I’m thrilled to announce that I will be giving 3 talks this fall/winter at the Penn Hills Library. If you missed either of my first two talks, you’ll have a chance to catch them in October and November. In December, I’m debuting brand new material.
Right now, there is no need to formally register on the Penn Hills website. I’ll update you here on the blog if that changes as we get closer to the dates.
Mark your calendars and I hope to see all of you there!
Bogart and Bacall…the Lives and Films of Hollywood’s Greatest Romance
Thursday, October 6 @ 5:30 pm
The love affair of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall should have been doomed. They faced a twenty-five year age gap, a jealous wife, and neither had grown up in homes with happy marriages.
Come hear the story of how Bogart and Bacall overcame every obstacle to becoming Hollywood’s greatest romance and making a fistful of iconic films in the process. As Bacall herself rightly said, “No one has ever written a romance better than we lived it.”
Hollywood Uncensored: Rediscovering The Pre-Code Films of 1930-1934
Thursday, November 3 @ 5:30 pm
Many think classic films are stuffy relics of a bygone era when families ate dinner together every night. Yet early talking films shocked audiences with their boundary-pushing depictions of violence, drinking, and sexually liberated women. After a backlash, a code was enacted that strictly dictated Hollywood film content. These “pre-code” films are enjoying a renaissance with modern audiences. Come learn the history and charm of the pre-code era, and leave with a list of must-see films.
The Dueling De Havillands: Hollywood’s Juiciest Sibling Rivalry
Thursday, December 1 @ 5:30 pm
Sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine were both accomplished actresses, starring in such classics as Gone With the Wind and Rebecca. They also had a lifelong feud.
What was fact and what was exaggerated to sell magazines? Did Olivia rebuff Joan’s congratulations when she won an Oscar? Did they go years without speaking after Joan made a cutting public remark about Olivia’s first husband?
And why did the 101 year old Olivia sue the 2017 series Feud over its portrayal of her relationship with her sister?
Find out in this 40 minute talk that celebrates their lives and films.
I’m thrilled to return to the Plum Borough Community Library to speak once again on the Golden Age of Hollywood. I will present “Bogart and Bacall … the Lives and Films of Hollywood’s Greatest Romance” at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26. The talk is free but registration is required. Click here to register. I had such wonderful support the first time around, and I hope to see you all there!
Yesterday the Plum Advance Leader featured the talk and my writing. I’ll hope you’ll read my interview with Harry Funk, where we had a lively discussion about Bogart & Bacall, the appeal of old films, and 3 recommendations to get you started if you’re a newbie looking to discover classic films.
For those in the Pittsburgh area, I’ll be speaking on April 12 at the Plum Borough Community Library. I’ll be discussing the heroines of pre-code films, those films made between 1930-1934, before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code that dictated what could be shown onscreen. These films are sexy, funny, raucus, and often celebrate women behaving badly. Come to learn about the Hays Code and how Martin Quigley spoiled all the fun. We’ll celebrate such pre-code stars as Barbara Stanwyck, Jean Harlow, and Mae West.
Want a primer on pre-code heroines? Check out Natasha Lyonne’s article for Criterion here.
You’ll have a good time and leave with a list of films you’ll want to watch, many of which you can check out from the Carnegie Library system for free.
Hope to see you there!
*The event is free, but please register here if you plan on attending.
Exactly five years ago today, I hung my shingle out on the internet. Over the past five years, I’ve blogged with varying amounts of regularity, shooting for at least a post a week.
When I started, I wasn’t sure how long the blog would last, but I had an idea that I would take to it. For while it’s been five years of blogging, I’ve spent most of my life putting words on paper.
The earliest notebook in the photograph above is a diary I started on Christmas Day, 1990, at nine years old. I’m a sporadic diary keeper at best, and most of the paper in the stack are novels and short stories. The diaries are mainly commonplace books where I collect quotes and ideas. This blog has become the record of my daily life.
Over the past five years, I’ve written 160,000 words across over 700 posts.
To take a quick trip down memory lane, here are links to some of the highest viewed posts in the blog’s history.
Today, Melanie and the other 2016 Golden Heart Nominees in the Romantic Suspense category are featured on the “Kiss and Thrill” blog. Melanie talks about the inspiration for “Ruby Red.” You can find the conversation with Melanie and her fellow nominees here.
For more information on the Golden Heart, click here.