Martin Turnbull

Biography

Martin Turnbull has worked as a private tour guide showing both locals and out-of-towners the movie studios, Beverly Hills mansions, Hollywood hills vistas and where all the bodies are buried. For nine years, he has also volunteered as an historical walking tour docent with the Los Angeles Conservancy. He worked for a summer as a guide at the Warner Bros. movie studios in Burbank showing movie fans through the sound stages where Bogie and Bacall, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and James Cagney created some of Hollywood’s classic motion pictures.

From an early age, Martin was enchanted with old movies from Hollywood’s golden era–from the dawn of the talkies in the late 1920s to the dusk of the studio system in the late 1950s–and has spent many, many a happy hour watching the likes of Garland, Gable, Crawford, Garbo, Grant, Miller, Kelly, Astaire, Rogers, Turner, Welles go through their paces.

When he discovered the wonderful world of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs, his love of reading merged with his love of movies and his love of history to produce a three-headed hydra gobbling up everything in his path. Ever since then, he’s been on a mission to learn and share as much as he can about this unique time.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Martin moved to Los Angeles in the mid-90s.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book (as at November 2013) is called "Citizen Hollywood" and it's the third novel in a series set at the (real life) Garden of Allah Hotel which stood on Sunset Blvd during Hollywood's golden age. "Citizen Hollywood" is set in the late 30s and early 40s when the lives of the three main characters plays out against the fight over Orson Welles' debut movie, "Citizen Kane." It was a thinly-veiled portrait of the most powerful man of the era William Randolph Hearst who, understandably, was none to pleased at this screen portrayal.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When I finished my first novel - "The Garden on Sunset" - I made a list of the literary agents I felt were most likely to take me on as a client. It was a list of 68 agents and I spent six months querying each of them. By the time I had collected 68 "No thank you"s, I'd learned about the pros and cons of indie publishing. By the time I received my 68th knock-back, I'd come to the conclusion that indie publishing wasn't a Plan B to traditional publishing but was, in fact, an Alternate Plan A wherein I could control content, cover, price and marketing. There seemed to be many pros to indie publishing and very few cons.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Martin Turnbull online


Where to buy in print


Books

The Garden of Allah Novels Trilogy ("The Garden on Sunset" - "The Trouble with Scarlett" - "Citizen Hollywood")
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Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 294,370. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2014. Category: Fiction » Historical » USA
The Garden of Allah Hotel on Sunset Boulevard — Hollywood’s most infamous hotel during Hollywood’s most famous era. Book One: “The Garden on Sunset” — Book Two: “The Trouble with Scarlett” — Book Three: “Citizen Hollywood”
Citizen Hollywood
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Series: The Garden of Allah, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,080. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2014. Category: Fiction » Historical » USA
Hollywood, 1939: When Tinseltown begins to woo wunderkind Orson Welles, he stashes himself at the Chateau Marmont until he’s ready to make his splashy entrance. But when William Randolph Hearst realizes "Citizen Kane" is based on him, he won’t be happy—and when Hearst isn’t happy, nobody’s safe. Marcus Adler, Kathryn Massey, and Gwendolyn Bricky need to go for broke, and the clock is ticking.
The Trouble with Scarlett
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Series: The Garden of Allah, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 100,590. Language: English. Published: October 7, 2012. Category: Fiction » Historical » USA
Book 2 in the Garden of Allah novels finds Marcus, Kathryn, and Gwendolyn caught up in a Hollywood obsessed with finding the screen’s Scarlett O'Hara. Kathryn scoops the news which makes Louella Parsons hopping mad, Gwendolyn wants the role but faces stiff competition, while Marcus creates a fiasco at the Hearst Castle and needs an out. Who knew casting Scarlett O'Hara could cause so much trouble?
The Garden on Sunset
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Series: The Garden of Allah, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,090. Language: English. Published: December 17, 2011. Category: Fiction » Historical » USA
In Hollywood, 1927, three naïve hopefuls band together to tread water against a tidal wave of threadbare casting couches, nervous bootleggers, human billboards, round-the-world zeppelins, sinking gambling boats, waiters in blackface, William Randolph Hearst, the Long Beach earthquake, starlets, harlots, Harlows and Garbos. But how will they get their feet inside Hollywood’s golden door?