Merla Zellerbach - author - (1930-2014)**
2014-15 - 21 HUNTINGTON COURT, Firefall Editions (hardcover)
2013-14 - THE A-LIST MURDERS, Firefall Editions (hardcover)
2012-13 - DYING TO DANCE, Firefall Editions (hardcover)
2011-12 - LOVE TO DIE FOR, Firefall Editions (hardcover)
2010 - THE MISSING MOTHER, Firefall Editions (hardcover)  Excellent Publishers Weekly Review
2009 - MYSTERY OF THE MERMAID, Firefall Editions (hardcover)
2009 - SECRETS IN TIME, Firefall Editions (hardcover & paperback)
1990 - RITTENHOUSE SQUARE, Random House (hardcover), Doubleday Book Club, NY Times Recommended Reading List
1989 - SUGAR, novel, Ballantine
1987 - LOVE THE GIVER, novel, Ballantine
1987 - CAVETT MANOR, novel, Ballantine
1986 - THE WILDES OF NOB HILL, novel, Ballantine
1961 - LOVE IN A DARK HOUSE; novel, Doubleday

Self-Help  Medical 1996 - THE ALLERGY SOURCEBOOK (TAS), Lowell House (Division of McGraw Hill)
1998 - TAS, 2nd Edition
2000 - TAS, 3rd Edition
1984 - DETOX; Tarcher/Houghton-Mifflin (w/Phyllis Saifer, MD)
1983 - THE TYPE 1/TYPE 2 ALLERGY RELIEF PROGRAM; Tarcher/Houghton-Mifflin (w/Alan Levin, MD)

1991 - THE STANFORD CENTURY; contributing author

Cosmopolitan, Travel & Leisure, Reader’s Digest, Prevention, Women’s World, This Week, Saturday Evening Post, and others
1989- 99; Cover stories: SF Focus, Gentry, NHG, Where Magazine
1985- 91; Featured articles (8) in Town & Country

2007 - present; Editor Emerita and staff writer for NHG
1995 - 2007; Editor, Nob Hill Gazette (NHG)
1975-93; Enrichment Lecturer and writing instructor on cruise ships
1965-70; Regular panelist ABC-TV’s OH MY WORD, w/June Lockhart
1962 - 1985; Featured columnist, MY FAIR CITY, S.F. Chronicle

2007 - Mayor Gavin Newsom Proclamation of Merla Zellerbach Day, October 1
2000 - California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition
2000 - US Senate Certificate of Commendation
2000 - now: Listed (Marquis) Who’s Who In America; Who’s Who In Entertainment
1999 - New York Times rave review for Rittenhouse Square
1999 - Reviewer’s Choice Award (The Allergy Sourcebook)
1996 - Governor Pete Wilson commendation award
1994 - Where Magazine International Achievement Award for Best Article Writing
1983 - Mayor Dianne Feinstein Proclamation of Merla Zellerbach Day, November 1

Queen of SF Mardi Gras, chair Beaux Arts Ball, founder SF Sponsors, The Singles Organization; volunteer at Planned Parenthood, The American Friends Service Committee, The Red Cross; trustee Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, currently on board of Compassion & Choices

Grant grammar school, Lowell High School (Student body VP); Stanford

** The Above List was Compiled by Merla Zellerbach in October 2014

Articles about Merla Zellerbach: A struggle to have 'death with dignity’
San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, January 25, 2015
by Leah Garchik

Merla Zellerbach, S.F. writer and civic leader, dies
San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, December 27, 2014
by Leah Garchik

Happy Endings
Stanford Magazine, November/December, 2012
by Elihu Blotnick

Merla Zellerbach's Career In High Society
San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, November 23, 2008
by Carolyne Zinko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Writing Rittenhouse Square
(The Philadelphia Inquirer)
MZ didn’t start out to be a writer. She majored in psychology at Stanford University and didn’t think much beyond marriage and having a family. In 1962, a local magazine article she wrote happened to catch the eye of the Chronicle editor and began her 23-year career with the newspaper. “I learned journalism the hard way - by making mistakes and falling on my face,” she says. “I also wrote four novels - they’re still sitting in the basement - before I got one published.” “When I left the Chron to concentrate on novels,” she says, “some of my friends said: Aren’t you glad to be writing fiction? Now you don’t have to worry about accuracy. Ironically, I find myself doing twice the research. Today’s readers want to be educated as well as entertained, and I’ve learned that if you’re describing a hospital, museum, real estate office, whatever, you’d better have every detail credible.” Another problem was the sex scenes. “My editor didn’t think they were lusty enough and kept penciling changes in the margins. One line I remember, ‘the soft curve of her upturned breasts’ became ‘The pendulous sway of her colossal bosom.’ I ended up writing some fairly steamy dialogue. If I’d been caught reading scenes like that as a young woman, my parents would’ve been horrified.” The ending is happy and upbeat, for as Zellerbach says, “I don’t believe in depressing people. I write to be fun, to tell a good story, to entertain, and to leave the reader feeling positive.” The Random House editors, she recalls, were tough on her. “They made me go through the Philadelphia phone book and make sure none of my characters had names of real people. They also made me tone down two main characters, one based on the late Malcolm Forbes & the other on Philly’s ex-mayor Frank Rizzo. One doesn’t generally think of those two men as being publicity-shy, but the lawyers insisted they were entitled to their privacy.  It reminded me of the local grande dame who felt HER privacy had been invaded when I wrote a tongue-in-cheeky piece about the debutante ball. She happened to be standing near me at a party a few nights later when I said to my husband, “I’m having stomach pains. I think we better go home.” The dowager looked me up and down, and snapped, “Something you wrote, no doubt.”

Interview (published in RAVE REVIEWS - updated)
As a psychology major at Stanford University, native San Franciscan Merla Zellerbach had only two ambitions: to get an education, and to get married. She achieved both, and during her years as a young, socially-prominent matron, became active in many civic and cultural organizations. Her interest in social problems led her to write her first book: a best-selling Doubleday novel set in a mental hospital. The book and several humorous articles caught the eye of the editor of the SF Chronicle, who hired her to write a feature column. “My Fair City” lasted 23 years, and ended when she decided to sign a four-book contract with Ballantine and write a series of articles for Town & Country magazine. In addition to newspaper work, Merla starred for five years as co-panelist with June Lockhart on the ABC-TV game show, “Oh, My Word.” She also co-authored two self-help books with doctors, THE TYPE 1/TYPE 2 ALLERGY RELIEF PROGRAM, and DETOX. She has since written THE WILDES OF NOB HILL, LOVE THE GIVER, CAVETT MANOR and SUGAR for Ballantine. In February, 1990, Random House published her eighth book, RITTENHOUSE SQUARE - a cabbage-to-caviar tale of a feisty heroine who defies Old Guard Philadelphians to build a high-rise empire of glitz and glamour. The book won a rave review in the New York Times and prompted Abigail (Dear Abby) Van Buren to write: “It’s a sexy, swift-moving page-turner that has bestseller written all over it. Trust me.” Merla’s current novel, SECRETS IN TIME, has just been released and she is currently awaiting publication of a new novel – a romance/mystery that takes place aboard a cruise ship.

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