my favorite line in the entire book. Don’t ask me why. I just find it hysterical. *Pats self on back.*
Page 59: So if you wanted to get up close to your favorite celeb, you just needed to buy a ticket to another movie and kind of hang out in the lobby or right outside until said celeb got tired of smiling for the camera.
Based on a true experience. My friends and I were going to see a movie at the ArcLight and we happened to be there at the same time as the Step Up premiere. We sat outside and watched Channing Tatum, Queen Latifah and a few others walk by us after they finished working the red carpet. No one stopped us, either.
Page 61: As they talked, Omari put his hands behind his back. It looked like he was doing some weird gesture. I narrowed my eyes so I could see better. He made a fist, then released it.
Also based on a true experience, just not mine. When I was at Vibe magazine, a coworker noticed a prominent (at the time) hip-hop producer would do this when he was stuck talking with an overeager wannabe-rapper.
Page 68: “The Y in your name,” the guy said. “It’s completely unnecessary.”
“The Y’s for Yolanda, my grandmother.” I was going to say more but realized I was explaining myself to a stranger. “Who is this?”
I can obviously relate to Day’s “unnecessary” Y. My E is for Ernest, my dad.
Page 69: I hadn’t the slightest clue what the United Way did, but I suddenly wanted to help them.
According to Wikipedia, “United Way’s focus is to identify and resolve pressing community issues and to make measurable changes in communities through partnerships with schools, government agencies, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, community development corporations, voluntary and neighborhood associations, the faith community, and others. The main areas include education, income, and health.”
Page 69: I’d wanted to be Betty Boop for Halloween when I was five. My mother was too Southern, too black, and too traditional to even think of letting me live that dream. I ended up being Strawberry Shortcake, but the name stuck.
I didn’t have a nickname but I was Strawberry Shortcake as a kid. And this is definitely an homage to so many stories I heard of people not knowing their own family’s real names growing up.
Page 71: Southern Girl Desserts
Yes, they exist in real life! One of my FAMU classmates is a co-owner. They are no longer at that location but you can find out more about them–and their amazing cupcakes–by visiting their website: http://southerngirldesserts.com/.
Page 81: I googled the LAPD Tip Line and clicked the link to make sure I didn’t miss any other fine print like having to sacrifice my first child if my tip turned out to be wrong.
The quoted text is actually from the Tip Line. (Also, when I googled “Crime prevention cannot be achieved by the police alone.” my book was the fifth hit. So sorry anyone looking to report a tip and instead finding a really funny amateur detective novel written by a fabulous debut author!)
Page 83: Day’s Tip Line Identification 1018.
October 18th is actually my birthday. I actually chose to use that number because I knew I could easily remember it.
Chapter 10: CONTAINS SEMI-SPOILER
Page 92: Emme stopped her constant movement to look at me. “You’re sitting outside the house. Of a murderer. WTF?”
When she put it that way. I immediately got defensive. “It’s just a hit-and-run. It’s not like he’s a serial killer targeting broke black chicks trying any crazy way to get money.”
Like with most amateur detective main characters, Day puts herself in a lot of dangerous situations. So it was really important to me that someone point this out to her. This is the first of many lectures from her friends.