Life Drawing: A Life Under Lights

By Jessica Martin

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A graphic novel memoir about life as an actress, singer and artist in the big city

Publication date: Summer 2019
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About the book

Every journey starts with a single step, through, or in my case, a single note.

I am Jessica Martin, a 'seasoned' multi-faceted entertainer with a thirty-year career of many twists and turns. I have gone from teenage jazz singer, to television impressionist (in the days when light entertainment was at its Saturday night best!), to cult Doctor Who guest star, leading West End musical theatre actress and now, in the last four years, a comic creator and published graphic novelist.

So I feel that I have, in the words of the great song, definitely lived a life that's full!

However, the glitzy, glamorous, showbiz journey is underpinned by a more unconventional family history...

I was born in 1962 to an Irish mother and Singaporean father who was a successful band leader in 50's Soho, London... long before interracial relationships were par for the course. And this relationship was filled with silences, secrets, and some surprises that shook the very foundations of my childhood.

In telling this story, I hope to capture some of the sultry spirit of Soho, and the heat and intensity of standing on a stage, singing your heart out, all from the perspective of someone who has never quite… fit in.

It is the story of someone who comes from an unconventional background, where nothing was quite as it seemed, and who would escape into the world of musicals and performance.

It is the story of a woman seeking to bring together the strands of living a creative life and having a home and hearth.

It is the story of the knocks and setbacks that befall anyone seeking to express themselves fully, and searching for the way to do it.

Being a born entertainer I want to create an all-singing, all-dancing, all-drawing book to delight the senses. With a cast of diverse characters, and guest appearances from some very recognisable personalities, this graphic novel will be 152 pages paying tribute to a creative life.

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