Thursday, February 5, 2015

Update - Ann Blyth, Blogging, and Other Stuff

I’ve decided to devote all of 2015 to Vilma Banky.

Just kidding. (BAW-HA-HA-HA-HA. I just crack myself up sometimes.)

I’m glad to have a chance to talk to you again, after several weeks of this blog being on hiatus. They’ve been very busy weeks for me with continuing work on the Ann Blyth book: research, writing, interviews, looking under rocks for photos I can afford, etc. 

The book is to be called Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. (though in my more overtired moments I’ve come to refer to it as The Big Book of Blyth). As the title, I hope, will emphasize, this to be a study of her career and will not delve too deeply into her personal life. Even so, it’s going to be a pretty fat book. Much of it contains tweaked posts from my year-long 2014 series on Ann Blyth from this blog, but there is also a lot of new material: including chapters on her early radio work as a child, her experience in the Broadway play Watch on the Rhine, and her re-emergence for younger, newer fans of classic film as a one of the Hollywood greats (for this chapter, I have called upon the assistance of two bloggers to whom I am indebted for sharing their opinions, experiences and photos—Laura Grieve of Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings, and Janet Sullivan Cross of Sister Celluloid).  Also lending their input are fans who took the TCM Cruise last October where Ann was one of the celebrity guests.

The book will contain appendices of filmography, selected television appearances, radio appearances (with synopses of episodes), stage, discography, and for the print book, an index. The book will be as complete a resource for film fans and, especially fans of Ann Blyth’s career as I can make it. It is the first book written about her work, and I hope will be worthy of the subject.

My intention at this point is to publish the book on June 18th. To that end, I’ll be looking for some help in the pre-launch phase, so I’d like to invite any blogger—film blogger or book blogger—to participate in a blog tour. I’ll be looking for blogs to schedule publicity-oriented posts beginning Monday, June 1st. The last day will be June 17th. If anyone wants to pick a day, please let me know so I can coordinate with others. Think of it as a kind of blogathon. On your day, you can post a review of the book (I’ll have ARCs – advanced reading copies - available in PDF form which I’ll email to you that you can read on your computer), or you can do a Q&A with me, or I can just send you a 250-word excerpt of the book, or you can just post the cover and a link to the Amazon page, if you will. Just a little something to spread the word. I will be posting here every day from June 1st through the 18th and I’ll be linking to your blogs, pushing traffic to you.

Among those 17 bloggers who participate, I’ll throw your names in a hat and pick five winners who will receive a print book of Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. when it is published on the 18th. The rest will receive an eBook file in whichever format you choose: ePub, Mobi, or PDF (Note, the ARC copies will not have the index).

Also, I hope to have the book ready for pre-order on Amazon by April. (It will also be sold at a variety of other online merchants.)

For those of you with connections to book clubs, classic film societies, libraries, or bookstores, I will be available for speaking or book signing after the book is released, but will likely limit my geographic range to eastern New York and the New England states for the time being.

I’m looking forward to the year ahead and sharing it with you. More updates on the book (including the cover reveal) to come in weeks ahead. 

Speaking of the year ahead: I’m going back to blogging about a variety of old movies, and next week we’re celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday (President’s Day, Shmezident’s Day) with Raymond Massey’s truly glowing performance as Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940). Like I always say, if you want a genuinely moving portrayal of an American President, get a Canadian to do it.

Speaking of Vilma Banky (Not that we were), the above come-hither portrait comes from a pretty swell book called Stars of the Photoplay, published in 1930 by Photoplay Magazine. It’s an album of headshots of the biggest Hollywood starts of the silent-cum-sound period, and I’ll be sharing some of those photos with you over the course of the year.

It also gives vital statistics. Vilma Banky was born in Nagydorog, near Budapest in 1903, she was 5 feet 6, weighed 120, and had gray eyes.

Chew on that for while. That’s all you’re getting of Vilma Banky.

So much for coming attractions. Now for the newsreel:

I’m very pleased to have an essay, along with those of many of your favorite bloggers, in the big year-end issue of The Dark Pages devoted to all things Mildred Pierce. Edited by Karen Burroughs Hannsberry, author of Femme Noir: Bad Girls of Film and Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir, this film noir monthly is available as an e-zine or in print. For more info on how to get your copy, or subscribe, have a look at this website.

Now for the biggest news. Well, for me it was. You may have heard me mention in a low mumble last year once or twice that I was looking for the film Katie Did It (1951), the only Ann Blyth movie I couldn’t locate.  It once was lost, but now is found and saved a wretch like me.  It has only recently become available on eBay, in what I think is probably a homemade copy of a now in public domain movie. Whatever. I’ll take it. I won’t blog about Katie here, I’m saving that essay for the book.

AND a very special Ann Blyth fan is sharing with me some very old material that was taped off TV back in the day, including her 1959 This Is Your Life episode.  I’ll go into more detail about what happens on her This is Your Life episode and other stuff in the book.

I have a few very dear new friends to thank for making this book possible, and their generosity, and their love of Ann Blyth, has been a constant source of inspiration.  Above all, this book is the product of the devotion of some longtime fans, and the espirt de corps of classic film bloggers which make this project, I feel, a community effort.

One more note: a collector of classic film stills and lobby cards, Mr. Leo Bianco, is selling items from his collection at very reasonable rates. If you’re interested in purchasing, or for more info on what he has in stock, you can reach him by email at:

See you next Thursday.

The audio book for Ann Blyth: Actress. Singer. Star. is now for sale on, and on Amazon and iTunes.

Also in paperback and eBook from Amazon, CreateSpace, and my Etsy shop: LynchTwinsPublishing.


Rich said...

A publicity blog tour? Count me in.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks, Rich. Good to be back with everybody on the blog. Get your feet off the coffee table.

Caftan Woman said...

I'd like to be on your list of tour stops for sometime in the middle of June.

"The Big Book of Blyth" - HA!

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

"So let it be written, so let it be done..." Thanks, CW.

Anonymous said...

Would love to help with publicity. Count me in. I know it's going to be a great book.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thank you very much, Vienna.

Laura said...

Jacqueline, it's wonderful to see you posting again after your hiatus, which I know was very productive! :) And thank you for the kind nod, that was very nice of you.

You know you can count on me to help publicize the book!! I'm so excited it's going to happen. Would love to review it and will plan on working out any other details as June approaches. :) :)

Best wishes,

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks so much, Laura. So grateful to have you on board.

Pure Golden said...

I would love to be part of the blog tour in June. As you can see, I have not posted on my blog for a while (and have not posted much before that) but I'm in the middle of revamping it and figuring out a regular posting schedule for myself. If you'd rather wait for a bit and see some regular posts from me before deciding, that's completely fine by me. :-). I am so excited to have discovered your blog....and very excited about your book.

Pure Golden Classics

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Welcome to the blog, Jan. Thank you for climbing on the blog tour, you're most welcome. Good luck with Pure Golden Classics.

The Metzinger Sisters said...

The Silver Scenes bus can make a stop on the blog tour in June...or May...or April...or March...whenever. We'd love to promote your book, Jacqueline (even if you are pulling a dirty trick and saving the Katie Did It review till it's published! ). What I would like to know is, why did you not take that TCM cruise yourself and interview Ann?? We can never pass up a good cruise!

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks Metzinger Girls, glad you'll be taking passengers for the tour. KATIE isn't all I'm saving -- there's a crate of new material in the book and a free decoder ring in each...ah, no, I made that part up. As for the cruise, I would have loved to have gone, but I had other commitments. I envy those that did go, and how nice that TCM provides such a great opportunity with the cruise and with the film festival for fans to meet the stars.

The Metzinger Sisters said...

Well if there is no decoder ring, count us out then! Just kidding...we want to go on that TCM cruise every year but darn those ships - they only leave from sea ports. We're land locked lubbers for the most part..unless you count Lake Erie. Last year's ( or was it this year's? ) cruise had an especially great line-up with Shirley Jones onboard.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

There's got to be a star-studded Lake Erie Cruise. There's just got to be. If not, you should start one. (Brings to mind that "Laverne & Shirley" episode with their Great Lakes cruise...and Shirley's line, "Anything but murder, Mister."

Marline said...

Well, hey, I'd love to get in on this, Jacqueline! Got any spots left on your tour?? I think Ann would be marvelous as a Movie Star Makeover subject!

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks, Kay. I'd love to have your participation on your wonderful blog.

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