Melanie Benjamin’s historic fiction successfully combines romance with thriller plots and famous real life heroines, so its perhaps not surprising her books regularly grace the New York Times and USA Today best seller lists.
Hi there, I’m your host Jenny Wheeler and today Melanie talks about her latest book Mistress of the Ritz, a World War II story based in the landmark Paris hotel taken over by the Nazis. It’s a love story and a suspense thriller all in one.
Six things you’ll learn from this Joys of Binge Reading episode:
- Melanie’s vital “second start” as a novelist
- On being brutally honest about your work
- The change from modern to historical fiction
- Hollywood’s “golden years” for women
- Her podcast with fellow author
- The little know Brit she binge reads
Where to find Melanie Benjamin:
What follows is a “near as” transcript of our conversation, not word for word but pretty close to it, with links to important mentions.
Jenny Wheeler: But now here’s Melanie. Hello there Melanie, and welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us.
Melanie Benjamin: Well, thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here. Thanks for thinking of me, Jenny.
Jenny Wheeler: Melanie, you’re a New York Times and USA Today best selling historical fiction author. You’ve got foreign rights sold in a dozen countries. You sound as if you’re really at the top of your game, but was there a Once Upon a Time moment when you just knew you had to write fiction? How did it all start?
Never like ‘in the movies’
Melanie Benjamin: Yes. It’s never quite like it is in a book or a movie. Just one moment. No, it’s never quite like that. You know, I came to this fairly late in my life. I didn’t even consider being a writer until I was nearing 40. It’s a long time ago. My first love was theater and I really wanted to pursue an acting career, which was not supported by my family. So that led to a lot of anxiety about dropping out of college and running out, wanting to go off and do my theater and pursue my acting.
And it was just kind of a muddle. And then I get married. And then I had children very young and I did a stay at home mom thing and the – what we call the PTA up here – the Parent Teacher Association president thing. But I wasn’t very happy. However, I was always a reader, although I had never considered writing as a career.
It was just something that came very naturally to me and helped me through all my years in college and high school. Writing was always an easy thing for me. A dear friend of mine said. – I was coming up on my 40th birthday – and she said,” you know, I always thought you’d be a writer.” And to this day, she doesn’t know why she said that.
A light bulb moment
But when she did say it was like a little light bulb went off over my head. Certainly I was a very articulate, highly verbal person. I lived in my head a lot. I pretended a lot. I was a huge reader. And so I set out to start to write, and I wrote a couple of little essays that got me a column in a parenting magazine.
And then I wrote a short story that went to contest. That was just a dangerous enough amount of success to keep me going. I thought if I was going to be a writer, to me that meant writing novels, because I do love novels. That’s my preferred form of reading. Although I do read a lot of nonfiction as well.
But to me, being an author meant writing a novel. And so that started me on the path of a lot of trial and error, of little successes and a lot of big failures. Until finally I was a novelist.
Famous women, fascinating stories
Jenny Wheeler: Fantastic. So now you’ve published six historical novels, and each one is focused on fascinating and sometimes very famous woman. You’ve done Babe Paley in The Swans of Fifth Avenue, Mary Pickford in The Girls In The Picture. You’ve been a pick for fantastic entertainment magazines like Oprah and Entertainment Weekly. Has there been a highlight for you so far in your career?
Melanie Benjamin: That’s a good question. I mean, I think certainly the first time I was invited into to the offices of Random House in New York to be presented with the marketing plan for one of my novels. That was, The Aviator’s Wife. (Which pulled back the curtain on the marriage of Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh) The first time I had a novel really truly be elevated in house to kind of a “big novel.” That was a moment for sure.
‘Dream come true’ moments
That was a ‘dream come true’ moment, to just have all these wonderful professionals telling me how much they loved my book and how much they wanted to do for it. That was an amazing moment. Seeing it in People magazine, that was great. The Skimm was one of the other surprises… I don’t know if you’re familiar with The Skimm, it’s a very popular daily email newsletter that goes out and it’s aimed towards women. And they picked my book – that was The Swans Of Fifth Avenue. That morning, oh, my phone just started ringing. Everybody in the world had seen it, but I think, okay, I do have a moment.
I was on Jeopardy. I wasn’t, but I was a question on Jeopardy. So that was probably the moment.
Being on ‘Jeopardy’ TV show
Jenny Wheeler: Oh, Wow. And what was the question?
Melanie Benjamin: I think it was something like “this famous historical novel tells a story of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and her husband Charles, and it was written by Melanie Benjamin.” And the answer was The Aviator’s Wife.
Jenny Wheeler: You’ve got so many fantastic books that we haven’t mentioned, The Aviator’s Wife, was that one of your first books that really hit the bestseller lists?
Melanie Benjamin: Yes. I had been published back in 2005 under my real name, Melanie Hauser. I had a couple of chick lit novels that came out with Penguin that didn’t do well. I mean, they truly, they were abject failures. There is no other way to put it, and so I had to start over and reinvent myself, which I did writing historical fiction. So my first historical novel under my penname Melanie Benjamin came out in 2010.
And it did well. I believe, I’m trying to remember, it might’ve grazed like the extended bestseller list on the New York Times and made some regional lists. And then the autobiography, Mrs Tom Thumb came out after that. It didn’t do quite as well, but then The Aviator’s Wife was the one that broke through…
The buzz of a best seller
There was a lot of buzz for that book. All that starts within the publishing house, right? So that was the book that people inside my publisher really thought, Oh, you know, this one we really think can be a big book. And I saw how some of that works. So yes, that was my first New York Times bestseller.
Jenny Wheeler: Now I think that your most recent one is Mistress Of The Ritz. That’s a World War II, story based on a true story of an American woman, Blanche and her French husband Claude Auzello, who were directors of the famous Paris hotel when the Nazis took over the French capital.
And it’s a lovely story. It’s partly love story, and it’s partly a story about how to survive in wartime, you’re trying to maintain a normal life, but you don’t want to collaborate. So it’s very complex. How did you initially get drawn into that story?
When the Nazis took over Paris
Melanie Benjamin: Well, so far it’s my first and only World War II novel. I mean, my books are a little bit all over the place in as far as the timing and the setting. I’m not one of those authors who sticks to a particular era in her historical novels. I am a little bit all over the place. So this one was my first one that’s World War II. And there are a lot of World War II novels out there, but the story really pulled me in here.
I read about this in a nonfiction book called The Hotel on Place Vendome by Tilar J Mazzeo. It came up several years ago and I read a lot just because I’m interested in a lot of things. I do love history, so I’m often just reading histories for the fun of it.
That was the first time I really learned about what went on at the Hotel Ritz during the German occupation. That was a part of that particular history that I had no idea of and that it occurred to me had not really been explored, in fiction or movies or anything like that before.
Herman Goring – and Coco Chanel
And that is that the Nazis, when they occupied Paris, took over all the luxury hotels, including the Hotel Ritz. That’s where Hermann Goring was initially headquartered during the war, but also it was open to paying guests like Coco Chanel, who we all know now as a collaborator. And there was a lot of intrigue going on at The Ritz.
I was astonished to read about this American woman and her French husband who were, he was the director of the Ritz, so they had to play host basically to the occupying Nazis, you know, high ranking officials at The Ritz. And yet they both got involved in the Resistance as well. And that was so intriguing, that all this was going on under the same glamorous roof of this amazing hotel. I always saw this story as a love story and a story of a marriage because the marriage between these two very different people was very interesting and very intriguing and very full of passion and disappointment. I just saw this as a story about how war can actually save a marriage in a way.
Party girl to Resistance worker
I guess you could look at it that way – that the war allowed them to see each other, to find their love again, because it was a marriage that was almost broken by the time the war started. So I just thought that was just a great arc for a novel, plus setting it at The Ritz was very appealing to me.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. And Blanche has a great story arc because she’s got a Jewish background. I believe she was part of the Rubenstein family. She was an acting hopeful and a party girl before the war and drank with the “in crowd,” with Ernest Hemingway for example, but she transformed into a more serious minded woman in the war. And that must’ve been a very interesting story arc to follow through on as well.
Melanie Benjamin: Yes, that’s why I say, I think this war saved their marriage, I don’t want to glorify war and I don’t want to trivialize it in any way. To reduce it to, you know, to the depiction of a marriage. I don’t mean to do that at all, but I think what’s intriguing for me as a novelist is to find these intimate stories that are set against the background of something as large and as menacing as the Nazi occupation of Paris. Particularly when you have a Jewish protagonist. I didn’t invent these people.
How a marriage survived the war
They really, they truly did live, although not a lot is known about them. And so I did get to invent a lot, but yes, I thought that, to me, that was like just such a fascinating aspect of this, that the war made her grow up, you know? And it made him see her in a different, a more respectful way than I think he ever saw her before.
I thought that the whole idea of them both working and risking their lives for the Resistance and not telling each other either. I don’t know if they were saving each other from the truth or if they didn’t trust each other. I found that just really intriguing, you know, a metaphor for their marriage until the moment arrived where they did have to tell each other the truth and yes. I thought that was just a great arc for a story. For a novel.
A Hollywood partnership
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. It’s a really good book. And then just because we’ve only got thirty minutes, if we move on the book before that, The Girl In the Picture, it also explores a very complicated friendship and creative partnership between the actress Mary Pickford and the script writer Frances Marion. I must admit, knew very little of Frances Marion before I read your book and it feels crazy that I’d never heard of her because they were both so amazing.
Melanie Benjamin: That was to me was the shame of this, that this whole history about women in Hollywood had these women who had almost been forgotten. I mean, Frances Marion was the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Screenplay and the first person ever to win two of them, and she was the highest paid screenwriter of her time, one of the most influential screenwriters in Hollywood history, and no one’s heard of her. There are no awards named after her.
Forgotten names in film history
I find it so frustrating that women were just as responsible as the men were in inventing Hollywood and inventing the art of filmmaking and yet it’s the men we remember, like Cecil B de Mille and Louie B Mayer, and we don’t remember Frances. We don’t remember Dorothy Arzner and we don’t remember Alice Guy Blache and all these incredibly pioneering women. And I thought that’s was one major reason why I wanted to write this book, because I really felt it’s time we remember these women.
And Mary Pickford we may know about, certainly, you know a name, maybe a face, but we probably don’t remember that she was the first female head of a motion picture studio and that these two women together had not just an amazing, what I think is a truly empowering female friendship, but it also a collaboration that resulted in the most popular movies of their time.
A hundred years ago. Two women were making the most popular movies in Hollywood and that just doesn’t happen anymore. And you know I just thought this story needs to be told as well.
Making the most popular movies
Jenny Wheeler: Sure. . . now what did happen? You’ve said that women haven’t got back to where they, Marion and Pickford were, even today, and that it all happened after or during World War I. What did happen to strip women of that power?
Melanie Benjamin: Well, in those early days when Hollywood was truly being invented, you know, the people who were making movies had no experience because there had not been a movie in history. They were literally creating this, on the fly, by the seat of the pants. So it was extremely collaborative and everybody pitched in to do all sorts of jobs, men and women together. You know, the creative arts have always been more welcoming of women, when you’re talking about the pure creative level. Right? And there was no money in Hollywood before World War I.
It wasn’t a big industry. There was not a lot of money at risk. There weren’t people investing in these things, so women were more welcome. And actually the art of screenwriting was pitched towards women. There would be ads in women’s magazines asking women if they have stories that they’d like to sell the Hollywood.
How Hollywood won Europe
The story telling aspect was seen more as women’s work. Over half the screenwriters in Hollywood in those early years were women. But then, when World War I happened, the European film industry was shut down. All the men obviously were at war, and the material that was needed to make films was all requisitioned for war material. So there were no movies being made in Europe, but yet they wanted the movie theaters to stay open in England and in France for morale.
So Hollywood for the first time, found itself in demand in the European, and in the international market. And that’s why Hollywood became the leading point of the film industry. It was because their movies were the only ones that were being made during the war. And so they were being shown during the war. So when the war was over, all of a sudden people realized Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were just as popular in England and in France, and in all these places like Austria, as they were at home.
Money talks in movies
So it opened everyone’s eyes to the possibilities of this industry as a moneymaking industry and very closely on the heels of the Wars, in 1927 the Warner brothers invented a Vitaphone, which became the industry standard for sound movies. So you had those two things combining to make people, men, particularly in banking industries and the financial industries, suddenly seeing Hollywood and movie studios as a money making institution.
And so they flooded the studios with their money. All of a sudden, the studios are being owned by people who lived in New York. The movies were made by people in California, but the people who finance the movies are mainly men who lived in New York.
From Mary P to Sherry L
And that’s when we see women being marginalized and, and forced aside. And those pioneering women like Frances Marion and her friends when they retired, generally in the 30s they were not replaced by other women. And that’s where we are today. Mary Pickford was the first female head of a major motion picture studio, with United Artists back in 1919. And that would not happen again until the 1980s when Sherry Lansing became the head of Paramount Pictures. The number of screenplays written by women, it’s somewhere less than 10% now, probably less than 5%. I don’t know the exact figures today.
Certainly the highest paid movie stars in the world are all men, whereas Mary Pickford was the highest paid movie star of her time, and now women are far down on that list. That’s what’s happened in Hollywood. And I think people certainly have opened their eyes to that fact and there is definitely a movement. But here we are again. The Academy Awards in 2020 and not a single female director was nominated.
Jenny Wheeler: I imagine that with your theatrical interest, this particular topic obviously gave you a lot of extra pleasure, and you’re also doing a podcast, which I’m sure reflects that the theatrical interest as hell.
Melanie Benjamin: Yes! I’m hosting it with another author, Edward Kelsey Moore.
Who The Hell Are We? – Podcast
Jenny Wheeler: Tell us a bit about that.
Melanie Benjamin: Edward and I are good friends. Our podcast is called Who The Hell Are We? Because even at our advanced ages, we still don’t know. But we have a similar background in that we were both born in Indianapolis and we both had careers in the arts, although his is much more esteemed than mine, he is a professional musician and that’s kind of where he started.
And then I did a lot of theater. It turns out he played in the pit orchestra for one of my shows, although we didn’t know each other at the time. And then many, many, many decades later, we both end up in Chicago as writers. And we met at an industry event and discovered all this shared background of growing up in Indianapolis, two artistic children who didn’t quite belong.
He is black and he’s gay, which means it was much harder for him to grow up in Indianapolis than it was for me, but still, we both never really felt like we belonged there. And we both came to writing fairly late in life. And we have such fun talking together and getting together. We decided to do a podcast where we would get to be able to talk together at least once or twice a month and record it all and have a lot of fun.
Truman Capote socialite scandal
And we have had a lot of fun with it, and it’s kind of an eclectic podcast. We talk about a lot of things. We do always try to bring it back around to books and to the writing process, but it’s a lot of us just sitting around and just gossiping.
Jenny Wheeler: Oh, that’s wonderful. Now, look at, before we move on to perhaps wider issues, I’m fascinated to mention also the book The Swans of Fifth Avenue, because that deals with the way that Truman Capote fell out with the New York socialites. It’s such a fascinating topic. Once again, tell us a bit about that book and did you ever get a real sense of why he basically turned on the people who’d given him so much support.
Melanie Benjamin: That book is one that came to me when I was in the middle of writing another work – well not exactly in the middle. I had written another book, a contracted book with my editor and my publisher, and it was a book I couldn’t get right.
Why Truman betrayed ‘the swans’
And my editor and I struggled with it for a long time and we just couldn’t get it right. And I was on the verge of saying, we’re not publishing this one. I’ll write you a new one. But I realized I really should have an idea for something before I say that. I
t was just me walking around and pulling down books from my bookshelves, looking for ideas, and I pulled down a book called Answered Prayers which is the last, but it’s not a finished book, it’s an incomplete manuscript written by Truman Capote. And as I was flipping through the manuscript, I did come across this infamous short story called La Côte Basque, 1965, and I remembered it. I was a little hazy on all the facts, but I remembered there was something of a scandal attached to that short story.
I just remembered having read about it, probably in Vanity Fair magazine. So I went and I looked it up and I realized it was this amazingly juicy scandal. I fell in love with Babe Paley and those “swans” and Truman in that world, and I thought it was fascinating that he would blow it all up by writing this short story when he betrayed all their secrets and you know that’s the heart of the book. Why did he do this thing?
The hubris that ruined his life
It broke a lot of people’s hearts. It resulted in at least one death, a suicide, and it truly ruined his life. He never wrote anything really over again. And why did he do it? The book explores that and explores truly who betrayed whom? Was it Truman betraying these women who had invited him into their circles or did they betray him?
Read the book and I think you will find my answers to why he did it.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes, and we don’t want to give that away, but it is a fascinating topic.
Melanie Benjamin: He was suffering from an awful lot of writer’s block after the publication and triumph of In Cold Blood back in 1965, and he got really caught up in the success of that book. He had a real hard time settling down and finding anything to write about after. So I think he in some ways, he stole these stories that didn’t really belong to him and that weren’t his stories to tell. He also seemed to think no one would understand, no one would get it.
Not as silly as he thought
All he had to do was change the names and they wouldn’t understand that he was writing about them. He said that they weren’t smart enough to figure it out, which was blatantly untrue, and he had to have known that. Did he do it to challenge them to test their love, their professed love for him? I don’t know. There are a lot of reasons why you could think about why he did this thing, but it truly destroyed him.
It didn’t destroy his career, but it destroyed his life because the man just descended into that horrible parody of himself and became addicted to drugs and the alcoholism got worse, and he just never really wrote anything again.
Jenny Wheeler: I’ve read somewhere that you’ve had some movie options taken on books. I’m not quite sure which book or books that might be on, but are we going to see anything on screen anytime soon? Where are we up to with that?
The long road to the screen
Melanie Benjamin: Who knows? I’ve had a lot of options and then they’ve never gotten into the production stage. There is a chance for Swans Of Fifth Avenue that we’re working on right now, and I really can’t say anything more than that. Fingers crossed, but it’s been a very long process. The book got caught up in some Hollywood stuff that delayed progress for a very long time, and we have one more chance I think, to make this happen. We’ll see. It is my only book that is currently under option.
As I say. I have had others under option, but nothing has ever come of it. So, that’s where we are right now. I guess it’s the movie world, doesn’t it? Hollywood has broken my heart many times and I’m prepared for it to do so again.
Jenny Wheeler: You’re just not getting caught up with it like Truman did.
Melanie Benjamin: No, no. I’m so burned right now and I’ve come so close and had so many heartbreaking near misses. I’m just kinda like, yeah, whatever. I’ll believe it when I see it.
The secret of Melanie’s success
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. Turning to your wider career, Melanie, is the one thing you’ve done, perhaps more than any other that you’d credited as the secret of your success?
Melanie Benjamin: I have to say I’m pretty proud of myself for my career. I did have a pretty huge setback early on. Like I said, I had a couple of books published that didn’t do well, and I found that it is much harder to stay published than it is to get published in the first place, and it’s really hard in this industry.
If your books don’t sell, you’re not going to get another chance to write any. And so I reinvented myself back then and found this new path. And I think that took a bit of – I dunno, not courage perhaps – but certainly stubborness to continue, to change my name, to be willing to do that, to change my genre, to be willing to do that.
There is always another story
And I also have never feared running out of stories to tell, so that makes it easier for me to set things aside when they don’t appear to be working. I can be pretty brutally honest about my own work and I’ve written a couple, several whole books that ultimately I have decided we’re not going to be published because I did not feel they worked.
I did not feel they were good enough. And I think that has been something that has helped my career and I’m pretty proud of that.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes that’s pretty amazing. When you mentioned about the book you were struggling with before you got the idea for The Swans, I thought how hard it would be to keep going. When you’re working on something and you’re giving it your all, but you still feel as if it isn’t quite coming together. That’s really hard, isn’t it?
Learning to be brutally honest
Melanie Benjamin: It is, but it’s not as hard as it is for some people. I don’t know. It’s not that I’m not attached to my work because I certainly am and I give it my all, but I also have this odd ability, I guess to kind of separate myself from it and to see the flaws and to understand the business end of things and to say I’m not gonna be stubborn and try to publish a book that’s not good enough simply because I spent a couple of years of my life writing it. I’m not gonna do it. I mean, I have more words.
I have more stories. That wasn’t the only one I have. And that allows me, I think, to be able to be pretty brutally honest, like I said, and, and to put things away when they’re not good enough. I know a lot of authors don’t seem to be able to do that. I think they think, I spent all this time writing this, I have to see it published, or I’d wasted my time.
Melanie as reader – her favorites
And I never feel that I’ve wasted my time on these books that haven’t been published. I feel I’ve learned something from them all, so, yes I don’t know. I guess I just, I have a weird ability to do it.
Jenny Wheeler: Look. That’s fantastic. Turning to Melanie as reader, because this is The Joys of Binge Reading. You mentioned you have been a passionate reader. What do you like to binge read and can you recommend some of your favorites for our listeners?
Melanie Benjamin: Oh yes. Oh shoot. Hold on. I meant to have a list with me and now I don’t have it. I have to say, I don’t I binge read any particular genre or author except at one time of year, and that is during Christmas. The month of December, I binge read British novels. Domestic novels, not mysteries per se, but the entire month of December, I was reading Angela Thirkell, and all her Barsetshire Chronicles, which are these sweet domestic little British books set in the Wars and written back in the 30s and 40s. And I find them oddly comforting. So that’s what I binge read.
Other than that I read everything. I’ve read a lot of recently published fiction. I loved a book called The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott, which was a historical novel about the writing of Dr Zhivago and the CIA’s operation to distribute it in Russia.
It was fascinating. I finished reading a memoir by Carly Simon about her friendship with Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Touched By the Sun, My Friendship with Jackie.
That was fascinating. And I just read a biography of Herman and Joseph Mankiewicz who were the Mankiewicz brothers of Hollywood. One wrote Citizen Kane, the other one wrote All About Eve. I just finished reading a biograhy about them by Sydney Ladensohn Stern. So I’m really kind of all over the place with my taste.
Jenny Wheeler: Well that’s fantastic. We are coming to the end of our time together. So circling around, looking back over your writing career at this stage, if you were doing it all over again, what would you change, if anything?
If Melanie was doing it all again . . .
Melanie Benjamin: I wouldn’t mind if I could have spared myself through several years of training failure, but they made me who I am today, so I value them. If I could’ve gotten to where I am today without having to go through those years, it would have been the better. I mean, I would have been happier, but I’m not sure that that was a choice I could make.
Other than that, I don’t know. I really don’t regret anything and I don’t know that I’d change anything truly.
Jenny Wheeler: How did you switch from romance to historical fiction? Obviously you made that switch, From the chick lit kind of thing.
Melanie Benjamin: It was more like what we called “mom lit” at the time because the protagonist was a divorced mother and it was crazy. It wasn’t the type of book that I wanted to write or even read.
If I’d known then . . .
All right, here’s one thing I would change. I wrote that book to get published. I had taken all the rejection letters from a couple other books that I had tried my hand at, and I read them and from them, I pieced together the tea leaves of what publishing was looking for, and I wrote a book to meet those needs.
And that was the book that was published, but it wasn’t a book that I loved. And so that was probably not a smart idea, to write a book solely to be published without it being a book I truly, truly loved. And so I think that that was a mistake. And I think that I’ve learned, so the books that I have written and published as Melanie Benjamin are books that I truly came into as passion projects.
I didn’t know I was going to write historical fiction. I just fell in love with a photograph of a young girl. This girl was the inspiration for the Alice in Wonderland story Alice I Have Been. And I didn’t know anything of that whole story. The real story behind all that. And when I found that out, I thought, well, that’s the book I need to write.
Lessons learned well
I didn’t know it was historical fiction. It was just a story I was passionate about. So I’ve tried to be wiser. I mean, I certainly am wise about the career and the industry and I just certainly try to understand what people want to read these days. And I truly want to try to keep that in mind because certainly longevity is important for me as a career.
But I will also always write the books I want to write. I will write books I’m passionate about because I’ve learned that when they do well, like with a book, like The Aviator’s Wife, I’m going to be talking about that book for years and years and years to come.
So I better love it. And then that is something I’ve learned.
What is next for Melanie the writer
Jenny Wheeler: That’s great. So what is next for Melanie, the writer? What have you got projected for 2020
Melanie Benjamin: Oh, I cannot say, I will not have a new book come out this year. Mistress of The Ritz will come out and paperback in May. I think my next book will be out in 2021.
That’s what we’re talking about right now, and I have already turned it in, but right now I have to keep the topic under wraps, because it, the publishing process, is different once you’re published and certain people have to read the book before you can start talking about it. So that’s kind of where I am right now, waiting for people to read the book in house.
I just turned the book in so I can’t really talk about that new book. I’ll be able to announce it soon. And right now I am taking a little bit of break and I’m reading a lot of things and I’m mulling over some ideas, but I don’t have anything that I’m working on right at this time.
Where to find Melanie online
Jenny Wheeler: Wonderful Melanie. Thank you. Where can readers find you online and do you enjoy interacting with your readers?
Melanie Benjamin: I find social media a bit of a challenge and I’m not sure I’d be on there if it wasn’t for my career, but I am because I have to be. I love it when I get to meet readers in real life when they come up and they say, I’m your friend on Facebook. That’s wonderful. I am on Facebook. Melanie Benjamin, author. I’m on Instagram, same thing. And Twitter as well at MelanieBen.
Jenny Wheeler: It’s been great to talk to you today, Melanie so thanks for coming on the show. You’ll find the links to all of the books and authors mentioned in this episode on the website, The Joys of Binge Reading.com If you’ve got any comments on our conversation today, we’d love to hear from you, so feel free to add your thoughts in there as well. See you next week.
Thanks To Our Technical Support:
The Joys of Binge Reading podcast is put together with wonderful technical help from Dan Cotton at DC Audio Services. Dan is an experienced sound and video engineer who’s ready and available to help you with your next project… Seek him out at firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone + 64 – 21979539. He’s fast, takes pride in getting it right, and lovely to work with.
Our voice overs are done by Abe Raffills, and Abe’s another gem. He got 20 years of experience on both sides of the camera/microphone as a cameraman/director and also voice artist and television presenter. Abe’s vocal delivery is both light hearted and warm and he is super easy to work with no matter the job. You’ll find him at email@example.com