Thursday, 14 November 2013

Exclusive News - Thelma Todd Book!

Several weeks ago I promised you some exclusive news.  Well here I am, and at last I can finally tell you that I have just signed a contract with Chicago Review Press, to write my long-awaited book about Thelma Todd.  This is a huge deal for me because I have wanted to write the book for almost four years now.  It took a long time to get together a proposal that both myself and my agent were happy with, but finally last year we found the perfect words, and two months ago, Chicago Review Press made an offer to publish.  CRP are also the authors of the new book on Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, entitled 'Room 1219,' which has had fabulous reviews.  For this and many other reasons, I know that CRP are the perfect publisher for my Thelma book.

Provisionally titled '271 Steps: The Mysterious Life and Death of Thelma Todd', the book will chart Thelma's life from birth to death, and will include a special investigation into what I believe happened to her on that last, fateful evening.

I am hard at work on the research and writing of the book, and am currently looking for anyone who can help with rare documents, letters, photographs etc, and would love to hear from anyone in that regard.  Perhaps you know someone who owns something rare, or was related to Thelma in some way; or maybe you have a photo that you would like to share.  If that is you, I'd love to hear from you.  Just leave a message and your email address in the comments section, and I will get straight back to you. (please note that all comments are private until I approve them, so you can leave your email address in confidence that it won't be published here).

So that is my news, and I hope you are as excited about it as I am. You will see the finished product in December 2015, to coincide with the 80th anniversary of Thelma's passing.  It seems far away, but when you have 80,000 words to write before September 2014, it is actually quite close!  So I must get back to it, but look out for news and updates along the way towards publication.

Thanks for all your support!

Thursday, 31 October 2013


Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to share some news with you all, about my forthcoming and current projects.....

First of all, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has bought my book, 'The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals' so far.  The response has been very positive and I'm so glad that people are enjoying it.  One thing I'd like to address, are the publication dates, which are as follows:

UK (published by Constable & Robinson) - 17th October.
USA (published by Running Press) - 3rd December (though Amazon seems to have the Kindle version available now).

The rest of the world seems to be coming out at any time between those two dates, so if you can't find it straight away, please ask your local book shop and they'll be able to tell you when the book is out.  It is currently available in hundreds of Waterstones stores up and down the UK, and of course is on sale at Amazon, WH Smith etc.  I am absolutely thrilled with the way the book came out, and it makes a great Christmas present for anyone and everyone interested in scandals from the 1920s to the present day!

I'd also like to thank everyone who continues to buy the Marilyn biography, which is still selling well, over a year after publication.  It truly was a great honour for me to tell Marilyn's story in the updated book and so I'm glad people are enjoying it.

'Marilyn's Blue Book Days' is going well and I'm hoping to bring you some good news about that, some time next year.  In the meantime, please join the FaceBook page dedicated to the project:

I am currently working on a secret project which - when finished - should be huge!  It is one of the hardest, but most rewarding things I have worked on and I can't wait to share that news with you as soon as possible.  It won't be until next year, but believe me, if all goes well it will be worth the wait.

After the success of my V & A talk, I'm happy to say that I will probably be returning next summer, to talk about The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals.  Watch this space for more details....

Lots of people have been asking me about the Carole Lombard book.  Well I am still writing it, but the focus has changed from a straight-forward biography, to what I  hope will be a beautiful coffee-table book.  My ideas changed after receiving a great many fabulous photos which need to be published in a glossy book in my opinion.  With that in mind, the search is on for a publisher who will be able to do this, and I will keep you up-to-date on all developments.

Finally, in a few weeks time I will be able to share some very, very exciting news about an upcoming project with you all.  For now my lips must remain sealed but I am ecstatically happy and will look forward to being able to tell you all about it soon....

I promise I will update the blog with more news soon.  Until then, please feel free to join my official page on FaceBook:

Thanks everyone and Happy Halloween!!


Thursday, 17 October 2013

The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals

I am thrilled that publication day is finally here for my new book, 'The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals'.  I'm really excited to learn that Amazon seems to be re-stocking their supplies, after selling out of pre-ordered copies, and almost every Waterstones store in the UK is currently selling more than one copy of the book.

Some people have been asking me if I have plans to do some book signings.  I don't at the moment, but anything I do decide to do, will be reported here so please keep checking back.

Until then, thanks to everyone who has bought the book and I hope you enjoy it!!!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Marilyn's Blue Book Days

Astrid Franse, Michelle Morgan and Van Osch Film Produkties are proud to announce Marilyn’s Blue Book Days, (working title) comprising a book and documentary, celebrating Marilyn Monroe, the Blue Book Model Agency and agency boss Emmeline Snively. 

In 1945, Norma Jeane Dougherty walked into the Blue Book Model Agency and was immediately signed to their books.  From that moment on, her career went from being a little-known model to an International starlet, with her image gracing magazine covers around the world.  It wasn’t long before Norma Jeane was signed to Twentieth Century Fox, her name changed to Marilyn Monroe and her acting career began.  However, Marilyn still modelled occasionally for Blue Book and its associated photographers, and Miss Snively kept in touch with the young woman who the agency had catapulted into stardom.

When Marilyn sadly passed away in 1962, Miss Snively put her agency records into a storage box, where they stayed until Astrid and Ben Franse discovered them many years later.  The box was taken to the Netherlands, and the announcement in 2012 of what was found inside, created headlines around the world.  Eager to tell the story of Marilyn and Emmeline, Astrid has now begun work on the documentary project with film-makers Frank van Osch and Suzanne van Leendert, and the book with author Michelle Morgan.  The intention of both is simple: during her lifetime, Miss Snively tried to make the files into a book or film herself, so everyone is adamant that this project should be an extension of what Miss Snively began all those years ago.

The book and documentary are not biographies; they are instead a unique look into Marilyn’s early career in the 1940s, and her continuing relationship with the Blue Book Agency.  At the same time the projects will also give an insight into Emmeline herself; telling the fascinating story of how she played her part in creating a legend.  “If Miss Snively hadn’t been around, there would not have been a Marilyn,” says Astrid.  “She discovered her, she saw her potential.”

The book, Marilyn’s Blue Book Days will begin with Emmeline Snively discovering that her most famous client has passed away, and will then travel back in time to the early days of the agency, and of Marilyn Monroe’s early life and modelling career.  We will discover how she became a Blue Book Model in 1945; what Miss Snively thought of the young girl who walked into her office; and the modelling jobs and personal appearances she had during the years ahead.  The project will be a tribute to Marilyn, Emmeline, the agency itself, and the models who walked through its doors in search of fame and fortune.

There is a FaceBook page dedicated to the project, which all fans are very welcome to join.  You can join here:

For Archive and Exhibition queries, please contact Astrid Franse: astridfranse[at]Hotmail[dot]com.

For book queries, please contact Astrid Franse: astridfranse[at]Hotmail[dot]com and Michelle Morgan: Michelle[at]MichelleMorgan[dot]co[dot]uk

For documentary queries, please contact Suzanne van Leendert: Suzanne[at]vofprodukties[dot]tv


Thursday, 8 August 2013

News, news and more news....

Goodness, has it really been so long since I updated my blog?  Time flies by when you're having fun, and I can certainly say that I'm having lots of that!

I'm working on many projects at the moment (some I'm not allowed to talk about but believe me they are very exciting!) and here is some news about everything I'm up to:

1) The V and A talk was amazing and lots of people turned out to see me and have their books signed afterwards.  I'm really pleased about that and I'm happy to say that they have asked me back to do a talk about the Hollywood Scandals book!  My parents had a lovely time too and we all enjoyed a beautiful meal and a wander round London afterwards.  Here are a few photographs taken at the event....


2)  I'm happy to say that I'm in the process of having a play published.  It was written several years ago with Hollywood scriptwriter Steve Hayes, and will be available soon (more news on that later).  For now, take a look at the fun cover:

3) The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals is going to be published in the UK in October and the USA in December.  I will be receiving my author copies next month (eek!!) so I will share my thoughts with you then.  I'm very excited about this book and can't wait until it is released.  I'm crossing my fingers that it becomes a bestseller like the Marilyn book did, so we will wait and see!
4)  Carole Lombard: Twentieth Century Star is still being worked on.  I must admit that for the past month I have not been able to do as much work as I had hoped (for reasons I will reveal soon!) but it is still on course to be finished in early 2014, with a summer 2014 release date.
I think that's about it for now but I promise to update you all on more news very soon.  Until then, have a very happy summer and thanks for your continued support!!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Marilyn Monroe - The Victoria and Albert Museum

Hello Everyone

I'm so sorry I haven't updated my blog in so long.  I have lots of work at the moment and promise to fill you in very soon. 

In the meantime, there are still some tickets left for my talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, on 6th June. If you would like to come, please check out the website attached and call the number to book your tickets... (You don't need to be a member). Thanks!!

Monday, 11 March 2013

The V & A

Tickets for my talk at the Victoria and Albert in June, go on sale today.  Tickets are mainly for members only, but I have arranged for some to be reserved for my readers.  If you would like to come and hear me speak, and then have refreshments/book signing afterwards, the website has all you need to know, as well as the telephone number to call.

Here is a link to their site:

Monday, 4 March 2013

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is my big announcement....
On the afternoon of Thursday 6 June I will be appearing at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, to give a one hour talk about Marilyn and my book. It will be followed by refreshments and a book signing. Tickets are strictly for members of the museum only but I have arranged for a limited amount to be put aside for my friends and readers. Tickets go on sale next Monday and more information can be found by clicking the link below. I have known about this since last year, so it's lovely to be able to share it with you now! I hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Hollywood Scandals

Ladies and Gentlemen.... Here is the cover for my book, The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals, coming October 2013......

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Excuse me for shouting, but I am proud and happy to say that my Carole Lombard book now has an amazing and fabulous final title.

After Swing High, Swing Low turned out to be a rugby song, I knew I'd have to put my thinking cap on and decide again.  Well tonight I was chatting with my author friend Lyndsy and she suggested...

Wait for it.....


What do you think?  I absolutely love it.  Twentieth Century was one of Carole's films, plus she was a very forward thinking and modern lady for her time and so the title fits Miss Lombard perfectly.  I am absolutely thrilled to pieces to finally have a title I am truly happy with.


Now back to work to get this biography finished!!!

Marilyn's Footsteps

My book, 'Marilyn's Footsteps' is still on sale. It is a book filled with addresses and background on the places Marilyn lived, worked, played, ate, and much more! 

Marilyn's Footsteps

It can be ordered here:

Monday, 25 February 2013

Carole and Co

The Carole and Co website has done a piece about the Carole Lombard biography, which can be seen by clicking the link below, along with some nice photos of Carole too:

Please note, the cover of my Marilyn book that can be seen in the feature, is not actually the one used in the published version.  This was a very early version of the proposed 2007 cover, so don't panic if you see it and think it is a whole different book - it isn't. :-)

Also, I've had lots of feedback about the proposal title of my book, 'Carole Lombard: Swing High, Swing Low.'  Some people love it, while others have said it is also the title of a rugby song (which I did not know previously.)  Of course I chose the words Swing High Swing Low because of Carole's film of the same name, but perhaps if it has too close an association with rugby, I may have to change.

Do you have any ideas for a great title?  If so, leave a comment here.  I'd love to hear from you!!

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Changeling... And Christine Collins

Here is the trailer of an amazing film, and the lady at the heart of the story - Christine Collins - is featured in my Hollywood Scandals book. 

I often have a romantic idea of what 1920s Los Angeles was like, but the story of Christine Collins shows that evil has always existed, no matter what era.... If you haven't seen this film, I truly consider it a 'must see.'

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Amazon reviews.....

My Marilyn book has received 99 reviews on Amazon! Who will be number 100?

I will send a little something to the person who writes the 100th review (but only if it's a nice one of course! LOL!)

Click here to review the book yourself:

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Keep Connected...

If you'd like to keep connected with me, you can join my FaceBook page here:

And my Twitter account is @MMWriterGirl although I'm guilty of FaceBooking much more than Tweeting I must say!

BBC Radio Tees

I did an interview this morning with BBC Radio Tees, talking briefly about the success of the Marilyn book and then quite in-depth about the new Hollywood Scandals book.  We spoke about Lupe Velez, Roscoe Arbuckle, Clara Bow and many others and apart from accidentally calling John Belushi 'Jim' (that's his brother of course!) it went very well.  Can't believe I got the two names mixed up but it's very early here so that's my excuse.  It's spelled correctly in the book I promise. :-) 

If you missed the interview, you can find links to it for the next week or so, on their website: