When I started writing Dressed to Confess, I knew the mystery would surround a dance troupe made famous for their performances from a previous decade. My inspiration was The Go-Gogos, who are probably my favorite band. At the time, I was only looking for a way to incorporate a group I loved into a story I was writing, but when I looked them up to see if there was any interesting backstory that I didn’t know about, I was shocked. Turns out when I wasn’t looking, a rift had formed within the group and one of the members had been ousted.
Here’s the part I love about research. You never know what you’re going to find, and you never know what you’re going to use. At least that’s what I told myself when I accessed the forty pages of legal documents I uncovered from “The Hollywood Reporter.” That’s right, I said forty pages!
You know that feeling when you’re in a public place and someone near you is discussing their dirty laundry and you can hear every single thing? And you know you’re not technically supposed to be hearing it, but you can’t stop listening, because DRAMA!
That’s how I felt while reading those documents. And two things became obvious: I wouldn’t be able to use the five women from the band as inspiration for my five-woman dance troupe, but in my story, one of those women (Ronnie Cass) was going to be the victim.
Reading those documents provided me with a sense of the kind of power struggle that builds up in that sort of group dynamic. And just like when I sat through a civil court case while writing the second book in this series, I realized this sort of drama exists all around us. The motive for murder didn’t come from the court documents (whew!), but vague idea for The Domino Divas did—as did the idea for the domino-inspired costumes that Margo makes for the Divas’ performance.
As for the other sources of drama that link back to Ronnie Cass and lead to possible motives for murder, well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what else she did to get herself on somebody’s bad list!
(Oh. You mean you wanted to read the forty pages too? Here you go. Have fun! http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/custom/Documents/ESQ/go-go-complaint.pdf)
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After two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. DRESSED TO CONFESS, #3 in her Lefty-Nominated Costume Shop Mystery Series, came out August 1. Diane is the president of Sisters in Crime. She also writes the Samantha Kidd, Madison Night, and Material Witness mystery series. She started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes (and costumes!) ever since.