Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Author Spotlight- Lee Hollis

Cozy Mystery Author Lee Hollis. Author of the Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery Series. Lee's newest book is Death of a Cupcake Queen


Rick Copp was two years out of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts when he was tapped at 24 years old to become a staff writer on the enormously popular NBC sitcom The Golden Girls in 1988. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, especially for a boy from Bar Harbor, Maine, who grew up dreaming of living underneath the famous Hollywood sign, a dream that became a reality soon after his arrival in Los Angeles.
He spent the next five years writing for a number of series including the critically acclaimed and commercially successsful hits NBC's Wings, FOX's Flying Blind and HBO's Dream On.

In 1995, he teamed up with screenwriter Laurice Elehwany, who wrote the popular MaCauley Culkin comedy drama My Girl and together they co-wrote the big screen TV remake The Brady Bunch Movie, which was a major box office hit for Paramount Pictures. This led to many more feature writing assignments for Universal, Warner Brothers, Imagine Entertainment, The Jim Henson Company among others as well as uncredited rewrites on Howard Stern's Private Parts and The Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas.

But Rick has also stayed very busy in television co-creating and executive producing a campy, fun TV revival of the '80s David Hasselhoff hit Team Knight Rider where he also played the recurring role of Clayton the Chef. He's written for a wide variety of series including Secret Agent Man, Barbershop, executive produced by Ice Cube, and Jack of All Trades starring Bruce Campbell. He's created and written many television pilots for most of the major networks including ABC, CBS, MTV, Lifetime, USA, Nickoleon and Logo including two produced one hour prime time mystery pilots Homewood P.I. for CBS starring Tony Danza and Soccer Moms for ABC starring Kristin Davis. Recently he's written five episodes of the late night Cinemax anthology crime series Femme Fatales under the pen name Richard Hollis, which also provided him the opportunity to return to acting playing a befuddled professor in three episodes. Acting is a hobby Rick still loves to indulge.

Rick has always kept a strong presence in children's television programming as well, which began with him co-writing the popular animated feature Scooby Doo and the Witch's Ghost. Its success led to him writing multiple episodes of the Cartoon Network smash hit Teen Titans as well as story editing the first season of Warner Brothers' Loonatics Unleashed. His passion in life is traveling so it was a special treat for him to work abroad on another successful animated series called Chi Rho -The Secret produced by Cross Media and broadcast by KiKa in Germany.


In 2001, Rick decided to fulfill another goal and write a mystery novel. He had been playing around with a character named Jarrod Jarvis, a former child star on a hit '80s sitcom called Go to Your Room! who had his very own catch phrase, "Baby, don't even go there!" Jarrod's unbridled curiosity led him to investigate a series of sordid Hollywood murder mysteries in between acting audtions.


The first book The Actor's Guide to Murder (Kensington, Nov 2003) was very well received and was followed by two sequels The Actor's Guide to Adultery (Kensington, Nov 2004) and The Actor's Guide to Greed (Kensington, Nov 2005), which was nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award for Best Mystery. He wrote a stand alone book called Fingerprints & Facelifts (Kensington, July 2007), an homage to his favorite TV series as a child, Charlie's Angels. A crack team of female private investigators known as the LA Dolls, who had a very successful detective business in the late '80s were long retired and living separate lives, but were forced to reunite when someone from their past began targeting their children. Lifetime Television optioned the book for a TV movie and hired Rick to adapt his own novel as a teleplay.


Another childhood obsession of Rick's was collecting comic books and he was able to realize yet another dream by writing a graphic novel Celebrity Zombie Killers (Ape Entertainment, March 2010), best described as "a twisted, hilarious mash-up of MTV's The Hills meets 28 Days Later."


In 2010, when Rick's sister won an award for her cooking column in their hometown's local paper, he saw an opportunity. He writes mysteries. She writes recipes. Combine the two for a new book series. And the Hayley Powell Food & Cocktails Mystery series was born. The brother and sister writing team are collaborating on three books under the pen name Lee Hollis, Death of a Kitchen Diva (Kensington, March 2012), Death of a Country Fried Redneck (Kensington, November 2012) and Death of a Coupon Clipper (Kensington, 2013).


1 comment:

  1. I love this series and have read them all except the new one, but it's on my shelf waiting for me.

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