A day in the life of Dreama Black by Susan Kandel

6:00 a.m.: Wake up as sun streams relentlessly into bedroom window. Roll over grumpily and place pillow over head, filled with regret about having forgotten to buy black-out shades. Again.

6:30 a.m.: Check Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Hate-read Goop. Search Daily Mail for possible references to ex-boyfriend, rock star Luke Cutt, and his Victoria’s Secret supermodel girlfriend with the disfiguring overbite. Open email and gasp out loud at requests for three tour bookings: a foodie tour for kosher singles from Milwaukee; a tour of hot L.A. selfie spots for some twenty-somethings from Tokyo; and a tour of iconic surf breaks, along with a surfing lesson, for six divorcees from Walla Walla. When it rains, it pours.

7:30 a.m.: Pull on running clothes, exit house, jog to corner, remember that exercise is exhausting, go home.

7:35 a.m.: Put on first pot of coffee. Make breakfast of champions: two slices of toast with cherry preserves and butter. Drink pot of coffee. Then make third slice of toast and spread liberally with peanut butter because it’s good to start the day with protein.

8:30 a.m.: Ignore phone messages from over-anxious client regarding upcoming “What Were You Thinking?” tour. Send text reassuring him that as promised, he and the guys from the wedding party will not only visit the spots where Hugh Grant, Eddie Murphy, and George Michael were arrested, they will go backstage at a porn shoot in the San Fernando Valley and see how the magic gets made. Then spend fifteen minutes wondering how on earth you will possibly make this happen.

9:30 a.m.: Shower and dress. Not as easy as it sounds. Finally decide upon an off- the-shoulder black-and-white gingham top and white capris, with red kitten heel mules and usual basket purse, in homage to idol, Jane Birkin. Accidentally leave without water bottle despite New Year’s resolution to hydrate consistently.

10 a.m.: Drive to Trousdale to help former video vixen mother organize items for garage sale. Try to convince her to sell fanny-pack she is wearing, but encounter resistance as it so beautifully matches her astrology-themed leggings and bandana. Quibble over pricing of can of hair spray used by members of Whitesnake on pivotal “Slide It In” tour of 1984. Leave with water bottle after mother makes rude comment about skin looking “off.” Back in car, realize that mother also slipped you the phone number of her old Lamaze buddy, ex-porn actress, Traci Lords, who may be able to pull some (G-)strings.

12:00 p.m.: Head over to Echo Park to meet with artisanal pickle-maker. Pickles very salty, but pickle-maker himself gorgeous and single. Put him on schedule for kosher foodie tour. Stop into used bookshop to research surfing tour, and flip through vintage “Gidget” paperback, then pose for picture with bookshop clerk, who — having realized you are the girl in the song — shares that she lost her virginity to “Dreama, Little Dreama.” Smile wanly as you exit.

2:00 p.m.: Stop at Grand Central Market. Eat two kimchi tacos, followed by pastrami sandwich. Express gratitude for your fast metabolism by getting frozen yogurt — as opposed to chocolate sundae — for dessert. Ignore 4th call of the day from anxious client, then text Traci Lords.

3:00 p.m.: Wander around West Hollywood documenting selfie spots, including pink wall outside Paul Smith store, and angel wings adjacent to liquor store on Orlando where they once caught you flashing a fake ID.

4:00 p.m.: Visit best friend at her tattoo parlor, Cat House, and watch her work on a Hollywood sign tattoo on a hairy person’s back. Marvel at the way she is able to blend hairs into vines. Become so mesmerized that you miss callback from Traci Lords. Feel sudden wave of optimism about “What Were You Thinking?” tour and future career prospects, and finally return anxious client’s call. Drop can of Diet Coke when client tells you tour is off because groom is missing and presumed dead.

5:00 p.m.: Arrive at Cellar Door, struggling vegan café run by mother and grandmother, to do a fill-in shift for waitress who invented 3-D printer for gluten-free pancakes and had a last-minute audition for “Shark Tank.” Wonder if missing groom is the victim of foul play, or just suffering from cold feet. Google him during extended chicory coffee break, and learn that his active-wear company has just filed for bankruptcy. Note that his second-in-command is an extremely beautiful young woman. Check her Facebook and learn that she is somewhere tropical, and that her favorite cocktail is a Mai Tai.

9:00 p.m.: Get home, take shower, crawl into bed with computer and large box of crackers. Enlarge groom’s second-in-command’s vacation photos, and catch a glimpse of hotel name embroidered on pool towels. Call hotel and claim to have found groom’s cell phone at downstairs bar, checked his messages, discovered he was staying there, and profess desire to return his phone. Listen as clerk confirms that groom is indeed a guest of hotel, and offers to relay message to him. Hang up.

10:00 p.m.: Finish box of crackers. Have long conversation with anxious client, and inform him missing groom is alive and well in the Cayman Islands. Call back Traci Lords, and tell her you just wanted to say that you loved her in “Cry Baby.” Put on eye-mask, and go to sleep.

You can read more about Dreama in Dream a Little Death, the first book in the NEW “Dreama Black” mystery series.

Dreama Black is almost famous. The daughter (and granddaughter) of groupies who captivated L.A.’s biggest rock stars, and muse to her own Grammy-winning ex-boyfriend Luke Cutt, Dreama seems doomed to remain on the periphery of stardom.

All that changes when Dreama is hired by record producer Miles McCoy to arrange an epic wedding celebration for his beautiful fiancée, Maya Duran. The theme of the party? A noir-style tour through L.A.’s most infamous locations and hidden gems. It seems like Dreama’s big break, until Maya is rushed to the hospital with a self-inflicted bullet wound. The police and everyone involved assume it’s an attempted suicide, but Dreama isn’t convinced. For one thing, how did the weapon just vanish? Why has Maya been using two names? And then there’s the mysterious check for $40,000 that shows up on Dreama’s doorstep—the exact amount of money reportedly laundered by her beloved L.A. police detective uncle, and also the exact amount Miles promised as payment for Dreama’s party-planning services.

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Meet the author
Susan Kandel is a former art critic for the Los Angeles Times. She has taught at New York University and UCLA, and served as editor of the international journal artext. She lives in West Hollywood, California, with her husband, two daughters, and dog.

All comments are welcomed.

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6 responses to “A day in the life of Dreama Black by Susan Kandel

  1. Christi King

    This books sounds like fun! I loved Susan Kandel’s Cecelia Caruso series. I’m looking forward to reading Dream a Little Death.


  2. Really excited to read a new book by her, I liked Cece too!


  3. Thanks for the heads up on this. On my TBR. Looking forward to reading it.


  4. Just downloaded this! Looking forward to reading it.


  5. Pauline Barlow

    Your article made me want to read more about Dreama Black. I have not read any be Susan Kandel.


  6. Barbara Hackel

    Wow! Sounds exhausting to be Dreama!!! But what a fun book. Thanks for the intro, Dru Ann!