Melanie Benjamin

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Melanie Benjamin

Goodreads Author


Born
Indianapolis
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Member Since
July 2009

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Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, THE AVIATOR'S WIFE, as well as the national bestseller ALICE I HAVE BEEN, and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, a novel about Truman Capote and his high society "Swans," will be out in January 2016. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons. She's currently at work on her next historical novel.

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Melanie Benjamin Once I've researched a book fully, and mapped it out in my head - all things that are important to do before you sit down to write; you have to know…moreOnce I've researched a book fully, and mapped it out in my head - all things that are important to do before you sit down to write; you have to know the story you want to tell, where it begins, the highs and lows, how it ends - I typically write 2000 words a day. It doesn't take me very long; a couple of hours at the most. But I'm always thinking about the work and may come back during the day to jot ideas down for things to look for in revisions. Once the manuscript is done - it's a very rough draft; I write quickly but save the polishing for later - I go back and revise, which typically takes a month. Then it's off to my editor so she can chime in and I'll have to go back and revise with her input. I don't have a degree; I never finished college, and when I was there I was interested in theater, not writing. My advice is to read all the time! I came to writing as a reader; I was a fan of authors because I love books. That's the most important trait to have as a novelist - a love of books. Good luck!(less)
Melanie Benjamin Generally, you wait until they've passed away. A public figure has some loss of expectation of privacy, but you wouldn't want to put too many words in…moreGenerally, you wait until they've passed away. A public figure has some loss of expectation of privacy, but you wouldn't want to put too many words in their mouth if they're still alive. (less)
Average rating: 3.77 · 86,397 ratings · 12,179 reviews · 7 distinct works · Similar authors
The Aviator's Wife

3.87 avg rating — 50,583 ratings — published 2013 — 22 editions
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The Swans of Fifth Avenue

3.57 avg rating — 15,180 ratings — published 2016 — 14 editions
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Alice I Have Been

3.64 avg rating — 11,917 ratings — published 2009 — 21 editions
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The Autobiography of Mrs. T...

3.66 avg rating — 7,580 ratings — published 2011 — 12 editions
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Grand Central: Original Sto...

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3.91 avg rating — 1,033 ratings — published 2014 — 8 editions
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Reckless Hearts: A Story of...

3.75 avg rating — 116 ratings — published 2015 — 5 editions
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Untitled Historical Novel #2

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More books by Melanie Benjamin…
I'm thrilled and honored that THE AVIATOR'S WIFE is nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award - and in such good company! What I love about these awards is that they're all about you, the reader; your input is used in the nomination process, and then your votes are the only ones that count. So please, if you haven't already, vote for your favorite books in all categories, and be thankful that we h... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on November 06, 2013 19:56 • 1,097 views • Tags: books, goodreads-choice-awards, the-aviator-s-wife

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Interviews

March 2016, Melanie Benjamin
"Her Favorite Books for Truman Capote Lovers: From high society glitz to true crime realism, Capote fans will delight in these recs from the author of The Swans of Fifth Avenue." ...More

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The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
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The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
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" Lavinia Warren Bump's parents were 2nd cousins, I believe (although I don't think this has ever been proven 100%) - a not unusual occurrence in New En ...more "
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The Whole of My World by Nicole Hayes
The Whole of My World
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" Thank you all so much; I loved doing this interview. I love Goodreads! "
More of Melanie's books…
“Why, then, did I always feel as if his happiness was my responsibility? It wasn't fair for him to burden me with that. It had never been fair.”
Melanie Benjamin, Alice I Have Been

“I suppose at some point, we all have to decide which memories - real or otherwise - to hold on to, and which ones to let go.”
Melanie Benjamin, Alice I Have Been

“But oh my dear, I am tired of being Alice in Wonderland. Does it sound ungrateful? It is. Only I do get tired.”
Melanie Benjamin, Alice I Have Been

Polls

Please help Nothing but Reading Challenges pick the October Anything Goes Book of the Month

The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose, #1) by Jennifer Donnelly
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Synopsis:
East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.
But Fiona's life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan's tea trade. But Fiona's old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.
 
  32 votes 38.1%

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel by Melanie Benjamin
Synopsis:
In her national bestseller Alice I Have Been, Melanie Benjamin imagined the life of the woman who inspired Alice in Wonderland. Now, in this jubilant new novel, Benjamin shines a dazzling spotlight on another fascinating female figure whose story has never fully been told: a woman who became a nineteenth century icon and inspiration—and whose most daunting limitation became her greatest strength.

“Never would I allow my size to define me. Instead, I would define it.”

She was only two-foot eight-inches tall, but her legend reaches out to us more than a century later. As a child, Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump was encouraged to live a life hidden away from the public. Instead, she reached out to the immortal impresario P. T. Barnum, married the tiny superstar General Tom Thumb in the wedding of the century, and transformed into the world’s most unexpected celebrity.

Here, in Vinnie’s singular and spirited voice, is her amazing adventure—from a showboat “freak” revue where she endured jeering mobs to her fateful meeting with the two men who would change her life: P. T. Barnum and Charles Stratton, AKA Tom Thumb. Their wedding would captivate the nation, preempt coverage of the Civil War, and usher them into the White House and the company of presidents and queens. But Vinnie’s fame would also endanger the person she prized most: her similarly-sized sister, Minnie, a gentle soul unable to escape the glare of Vinnie’s spotlight.

A barnstorming novel of the Gilded Age, and of a woman’s public triumphs and personal tragedies, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb is the irresistible epic of a heroine who conquered the country with a heart as big as her dreams—and whose story will surely win over yours.
 
  17 votes 20.2%

Rock Me (Ross Siblings, #2) by Cherrie Lynn
Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn
Synopsis:
Loving him couldn’t be worse than losing him. Could it?

Candace Andrews has had enough of pleasing others. In an act of birthday rebellion, she sets out to please herself—by walking into the tattoo parlor owned by her cousin’s ex-boyfriend. All she wants is a little ink, and Brian’s just the guy to give it to her.

As soon as she submits to his masterful hands, though, the forbidden attraction she’s always felt for him resurfaces…and she realizes the devilishly sexy artist could give her so much more.

Sweet, innocent Candace is the last person Brian expected to see again. She’s everything he’s not, and her family despises him. He doesn’t need the hassle, but he needs her, and this time no one is taking her away. Not even those who threaten to make his life a living hell.

Backed into a corner, Candace faces the worst kind of choice. Cave in to those who think Brian is a living nightmare…or hold her ground and risk it all for the one man who rocks her world.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, naughty language, tattoos aplenty, family drama, a hot rock concert…and a bad boy hero who’s pierced in all the right places.
 
  17 votes 20.2%

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown
Low Pressure by Sandra Brown
Synopsis:
Bellamy Lyston Price was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy's fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene as well as her memory of one vital fact that still eludes her...

Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a novel based on Susan's murder. It's her first book, and it's an instant sensation. But because the novel is based on the most traumatic event of her life, she's published it under a pseudonym to protect herself and her family.

But when a sleazy reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on a real crime, Bellamy's identity - and dark family secrets -- are exposed. Suddenly, she finds herself embroiled in a personal conflict and at the mercy of her sister's killer, who for almost two decades has gotten away with murder...and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.
 
  11 votes 13.1%

The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher
Synopsis:
Olivia Kaspen has just discovered that her ex-boyfriend, Caleb Drake, has lost his memory. With an already lousy reputation for taking advantage of situations, Olivia must decide how far she is willing to go to get Caleb back. Wrestling to keep her true identity and their sordid past under wraps, Olivia’s greatest obstacle is Caleb’s wicked, new girlfriend; Leah Smith. It is a race to the finish as these two vipers engage in a vicious tug of war to possess a man who no longer remembers them. But, soon enough Olivia must face the consequences of her lies, and in the process discover that sometimes love falls short of redemption.
 
  7 votes 8.3%

84 total votes
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Book Buying Addic...: January 2010 Purchases 126 154 Feb 05, 2010 06:55AM  
Historical Fictio...: February Group Read: Katherine by Anya Seton 79 143 Mar 05, 2010 11:37AM  
Romance Readers R...: Read the Month Challenge: April 223 255 May 04, 2010 12:59PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Spring Challenge 2010 Completed Tasks 2734 2392 May 31, 2010 09:00PM  
Cover to Cover Ch...: Lyns 144 in 2010 6 41 Jun 02, 2010 08:09PM  
100+ Books in 2017: Shannon's 100+ Books for 2010 58 104 Jun 27, 2010 08:54PM  
Challenge: 50 Books: Shannon's 50 Books for 2010 - COMPLETED 6/12! 67 154 Jun 27, 2010 08:56PM  
Romance Readers R...: Shannon's 2010 Reading Challenges 33 205 Jun 27, 2010 09:35PM  
190262 Chicago Book Club — 78 members — last activity Feb 02, 2017 05:11PM
This group is created for readers and writers in Chicago and for out-of-towners who want to celebrate our local literary community as well as books se ...more
Comments (showing 1-11 of 11)    post a comment »
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Lauren Girl, I am SO THRILLED about ALICE I HAVE BEEN. Also your new photo is lovely! Congratulations! XO


message 2: by Ellen

Ellen My pal! So good to see you here!! Congrats again on the exciting new book ... I know it's going to soar. Can't wait to read it.
xo


Melanie Benjamin Lauren wrote: "Girl, I am SO THRILLED about ALICE I HAVE BEEN. Also your new photo is lovely! Congratulations! XO"

Thanks, Lauren! (I just took the photo yesterday; new haircut! And nice natural light to diffuse all the "fine lines!")

I sent you an email AGES ago telling you I ordered MATING RITUALS...I suppose you were too busy having parties thrown by GalleyCat to respond!



message 4: by Joy

Joy Thank you for the friend invite. I can't wait to read your novel!


message 5: by April

April Thanks for accepting my friend request! I can't wait until your book comes out, it looks fantastic. :-)


message 6: by Gina

Gina Thank you for friending me Melanie! I'm looking forward to your new novel. Can't wait!


Lauren I loved Alice I have been, haven't read your newest novel yet but looking forward to it and the one you are currently working on. You are a fabulous writer, Happy Reading!!!


L.R. Green Thanks for accepting my friend request. :) I love your novels.


Melanie Benjamin Lauren wrote: "I loved Alice I have been, haven't read your newest novel yet but looking forward to it and the one you are currently working on. You are a fabulous writer, Happy Reading!!!"

Thanks, Lauren!


message 10: by Melanie

Melanie Benjamin Melanie wrote: "Lauren wrote: "I loved Alice I have been, haven't read your newest novel yet but looking forward to it and the one you are currently working on. You are a fabulous writer, Happy Reading!!!"

Th..."


Thank you, Alyss!


Shawntel Jefferson Good morning Melanie. Thank you for accepting my friend request. Have a wonderful day.


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