DIVA’S LAST CURTAIN CALL is your third Kendra Clayton mystery – what’s at the heart of Kendra’s latest escapade?
This time around I’m introducing readers to Kendra’s self-absorbed, actress wannabe sister, Allegra. Allegra is in town to interview fading screen star Vivianne DeArmond for the show Hollywood Vibe. But when Allegra discovers Vivianne’s lifeless body in her dressing room, stabbed in the back with a letter opener the day after she was picked-up on the actress’s property for trespassing, the police peg Allegra as the prime suspect in her murder. Kendra has to clear her sister’s name.
I decided to write the kind of books I enjoy reading. I love mysteries. I love following the clues and solving the puzzle.
There aren’t a lot of African-American mystery writers. There are even fewer featuring a single black woman living in a small town who isn’t a private eye or a member of law enforcement. I wanted to create a series character, living in a non urban setting, that I’d yet to see in mystery fiction.
I wasn’t an outliner with my first book and it took me four years to write it. But then again I also didn’t have contract. I was just writing to see if I could actually finish a book. Now that I have deadlines to meet, I’m a big believer in the outlining process. I know some writers are opposed to it but it really works for me. It helps me with my plotting but at the same time I don’t feel tied to it. I usually follow about 85% of my outlines and make changes long the way as I see fit.
I’m a big fan of pop culture and since the book has a Hollywood theme I got to put in a lot movie and TV references. It was also fun creating the character of Vivianne DeArmond and making up a career for her including the fictional movies she starred in.
I’d love to write a young adult fantasy novel along the lines of a Harry Potter. I’d also love to write a horror novel one day.
Calm, loyal, cerebral
My love of storytelling
Me, my Mac, and some munchies ; )
I love all kinds of music, especially old school soul and eighties music from my college days. I listened to a lot of the Isley Brothers, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Chaka Khan, Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, and The System.
KENDRA CLAYTON: Cool
ANGELA HENRY: Me
DIVA’S LAST CURTAIN CALL: Fun
Never give up. It may take a long to time get published and you have to really love writing to put up with all the rejection and criticism you get as a writer. Learn the business side of publishing because it will save you a lot of heartache and disappointment when you understand how things work in the publishing biz.
I’m finishing up Kendra book #4 and working on a standalone mystery that my agent is currently shopping.