She’s one of the industry’s most prominent celebrity journalists, starting her career in the mid-80’s covering entertainment news and offering Hollywood insight long before the days of the blogosphere.
After years of covering everyone and everything from the late Michael Jackson to the incarcerated O.J. Simpson, Florence “Flo” Anthony continues to be a force in entertainment with her nationally syndicated radio segment, “Gossip To Go With Flo;” her syndicated column “Go with the Flo;” a magazine, Black Noir; a contributing spot on TV One’s docu-series, “Life After;” and countless other cable news and news magazine show appearances.
In 2000, she made her debut as an author with a juicy tome called, “Keeping Secrets Telling Lies.” Now, 13 years later, Flo is gearing up for the release of a new novel, “Deadly Stuff Players” – a sexy murder mystery set in Black Hollywood and involving sports stars, billionaires and Hollywood starlets.
“I don’t have a real reason for the delay,” Flo admitted, about the gap between books. “I started at least three sequels to ‘Keeping Secrets Telling Lies.’ Then around three years ago, I came up with the idea for ‘Deadly Stuff Players.’ I met with an editor who didn’t buy it, and, I guess I got discouraged. Then, last year, I started working on it again.”
Though dismayed by the initial rejection from the first publisher, the Ann Arbor, Mich.-bred author ultimately landed a deal with a woman who is known as a force in the book publishing realm – the queen of erotica, Zane!
“Suzanne de Passe introduced me to her a couple of years ago at the premiere of ‘Zane’s Sex Chronicles.’ Then, last spring I ran into her at the Book Expo here in New York. I told her I was working on a new book and I would like her to take a look at it. She gave me her card. I emailed her the chapters I’d written. She emailed me back and told me she needed a synopsis of the book and sent me the synopsis of her new book as a guide. I sent her the synopsis and she emailed me back, offering me a deal,” recalled Flo.
With her deal in place, the New York-based reporter went on to finish “Deadly Stuff Players.” The book’s lead character, Valerie, the most popular African-American gossip columnist in the United States, is to Anthony what Sasha Fierce is to Beyoncé!
“She’s my alter-ego,” laughed Flo. “So, there are a lot of my real-life experiences referred to in the book!”
Valerie just isn’t the entertainment industry’s gossip guru either. She and NFL Hall of Famer Rome Nyland are the go-to team for solving Hollywood mysteries. When someone murdered Andrea Dumas, the wife of billionaire Victor Dumas, and threatened their son, jockey Vance Dumas, suspicions arise and Valerie and Rome go to work.
In real life, Flo has also used her knack for investigating and reporting to uncover – and sometimes clean up – several high-profile celebrity scandals.
Back in 1992, Flo was the first African-American to work on the famous Page Six gossip column of the New York Post. A tip came into the newspaper that Whitney Houston had overdosed on cocaine. Flo worked the story, but after speaking to a source she has never publicly revealed, she reported that Houston was hospitalized after a bout with diet pills.[pullquote_right]FLO FUN FACTS:
> Favorite celebrity to interview: La Toya Jackson> Least favorite celebrity to interview: Quincy Jones
> Current celebrity crush: Shemar Moore
> The one person in Hollywood she’s dying to meet: Mark Cuban
> Favorite scripted series on TV: “Dallas”
> Favorite reality show on TV: “Life With La Toya”
> Celebrity she wishes would just go away for good: Kim Kardashian[/pullquote_right]”I guess that’s the one scandal that most people are familiar with,” shared Flo. “I have never given up the source [that I spoke with]. But, since they are both dead, it was her father, John Houston. He told me it was diet pills, even though I knew the truth.”
The story, which ran on the cover of the New York Post, made the ‘It’s Not Right, But It’s Ok’ singer sue the publication. Unfortunately, helping to conceal Whitney’s truth created tremendous trouble in the end.
In “Deadly Stuff Players,” Valerie’s investigation sidekick is Rome, a retired NFL star. In real life, Flo said if she had to chose one athlete to help her solve a murder mystery, it would be Kobe Bryant!
“He is the smoothest athlete in any game,” she exclaimed. “While most people are fighting traffic on the 405 [freeway] in LA, he goes back and forth to basketball practice in a helicopter. In fact, there’s a line in the book where the leader of the Bugatti Blades tells one of his gang members to lay off Rome because ‘he has moves smoother than Kobe Bryant.'”
Flo shared that the most shocking part of “Deadly Stuff Players” for readers will be the “gang activity, police corruption and drug involvement.” Sounds like this book has more drama then all of the reality shows on television!
“Deadly Stuff Players” does not hit stores until Nov. 19, 2013, however the book is already available for pre-orders now on Amazon.com.[box_dark]READ ALSO: Zane’s “Addicted” Film: Sharon Leal, Tyson Beckford & Tasha Smith Join Cast