Composer . Writer . Cabaret Performer

Mark Bunyan Composer . Writer . Cabaret Performer


Yesterday’s Blonde

Yesterday's Blonde book cover
Yesterday's Blonde book cover

I wrote my first novel, Yesterday’s Blonde, in the late 80s and it was published in paperback by Brazen Books, a new imprint started by the manager of London’s Gay’s The Word bookshop, in September 1989.

The book is a short fantasy about what might have happened to Marilyn Monroe had she not died on the night of August 4th 1962. Over the next eighteen months, with the aid of her new found friend James Dean (who hasn’t died at the end of shooting Giant), Marilyn completely changes the course of American history…

Being a paperback first novel it received few reviews but those that it did get were very positive.

A comic masterpiece
Him magazine

A pearl of a book
Reporter, Stockholm

Certainly preferable to the sludge and slurry of lust and neurosis usually poured over the memory of poor Norma-Jean
Time Out, London

Great fun
Gay Times, London

Delightfully amusing, .. well worth reading
The Pink Paper, London

Sadly, like many new imprints, Brazen Books didn’t survive for more than a few titles and when they went under, the entire remaining print run of Yesterday’s Blonde was pulped.

A few second hand copies are still available on Amazon websites. In August 2010 Yesterday’s Blonde became available on Amazon as a Kindle download where it’s been very well-received.

Visit my Shop page to buy Yesterday’s Blonde

The Blue Stiletto

The Blue Stiletto book cover
The Blue Stiletto book cover

Yesterday’s Blonde’s favourable review in Time Out led to interest by New American Library in the USA. This was short-lived when the book arrived and my publisher was told “It’s not thick enough. We only publish thick books.”

On this basis, we decided that my next opus should be more sizeable and The Blue Stiletto, a comedy thriller set on Key West in the late 1980s, was about four times the size of Yesterday’s Blonde.

Finding a publisher
Unfortunately, by the time I’d finished it and my publisher had edited it - he’d gone bust. He had a few contacts in other publishing houses but the book had no success with either. At one, in London, the receptionist rejected the book before I had the chance to talk to anyone. The other, in New York, didn’t reply to phone calls, letters or, latterly, emails. By 1995, Andrew and I were online…

First ever email serial
After a year or so of my sitting on the manuscript, Andrew decided that we should try to sell it as the first ever email serial. Setting this up was not easy - there were almost no facilities for taking money over the ‘net and banks were very, very wary.

Nonetheless, in April 1998, The Blue Stiletto was the first ever book that you could buy as an email serial, a new episode to drop into your inbox every day for 127 days. It had subscribers across Europe.

Five or so years later, Stephen King did exactly the same thing and everyone said what a brilliant idea he’d had.

Sadly, it’s not a brilliant idea, even if your book is a Stephen King page-turner. With serials in previous media, from Dickens in magazines to Armistead Maupin and Alasdair McCall Smith in newspapers, there’s an urgency to reading the episode. If you don’t read today’s episode in a newspaper, it won’t be there tomorrow. Email however will be there tomorrow if you don’t get round to it today. And the day after that there’ll be three episodes you’ve not gotten around to and eventually an entire book.

But you can now buy The Blue Stiletto for Kindle from Amazon.

Visit my Shop page to buy The Blue Stiletto