Ask the Author: Kellye Garrett

What would you like readers to know about you? 

I’m a longtime mystery reader turned author who penned the award-winning Detective by Day mystery series.

What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

It’s a lightweight mysteries series a la the Stephanie Plum books about a semi-famous, mega-broke black actress who becomes a private detective. 


What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

I spent 8 years in Los Angeles, including a stint writing for the TV show Cold Case. People were always surprised to learn what I did for a living. Probably because I seemed way too happy to be brainstorming ways to murder people every week. But to me, Hollywood is a place where it’s better to laugh than to cry. And so I wanted to write a series that combined my love of mystery with the absurdity that can be show business.

What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

As a long time mystery lover, I’m a huge fan of a good twist. I had a friend read the second book in the series, Hollywood Ending, to give me notes and she genuinely was shocked at one of the reveals. That made my day because that’s my goal. I want to create twists that you don’t see coming but when you think about it, they make perfect sense because of the way they were developed and planted.  


What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

Sue Grafton, Barbara Neely, Sara Paretsky, Valerie Wilson Wesley, Robert B. Parker. For the most part, I’m a sucker for a first-person POV that includes tons of sarcasm and humor.  


What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

Accept the first draft is going to stink. I call it the vomit draft because I throw up on the page and then clean it up later. I think a lot of newbie writers don’t write because they are comparing their first drafts to the finished products of their fave authors but the finished product was written, rewritten, edited, rewritten again, copy edited, etc. I guarantee their first draft probably stunk too. 



Winner of the 2018 Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel 

Winner of the 2017 Agatha Award Nominee for Best First Novel 

Winner of the 2018 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery Novel 

Winner of the 2018 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Award Gold Medal for Best First Book – Fiction 

Barry Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original 

Macavity Award Nominee for Best First Mystery Novel 



One of the TODAY show’s “Best Summer Reads” for 2019 

Anthony Award Nominee for Best Paperback Original 

Lefty Award Nominee for Best Humorous Novel   

One of Suspense Magazine’s “Best of 2018” books in the Cozy Mystery category 

One of CrimeReads “20 Best Crime Novels of 2018“ 

One of Book Riot’s “Rioters’ Favorite Mysteries, Thrillers, And True Crime of 2018.” 

One of Dru’s Book Musings Favorite Books of 2018 



Barnes & Noble

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