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Female Elvis Impersonator to Make Appearance at Bookshop : Humorist Brenda Davidson's traveling exhibit of items from Presley's Graceland is on display at Santa Barbara store.

January 06, 1994|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

An industry fanned by hundreds of books and documentaries and millions of worshiping fans continues to grow around long-dead entertainment personalities Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. One reason is they both died young under perceived suspicious circumstances. People are deadly serious about the ephemera they collect related to these two tragic figures, and channelers insist that they chat with Marilyn and Elvis!

Well, Brenda Davidson of Ventura, humorist, columnist, investigative reporter and author of the hilarious "New Wives Tales," collects Elvis memorabilia "because I've always been attracted to bright, shiny objects, and I'm a big fan of really bad taste."

Davidson has visited Presley's Graceland, where she acquired some of the items for a traveling exhibit that has been displayed in Ventura libraries and now is installed in the window of the Earthling Bookshop in Santa Barbara. Davidson, who has taken up impersonating Elvis to get her through her midlife crisis, says, "I'm the only one in Ventura doing 'Elvis, the cleavage years.' "

Meet Davidson in her couturier Elvis outfit and Laura Kath, author of "Graceland, The Official Guide," at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Earthling to celebrate Elvis' birthday. While you're there, join in the Elvis look-a-like contest.

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Stuart Woods will sign "Dead Eyes" at 1 p.m. Friday; and Arthur Lyons will autograph "False Pretenses" at 1 p.m. Saturday, both at Mysteries to Die For, 2940 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks.

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Barbara Gaughen, owner of Gaughen Public Relations with offices in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Hollywood, and co-author with Ernest Weckbaugh of "Book Blitz," is once again hosting the "Getting Your Book in the News" workshop Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara. The workshop, which will be repeated Jan. 15 at Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City, will teach participants the principles behind effective book publicity. For those unable to attend the seminars, Gaughen will send a free manual listing 60 steps to effective book promotion. Call her at 965-8482.

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Michael Silverblatt revives the art of literary conversation Mondays at 2 p.m. on 89.1 FM on KCRU, Oxnard. Silverblatt will interview Frank Conroy, who suffered a major writer's block until he wrote "Body and Soul," about a successful pianist/composer.

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The Conejo Valley Genealogical Society will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Thousand Oaks Library, 1401 E. Janss Road, to hear Nancy Bier, president of the British Isles Family History Society of Los Angeles. She will discuss Irish Sources and Research. Bier also takes groups of genealogists to the British Isles for on-site research. A beginners' class will meet at 6:30 p.m. Call 497-8293 for details.

Words & Images columnist Frances Halpern is an author and radio talk show host. Submit literary events information to her at least two weeks in advance to 5200 Valentine Road, Suite 140, Ventura, 93003. Send faxes to 658-5576.

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