I’m proud to have a letter published in the British newspaper, The Morning Star, today. I have written to newspapers three times in my life, and all were about Marilyn Monroe (she is, perhaps, the subject about whom I feel most qualified to share my views in public.) Continue reading
Dear Christine: A Tribute to Christine Keeler, a new exhibition curated by Fionn Wilson, will open at the Vane Gallery in Newcastle on June 1st (open from 12-5 pm on Wednesdays to Saturdays.) During its four week-stay, there will also be a series of lectures and workshops hosted by artists Caroline Coon, Claudia Clare, Sadie Hennessy, Helen Billinghurst and Cathy Lomax. Whether you see Christine Keeler as a Sixties icon or political figure, the women behind Dear Christine are, at long last, bringing her humanity into public view. Continue reading
I’m glad to tell you all that Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed (Revised and Updated) is now available in hardcover and paperback. A full 90 pages longer than the first edition, and with new photos, it will be our last word on Jeanne’s remarkable life and career. So if you’re looking for a meaty biography to read this Christmas, make sure to buy this new edition as the older version will soon be unavailable. I’ve updated all the links to order from Amazon and other stores here.
As autumn leaves began to fall in the New York of 1929, Jeanne Eagels was recovering at home after eye surgery and seeking treatment from her physician at his Park Avenue hospital for a ‘nervous disorder’. After seeing him on October 3, she decided that an evening out might lift her spirits. She slipped into an evening gown complemented by several strands of pearls, and finally put on a fur coat to warm herself in the chilly night air.
However, her condition quickly worsened. A little before 7 pm, she left with her maid, and was driven some 60 blocks to Park Avenue, where her doctor was called from his downstairs residence, and she was escorted into a 5th floor examination room by a nurse. Jeanne removed her coat and was sitting on the bed when she suddenly went into convulsions. The nurse ran into the hall calling for the doctor’s assistant, but by the time they returned, it was too late.
Jeanne Eagels was dead at thirty-nine.
Exactly 89 years later, I am proud to announce that a revised and updated edition of Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed, the 2015 biography co-authored by myself and Eric M. Woodard, will shortly be published by Bearmanor Media. We retrace the life and career of the woman who rose from the streets of Kansas City to become a Broadway sensation, and lit up the silver screen: with new material on her loving, if troubled family background; her acting triumphs, including Rain and The Letter; her ill-starred marriage to athlete Ted Coy, and much more.
“Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed offers a startling look at the actress and her times … packed with detail and drama, and does bring Jeanne Eagels into 21st century focus as an ambitious, driven woman who often fought the system, but could not defeat her own demons.” – Liz Smith, New York Social Diary
“Their research, to this reader, sparkles and shines . . . the kind of meat one likes with this rich meal of a book.” – Stephen Michael Shearer, author of Gloria Swanson: The Ultimate Star
“What you are about to read is nothing short of remarkable.” – Michelle Morgan, author of The Ice Cream Blonde and Carole Lombard: Twentieth Century Star
The latest edition of Art Decades quarterly is now available from Amazon stores worldwide (and for £11.14 in the UK.) At the heart of this issue is a tribute to cult cinema, with a profile of ‘sexploitation’ king Joe Sarno; an unpublished interview with Jess Franco, the Spanish filmmaker famed for his erotic horror flicks; and a roundtable discussion with the authors of a new book, It Came From the Video Aisle, including a special focus on director Charles Band, best-known for his horror comedies.
Elsewhere, there’s a short story from Les Bohem, set in the post-hippie California of the 1970s; a spotlight on Denver’s ‘totally rad’ nostalgia shop, Fifty-Two 80s; and extracts from Singin’ In French, a new anthology co-edited by Marcelline Block. For me, the highlight was ‘Suzie’s Zoo’, a very moving piece from Kelley Richey in which she explores childhood memories through film. She also contributes three photo-stories which celebrate nature, beauty and the coming of spring.
And finally from me, a review of Elizabeth Winder’s Marilyn in Manhattan, one of my favourite books of 2017; and an interview with Cy Forrest, author of The Punished, a ‘dystopian noir’ which alternates between the inhabitants of a ghost village during World War II and the corporate sexism of the 1980s.
As the curtain falls on 2017, this blog also approaches its tenth anniversary. I’d like to thank everyone who has read (and hopefully enjoyed) my posts. This month I’ve been thinking a lot about Christine Keeler, who inspired my first novel and so much more. Wishing everyone a beautiful 2018 – and whatever this new year may bring, keep a dream in your hearts.
Upon hearing the sad news of Christine Keeler’s passing, here is the epilogue to my novel, Wicked Baby, in which I reimagined the years following the Profumo Affair, in her voice. The photo above, shared by her son on social media, shows Christine enjoying freedom after leaving prison in 1964. Continue reading
As I write, the hardcover edition of Jeanne Eagels: A Life Revealed is currently available for just £10.13 on Amazon UK – which is less than half the original price, and over £6 cheaper than the paperback. For readers abroad, it’s now £13.81 from the Book Depository (with free shipping to most countries.) I don’t know how long this bargain offer will last, so if you haven’t bought a copy yet, get it while you can!
The gorgeous sepia cover of Art Decades 11, out now, features model Belladonna photographed by Ian Preston Cinnamon, with an extended layout inside. This issue is dedicated to author and filmmaker William Peter Blatty. Elsewhere, Marcelline Block talks to fashion photographer Miles Ladin about his recent exhibition, Supermodels at the End of Time. Editors Jeremy Richey and Kelley Avery list their cultural highlights of 2016, and celebrate their recent move to Denver with a trip to the Fancy Tiger Crafts store. There’s also a profile of hip-hop collective Loyal-T, and another instalment in the popular ‘readers and pets’ series, starring Abigail Evans and her black cat, Boo.
Finally, I’ve been lucky enough to interview one of my busiest writer friends, Michelle Morgan, who has published biographies of Thelma Todd, Carole Lombard, Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Art Decades 11 is available now via Amazon, priced at £9.60 (UK) or $13 (USA.)
I’m happy to announce that Wicked Baby, my novella based on the events of the Profumo Affair, is now back in print. This edition includes an afterword and six further articles about the scandal’s lasting impact, which first appeared in the Kindle version. You can order it now for £5.24 from Amazon UK, or $7.45 in the US.