Archive | January 2012

Marilyn Monroe and the 50 year itch

It seems like everywhere you look these days you see the most alluring face in history.  Oh, Marilyn Monroe would have argued about that, but let’s look at these facts.  She is still doing commercials for perfumes with Charlize Theron and Grace Kelly.  She is on every marketable item from key chains to notebooks to posters and more.  Monroe movies are still selling because the fact is; every woman wants to be Marilyn Monroe and every man wants Marilyn Monroe.  She oozed sexuality on-screen and in life that have made her the icon she was and is.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of her death and Hollywood knows how to make it memorable.  There are new movies with interesting titles if boring plots: My week with Marilyn is a prime example.  With all of the hype about the most recognized and beloved woman in all the world, it’s no wonder that her big anniversary is drawing attention.

During this year and particularly around the summer you will see more and more of Marilyn Monroe and her likeness, wanna bes and impersonators.  There was only one real Marilyn and we’d like to believe that she was much more than just a sex symbol and a beautiful face.

She enjoyed reading and learning.  One of her favorite authors was Leo Tolstoy.  Not an easy read under any circumstances but Marilyn Monroe’s IQ was over 160.  For those who say she wasn’t a great actress, imagine trying to play the dumb blonde for a film when your IQ screams back to act intelligent.

What man wants a smart woman?  Especially at the height of her career?  Not many but Joe DiMaggio understood Marilyn and loved her for who she was.  Although they couldn’t live together because of her super stardom he never stopped loving her and had flowers put on her grave every week until he died.  That’s saying something.

So whether she has touched your life deeply or is just someone you recognize on a poster, stop and ponder her true nature and what her life would have been if she hadn’t of risen to become one of Hollywood’s most sought after actress’.

Would she have gone to college and become another Einstein?  Maybe she would have had the children she so dearly wanted and a husband to take care of her.  Perhaps she would have been an excellent journalist with a major newspaper.  The possibilities are endless.  Let’s try to think of Marilyn Monroe as a real flesh and blood human with feelings and emotions and not so much of who she was as an actress.





Research and the writing process

We have recently been asked to describe the process of working in a team setting.  Let me just say that as the writer of our novels, I give more than 80% of the credit to my research partner.  T.L. does an outstanding job of looking for credible sources to back up the historical accuracy we strive to maintain.

The rule of thumb is: if the information isn’t in at least two verifiable trusted sources we don’t use it.  In the case of Marilyn Monroe, for example, T. L. looked in numerous books that have been written about her, the time leading up to her death, and the circumstances of her death.  It is unlikely, due to the research, that Marilyn Monroe killed herself with a fatal dose of any pill. 

The facts surrounding her death have recently come to light.  There is more material now than a decade ago given that the mandates of privacy have expired.  Still T.L. spends days, weeks, or even months researching the information that may or may not be used in our novels.

She complains that she’ll hand me pages of information she has gathered and I reduce it to perhaps three paragraphs.  In any genre you write, research is crucial if you want the reader to believe that they are in the world you, as the writer, have created for them.

Suspending a belief system for the reader is the most important job the writer does.  When the reader can transcend the here and now to get lost in the story you’ve created for them, then the countless hours of research will pay off.



Where did Marilyn Monroe find inspiration?

We loved researching Marilyn Monroe for our last book because all we had ever known of her was that she was and is considered one of the sexiest women – EVER.  She was an intelligent woman who knew how to hide it well.  She believed that men in particular and people in general didn’t need to know that she had over 160 IQ.

Marilyn found her inspiration in learning new things every day.  She loved to read and was in the process of learning Spanish at her death.  Some her favorites were Leo Tolstoy, a hard read under any circumstance, and some Shakespeare.

She started keeping notebooks and journals in the last few years of her life.  She never wasted an opportunity to learn about any subject.  Marilyn was in the rare position of being involved in the Hollywood scene, political arenas, and even mafia ties compliments of the Rat Pack.  She would take notes on politics and current world events in order to have intelligent conversations with the people or groups she found herself in.

She never considered herself ‘too good’ for anyone and would gladly stop and share a drink with a total stranger (when time permitted) allowing her exceptional listening skills to ingratiate her with whomever she was with.  Talking with someone she didn’t know gave her new incites and helped to satisfy her curiosity for knowledge and others perspectives.

So, where do you find your inspiration?  We’d love to know.

K.R. Hughes and T.L. Burns







Diary of a mad author

Has anyone had this issue. Our book release date had been moved 3 times and it’s becoming annoying. 

Our editor (for lack of a better word) has done more to mess up our completed novel than a classroom of glue sniffing third graders.

Seriously, where do they find these so-called editors?

Why Marilyn Monroe would like us today…

Marilyn Monroe – what can you say about her?  Every woman wants to be her and every man wants to have her.  It doesn’t matter if you believe she was a great woman or a slut.  It doesn’t matter if you think she was a victim of overdose or murder.  It doesn’t even matter if you lived during her lifetime or you are a younger person just being introduced to her allure.  Marilyn Monroe is the epitome of feminine charm and mystique.   Everyone knows who she is, what she looked like and that she died too young.

Writing a novel about her unlived life was really awesome.  We utilized the popular idea that she was murdered, took into account that perhaps the persons who ordered the hit would have a change of heart and then ran with the story from there.  With so many new facts coming to light as the 50th anniversary of her death draws near, it is the perfect time to imagine that the events of that summer in 1962 could have been altered and the course of history may have altered as well.


In What She Knew the historical timeline is followed closely making this fictional novel a believable and somewhat plausible story.  We incorporate all of Marilyn Monroe’s circles from the political arenas to the Vegas scene and Frank Sinatra to her Hollywood pals.  You don’t want to miss this action packed novel.