I have written a guest post about the writing of Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed for the website of author Laura Wilkinson. You can read it here.
The weeks following publication are an anxious time for any author, as we nervously, and somewhat impatiently await feedback from our readers. Now, Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed has its first customer review on Amazon.com – from fellow author Steffan B. Aletti, and happily, it’s a rave!
Thank God Eric Woodard has seen fit to resurrect Jeanne Eagels, one of the most beautiful and fascinating of the great stage stars of the early 20th Century … For those of us who had to rely pretty much on Kim Novak’s almost entirely fictional 1957 ‘biopic’, this book is revelatory, restoring her to her rightful place as a major actress respected throughout the English-speaking world and, most famously, the creator of Sadie Thompson … This book will finally put those outrageous fictions to rest … Well worth reading if you want to learn about Broadway and Hollywood during the first couple of decades of the 20th century.
So if you’ve read and enjoyed Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, please consider writing a short review for Amazon, Goodreads or your personal blog. (And finally, I would like to quote my ever-gallant writing partner, Eric: ‘I didn’t resurrect her alone …’)
I’m delighted to announce that Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed – the first full-length biography of the legendary 1920s actress in 85 years, co-authored with Eric Woodard – will be published by Bearmanor Media in June. More news to come, but until then, here’s a brief synopsis:
The true story is finally told about Jeanne Eagels, legendary Broadway star as Sadie Thompson in Somerset Maugham’s Rain, celebrated silent movie actress, and Academy Award-nominated superstar in The Letter. She lived a life of renown, yet her rise to fame, her romances, her triumphs, her relentless perfectionism, and her fragile health propelled her into increasingly erratic behavior and a shocking climax that stunned the entire world. Illustrated with nearly 150 rare and unseen photographs.
Marilyn Monroe fans may recognise my writing partner as the author of Hometown Girl and Travilla Film Fashions. Eric has also created a book trailer for Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed.
Fans of trad jazz will notice that the music accompanying this video is, of course, ‘Wabash Blues’. Sadie Thompson, the loose-living heroine of W. Somerset Maugham’s Rain, played this record incessantly while entertaining her sailor friends during a sojourn on the South Seas – much to the annoyance of her priggish neighbours.
In 1922, Sadie became Jeanne Eagels’ most famous stage role, and while Rain has since been filmed several times, those who saw it first on Broadway insisted that her incendiary performance was never equalled.
I’m proud to announce that Wicked Baby, my 2004 novella about the events of the Profumo Affair, is now available to download via Kindle. This new edition includes an afterword, and five articles about the scandal’s lasting impact on society and popular culture, two of which are previously unpublished. The ebook is available on Amazon worldwide, and will set you back around £2.24, or $3.02 in the US. You can read the first three chapters before purchasing. So to all you e-readers, have at it – and if you like it, please add a quick review and rating on Amazon! More details later…
Preview or buy now in the UK
… and many more!
Of the millions of words that have been devoted to Marilyn Monroe, few of them were written or said by the woman herself. Only a few interviews with Marilyn herself are still in print, and most of the people who knew her well are now gone.
A small handful of books can claim a direct connection to the star (My Story, an incomplete memoir from 1954; and a long interview, Marilyn: Her Life in Her Own Words, unpublished until 1995.) Now, Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters can be added to the body of literature by Monroe.
The source material was provided by Anna Strasberg, widow of Lee Strasberg, who was Monroe’s acting coach and the main beneficiary of her will. Anna Strasberg is a shadowy figure among Monroe fans, who never knew the actress personally, and sold most of Marilyn’s possessions at auction in 1999.
Some may argue that Monroe’s legacy has been pillaged by bringing her most personal writings into the public domain. On the other hand, Marilyn’s life has been tabloid fodder for decades, long before Mrs Strasberg made her debut at Christie’s.
‘This book does not attempt to show her stripped bare,’ state editors Stanley Buchtal and Bernard Comment in their preface to Fragments, ‘but rather simply as she was.’ Apart from providing transcriptions of Marilyn’s handwriting, their presence is fairly unobtrusive. Continue reading
Brighton Writes is a new blog from me, in association with Creative Future, a charity for marginalised artists and writers. I’ll be covering news from the region – and beyond – on the arts, with a special emphasis on literature, getting your voice heard and also mental health and related social issues.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please subscribe to Brighton Writes and invite your friends.
And this website will continue as usual, of course!
In To Views is a new blog site from Paul Grimsley, (a highly creative, cross-genre poet and ‘regular renaissance man’), and he is currently profiling upcoming writers, artists and musicians there on a daily basis.
Paul’s most recent volume of poetry (to date – watch this space!), is entitled a suite of desolate elegance, and it is now available from Musehick Publications.
You can read Paul’s interview with me here.