Martin Turnbull

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Australia
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January 2012

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Martin Turnbull has worked as a private tour guide showing both locals and out-of-towners the movie studios, Beverly Hills mansions, Hollywood hills vistas and where all the bodies are buried. For nine years, he has also volunteered as an historical walking tour docent with the Los Angeles Conservancy. He worked for a summer as a guide at the Warner Bros. movie studios in Burbank showing movie fans through the sound stages where Bogie and Bacall, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and James Cagney created some of Hollywood’s classic motion pictures.

From an early age, Martin was enchanted with old movies from Hollywood’s golden era–from the dawn of the talkies in the late 1920s to the dusk of the studio system in the late 1950s–and has spent many, ma
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Martin Turnbull No, Beth, I haven't. I've taken great care to portray those people in a true light, so I don't bring up anything that they didn't bring up in their…moreNo, Beth, I haven't. I've taken great care to portray those people in a true light, so I don't bring up anything that they didn't bring up in their own autobiographies, or which is discussed in a reputable source, like a scholarly biography or, perhaps, events that were well documented at the time, say, in the press. In conversations with fictional characters or in fictional situations, I try as much as I can to present that character in line with their public persona. I have no interest in turning any of these people into villains...unless of course they actually got up to such mischief in real life! Thanks for your question!(less)
Martin Turnbull Well, I almost exclusively read historical fiction so any book world I'm likely to head to actually existed. If I could choose, though, apart from the…moreWell, I almost exclusively read historical fiction so any book world I'm likely to head to actually existed. If I could choose, though, apart from the Garden of Allah Hotel/golden-era Hollywood world that I write in, I'd have to say the New York of the 1910s and 20s as created in "Z" by Therese Anne Fowler. It's the world that Zelda Fitzgerald enters when she marries F. Scott Fitzgerald. And what would I do there? Everything the Fitzgeralds did up to - but not including - when it all started to go wrong!(less)
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The Garden on Sunset: A Nov... The Trouble with Scarlett: ... Citizen Hollywood: A Novel ... Searchlights and Shadows: A... Reds in the Beds: A Novel o... Twisted Boulevard: A Novel ... Tinseltown Confidential: A ...
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The Garden on Sunset (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Mar 28, 2012 01:48PM
Description: In 1927, violet-eyed Alla Nazimova, the highest paid and most famous actress in the world, converted her Sunset Boulevard movie star mansion into a hotel and dubbed it The Garden of Allah. Before you could say Prohibition-Schmohibition, it became the fabled dream residence of ambitious hopefuls in Hollywood. The likes of Tallulah Bankhead, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Bogart & Bacall, Gary Cooper, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Errol Flynn, Harpo Marx, Orson Welles, and others walked, wobbled, wandered, and wafted through its doors and sometimes into its pool. Drunk. Or naked. Or both. And rarely alone. Drawn to this hallowed haven is Marcus Adler. His father has run him out of Pennsylvania and there is only one address he knows: 8152 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood—the home of the luminous Nazimova, a diaphanous vision in lavender tulle who once visited him when he was a child sick with diphtheria. “Come visit me any time,” she whispered into his ear. He takes her at her word, but finds her home is now a hotel. There he meets Kathryn Massey, who has run away from her overbearing stage mother to pursue a career as a journalist—God forbid a girl in Hollywood would actually want to use her brains—and Gwendolyn Brick, a hopeful actress from Hollywood, Florida who has come to try her luck in Glitter City. The girl is blessed and cursed with a pair of lips the men in this town would be lining up to have a go at. They band together: three naïve hopefuls madly dog-paddling against a tidal wave of threadbare casting couches, nervous bootleggers, human billboards, round-the-world zeppelins, sinking gambling boats, waiters in black face, William Randolph Hearst, the Long Beach earthquake, starlets, harlots, Harlows and Garbos. THE GARDEN ON SUNSET is the first in a series of novels following Marcus, Kathryn and Gwendolyn as they leap and lurch, win and lose their way though Hollywood’s golden years. If you love Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books, you’ll want to get lost in The Garden on Sunset.

Martin’s Recent Updates

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
" "The Girls in the Picture" is very close to my TBR list! "
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Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams
Cocoa Beach
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Beatriz Williams is hands-down one of my favorite authors. She can turn a phrase like nobody’s business. But this one? Hmmmm . . . I was liking it well enough—not LOVING it, but liking it—until I hit the 80% mark and suddenly my interest dropped off ...more
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The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
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If you’re a fan of 20th century historical fiction, this novel is right up your alley. I loved the way this author evoked mid-century New York high society: its thrills, its flaws, its facades, and the price these people paid to stay in the highest-s ...more
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The Romanov Empress by C.W. Gortner
The Romanov Empress
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Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
" Ah! Mystery solved! Thanks. "
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Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddie Dawson
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This is one of those novels that I found on my Kindle with no memory of buying it. I’m not sure why I would get a novel with touches of magical realism, but I’m glad I did. This is a light but winning, heartfelt novel about how love can show up in th ...more
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Platinum Doll by Anne Girard
Platinum Doll
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The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
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The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor
The Hours Count
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More of Martin's books…
“True friends must be honest with each other. If you are not honest about who you are, how can you expect anyone to love you.”
Martin Turnbull, The Garden on Sunset: A Novel of Golden-Era Hollywood

“But we are all geniuses when we look backwards, no?”
Martin Turnbull

“a”
Martin Turnbull, The Garden of Allah Novels Trilogy

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