October 27, 2011

Author Interview: CHERYL CRANE

Today I am thrilled and honored to welcome Cheryl Crane, author of the newly released mystery The Bad Always Die Twice, to Psychotic State Book Reviews to discuss fiction versus nonfiction, The Food Network and her famous mother!

Hi Cheryl!  Welcome to Psychotic State Book Reviews.  I am so excited and honored to have you here today.  Thank you for taking the time to chat with me and my readers.  

CC:  Thank you for inviting me.

You have a new book out  – The Bad Always Die Twice.  Great title - - a nice play on The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Bad and The Beautiful!  What can you tell us about it?  

CC:  I’m glad that you like it and picked up on reference.  As to the book it is the first book in a series featuring  Nikki Harper, realtor-turned- amateur sleuth, and her mother, screen goddess, Victoria Bordeaux, and their adventures in Hollywood.

Did you write yourself into the character of Nikki or is she an amalgam of different people?

CC:  There are similarities between us, but there are greater differences.

What is Nikki’s greatest strength?  What is her greatest weakness?

CC:  Her stubborn belief in the people she cares for is both  her strength and weakness. 
What do you hope that readers will take away from The Bad Always Die Twice? 

CC:  I hope that they enjoy the tale and grow to love Nikki.

Do I understand correctly that The Bad Always Die Twice is the first book in a series?

CC:  Yes, I am working on the second book, titled Imitation of Death.

You have written two previous books - - Detour and Lana: The Memories, The Myths, The Movies - - both nonfiction.  Did you find writing fiction to be easier or more difficult than writing nonfiction?   

CC:  It is much easier, you have total control of your characters.

How did you get into writing?   

CC:  Writing has always been a part of my life, like Nikki, I am a real estate broker and write ads daily.

Did you ever consider following in your mother’s footsteps and heading into an acting career? 

CC:  No, one star in the family was enough.

Please share with us where you write.  Do you have a dedicated office space?  Are you neat and organized or do you prefer ordered (or not so ordered!) chaos?  

CC:  I write on my laptop (wherever I am) with my dogs at my feet.  I am very neat.

Do you have any eccentricities or quirks while you write that are an absolute necessity?

CC:  Yes, I have to have the Food Network on TV as white noise, there are times when what I am hearing works its way into the story. Also, my girls (Cavalier King Charles Spaniels) have to be with me.

Can you tell us what a normal day in the life of Cheryl Crane is like?

CC:  There are no normal days, but they all include the following: I get up early to walk the girls, work in the garden, do my real estate, work on the book.  The days fly by….

What do you think is the best piece of advice you could give to struggling writers? 

CC:  Never give up, and the old adage, write what you know.

When you’re not writing your own books, what authors do you enjoy reading?  

CC:  Anne Rice (a dear friend of mine), Stephen King, James Ellroy, and my dear, dear friend John Waters.

Can you tell us what projects you are working on now?

CC:  The Nikki Harper series and a film.

Because I am a classic film buff and love your mother’s films . . . what is your personal favorite film of hers?

CC:  Ziegfeld Girl and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

I loved her in The Postman Always Rings Twice - - great movie and she was absolutely stunning with her blonde hair, the white two piece outfit and that red lipstick!   

CC:  Yes, I agree and I have the iconic white beret that she wears in the film.

When you watch your mother’s movies now, do you view her as “Mom” or is she “Lana Turner” when she’s on the screen?   

CC:  Since she passed away I find it very hard to watch her films.

Having been exposed to the extreme media scrutiny yourself, growing up as the child of a movie star, do you think the press is worse today than it was 50 or 60 years ago?  What type of advice would you give the kids of celebrities today?  

CC:  The press is much worse, the studios used to control everything and everyone. Today there is no limit to what is written, it doesn't matter if it is true or false.  As to the kids of celebrities, I would only say, always be  true to yourself first.

Lastly, what one word would you use to describe The Bad Always Die Twice?    


Thank you so much, Cheryl, for stopping by and answering my questions.  I enjoyed chatting with you and wish you the best of luck with The Bad Always Die Twice

by Cheryl Crane

Set in Hollywood, The Bad Always Die Twice is the first of a wildly entertaining series set amidst the bright lights, big egos, and Botoxed brows of Hollywood. It is partly the glitz and glamour of Jackie Collins novels and partly the LA streets of hard-boiled James Ellroy.

Who better to tell this tale than Cheryl Crane, daughter of Hollywood legend Lana Turner and actor-restaurateur Joseph Stephen Crane? Cheryl was involved in the Johnny Stompanato scandal of the same period. She allegedly killed the hoodlum because he threatened to kill her mother.
This mystery features Nicki Harper, the daughter of a screen goddess, who is raised in a completely dysfunctional home populated by a cast of crazies but who did not follow in her mother's footsteps. Instead, Nikki is a real estate agent who wants a quiet, comfortable life with a little love and happiness thrown in.

Up until now, Nicki always thought that dead meant dead. But then, film icon Rex March turns up freshly murdered in the bed of Nicki's best friend after being reported dead six months ago. A little distrustful of law enforcement, Nicki feels compelled to solve the murder on her own. Her acquaintances range from the pinnacle of Hollywood royalty to the bottom of Tinseltown's barrel, including a not-so-grieving widow, a conniving younger lover, a best friend with secrets, a jilted mistress, a ''closeted'' confidante, a wacky neighbor, and a scheming business partner. Rex has a gaping hole where his eye used to be, and Nicki knows a lot of people with motives for the murder. The killer is getting ready for a repeat performance, so Nicki must act fast before her own screen fades to black.

Read my review of The Bad Always Die Twice here.

To purchase a copy of The Bad Always Die Twice, please visit my Amazon storeI am an Amazon affiliate. If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.


Harvee said...

Sounds like an interesting new series. And set in Hollywood, too. Wonder if there are any Hollywood and LA real estate secrets in the book? Nice interview!

Lori Johnston said...

Hi Harvee, thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series. There is definitely some real estate mentioned but nothing secretive. Maybe in Cheryl's next book?!