Welcome to 2019: the Year of Jane Russell (Biography Writing)!
Yes, I know the holiday season is officially winding down, but I could not resist posting this photo of Jane topping off the Christmas tree to start a new year.
I do confess there’s been crickets in these parts since I first announced I was working on a Jane Russell biography. 2018 proved to be a year of distractions, albeit good professional ones, but I have cleared off my plate and am ready to be all about Jane.
So, where does the bio stand? I have spent the last couple of months organizing and logging the research I have compiled over the last four years and geeze there is a lot! Jane is the opposite of Ann Dvorak (the subject of my last book) in that there is more information than I could ever possibly use. Jane made far fewer movies than Ann, but she worked non-stop in television, radio, and especially as a touring singer so there was a lot of coverage. She was interviewed constantly over the years (though tended to get asked the same questions over and over), so that’s another great source. Jane also published her own memoir in 1985, though I am going to try to quote that sparingly since I want my book to complement Jane’s not just rehash it. Did you know Jane’s mother wrote book in 1960? In other words, there is no shortage of info on Jane Russell.
Looking forward, I have a list of folks I need to contact for interviews. For some reason, this is the one aspect of research that a loath, but I need to suck it up and do it. My goal is to finish organizing everything but the end of this month and start writing. I am hoping to send the proposal to my publisher by May and be damn near done with it by the end of the year. With Jane’s centennial coming up in 2021, that is my publication goal.
Anyone who has followed my Ann Dvorak exploits knows that I posses that defective collecting gene which tends to overcome my better financial judgement. After collection Ann Dvorak memorabilia for the last 20 years, I don’t find as much as a used to, so Jane has proven to be a worthy substitute. I have tried to limit myself to photos, though at this point I have way more than I would ever use in the book, though many of them are pretty great. I’ll probably start sharing some of those here and on social media.
In other words, get ready for a lot of Jane Russell!
Cheers and Happy New Year!