Friday, April 26, 2013

Next Up Washington DC

I just got home Wednesday night, well, technically Thursday morning because the plane was an hour and a half late and arrived at 12:30 a.m., and I’m leaving again next Wednesday for Washington DC and the Malice Domestic mystery conference.

This conference is for traditional mysteries, which means more emphasis on the puzzle than on blood and gore. It is always fun to catch up with all my writer friends and get to meet fans. I’m on a panel with my blog sister Linda O. Johnston. Our topic is Hollywood as a backdrop in our books. I usually worry about what I’m going to say on the panel, but this time I can just wing it.

The last two crochet mysteries both had entertainment industry things going on. In Behind the Seams, a producer is killed backstage at a talk show the Tarzana Hookers are attending in force. Lots of the action takes place at the studio where the talk show is taped. In If Hooks Could Kill, L.A. 911 is being filmed on the Tarzana streets near the bookstore where the Tarzana Hookers hang out.

I used real life experiences in both books. I have been backstage and in the audience of TV talk shows. My husband produced one in New York, so I know a lot of the dirt that goes on behind the scenes.

As for filming on the street – a lot of it actually does go on in my neighborhood. There are a few streets in particular when there always seems to be a caravan of white production trucks. I went to the Huntington Gardens a few weeks ago and I noticed signs designating parking area for production vehicles.

They were filming the sitcom 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on the grounds. When you see the supposed White House rose garden, it’s really part of the Huntington Gardens.

I had my own moment of being on the other side of the camera. I had inside help in getting the gig - my husband produced some video movies for Motown Productions, and I got to be a featured extra in one of them. My scene was shot at a car dealership in Hollywood. It was supposed to take place in the 1960s. I got a hair style via a wig appropriate for the time, a make up job, and heels. It was lots of fun, but my moment on screen went by so quick, if you blinked you missed me. My own mother didn’t even recognize me.

Then there was my red carpet moment. We’d gone to a movie premiere and I happened to be walking down the red carpet in front of one of the stars, so I ended up getting caught in the blitz of blinding flashes. Once was enough for that.

I’ve been to so-called Hollywood parties and met and air kissed a lot of famous people. When I wrote about Molly going to charity dinners with lots of celebrities, it was based on real experiences. It was all very surreal, like walking into the ladies room and seeing Liza Minnelli fixing her make up.

So, for once I’m not worried about what I’m going to say. I have lots and lots and lots of stories


Linda O. Johnston said...

Looking forward to our panel together, Betty! My film experience is more of a result of living in Hollywood and talking to people than actually being on camera myself--although I was recently on a TV show relating to pet rescue--but I'll have some stories to tell, too.

Anne Canadeo said...

Fun post, Betty! Enjoyed the stories of your glamourous adventures. Sorry I won't be at
Malice Domestic this year, and it's so close to did I miss that? Will make a note to get there in 2014. Hope you and Linda have a great time

Betty Hechtman said...

Wow, Linda, your TV appearance sounds interesing.

Betty Hechtman said...

Anne, I'm sorry you aren't going to be at Malice. It would be nice to meet you in person.