I’m delighted to announce that The Mmm Girl, my novel about the life of Marilyn Monroe, is finally back in print. This edition includes a new prologue and ten additional passages: including Marilyn’s diverse encounters with teenage fans and world leaders; intimate photo shoots, a rare stage appearance, and a trip to Mexico; and a closer look behind the scenes of her many movies, from early bit parts to timeless classics.
The Mmm Girl is now available from Amazon worldwide, in paperback (UK, £8.24; US, $12.50); and via Kindle (UK, £3.29; US, $4.93.) While I can’t provide signed copies, I’ll be happy to send a signed bookplate, free of charge, to anyone who wants it. You can contact me here.
You can preview the first four chapters on Amazon, or read further extracts and reviews, and view the book trailer, right here. And of course, after you’ve read the book (and hopefully enjoyed it), please consider writing a short customer review on Amazon or Goodreads.
Marilyn married Joe DiMaggio at City Hall in San Francisco on January 14, 1954. I have posted an extract from my novel, The Mmm Girl, on my personal website today, describing the wedding. For a factual account of their romance, your best bet would be Susan Doll’s online biography, beginning here.
Joyce Carol Oates’ Blonde is not one of my own favourite novels (nor one of my favourite books about Marilyn), although to be fair I haven’t revisited it since it was first published in 2000. After that first reading, I felt that Oates – a writer I had admired – distorted aspects of MM’s life, and portrayed her as a rather one-dimensional victim.
Since then, I’ve spoken to many fans who feel the same. Obviously, I’m not impartial here, having written my own fictional take on Marilyn. Six years after completing The Mmm Girl, I’d like to read Blonde again, mainly out of curiosity – and especially if it was reissued on Kindle, as it’s rather a weighty tome!
However, I was pleased to discover the positive experience that Blonde has been for some others, leading them to impart their knowledge and challenge misconceptions – as posted recently on the Lonesome Reader blog.
“I wanted to highlight this novel specifically because I had a strange conversation with a colleague once. Somehow we started talking about Marilyn Monroe and he instantly said ‘Oh, that slut.’ I flinched in shock that he’d be so disdainful and answered him angrily. He tried to justify himself by saying that she basically slept with everyone and that’s the only reason she had a career. I have no doubt his opinion is shared by many people. It’s this sort of casual dismissal and thinking about women in only simplistic misogynistic terms which is the reason why feminism and the promotion of women’s writing is especially important.”
“Considering the difficulty of Marilyn’s life, almost from the beginning, and her deep insecurities, it’s all the more remarkable to me that she never became really bitter or cynical, and that she was so brave and generous in the way she lived.”
An interview with Tara Hanks (alias Marina72, aka moi) on my novel The Mmm Girl, Marilyn and more, over at Moon in the Gutter