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The Lehman Letter

I'm Ready For My Close-Up, Mr. DeMille!

Having maintained radio silence since September, when the book was published, I thought I'd check back in with you.


The book got some nice reviews -- from Leonard Maltin, Tom Stempel, Library Journal, and the publishing industry newsletter Shelf Awareness, among others. The review weren't quite as copious as I had hoped for, but I suppose no author is ever satisfied with the amount of attention he or she gets.


In April, I did a Zoom seminar for the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library on Long Island about Lehman's youth in Woodmere. I also did a reading in the Shavelson-Webb Library of the Writers Guild of America West. It was set up by archivist Hilary Swett, and I thought it went well. 


Turner Classic Movies showed three Lehman movies on the evening of Tuesday night, May 30, "North By Northwest," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Sweet Smell of Success."


The TCM extravaganza was courtesy of my indefatigable publicist, Carrie Eisner. As "Virginia Woolf" was introduced and after "Sweet Smell" concluded, they mentioned the book and even my name!


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It's Pub. Day!


Tuesday, September 27, is pub. day for "Ernest Lehman: The Sweet Smell of Success." I've worked on it for seven years and am glad to see it launched. Now we'll see what the critics and the public think. Please feel free to leave a few words of encouragement if you're so inclined.



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Minion Pro and Mostra Nuova

I've just finished reviewing the page proofs of the Lehman biography. Although it's six months until pub date, the only thing left to do (other than reviewing the index) is preparing to tell the world that this book is the greatest thing since sliced bread.


In communing with the page proofs, I learned from David Cobb, the production supervisor at the University Press of Kentucky, that the body type for the book is Minion Pro, and the display type for chapter headers is Mostra Nuova.


According to Wikipedia, Minion is a serif typeface (serifs are little lines attached to typeset letters; most people don't even notice them, but they make letters more readable). It was designed by Robert Slimbach and released in 1990 by Adobe Systems, the people who gave us Adobe Acrobat. While recent, it's inspired by late Renaissance-era type and intended for body text and extended reading. Minion Pro is an update released in 2000.


The Mostra Nuova used for the chapter headers is an updated version of lettering used in Italian Art Deco posters and advertising of the 1930's. It was created in 2009 by Mark Simonson. It sounds like "Bossa Nova," which reminds me of Eydie Gorme's early 1960's hit "Blame It On the Bossa Nova."


Upon first glance, Mostra Nuova looks a little theatrical for my taste, but this is a book about show business, and I'll probably acclimate to it.


This will probably be the last blog post until late summer, as I can't imagine any reason to bug you before then. Take good care of yourselves in this increasingly dystopian world and I'll catch up with you later.

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It Pays To Advertise

Fred Coe...Kim Stanley...peanut butter...and now, Ernest Lehman.

After six years of hard labor in the salt mines of contemporary American non-fiction, this is the year I will spring my biography of Ernest Lehman -- my fourth book -- upon the public. It will be published by the University Press of Kentucky, which, despite what I believe is the relatively attenuated state of the film industry in Kentucky, has a very strong line in film books.


Publication date (or the "pub date," as publishing industry insiders say) is September 27, 2022. But there's no harm in starting to get the word out now and letting the world know what's coming down the pike. According to the poem "It Pays To Adverise":


The codfish lays ten thousand eggs,
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what she's done.
And so we scorn the codfish,
While the humble hen we prize,
Which only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise.


Although I've never much thought of myself as an adman, this website will promote the book and try to build a community around it. Feel free to say hi and send your (hopefully) good wishes.

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