Biography Progress Report #9 – Ladies & Gentlemen, We Have a Publisher!
I am thrilled to announce my Ann Dvorak biography is going to be published by the University Press of Kentucky. My contract arrived in the mail yesterday and is now signed, sealed, and on its way to being delivered. Ever since I read “The Bennetts: An Acting Family” by Brian Kellow, I knew the University Press of Kentucky was the perfect publisher for my book, and was fortunate in that they initially contacted me back in 2008. I have been actively working with them since September on the proposal, and was relieved to hear the editorial board thought a book on Ann was a “no-brainer” for the Press.
As exciting (and surreal) as this latest development is, we still have a ways to go. My deadline is October 1st to submit a completed manuscript, and then it’s roughly nine months before actual publication. So, the book still will not see the light of day for another year or so. However, the fifteen years I have been working on this project have flown by, so what’s another year?
I have been frantically trying to complete all the research I have been putting off for years. Last week, I made the dreaded trip to the Superior Court archives which was just as awful as I anticipated (two hour wait for a microfilm reader among other things). I did dig up some valuable info and subsequently tracked down a lawyer who is still alive and has some vague recollections of Ann and her third husband. I also made a second trip to the Registrar Recorder/County Clerk’s Office in Norwalk, but have still not completed the property research and will have to squeeze another trip sometime in the near future. I made my fourth trip to the Warner Bros Archives at USC to make sure I had not missed anything over the years, and I finally visited USC’s Special Collections department to look at their images of Ann from the Los Angeles Examiner. Both archivists at USC were amazingly generous and allowed me to bring my two-year-old daughter with me. I also discovered some additional mysterious information about Ann which may remain unresolved because the research has to stop at some point!
Additionally, a woman whose maiden name is Romona Wade posted a comment on the 2008 interview I did on the Alternative Film Guide. Ramona is the granddaughter of Ann’s third husband Nicholas Wade, and is someone I am desperate to speak with. However, she did not leave any contact information. So, this is my official plea for Ramona to please contact me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Since I am now officially under the gun to finish the manuscript, my postings here will continue to be limited. Thanks again to everyone who has been supportive and patient though this process. The end is in sight!
In the meantime, I have begun writing articles for the Huffington Post. Don’t worry, it’s part of my full time job and is not taking away from my Ann-D writing time. The first post I submitted is “The Los Angeles of Herman Schultheis.”
More news soon!