Bestselling author and agent to the stars Melanie Blake is about to release her latest book titled ‘Ruthless Women’. The book promises everything from scandal to outrageous acts, to hot sex. And although the book is a fiction novel, Melanie Blake admitted in an interview with Ikon London Magazine that ‘all of it is true’.
‘Ruthless Women’ takes readers behind the scenes of a fictional TV drama Falcon Bay, beamed globally to millions of viewers three days a week from its picturesque location in the Channel Islands. But with dwindling ratings and syndication at an all-time low, the production has been sold to an American businesswoman who is determined to do whatever it takes to get the show back to number one.
“The fact is that the industry has changed and what’s happening in the book is probably a precursor of what is to come for some of these soap operas.”
The story sounds familiar to anyone involved in the world of TV production and show business. It’s not surprising, agrees Melanie. “In the old days, you were guaranteed an audience and therefore you would stay air. The show in a book is losing its ratings so there is a question whether it can continue.” An existential question a lot of major networks are faced with in a wake of high-end productions by streaming platforms. The author continued, “if you look at the likes of EastEnders, who used to get twenty million views on Christmas day are now getting mere three. The fact is that the industry has changed and what’s happening in the book is probably a precursor of what is to come for some of these soap operas.”
The writer has over twenty years of experience as an agent to the stars to draw from. “Melanie Blake is to UK TV what Jackie Collins was to Hollywood, both using insider industry knowledge to write authentic stories,” reads the press release of Melanie’s latest book Ruthless Women. Having worked with everyone from Cher and Madonna to The Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child, Melanie Blake’s scandalous novels are based on the two decades she spent working behind the scenes of London’s entertainment industry.
“As an agent, I’ve dealt with tragedy, bankruptcy, with attempted suicide, with criminal stuff.”
“The book is full of outrageous acts and back-stabbing,” shared Melanie. “You would probably go ‘Oh my God, this can’t possibly be true but it is. The sex scenes that are in the book that people rave about I have seen happening in front of my eyes. It was a very famous woman had steamy sex in a car in the middle of the main road with the door open.”
As an agent who worked for so many ‘difficult stars’ for so many years, Melanie admits, she’s dealt with so much drama. “I’ve dealt with tragedy, bankruptcy, with attempted suicide, with criminal stuff. You know, as an agent you are in the front of all that drama all the time. So, even though I have had no clients in the pandemic, these clients – the Ruthless Women got me working for them,” laughs the author.
Workaholic as she is, Blake’s own rags to riches story of pulling herself out of an early life of poverty and homelessness as a teen through sheer grit and determination to become one of the UK’s most successful talent agents reads like the plot of an outrageous novel itself. Workaholic as she is, the wirer admits that ‘you can’t have it all.’
“You have to put work in. I’m not married, I don’t have children. I don’t think you can have it all. I missed out on that. I had stepchildren at a moment when I would really be having children so that sort of gave me that moment. I felt like I’d had it. It was a trade-off. I knew that if settled down and have children, I’d never have that drive and ambition so I absolutely believe you can’t have it all and would never take it for granted. I had incredible success in my career, but my personal life is a mess.”
“I knew that if settled down and have children, I’d never have that drive and ambition so I absolutely believe you can’t have it all and would never take it for granted. I had incredible success in my career, but my personal life is a mess.”
Strong and determined woman as she is, we probed if she embodies her own characters. “Some of them I do but I’m not a bitch. I’m a women’s woman, a hundred per cent. And I support women.” These are not just words for Melanie. She’s put her money where her mouth is by producing Thundergirls, a play about middle-aged women that was fully sold and was touring before the pandemic hit.
“When I wanted to produce the Thundergirls, I approached several companies but no one was interested.” So, she did it herself. Of course, having connections and her drive and commanding presence helps. “Too many people want to write women off for their age. I made all the money that I made by representing older women,” rightly points Blake. “People don’t understand you don’t have to be cool to be relevant. You don’t have to be cool to be popular. You don’t have to be cool to be in demand. Your average woman in this country is a normal woman who’s got a real interest in life.”
“I made all the money that I made by representing older women,”
You can pre-book Ruthless Women online from all major book retailers and on Amazon. And if you pre-order now, you can enter a competition for a chance to win a Chanel bag. You can read rules on rutlesswomen.co.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Writer Farrah, star Catherine, and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to the network’s lead male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her, and Amanda’s evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his own wife kicked off the show.
As the dawn of a new era begins, cast and crew turn against each other with loyalty, decency, and trust, replaced by scandal, betrayal, and an outrageous ambition to survive.