Monday, 31 December 2012

Bye Bye 2012!

Well here in the UK we are just seven hours away from the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.  As I look back on this year, I can't help but smile.  What an absolutely amazing year this has been for my career!

I started 2012 not sure what was going to happen with my writing, and I am absolutely amazed at what has occurred  including a bestselling book, two book contracts, numerous signings, talks, an up-coming film appearance, translations of my Marilyn book, interviews and even a spot on television!  To say I am shocked that this has happened to me would be an understatement, but I am so happy with everything I have been able to achieve and I look forward to 2013 with great excitement.

In January I will be editing my Hollywood Scandals book, which will be published in the UK and USA in October 2013.  Then as soon as the manuscript goes to my publisher, I will be diving into writing the Carole Lombard book which may be out a little later than originally thought - in early 2014.  I don't want to rush the work and while I have lots of research already done, there is still much more to do, so to give myself extra time will be beneficial all-round.

Of course then there is the Thelma Todd book which my agent is scouting to publishers at the moment.  Hopefully that will find a home during 2013, ready for a publication date of around December 2014.  As well as that, there will be other projects and appearances coming up too, which I will share in due course.

Before I sign off I would just like to thank everyone for taking the time to buy my books, and for making my Marilyn biography into a bestseller.  This year has literally been a dream come true for me and I thank you all very much for turning my dreams into reality.

I wish all my friends and readers a very Happy New Year and I look forward to keeping in touch with you all during 2013!!

Much love

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Marilyn on Kindle

I would like to wish all my friends and readers a very Happy New Year.  I hope you had a terrific Christmas!

US friends might be interested to know that Amazon currently has the Kindle version of my Marilyn Monroe book at a very nice price indeed and it is number 117 in their bestseller chart!  Yippee!  I am hoping it will enter the top 100 so my fingers are crossed!

You can order the Kindle version here, but hurry as it won't be on special offer for long!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Thrive in Life

I just realised that I forgot to tell you all about an article I wrote for Thrive In Life magazine, which was published several weeks ago.

The article is all about how I became a full-time writer, and the struggles I went through to get here.  I wrote it for all those who want to be something 'out of the ordinary' and don't get much support in their endeavours.  I wanted to show that if you work hard enough and ignore the detractors, dreams really do come true, so I hope it will inspire others to go after their dreams and ambitions too.

You can read the article here:

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Hollywood Scandals

My Hollywood Scandals book will be published on 17 October 2013 in the UK and in December 2013 in the USA.  It may be almost a year away, but hopefully worth the wait, and until then here (in no particular order) is a list of the people and events you can expect to read about in the book:

  • Lou-Tellegen
  • The Wrong Door Raid
  • Marilyn Monroe's nude calendar
  • Thelma Todd
  • The rape of Patricia Douglas
  • Albert Dekker
  • The death of Marilyn Monroe
  • The Clark Gable baby scandal part one and two
  • Norman 'Kid McCoy' Selby
  • Florence Laurence
  • The Choy Ling Foo Dance Troupe
  • Peg Entwistle
  • Lottie Pickford
  • Madonna and Sean Penn
  • Whitney Houston
  • Hugh Grant
  • George Michael
  • Madonna nude pictures
  • Lupe Velez
  • Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
  • Paris Hilton 
  • Madonna's stalker
  • Russ Colombo 
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Christine Collins and the Chicken Ranch murders
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher
  • The Suicide Apartments
  • Marie Prevost
  • Aleta Freel Alexander and Ross Alexander
  • Karl Dane
  • The Knickerbocker Hotel
  • Ramon Novarro
  • Clark Gable tackles a burglar
  • The deaths of Charles Wagenheim and Victor Kilian
  • Zsa Zsa Gabor slaps a policeman
  • Pete Duel
  • Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
  • River Phoenix
  • Winona Ryder
  • Carole Lombard
  • Jean Harlow
  • Paul Bern
  • Clara Bow's love life
  • Clara Bow's lawsuit
  • Kelsey Grammer and Camille Grammer
  • Mommie Dearest/My Mother's Keeper
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Lucille Ricksen
  • Carole Landis
  • Peggy Shannon and Albert Roberts
  • The Almost Perfect Murder
  • Rock Hudson
  • John Belushi
  • Michael Jackson
  • Elvis Presley
  • Roscoe Arbuckle
  • Lana Turner
  • Natalie Wood
  • John Denver
  • James Dean
  • Sal Mineo

No words

As mother to a beautiful 8 year old daughter, I can find no words to describe how I feel for the poor parents, teachers and children affected by the disgusting events held in Connecticut yesterday.  My heart goes out to them all.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

RIP Hal Schaefer

I am very sorry to hear about the death of Hal Schaefer, respected musician, Hollywood voice coach and friend of Marilyn's.

Hal was a lovely man; a true gentleman and he helped me a lot with my book.  I really didn't expect him to - I had heard that he no longer spoke to authors, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway; write to him and see what he said.  I remember getting his reply very, very early one morning during the writing of the first edition of my book.  I was up with my daughter at about 5 am (her standard time to wake up when she was 2!) and there in my in-box was a lovely email from Hal, telling me that he never spoke to authors any more, but that something about my letter had intrigued him and made him want to talk to me.

I was really thrilled and we arranged for a time to speak on the telephone, which was just after he had taught a music lesson to one of his students.  When we spoke, I could really tell immediately just why Marilyn was so fond of him.  He was softly spoken, very intelligent, calm and just a really beautiful soul.  After the ups and downs she had encountered with Joe DiMaggio, it wasn't really a surprise to me that she had turned to Hal as he seemed to such a calm, reassuring presence, and I told him that on the phone.

I spoke to Hal on several occasions on the telephone and we corresponded by email too. During that time he told me about his CDs, which you can see here and order below.  One of his albums he was still working on when I first interviewed him was called 'June 1st' and he told me it would include music for Marilyn and his beloved wife Brenda on it.  I have added a link to that CD below.

I had such a great respect for him, because in spite of him being way past the age of retirement, he kept on going, working all the hours he could, doing what he loved.  I admired him so much for that.

During our interviews he told me that he'd really encouraged Marilyn to listen to Ella Fitzgerald, and made it clear to her that he would not suffer any of her lateness.  He wanted her at the lessons on time and prepared!  He also revealed everything about the Wrong Door Raid to me - the truth finally after all these years, and it became a really important part of the book.

It was hard during one part of the interview because I had read that when Marilyn cooled their friendship in order to try and make it work with DiMaggio (before the Wrong Door Raid, not after as some have reported,) Hal responded by trying to commit suicide.  This obviously is a terrible thing for a person to do; to be so desperate that they can see no way out but that.  I knew that while 1954 might seem a long time ago to us, it isn't so long to someone who lived through it and of course the memories of that event were still fresh in Hal's mind.  I had to tread carefully, but actually Hal made it very easy for me to talk about it.  He told me why he had done it; what happened afterwards and then that was that; we moved on and never spoke about it again.

Many people think that Marilyn was the love of Hal's life, and that after she left him, he never really recovered from it.  This is wrong and it was very important for me to get that across in the book.  Yes he did very much love Marilyn, but he lived a wonderful life after she left, so with that in mind, here is a section from my revised book, which explains a little about what Hal did after breaking up with Marilyn:

"Before Marilyn left for New York she had a few loose ends to tie up, including breaking the news of her departure to Hal Schaefer. He remembered: "Shortly after the Wrong Door Raid she went to New York to begin her new life, and that was the last time I ever saw her. She phoned me and said she didn't know how long she'd be there, but I never saw her again." 

But it wasn't all bad news for the respected vocal coach, as not long after he met the woman who was to become the love of his life: "I was extremely happy with my wife, Brenda - who shared the same birthday as Marilyn. Brenda was the best thing that ever happened to me. She was a remarkable woman."

After the first edition of my book was published, one of Hal's students emailed me to say thank you for presenting him exactly as he was - a respectful and decent human being. I am very, very sad to hear he passed, but he lived a very full, happy life and inspired thousands of people including myself, so his life was very much one of value.

Now he will get to see his dear wife again, and I'm sure at this very moment, Hal and all his old Hollywood friends are all gathered round his piano in Heaven, playing the numbers he so loved to play during his life time.

RIP Hal - you will never be forgotten and through your music, your memory will live on forever.


You can visit Hal's website here:

You can order his CD, 'Just His Own Sweet Self' here:

You can order the CD, 'June 1st' here:

You can read the New York Times' obituary for Hal, here:

And you can order 'Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed' here:

UK -


Sunday, 2 December 2012

I'm back!

Firstly I must apologise to you for not updating my blog before now.  When I saw just how long it had been since the last entry, I was quite embarrassed, but I promise you I have a good excuse!  I've been working really, really hard on the Hollywood Scandals book, and at the moment I have written 152000 words with 18000 left before it is finished.  All being well I should have it all done in the next two weeks, which would be absolutely awesome as it would mean I can put my feet up for Christmas and not have to worry about my impending deadline!

I need to have the book with the publisher on 1 February which - if I get the writing done in the next few weeks - means that I have a nice month or so to proof-read and edit before I hand it over.  Some of it has been edited already but there's still lots to do, which I'll look forward to in January.

I've enjoyed writing the book very much indeed but I'm ready to move on now, so I can't wait for it all to be finished.  After that I will be working on the Carole Lombard book which I am just so excited about.  I've already sourced a lot of photographs over the past few weeks, and various other items that are helping to shed light on Carole's life and career.  I will be working hard on the book during 2013 and hopefully it will be out by Christmas next year, or failing that, early 2014.  Then of course there is the Thelma Todd book which is being shown to publishers as we speak.  If I have my way this book will be out - I hope - by the end of 2014.

Working on the Hollywood Scandals book has been amazing for finding new subjects, and as a result I now have lots more ideas for people I desperately want to write about.  Watch this space to find out who is being added to my list of book subjects in the future!!

In the meantime, you may be interested to know that the Kindle version of my Marilyn book, 'Marilyn Monroe: Private and Confidential' is available at a fantastic price on Amazon for a limited time only.  You can order it here: Don't forget it is also available as a paperback and makes a great stocking stuffer! ;-)

I think that's about it for now but I promise I will write another blog post soon!!