Publishers Weekly Booklife
September 24, 2018
BookLife Talks with Christopher Lentz
Lentz introduces his Great American Destination Series with a story of friendship and self-empowerment starring Marilyn Monroe and the illustrious Hotel Del Coronado
What’s the story behind My Friend Marilyn—what inspired you to write it?
I was intrigued by the idea that the most beautiful woman in the world—who was also terribly insecure—could befriend a plus-size, small-town girl who was very confident in her own skin. Some Like It Hot also happens to be one of my favorite films. It inspired me to set this story at the Hotel del Coronado, where part of the film was shot in 1958, and where my wife and I spent our wedding night.
Why or how do you think this book is particularly relevant now?
Marilyn would’ve turned 92 this past June. What she lived through is still relevant. Though Hollywood has changed a lot, it hasn’t changed enough. Just look at today’s headlines.
Who’s your ideal reader and why?
My Friend Marilyn will appeal to fans of Marilyn Monroe, Some Like it Hot, plus-size heroines, old Hollywood, and the equally famous Hotel del Coronado, as well as fiction readers, in general.
If Marilyn Monroe were to read this book, what do you think she’d say?
Placing a palm over her heart and working her eyelids like a skilled geisha with two painted-paper fans, she’d probably say, “You’re too kind.” She’d scoop her platinum bangs to the side and add, “Thank you, ever so much.” This is the Marilyn who still charms today, and she sparkles in my book.
What’s it like to write about someone so legendary, and Marilyn Monroe at that? What responsibility do you feel to adhere to the historical record—or legend—and where did you depart from it?
I took great care in putting together this story, which shows Marilyn as fragile and tough, and powerless and powerful—all at the same time. I balanced facts from 1958 with fiction to make the plot and some of the characters more contemporary to better connect with people today. Nothing is unrealistic, though. While Marilyn was treated brutally in life and in the press, I took a kinder approach. I know she’d love the ending.
Tell us about your Great American Destination Series and how the setting for this book influenced the story.
I’m writing destination books, in the spirit of destination weddings, to tell stories of hope, history, romance and self-discovery at stunning locations you can visit. The series is centered around grand hotels, impressive mansions and inspiring one-of-a-kind sites that are characters in their own rights.
Hotel del Coronado is an iconic destination at the Pacific’s edge near San Diego. Opened in 1888, “The Del,” which is believed to be haunted, has a one-of-a-kind sweeping silhouette—a cross between an ornate wedding cake and well-trimmed ship. The heart-warming friendship at the heart of my book seemed destined for this fascinating, storied locale.
What’s the one thing you most want to tell readers, other writers, booksellers, publishers, or agents about you or your book?
EVERY story can have a happy ending. I made sure this one does. My Friend Marilyn is on sale for a limited time for $1.99.
Now available on Amazon (Kindle and print), Apple iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble print.
Media Contact: Heather McLaughlin
Novel Public Relations
My Friend Marilyn Featuring Marilyn Monroe During Filming of Some Like It Hot: A Summer Reading List Must Have – Available Now
Tinseltown temptress and small-town spinster uncover true meaning of friendship in a new novel by Christopher Lentz
Orange County, Calif., May 31, 2018: Author Christopher Lentz announced today that his historical-fiction novel, My Friend Marilyn, is now available from major retailers including Amazon, Kobo, and Smashwords. The novel was published the day before what would have been Monroe’s 92nd birthday on June 1.
“This book poses an intriguing what-if question: What would happen if you were pulled into a twisted Cinderella love story with Marilyn Monroe as your fairy godmother?” Lentz said, “The answer: Plenty.”
Lentz describes the novel as Bridesmaids meets Some Like It Hot, with a Melissa McCarthy-ish character who is having the time of her life, but with someone ending up dead.
“This is a classic fish-out-of-water story that is part Hollywood fantasy, part romance, part ghost story and wholly unforgettable,” added Lentz. “Marilyn Monroe was seen by many, but known by few, and that mystique continues. Considering today’s discussions about body-image and body-shaming, I wanted to explore what might have happened if an outwardly confident plus-size girl is befriended by the most beautiful woman on the planet—who, by the way, had major confidence and body-image issues.”
My Friend Marilyn intertwines history and myth to tell a tale of acceptance, friendship and love. It’s the first novel in Lentz’s new Great American Destination Series which offers historical-fiction books set at locations readers can visit today.
About My Friend Marilyn
Imagine this: Penny Parker, a curvy dime-store cashier, longs for a best girlfriend. When she wins a contest, she gets one: Marilyn Monroe. She will be the on-set assistant to the iconic star for eight precious days during the filming of Some Like It Hot in 1958 at Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, Calif. Penny’s black-and-white life turns Technicolor as she becomes part of Marilyn’s world of smoldering secrets, sinister strangers and jaw-dropping bombshells.
The emotional whirlwind uncovers Penny’s confusing attraction to childhood buddy, Frankie Holland. And in what could be a happily ever after moment, Hollywood’s smartest dumb blonde steps in to play fairy godmother to her newfound—and unlikely—Cinderella.
Penny sneaks Marilyn out of the famed Hotel del Coronado and into the real world. With the help of old friends and new—and a ghost or two—Penny discovers there is a ruthless killer on the loose who has Marilyn in the crosshairs. Together, Penny and Marilyn discover how hearts can sometimes see what eyes cannot.
For more information about My Friend Marilyn, visit christopherlentz.org.
About Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado is an iconic destination at the Pacific’s edge just minutes from downtown San Diego. The famed resort is currently celebrating 130 years of welcoming travelers to experience the Southern California coastal lifestyle at its best. To learn more, visit www.hoteldel.com.
About Christopher Lentz
Christopher Lentz is the acclaimed author of My Friend Marilyn (historical fiction, 2018) and The Blossom Trilogy (historical romance). His books are about hope, second chances, and outcasts overcoming obstacles. At their core, Lentz’s stories are about how love changes everything.
Lentz made his mark as a corporate-marketing executive before becoming a full-time author. He has kissed the love of his life atop the Eiffel Tower, climbed the Great Wall of China, snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, and earned a paycheck dressing up as Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland. He lives in a haunted Victorian house and firmly believes that hoarding is okay if the stuff is cool.
Lentz resides in Southern California with his wife and family. Follow him on Twitter @AuthorLentz and Facebook @christopher.lentz.author. For more information, visit christopherlentz.org.
# # #
Great Writing—And Great Marketing—Is Like a Great Strip Tease
Blogged on Dec. 13, 2017 about how great writing and market is like a great strip tease for Writers in the Storm.
In the business world, you must make your products stand out in a cluttered marketplace. As an author, I need to fight for attention on cluttered digital bookshelves. At the risk of appearing insensitive in the current and long-overdue environment of #MeToo, you’d think I’d steer clear of the topic of strippers. But it drives home the point. Stay with me.
As Gypsy Rose Lee, one of history’s greatest strippers, said, “It’s not what you do. It’s the way you do it—stripping, or writing, or talking…or just breathing. Do it with an air, and never admit you’re scared.”
Whether they’re Hollywood’s dudes in the 21st Century or burlesque’s dames in the 20th Century, successful strippers employ gimmicks to stand out. In marketing, you must to do the same. And in the publishing industry, I do too.
I explore this idea in a blog for Writers in the Storm (which is ranked as one of the Top 20 best websites for authors by Writer’s Digest). This lively discussion focuses on the need for uniqueness to grab your audience’s attention, spark their imagination and get them to buy whatever it is you’re offering.
You can read the entire post at Writers in the Storm blog.
Author Christopher Lentz Receives Critical Appraisal from NY Literary Magazine
Author Christopher Lentz receives critical appraisal from the NY Literary Magazine for his Historical Romance novel “Blossom on the Road of Dreams.” The 2nd installment in his rags-to-riches and riches-to-rags series, this novel was named “a powerful, extraordinary romance worth savoring” by NY Literary Magazine.
Niagara Falls, United States – October 14, 2017 /PressCable/ — Author Christopher Lentz receives critical appraisal from the distinguished NY Literary Magazine for his latest historical romance book “Blossom on the Road of Dreams.” The prestigious NY Literary Magazine described his novel as “Fast-paced, packed with emotions…an electrifying read.”
“Blossom on the Road of Dreams” is the second action-packed, romantic thriller in Lentz’s historical romance series “Blossom.” His debut novel (and the first in this series) was featured in 2015 on Amazon’s Top Ten “Hot New Releases” list. “Blossom on the Road of Dreams” tells the story of lovers in 1906, embarking on the ultimate road trip on a path of no return, fleeing the ashes and their past lives in San Francisco.
The book “Blossom on the Road of Dreams” has been praised by readers as a must-read, fun and adventurous story full of action and cliffhangers.
“Christopher Lentz makes you feel like you are a part of their journey and dreams!” Reader Diane Hachadoorian wrote in her Amazon reader review. “This book is beautifully written and a wonderful continuation of Blossom’s story. It has everything: drama, romance, and adventure!” reader Michael Miller said.
In their editorial review of “Blossom on the Road of Dreams,” the NY Literary Magazine wrote, “Blossom on the Road of Dreams is an unforgettable journey featuring layered, multicultural characters, well-drawn authentic settings, and a powerful, extraordinary romance worth savoring.”
Kirkus Reviews praised Christopher Lentz’s first book in this series, calling it “an admirable debut.” His first novel took him five years to complete. While working as a corporate-marketing executive, Lentz wrote “Blossom” on a notepad during his lunch breaks.
When asked in an interview with the NY Literary Magazine what inspired him to write his “Blossom” series, Christopher Lentz replied, “A nighttime walking tour of Chinatown sparked the setting and my heroine’s character. While in a dark alley, we peeked through a doorway and watched women making fortune cookies by hand.” Lentz informed the magazines that four additional installments of the Blossom Trilogy—a combination of novellas and full-length novels—are in the works.
About Christopher Lentz’s “Blossom” Series:
The “Blossom” series begins with a forbidden romance set during the week leading up to and including the great earthquake and firestorm that destroyed much of San Francisco in 1906. Set against the vistas of the Golden State, the “Blossom: rags-to-riches and riches-to-rags series has everything: the juxtaposition of rich and poor; the constraints and rules of a bygone age; the timeless clash of generations and traditions; the arrogance of man and the wrath of Mother Nature.
The lessons to be learned are clear. Life is uncertain. Love can be unshakable. The future is unknowable. The unthinkable is always possible.
The story brings together the variety of multi-cultural people who call California home. From the gold fields of Northern California to the whorehouses of San Francisco, and from the mansions of Pasadena to the new-born movie studios of Hollywood, the series embraces three vibrant generations of Americans.
With the first book, every turn of a page is a countdown to a doomsday face-off with disaster and the explosive power of blooming love. The second and third books, plus several bridging novellas, continue the saga by capturing the highs and lows of love told through the experiences of Southern California’s hardworking folks and glittering elite.
Learn more about Christopher Lentz’s books on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ygmg0M
About the Author Christopher Lentz:
Christopher Lentz writes historical and contemporary romances, as well as historical-fiction novels. His stories are about second chances, misfits who find ways to fit in, and how love changes everything. Prior to becoming an author, Lentz worked as a corporate-marketing executive. Christopher Lentz is one of the few men among 15,000 female members of the Romance Writers of America association. He lives in a haunted Victorian house, and while in high school, he dressed up as Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland.
Learn more about Christopher Lentz on his website: https://christopherlentz.org
Name: Camille Kleinman
Email: Send Email
Organization: NY Literary Magazine
Address: 1711 Cudaback Ave PMB 944599, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, United States
For more information, please visit https://nyliterarymagazine.com
Release ID: 249072
# # #
Book Covers – Speaking the Language of Color
Blogged on Aug. 26 about speaking the language of color for Writers in the Storm. Did you know there are claims that we can discern as many as 10 million colors? It’s true! In the blog I offer some thoughts about the psychology behind colors and the common associations humans have with certain colors. Anyone who markets, sells or simply walks around on the surface of this planet should find this blog interesting. Really. Totally compelling. Essential reading. Okay, that’s a bit too far!
For authors in particular, this is important information to consider so book covers are engineered to tap into the key emotions or reactions writers want to trigger.
Writers in the Storm is ranked as one of the Top 100 best websites for authors by “Writer’s Digest.” I’m sincerely grateful to have this second opportunity to connect with a new community of authors.
Join the conversation! http://writersinthestormblog.com/…/book-covers-speaking-th…/
To learn more about designing a book cover that tells and sells, be sure to read my June 3, 2015 Writers in the Storm blog.
If you’d like to learn more about The Blossom Trilogy, visit The Library page. The novels are available through all of the major online retailers in ebook and print formats.
Designing a Book Cover That Tells
Blogged on June 3 for Writers in the Storm, sharing some thoughts about designing a book cover that “tells and sells.” Writers in the Storm is ranked as one of the Top 100 best websites for writers by “Writer’s Digest.” I’m sincerely grateful to have this opportunity to connect with a new community of authors.
If you’d like to learn a few things about good design and see some book covers that were considered for my first romance novel, Blossom, check out my blog post. Join the conversation! http://writersinthestormblog.com/…/designing-a-book-cover-…/
If you’d like to learn more about Blossom, visit christopherlentz.org and blossomtrilogy.com. The novel is available through all of the major online retailers.
At Historic Anniversary, San Francisco Earthquake Sets Scene for New Epic Romance Novel, Blossom
Christopher Lentz brings passion and historical accuracy to story of scandalous young love in the midst of California’s greatest natural disaster
Orange County, Calif., April 14, 2015: New author Christopher Lentz announced today that his self-published historical romance, Blossom, is available as an ebook from online retailers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Smashwords and Kobo, and in print from Amazon.
“It’s a dream come true to be sharing my new book, Blossom, leading up to the April 18, 1906, anniversary of the nightmarish San Francisco earthquake and fires, which is the backdrop of the story,” said Lentz.”The research process was a time-traveling experience that resulted in Blossom capturing the turn-of-the-century way of life for the fortunate and unfortunate. Readers now can be part of this scandalous love-triangle story that has been called ‘Titanic on land.'”
Anne Cleeland, acclaimed author of historical fiction such as Daughter of the God-King and contemporary mysteries, said,”A compelling story of the power of love in the face of an unprecedented disaster; of a man who has to choose between his duty and a love that transcends two cultures. Lentz writes an amazing story that brings the San Francisco earthquake to life—first rate!”
San Francisco, 1906, on the brink of one of Mother Nature’s cruelest and most destructive disasters, lovers unite as an earthquake rips the city apart. Chinatown fortune cookie maker Blossom Sun is far from having anything she wants. Atop Nob Hill, socialite Clarissa Donahue is close to having everything she ever desired—that is, until her simple request for fortune cookies triggers an unexpected chain of events.
When Clarissa’s unconventional fiancé, silver-fortune heir Brock St. Clair, catches a glimpse of Blossom his life turns upside down. Discovering how every secret has a price, Blossom faces the ultimate crossroad. No one could have predicted how an earthquake, firestorm and the desires of three strong-willed families would test the strength of Blossom, Clarissa and Brock. When everything falls apart, who’ll be together? Who’s going to see tomorrow?
With love at its epicenter, Blossom’s story happens over just five days. It’s a heart-wrenching portrait of those who experience both unimaginable endings and new beginnings. And it is sure to change what is known about longing, love and loss because in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary choices.
For more information about Blossom and to watch the official Blossom trailer visit blossomtrilogy.com.
About Christopher Lentz
Christopher Lentz is a man who writes romances, a self-starter who self-publishes and a dreamer who thought growing old would take longer. He truly believes love changes everything. As a journalist, a corporate marketer and now a romance writer, his career has been all about storytelling. His first romance novel, Blossom, is now available and it is the first book of the Blossom Trilogy. Lentz lives in California with his wife and family. Follow him on Twitter @AuthorLentz or on Facebook at Chris Lentz. For more information, visit christopherlentz.org and blossomtrilogy.com.
# # #