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"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Guest Blogging at A Writer of History

Today I'm featured on M.K. Tod's wonderful historical fiction blog, sharing some of my process as i wrote about Hedy Lamarr's life and times.

Transported to Hedy Lamarr’s Time and Place

Always a pleasure to stop by Mary's blog.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018 Catch-Up, 2019 Beginning

The old year concluded with a burst of activity of all sorts.

After the launch of Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr, I was delighted to appear in several bookstores, and talk to readers--friends and strangers--about the novel, its incredible protagonist, and the writing life. It's my thirteenth work of historical fiction to be published, but the thrill of a new release never fades.

Equally gratifying, the press attention the novel has received, and the wonderful reviews--in print and online publications locally, nationally, and internationally.

As all of this was happening, I was simultaneously participating in National Novel Writing Month, and successfully competed the challenge to write "50,000 Words in 30 Days." The next novel is off to a good start!

December was a time for fun and festivity--cutting and decorating our tree, which naturally included a Beautiful Invention ornament . . . as well as the cast of characters from A Pledge of Better Times

We hosted our annual Christmas Caroling party, welcoming 30+ friends and neighbours and local musicians for food and frolic.

Exactly a month after having to put down our dear and devoted 12-year old Border collie/black lab Jewel, we were fortunate to bring a mixed-breed puppy into our home as a companion for us and Ruth, our senior BC mix. Dot has settled in beautifully, and we're so grateful to the family that fostered her so well, and the rescue organisation from which we adopted her. Shortly after her arrival from a state in the southern part of the U.S., she experienced her first snowfall.

After a few weeks' break from writing, I'm resuming work on the next novel, and scheduling my 2019 speaking engagements, book club appearances, writers' conference presentations, and planning domestic and international travels. This year isn't very old, but it's already clear that it will be a very busy and productive one!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Publication Day: Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr

Now available in print and all digital formats, my latest novel.

I'm a guest on the Reading the Past blog for a release day interview about the book, the writing process, and my focus on biographical historical fiction: Reading the Past Interview with Margaret Porter.

Here is the book trailer--

Purchase buttons for online retailers--

And I'm sponsoring a Rafflecopter giveaway--

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Beautiful Invention Gift Package Giveaway on Rafflecopter

To mark the official October 16th release of  Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr, I'm sponsoring a Rafflecopter giveaway from October 9-29.

Hedy was notable for wearing pearls--necklaces, bracelets, earrings, which are featured in many of her films and a majority of the glamour portraits of her created by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer.

In a fan magazine
Making friends during her War Bond Tour
For this sweepstakes, I've sourced a 3-strand pearl necklace similar to one she often wore. The necklace is 19 inches in total length. The pearls are genuine, and large.

GOOD LUCK to all entrants!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Hedy Lamarr returns to London: UK launch for BEAUTIFUL INVENTION

In 1937, Hedy Kiesler Mandl escaped from her husband and her beloved city of Vienna. She travelled first to Paris, and then crossed the Channel to England. In London, she checked into the Regency Palace Hotel, a few steps from Piccadilly Circus. At the time, it was the largest hotel in Europe--and quite luxurious.

Over time it grew increasingly rundown and even disreputable, but it remained a hotel until 2006, when the site was developed. Some of the original facade is intact.

The former Regent Palace Hotel in Piccadilly

Hedy returns to the hotel she occupied in 1937

Very little is left of the splendid interiors, but the site of the Atlantic Bar & Grill now houses Brasserie Zédel, and its Art Deco décor is restored to its former glory. On the day of the UK launch of Beautiful Invention, I was there for a celebratory lunch.

Entrance to the brasserie

Hedy probably dined here, when it was the hotel restaurant

Champagne on UK launch date

The celebration continued throughout the week, culminating at Fischer's in Marylebone, an Austrian restaurant. My meal there consisted of cuisine that Hedy knew and loved: wienderschitzel and Sacher torte!


Sacher torte, so named for Vienna's famous Hotel Sacher

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Beautiful Invention Goodreads Giveaway 12-22 September, 2018

You can enter to win one of 5 pre-publication autographed copies of Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr. The contest is open to US readers (sorry, GR won't allow international entries.)

Pre-Launch Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Beautiful Invention by Margaret  Porter

Beautiful Invention

by Margaret Porter

Giveaway ends September 22, 2018.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Monday, August 27, 2018

When Hedy Was News: Press Accounts for August

2 August 1938

Charles Boyer & Hedy in Algiers

11 August 1942

Hedy and her co-inventor, composer/musician George Antheil, are awarded a  United States Patent for their Secret Communication System. The basis for wifi, satnav, and more.

Hedy & George Antheil

15 August 1938

Hedy loved ice cream

Hedy in Ecstasy--lying down!

Lying down again

And again!


22 August 1940

23 August 1941

Dorothy Kilgallen decides that a change in Hedy's hairstyle for H. M. Pulham, Esq. is newsworthy.

27 August 1939


Friday, August 17, 2018

Beautiful Invention Pre-launch happenings

For those who use a Kindle for reading books, or use the app on their tablet or phone, Beautiful Invention: A Novel of Hedy Lamarr is available for pre-order.
 Promo items arrive daily. ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) have gone out to reviewers and press.

On Twitter, I've been posting 1930s-40s news items about Hedy to correspond to #OTD (On This Day).

Bookstore appearances are being scheduled.

I do hope reader anticipation about the release is building. I know mine is!