Sunday, 20 January 2019

Mallory O’Meara

Author website | Follow Mallory on Twitter!

Works of Non-Fiction | Bibliography & Rights Info

The Lady from the Black Lagoon (To be published on March 5th, 2019 from Hanover Square Press) Pre-order it here: Indiebound, Barnes&Noble, Amazon



The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters.

As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, “The Creature from the Black Lagoon”, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon afte r had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history.



“In this captivating and exhaustively researched biography, screenwriter and producer O’Meara chronicles the largely unknown story of artist and actress Milicent Patrick, designer of the monster in the 1954 film Creature from the Black Lagoon. O’Meara traces Patrick’s journey from precocious art student to her tenure as one of the first female animators at Disney and her discovery by Universal Studios’ head of makeup, Bud Westmore. After designing the creature for the hit film and being sent on a whirlwind press tour, Patrick became the target of Westmore’s jealousy, was fired, and subsequently was denied credit for her work. O’Meara also shares her own filmmaking experiences in modern-day Hollywood, including being accused of getting a job by sleeping with the boss and being sexually harassed by a voice actor, to highlight the continuing challenges for women in the film industry. These personal anecdotes may initially appear a distraction from Patrick’s story, but O’Meara’s enthusiasm for her subject soon overcomes all objections. This is a fascinating slice of Hollywood history with a feminist slant, correcting a sexist wrong from decades ago and restoring Patrick to her rightful place of esteem.”

Publishers Weekly
Starred review!

“There’s never a dull moment in this beautiful, heartfelt tribute to a pioneering special-effects designer and animator and passionate call for change in the industry that forgot her.”

Booklist, Starred review!

“An idiosyncratic, much-needed biography of ‘a woman before her time’… this passionately written biography will do much to bring Patrick the recognition she deserves.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Engaging, written in an inviting and welcoming style, packed with fascinating details, and frequently witty and funny. The Lady From the Black Lagoon is a great read. Highly recommended for all fans of film, and horror in particular.”

Civilian Reader

“From Hearst Castle to Disney animation studio to the Universal backlot and beyond, The Lady From the Black Lagoon is as extensive as it is engaging and entertaining.”

Punk-Ass Book Jockey

“This book is more than simply a tribute to a forgotten pioneer…engaging, forthright, and personal history of both the author and her muse.”

— Library Journal



Lady From The Black Lagoon