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Melanie Blake’s rags-to-riches story as she explodes onto publishing scene

Melanie Blake has left behind her career as a TV celebrity agent to become a successful author – here’s her inspiring story as her name hits the bestseller list

Melanie Blake’s incredible rags-to-riches story as she explodes onto publishing scene

Growing up poor in a run-down terrace and struggling at school with dyslexia, Melanie Blake could only dream of seeing her name on the bestseller lists.

Yet now she’s exploded onto the publishing scene as one of Britain’s hottest writers, and has been dubbed the Jackie Collins for a new generation.

And if you’re settling down on a sun lounger this summer, chances are you might be one of thousands reading her bonkbuster.

“Since I was a kid I dreamt of being a writer,” says Melanie, a former agent for TV celebrities. “But I was dyslexic and I was told from a young age I wouldn’t get anywhere.



Melanie Blake has exploded onto the publishing scene
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Melanie with Claire King
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“When you start with nothing and you’re told at school you’ll be nothing like I was, people can go one of two ways. You can either say, right, there’s no point in trying or you can do what I did and say I’ll prove the b******s wrong.”

And prove them wrong she certainly has – her latest book Ruthless Women has already sold 150,000 copies, been translated into six languages and topped bestseller charts.

The author built her fortune as an actors’ agent, representing some of TV’s most famous, including Corrie stars Beverley Callard and Sherrie Hewson, Gillian Taylforth and Danniella Westbrook from EastEnders, and Emmerdale’s Claire King, Patsy Kensit and Samantha Giles.



Her new book is a bestseller






Writer Melanie with Stephanie Beacham
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Ruthless Women, her second book, lifts the lid on what life is really like in the world of soap operas.

“It’s technically fiction, but this is as close as I’ll ever get to revealing the reality of what goes on,” says Melanie, who was nicknamed The Queen of Soaps during her time as an agent.

“The drama is just as exciting off screen as on and it’s a chance for me to say everything I could never say by naming names.



Coronation Street’s Sherrie Hewson with Melanie
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“I’ve focused on the really horrible 10% of the industry to make it juicy but everything in there is inspired by what I saw first-hand and it isn’t pretty!”

The raunchy book centres around a group of women shooting a soap opera on a private island that is on the verge of being axed.

“Everyone’s favourite character is always the b****, and this book is full of them,” laughs Melanie. “People want to know if the women they see on TV are really like these characters – and the answer in some cases, especially the vile ones, is an absolute yes.”



Melanie with Claire Sweeney
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She poses with Bev Callard
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Picking up idol Jackie Collins’s book Rock Star aged 13 inspired Melanie to dream big. “I’d sneak her books out of the library. I was hooked,” she recalls.

“I’d read them when I was out with my mum on her cleaning round.

“I’d watch her on her knees scrubbing other people’s floors and I knew it was the women in these books I wanted to be like. My own childhood was really tough. We were incredibly poor and I struggled with school.

“I knew back then that I had to do it by myself and that hard work was the only way.”



Author Melanie Blake with the Nolans
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That determination has paid off big time for the girl from Stockport.

She has even been invited to write the foreword for a reissue of one of Jackie’s bestsellers.

Melanie says: “It means the world to me. I’m becoming part of the wonderful legacy of an iconic woman that inspired me to believe I could have a different life than the one I was born into.”

She says class remains a stigma.

“Even now, even though I’ve made a huge success of my career, even though I’ve sold thousands of books, there’s still a snobbery towards me because I’m from working class roots.

“People don’t want to talk about class snobbery but it’s the one thing that continues to frustrate me in my career. You shouldn’t have to change your accent just because you suddenly have money.”



Melanie with Patsy Kensit




Melanie has closed her celebrity agency for now to focus on her own career. She adds: “I’m thriving in a world I was told I’d never be part of. I’m still friends with 99% of the people I repped – OK, maybe 98%.

“The best of them were an absolute dream and the worst were monsters. You’re never far from a drama.

“When people tell me they can’t believe how badly behaved the characters in my book are I laugh, thinking, ‘If only you knew!’”

*Ruthless Women is out now in paperback price £8.99 but is book of the week at all Tesco stores for for the discounted price of £5.00

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