"Purl presents the first novel in her Milford-Haven series, which . . . features a setting of unadulterated beauty . . . and a cast of successful, sexy, sometimes quirkily independent characters. . . The novel is poised to convince readers to continue with the series." -- Publishers Weekly
"Skillfully interspersing the moment-to-moment thoughts of her characters with the actions and dialogue, Purl effortlessly moves from one personal story to another. Like visiting friends and catching up. . . ." -- Kirkus Review
"This is the book to learn all there is to know about breaking into the profession. The authors-- who know their stuff--have packed this book with lots of good information. They discuss such things as auditioning, why you should have your own wardrobe, stunt work, professional photos and why you have to have them. Many may remember both authors...Both have a wealth of experience which they share here in this expanded edition that should help anyone trying to get into this profession."
- Midwest Book Review
“ 'Act Right' by Mara Purl and Erin Gray is exceptionally well written, and the most practical book on the technical aspects of an actor's work. It's invaluable for anyone going into professional acting work in TV or film.”
– Lee Salisbury, Drama Chair Emeritus,
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Authorship and Authenticity
It has always struck me that both "author" and "authentic" share the same prefix. Authentic is the same root word in both Latin and Greek, meaning "one who does anything with his own hand." Author is defined as "the maker of anything; creator; originator."
We could debate the distinction between creator and Creator, but the work of doing something with my own hand is, for me, the authentic experience of being an author.
The Milford-Haven Novels & Stories
The Milford-Haven Novels & Stories comprise a Saga that will include a Pentalogy of novels, together with Novellas that serve as stand-alone prequels and sequels. Hardcover and Ebooks are published by Bellekeep Books & Midpoint Trade, with Trade Paperbacks published by Haven Books. The series began as "Milford-Haven U.S.A.," an original radio drama that became the first American radio serial broadcast by the BBC where it had 4.5 million listeners in the early 1990s. The radio drama eventually led to interest in a novel series. Starting with a grass-roots groundswell, the novels and stories have achieved good reviews, 29 awards, a solid following, and a presence in the field of Women's Fiction. The novels, and their short-story prequels, have now become best-sellers! The long and winding road I describe as a journey from head to heart, a topic on which I now speak nationally.
1A-Prequel Story One -- "When Hummers Dream" -- USA Book News Best Book Award (Gold - short story)
1-Book One -- "What the Heart Knows" -- Book of the Year Finalist Award; Benjamin Franklin Finalist Award, USA Book News Best Books Award (Gold), National Indie Excellence Winner, International Book Award.
2A-Prequel Story Two -- "When Whales Watch" -- Global e-book Award (Silver)
2-Book Two -- "Where the Heart Lives" -- Regional Excellence Book Award (Fiction: Western Region), International Book Award, USA Book News Best Book Award (Silver), National Indie Excellence Award Finalist, Colorado Indie Publishers Award (Gold)
3A-PUB DATE SEPTEMBER 2016-Prequel Story Three-"When Otters Play"
3-PUB DATE MAY 2017-Book 3-'Why Hearts Keep Secrets"
Act Right: A Manual for the On-Camera Actor
"Act Right" is both a text for young actors and a glimpse behind the scenes where actors so often trip (literally and figuratively) on crossed wires and trample on important toes.
Dear friend and gifted actress Erin Gray and I taught "Hitting Your Mark" and "Act Right" as seminars, then interviewed pros from every department on sets and in production offices. It took us seven years to complete our first edition. The second edition won the Gold EVVY Award for a "Legacy" book for proving itself over time and is in use by several university drama departments and by respected acting teachers in L.A. We're currently revising our text and will publish as a series of E-books.
The book is sequenced after the actual work day on a professional set, and chapters begin with bullet points. The book concludes with a Glossary of terms that is sometimes humorous, always indispensable. After all, what if you're mustering enough emotion for a good cry about a dying infant, and the Director of Photography yells out "We're going to hang the baby!"
Interspersed throughout are my own, Erin's, and colleagues' personal anecdotes. Some are humiliating, some hilarious, and some stranger than fiction, which is perhaps the ultimate point of writing a non-fiction work.