Biography Progress Report #23: The Book is Done – Again

Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 142

After a crazy week of going through all the items in the Ann Dvorak personal collection and revising the manuscript, I am happy to report that the revisions are done and approved, and everything has been sent to the designer.

I really have to hand it to the University Press of Kentucky for being so accommodating. Even though we were down to the wire, my copy editor didn’t think twice about having me incorporate the new information, which meant revising four chapters. She even had me write a preface to discuss some of the craziness I have encountered because of Ann. Fortunately, the materials in the collection tightened up the timeline of Ann’s final years and gave some great personal insight, allowing me to eliminate a lot of speculation in the last chapter.

I didn’t even bother to ask about using any of the photos because I was sure it was too late. Instead, they asked me if I wanted to use any of them. Since the price point for the book had already been set based on 69 photos, I could not add any, but was able to swap out some of the others. What I ended up using from the personal collection was four photos from the honeymoon scrapbook, one of Ann and her mother in 1969, and one of Ann taken five months before her death. The previous selections that were eliminated were all studio-issued photos, so no candids were sacrificed.

Even though the last week has been nuts and I am sick and tired of  working on this book, I am thrilled to have been able to tie up some loose ends and include a summary of Ann’s life in her own words. I always thought this book took an embarrassingly long time to finish, but in the end it really took as long as it needed to take.  Had it been scheduled to come out even a week earlier, these new finds, which are significant, would not have made it in. At this point, I honestly think the book is about as perfect as I could possibly make it – until it’s released and an avalanche of new info cascades on top of me.


  1. Mike May 22, 2013

    The “avalanche of new info” can be included in the paperback update a year after hardcover release. For me, this is the most anticipated bio of a golden era actress since the Jean Arthur book a decade or so ago. Absolutely delighted that someone would make the effort to honor the underappreciated Ann with a book on her life. So after a breather, what’s the next project?

  2. admin May 22, 2013

    That Jean Arthur book was fabulous, so I hope mine can live up to expectations! I have a couple of ideas I am toying with, though I’m not sure I see another full length biography on my immediate horizon. Ann was exhausting! 🙂

  3. Cliff Aliperti May 22, 2013

    Four photos made it in? That makes all that last minute craziness worthwhile!

    Congrats again on finishing again.

  4. admin May 22, 2013

    Yeah, 4 from the scrapbook and 2 of “Ann The Later Years.” Kentucky has turned out to be a phenomenally supportive publisher.

  5. DickP May 22, 2013

    Of course you realize that right now some dedicated writer is starting to collect hordes of information for her new book; “The Christina Rice Story”. Don’t throw anything away! Save it and you’re sure to make a fortune when that book hits the stands. Of course there will be the obligatory follow up movie showing Christina Rice in her younger years, pawing through old book stores and collectors archives, bleary eyed from watching all those old Ann Dvorak VHS tapes. Can’t wait to see the actress that they’ll use to portray you in the movie – it’ll be tough trying to find a current actress that has a Betty Page hair style, though.

  6. admin May 23, 2013

    I think I would like it to be called “Searching For Ann Dvorak.” 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *