Author and former talent agent Melanie Blake is following on the footsteps of her heroine, the late Jackie Collins.
Her novel Thunder Girls is a blockbuster in true tradition of stories of the rich and famous with glamorous settings.
It is a novel, filled with obsession, addiction, betrayal and revenge, that charts the rise and fall of an 1980s girl band who attempt to reunite after three decades.
The Thunder Girls was inspired by Melanie’s first-hand experience of the 1990s pop industry.
Blake started her career on Top of the Pops where she worked with some of the biggest bands of the decade including the Spice Girls, Destiny’s Child, Madonna, All Saints and Kylie Minogue.
Melanie’s big break came when Claire Richards from Steps hired Melanie as her manager, Melanie went on to manage members of super groups including Spandau Ballet, Mis-Teeq, Five Star, Bros and other members of Steps.
In 2009 Melanie reformed original ’80s girl group The Nolans for an award-winning reunion tour which took £2 million at the box office.
With no formal education herself, Melanie is a true champion for working class women.
“The Thunder Girls is a celebration of women from diverse demographics. All the lead characters in the novel are more than 40 and working class,” she said.
Melanie Blake might just be the world’s biggest Jackie Collins’ fan. Jackie was the author sister of actress Dame Joan.
Among her hit novels are Hollywood Wives, Rock Star, The Stud and Sinners.
“I first read Rock Star aged nine, after smuggling the copy out of the library by telling the librarian it was for my mum,” she said.
“I was dazzled by Jackie Collins’ world where women clawed themselves from poverty into glamorous, moneyed lives.
“In Jackie Collins’ novels, women were bosses and winners who achieved everything they wanted and it was these novels that inspired me to become my own boss and a lady entrepreneur.”
Melanie’s connection with Jackie Collins came full circle, when after Jackie’s death she bought five pieces of Jackie’s jewellery at auction - two rings and three necklaces inlaid with morganite, citrines and diamonds - which she wears every day.
Melanie has started a “binge read” book group with her street in North London. Eight of her neighbours “meet” three times a week, opening their windows and discussing their chosen books across the street with a glass of fizz.
Each neighbour orders the books online and then drops them off on their neighbour’s doorstep at night.
They are reading three books a week, which is why they are calling it the Binge Read Book Club.
Melanie is finishing her second novel, set in the TV industry, which is due for publication next year.
It is inspired by her time as one of the UK’s leading acting agents representing some of the most famous faces on British television.
It will lift the lid on the world of soap opera and drama.
Thunder Girls is available in all forms - and can be bought online here
Thunder Girls tour
Melanie has penned The Thunder Girls the play which embarks on a nationwide tour next year.
The rescheduled tour follows a sellout, critically-acclaimed world premiere preview run at the Lowry theatre, Salford, which broke box office records for a new work.
Thunder Girls 2021 tour dates:
The Plaza, Stockport, September 9 to 11
Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle, September 16 to 18
Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, September 30 to October 2
New Theatre, Cardiff, October 19 to 23
The Auditorium, Liverpool, October 25 to 27
Edinburgh International Conference Centre, October 29 to 31
Theatre Royal and Conference Centre, Nottingham, November 2 to 6
Fairfields Hall, Croydon, November 11 to 13