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Nancy Grace's latest murder mystery (not a true story)

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Nancy Grace pens new book
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nancy Grace's new novel, "Death on the D-List," goes on sale Tuesday
  • The mystery-thriller features many of the characters from her first novel
  • Grace anchors "Nancy Grace" nightly at 8 p.m. ET on HLN

Watch "Nancy Grace" on HLN nightly at 8pm and 10pm ET

(CNN) -- Nancy Grace's new novel, "Death on the D-List," is the sequel to her debut thriller, "The Eleventh Victim." The mystery once again features Grace's heroine, Hailey Dean, along with many other carryover characters.

Grace spoke to CNN.com about the novel, her toddler twins Lucy and John, and more.

CNN: How did you come up with the title?

Nancy Grace: Well, it's funny, I was thinking and thinking and couldn't come up with a good title, and on "The Eleventh Victim," I came up with about 20 titles, all of which I liked a little bit, and I just picked one and it was "The Eleventh Victim."

"Death on the D-List," I had been racking my brain for the right title, and one night it was late, and I was rocking Lucy, who would not go to sleep, and it was completely dark and I was holding her against my shoulder, rocking and humming, and it hit me -- it hit me in the dark, "Death on the D-List." That was it!

Read an excerpt from "Death on the D-List"

CNN: Who are some of the main characters from "The Eleventh Victim" that we're going to find in "Death on the D-List"?

Grace: Well of course you're going to see Hailey Dean, who managed to live through a murder attempt in "The Eleventh Victim." She returns to New York, where she gets lured into the TV industry, and murder ensues.

You know what? You've got to watch out hanging around Hailey Dean -- someone's going to die! Also, we see Lt. Ethan Kolker. Kolker is the one who wrongfully pursued Hailey and arrested her for serial murder. And here you see him in an entirely different light. You also learn something disturbing about his past that makes him who he is today.

Video: Nancy Grace pledges proceeds from book

Also, of course, you can't have a great book without a drunk photographer, so Frank LaGrange Haddon III is back again with his camera causing all kinds of trouble. Last time, he caught the judge in a toilet stall with a transvestite. Well, this time, he's back on it! And actually, Frank LaGrange Haddon III is an homage to my law school study partner, the REAL Frank LaGrange Haddon III, who is now a clerk to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

And Mike Walker, who works for The Enquirer, he's their gossip editor, makes a rather large appearance in this case, under his name -- Mike Walker -- but he is now working for Snoop magazine. Of course, Hailey's parents, Elizabeth and Matt Dean, are back.

CNN: "Death on the D-List" features a daytime talk show host. Who is he modeled after?

Grace: Harry Dodd is modeled after a character that I saw in a movie called "For Your Consideration." He is modeled after the character played by Fred Willard. He's a 50- to 60-year-old entertainment reporter who's desperately trying to convince himself he's about 28 to 31 years old. He follows every fashion trend. He's just vapid, but wildly popular.

CNN: Is the Hailey Dean character based on you?

Grace: Well, there are some similarities, but Hailey Dean is by far a finer and better person than I could ever be. She's extremely brave, she's fast on her feet, she's a great lawyer, she's sharp-witted and she's got a pretty good right punch.

CNN: Are any scenes in your book based on events you've witnessed in your own life?

Grace: Well, a lot of scenes take place in studios. So some parts reflect experiences I've had in studios across the country.

CNN: Why is "Death on the D-List" a good end-of-summer read?

Grace: Well, I had such a blast writing it that I hope people are going to have the same blast when they read it. I don't think you can guess who the killer is until the very end, and I'm going to be very interested to see who can guess who the killer is ahead of time without flipping to the back and spoiling the surprise.

It's a great, fun read. I utilized a lot of what I learned as a prosecutor about crime scenes, autopsies and forensic evidence ... a lot of pop culture. Plus, a lot of what I've learned from being on the air since the early '90s, all in one ball of wax!

CNN: Can we expect to see more Hailey Dean mysteries in the future?

Grace: Oh yes! I've already planned out two more Hailey Dean murder mysteries.

CNN: Would you like to see the Hailey Dean mysteries made into feature films?

Grace: Oh gosh, yeah, I think it'd be a great movie.

CNN: How are the twins?

Grace: I'm on my way home to give them a bath now. And they each have to have their individual bath times. They do not like to share a bath. Very often, I go to the set completely soaking wet.

Several people have asked me who I dedicated the book to. And it's dedicated to Bigness, Gerger and Man-man. Bigness is my husband -- he's 6-foot-4, and I'm 5-foot 1½ -- and I've called him Bigness ever since I've known him. Gerger is Lucy, and my little baby Man-man is John David.

And if you look in the back, you'll see that I wrote a specific note thanking (CNN Worldwide President) Jim Walton and (CNN Worldwide Vice President) Ken Jautz, who are NOT the inspiration for any of the characters in this book that I murdered, especially after all the opportunities they've given me. Nobody that gets murdered or appears in these pages is modeled after them.

CNN: Tell us about the charity that will benefit from the book.

Watch: Nancy Grace pledges proceeds from book Video

Grace: A portion of the book's proceeds are going to Wesley Glen Ministries through my Methodist church to support a home for the mentally handicapped that need homes that don't necessarily have anywhere to go.