Kathy: In DREAM A LITTLE DEATH Dreama Black supports herself by running custom-designed, themed tours of L.A. Although I rarely take tours, I love exploring the areas where I live. Do you enjoy checking things out off the beaten path?
SK: It’s my favorite thing to do. I love to hop in the car with my husband on a weekend, and just drive to a neighborhood we’ve never been to. We use Google a lot, and food as our excuse. So we’ll look up, say, the best carne asada in L.A., which might take us to Boyle Heights, or the best soup dumplings, which will take us to the San Gabriel Valley. We’ll also hunt down garage sales, vintage shops, art installations, architectural landmarks, whatever will get us out of the house and somewhere new. Hint to the uninitiated: a full tank of gas is essential.
Kathy: What's the most unique not to miss place in L.A to visit?
SK: It’s a toss-up between Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House and SUR. That’s a joke. Well, not really.
Kathy: Dreama meets a Raymond Chandler-obsessed rap producer. Are you a fan of Raymond Chandler as well?
SK: Absolutely. Chandler’s ability to evoke a person or a place through metaphor is unparalleled, and the more baroque those metaphors get, the more I love 'em. Then there’s the character of Phillip Marlowe, the touchstone of crime fiction. The novelist in me is also enamored of Chandler’s back story -- his late entry into fiction, his tortured relationship to Hollywood, and his deep and stubborn love for his wife, Cissy.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
SK: As a kid, I watched my mother devour Agatha Christies. And I wanted to be just like her, so I did the same! And then I was hooked.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
SK: Not yet.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
SK: My Dreama Black series features a 28 year old, third generation rock and roll groupie who leads custom-themed, private tours of L.A. My Cece Caruso series features a 40ish ex-beauty queen from New Jersey, who writes biographies of dead mystery authors. Both my protagonists are amateur sleuths obsessed with fashion, old movies, and other people’s business…with fatal consequences.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
SK: Dreama’s 1980s video vixen mom, Desiree, is my favorite because she’s closest to my age, and, I’m not ashamed to admit it, I still want to be Tawny Kitaen (I own a white leotard and filmy dress, if anyone’s interested…)
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
SK: The original impetus of the series was my curiosity about “Sharona," the girl who was the inspiration for The Knack’s hit song from the ‘80s, “My Sharona.” And I wound up creating my own “girl in the song,” Dreama Black, who inspired the hit song, “Dreama, Little Dreama,” that wound up ruining her life... (As it turns out, Sharona is a real estate broker in L.A. and I’ve been to one of her open houses!)
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
SK: I was lucky enough to have a publisher that wanted to take a chance on me, after a big gap between this book and the last book in my previous series.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
SK: Oscar Wilde, Edith Wharton, Dorothy Parker, and Patricia Highsmith.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
SK: Dennis Lehane’s SINCE WE FELL, Kevin Kwan’s CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND, Joan Juliet Buck’s THE PRICE OF ILLUSION.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
SK: Reading, above all else. After that, Pilates, hiking, biking, cooking, traveling, and vintage shopping.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
SK: Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovies and pre-peeled garlic, because a girl needs Caesar salad.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
SK: I am already working on the next Dreama Black adventure, which involves organizing a tour of spiritual/New Age L.A. for a group of yoga mommies from Orange County.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
SK: Everything! Getting to be creative on a daily basis, getting to entertain people, getting to work at your own pace, on your own time, and getting to work ALONE!
Dream A Little Death
by Susan Kandel
on Tour May 23 - June 23, 2017
From critically acclaimed author Susan Kandel comes a charming new mystery featuring Dreama Black and a cast of zany LA-based characters.The first time I set eyes on Miles McCoy, I worried he might try to eat me. He was the size and girth of a North American grizzly, with long, silver-tipped hair, a long silver-tipped beard, and small dark eyes that bore into me like I was a particularly fine specimen of Chinook salmon. It couldn't have helped that I'd used a honey scrub the morning we met. I should've known better. Not just about the scrub, but about a lot of things.
Like braving the freeway during rush hour.
Like thinking you can't get a ticket for parking at a broken meter.
Like racing up to his penthouse in gladiator sandals, and expecting not to twist an ankle.
Like watching his fiancée shoot herself, and assuming it was suicide, instead of murder.
Meet Dreama Black. A 28 year-old, third-generation groupie trying to figure out who she is after being publicly dumped by the rock god whose mega-hit, "Dreama, Little Dreama" made the name and the girl world-famous. Now Dreama supports herself by running custom-designed, themed tours of her hometown of L.A. When she is hired by a Raymond Chandler-obsessed rap producer to create a "L.A. noir" tour as his present to his soon-to-be bride, Dreama gets pulled into the middle of a possible murder, corrupt cops, and an unforgettable pair of femme fatales.
Book Details:Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: May 23rd 2017
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 0062674994 (ISBN13: 9780062674999)
Series: A Dreama Black Mystery, 1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads