PERSONAL: Female. Education: New York University, received degree.
CAREER: Novelist, actress, and journalist. Jewelry maker and actor in India; founding member of Contagious Theater Company; currently works in publishing.
Miss Bubbles Steals the Show (novel), Red Dress Ink (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.
Contributor to books, including Scenes from a Holiday, Red Dress Ink (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005. Author of online astrology column for Lindagoodman.net.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A second novel for Harlequin/Red Dress Ink, Miss Bubbles Steals the Show 2.
SIDELIGHTS: After studying acting and theater history in college, Melanie Murray spent six years acting in various productions across the United States and was a founding member of the Contagious Theater Company. She also appeared in a Bollywood feature film in India. Murray uses this hard-earned inside information on the acting world as background for her debut novel, Miss Bubbles Steals the Show.
After seven years of striving to make her mark on the New York stage, twenty-five-year-old Stella Monroe is beginning to feel the effects of too many failed auditions, too many one-night stands, and too much stress and alcohol. Reeling from a recent affair with a married man, she looks for a way to get her stagnant acting career and stalled romantic life back on track. In the romantic area, her choices seem to be bookish but annoying neighbor Christian, or up-and-coming actor Jasper Hodges. Stella believes she can hitch a ride on Jasper's ascending star and pull herself into the spotlight, but when Jasper turns out to be a two-timer, she once again finds herself alone. An offbeat chance at fame emerges when her white Persian cat, Miss Bubbles, proves to have an unusual talent for whistling. This lands the cat a role in Jasper's off-Broadway play, which torments Stella with feelings of jealousy. Suddenly, the acting world does not seem as appealing as it once was, and Stella realizes that men like Jasper will not be her salvation; the irritating Christian begins to look like a better catch than any actor. As the novel progresses, "readers see a shallow, hapless Stella grow up into a more serious—but still spunky—young woman," observed a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
"Murray's debut is a delightful romp through New York's theater world," remarked Kristine Huntley in Booklist. "Murray brings Stella to life with good traits, bad traits, and personality quirks," commented Alyssa Hurzeler on the Romance Reader Web site. "I didn't always like or relate to Stella, but I cared enough about her to be fascinated by her journey." Kelly Hartshorn, writing on ChickLitBooks.com, concluded: "With solid writing and a touch for the dramatic, Melanie Murray has written a hilarious and poignant book that, even for us non-actress types, has some true lessons [in] life for everyone."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, July, 2005, Kristine Huntley, review of Miss Bubbles Steals the Show, p. 1909.
Publishers Weekly, June 6, 2005, review of Miss Bubbles Steals the Show, p. 39.
Best Reviews, http://www.thebestreviews.com/ (November 28, 2005), Harriet Klausner, reviews of Miss Bubbles Steals the Show and Scenes from a Holiday.
ChickLitBooks.com, http://www.chicklitbooks.com/ (November 28, 2005), Kelly Hartshorn, review of Miss Bubbles Steals the Show.
Romance Reader, http://www.theromancereader.com/ (November 28, 2005), Alyssa Hurzeler, review of Miss Bubbles Steals the Show.
Valley Advocate Online (Springfield, MA), http://www.valleyadvocate.com/ (September 22, 2005), Kendra Thurlow, "Chick Lit—More than Just Gum," review of Miss Bubbles Steals the Show.