Sunday, April 19, 2015

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'A Dream Called Marilyn' Mercedes King

A founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio (affectionately dubbed SiCCO), Mercedes King can be found elbow-deep in research, reading, or enjoying the local bike path. Combining her love of pop culture with history, she created A Dream Called Marilyn, a fictional take on the last weeks of Marilyn’s life. With an unquenchable thirst for a bygone era, she’s also written O! Jackie, a fictional take on Jackie Kennedy's private life--and how she dealt with JFK's affairs. Short story fans would enjoy The Kennedy Chronicles, a series featuring Jackie and Jack before the White House and before they were married. Visit Mercedes’ website at to find out more.
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About the Book:

In the summer of 1962, nothing could prepare Dr. Charles Campbell for his first meeting with new client, Marilyn Monroe. A reputable L.A. psychiatrist, he’s been hired by a studio executive to treat and subdue the star, no matter what it takes. Although he’s been warned about Ms. Monroe’s unpredictability, she’s not what he expected. Gaining Marilyn’s trust means crossing doctor-patient boundaries, and trying to separate fact from Hollywood-fed-rumors proves destructive to both Charles’ career and his personal life. As Marilyn shares her secrets and threatens to go public with information that could destroy President Kennedy’s administration, Charles’ world turns upside-down. He sinks deeper into her troubles than he should, but Charles becomes determined to help her, even though it means endangering Marilyn’s life and risking his own. 

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  • A Dream Called Marilyn is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Thanks for joining us at the book club, Mercedes.  I love the premise of your new book, A Dream Called Marilyn!  I have always been a fan of Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedys. Are you a big fan and is this the reason why you wrote your book?

Mercedes: I became a bigger fan after starting my research and getting into the story. Until recently, I’d been satisfied with the image of her that many have: she’s sexy, alluring, and died tragically. This story helped fill in more details about her. 

Did you do any research on the life of Marilyn Monroe before you wrote the book?

Mercedes: Yes, plenty. From watching her movies to reading and so on, I mined for those details of her life and basically ‘what went wrong’ for her. It’s a hard question to chase an answer for, especially when we already know what her outcome was. 

What kind of person was the real Marilyn Monroe?

Mercedes: I think Marilyn was lonely and insecure. Like everybody else, she wanted the things that matter: a happy home life, a good marriage, children. She loved the spotlight and adoration, but sometimes, fulfilling her acting duties was difficult. She battled stage fright, even after dozens of films. I also think she had the potential to be a strong woman and speak up for herself, but at the time, the industry was cruel to women; it was easy for directors and producers to play up her blonde bombshell image and to repress what she really wanted as an actress.

Do you believe that Marilyn was misunderstood?

Mercedes: Misunderstood and used, yes. Hollywood did what they wanted with Marilyn, and sadly, no one was really there for her or had her back. No one stood up for her and helped her with her issues. Pills and alcohol were all she had most days, and those only added to her problems. Most people wanted a piece of the Marilyn pie. No on took a true interest in helping her, just for the sake of helping her, and with no strings attached. 

Can you tell us a little about Dr. Charles Campbell?

Mercedes: He's a man of his times. Charles is successful and ambitious, prideful and trapped in his own belief system. When he’s asked to take on Marilyn as a client, of course he thinks of his reputation. He’s also nervous about being alone with the most beautiful woman in the world (because his marriage is in shambles), but he immediately determines to be what Marilyn has never had before: a confidant. He wants to help her, even though it means crossing doctor-patient boundaries. At the same time, he struggles with his desires for her, and what it would be liked to be loved by her. It lands him in a great dilemma, because he has to sacrifice. 

They say in all books there are pivotal points where the reader just can’t put the book down.  What’s one of yours?

Mercedes: I hope there are several, such as when Marilyn tells Dr. Campbell (during their first meeting) that she’s dangerous. Who would think of Marilyn Monroe as ‘dangerous’ and why does she say this? There’s another scene, later on, where Marilyn drops a bombshell on Dr. Campbell and puts him in an awkward position. What should a guy do with that kind of unexpected information. Plus, he realizes that Marilyn’s life could be at stake, and he struggles with what to do. 

I hope everyone goes out and purchases a copy of this wonderful and eye-opening book.  What’s next for you, Mercedes?

Mercedes: More books, more stories. But I hope readers enjoy this story enough to go and check out my other novels and short stories. That’ll help curb the wait for the new novel I’m working on.

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