Thursday, 24 November 2011


Oscar-winning documentary maker Errol Morris’ latest movie, Tabloid, is now becoming a box-office-buster at cinemas around the US. It’ll be on general release in the UK sometime next year and then aired on BBC TV later. The rest of the world will have to wait.

But what’s the big deal? Morris’ film about a former beauty queen who turned sex-slave-driver barely scratches the surface of the mind-boggling story.

The real fun and games surrounding Joyce McKinney and the Case of the Manacled Mormon is in ebook editions from BeWrite Books HERE … at a fraction of the price of a cinema seat, and with cheap popcorn at a microwave oven near you. Paperback is available HERE.

Morris’ documentary has been massively reviewed as ‘eccentric’. But the real McKinney isn’t so much eccentric as downright hilarious. And author Anthony Delano – former boss of the very tabloid press that created the legend of the Manacled Mormon – tells it all, crazy-blow-by-curious-blow.

US beauty queen Joyce McKinney hit the international headlines in the seventies when, love-struck by a straight-laced Mormon missionary, she – and a devoted minder – stalked him to England, kidnapped him (soul-saving Mormon underwear and all) and chained him to a bed in a remote country cottage where the magic underpants were immediately confiscated and Joyce had her whacky and wicked way with him on a regular basis and he, presumably, thought of Utah, Latter Day Saints and hummed hymns.

She skipped bail and fled home to America, under one of her many, many exotic aliases and on one of her many, many fake passports, before she could be fully tried for what amounted to charges of the abduction and serial rape by a beautiful woman of a helpless, God-fearing man she'd held captive and lashed to a special love bed she’d had shipped over the Atlantic for the occasion.

This was no laughing matter. Just imagine the sheer torture the poor and dumpy evangelist must have suffered as he lay there, chaps, hapless and helpless beneath a ruthless blonde beauty queen! And spare a thought for the flustered reporters from the raunchy red-tops who battled it out around the word for the low down on the High Priestess of Kinky.

Great tabloid newspaper fodder was that tale. And, wow, did it hit the headlines big time and long time on both sides of the Shining Big Sea Water! But Joyce herself is just one act in the circus ring.

The real stars are the expert trapeze artists, jugglers and lion-tamers; the crafty, cut-throat and amazingly skilled and resourceful journalists who competed, daggers-drawn (until the pubs opened and they were all pals again), to unravel the weirdest tale even the most hard-bitten had encountered. That's why Errol Morris called his movie Tabloid, of course. McKinney was a mere chorus girl to the main act.

Delano’s book (which fired Morris' fancy when he bought it for three hundred bucks as a collector’s piece when the first edition was out of print) tells all in this new, extended and updated edition ... the tragedy and the travesty, the mystery and the almost unbelievably comic of la crème de la crime.

Joyce is now back in the world news in a big way because of the movie, this book ... and because her true identity was discovered accidentally when she boasted on TV of having a litter of puppies cloned from the severed ear of her dead pet dog. That is one time she wasn't telling fibs and little black lies. Even though she’d assumed yet another alias and changed her appearance to spread the cloning tale, baby-boomers clocked her at a glance.

You can read more about Joyce McKinney and the Case of the Manacled Mormon and the author and read the first chapter and reviews in the bookstore section of the BeWrite Books website HERE.

The ebook can be bought from any major online ebook store. It’s available for reading on PCs and laptops, all dedicated ebook-reading devices like Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, Apple iPad, etc, etc, etc, and also on iPods and smart phones. And you can buy it direct from BEWRITE BOOKS in all popular digital formats. Paperback from Revel Barker Publishing is HERE.

Here's a wee bonus from cartoonist James Whitworth’s 'Rudge' cartoon below that pretty well sums up how you might feel after you’ve read Delano’s book or even if you’ve just glimpsed the tip of the iceberg in Errol Morris’ much less rib-tickling documentary …

Happy weekend, folks. Neil et all at BeWrite Books

Friday, 18 November 2011


Biggs Performs for the Press Circus on Thursday
The international press circus performed for world famous gangster Ronnie Biggs’ last stand on Thursday.

Well, not so much a ‘stand’ because the grubby thief and cynical conman, still with an ego the size of a hot-air balloon, is now eighty-two, slumped in a wheelchair and can communicate only by poking a shaky forefinger at an alphabet board to spell out the words he chooses to grace us with.

But waste no tears on this flamboyant and hoodwinking hoodlum. Mr Biggs does not merit the kind of final show as that Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite. Biggs was, and still is, a nefarious showman. Honest Henry the Horse would never do the Waltz for Biggsy. There should be no 'benefit' for Ronald Biggs, which is surely what this 5,000-run book is intended to be. At the price, another £100,000 bonanza for the undeserving.

Biggs is blagging US ... again!

Reporters and photographers from countries as far apart as Brazil and Australia – where he’d lived high on the hog after his prison break – arrived at the London launch of a re-hash of his 1994 autobiography for the apology the Biggs publicity machine had promised for the record-breaking 1963 £2.6m cash heist ($75,000,000 in today’s pocket money). They even expected a promise that some of the proceeds from the expensive hard-backed book would go to the surviving family of train driver Jack Mills, so viciously bludgeoned during the 16-man hold-up that he never recovered from the beating before his death from leukemia just seven years later.

Ronnie Biggs reading Delano's Slip-Up
The press corps had travelled a long way for nothing. They didn’t get either. Instead, Biggsy’s laboriously moving finger wrote that he would be remembered as a ‘lovable rogue’.

And he boldly states in his book, Ronnie Biggs – the Odd Man Out – The Last Straw: ‘If you want to ask me whether I have any regrets about taking part as one of the train robbers, I will answer ‘NO! I will go further: I am proud to have been one of them.’

There’s more HERE, if you can stomach it, and the story is all over today’s media, whatever corner of the globe you happen to be in.

BeWrite Books says that Ronnie was indeed a rogue … but by no means a lovable one. He is the most insidious criminal of our age because he – too often successfully – made the most outrageous and violent of crimes a cause for celebration. He raised applause for cocking a snook at justice and fair play.

He made at least two generations accomplices to The Great Train Robbery.

Why believe a word (supposedly) written by a villain who admits that his entire adult life was dedicated to crime, deception, lies and evasion of responsibility?

The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth behind the legend is told unerringly and reliably by former national newspaper chief, Anthony Delano, in SLIP-UP, available in all ebook formats and paperback. Delano’s account is Big News, not Biggs’ news.

Author Anthony Delano
Delano said today: “According to the pre-launch publicity of this new edition of his memoire, Ronnie Biggs was going to ‘apologise’ for the Great Train Robbery. Not just for his part in it but for the whole thing, including the clout on the head that someone gave the train driver.

“Wasn’t Ronnie, of course. He never even got on the train. But he did get away with sacks stuffed with stolen tax-payers' money. More importantly, he got away with not serving the best part of a thirty-year prison sentence.

“Stroke-bound now, he’s said to have revised his biography Odd Man Out by collaborating with a ghostwriter via a letter-board. There won’t be too many fresh words, then, apart from the additional three words to the title; The Last Straw. And we’re still waiting for remorse he will never show.”

By the time Ronnie’s ghost writer, Christopher Pickard (and a few other people), wrote Odd Man Out they had the advantage of discovering exactly how it was that he was able to stay in Brazil rather than growing old in a British prison. They’d read Delano’s blow-by-blow book on the whole shebang, Slip-Up: How Fleet Street found Ronnie Biggs and Scotland Yard Lost Him.

Only after THAT did Biggs know what really happened to make him the world’s most celebrated fugitive.

Ronnie Biggs and the masked mob he was a part of raided the Royal Mail train between Glasgow and London under cover of darkness on a lonely stretch of track and toted off sacks stuffed with banknotes. Police eventually rounded up the gang and the Great Train Robbers were sent to jail for a long, long time. The bulk of their loot was never recovered.

Innocent and bloody, the unconscious Jack Mills was rushed to ER from the UK crime scene of the century. He also never recovered. (I know that because I got to know Jack's wife and family -- they were not criminals; they were like thee and me. They didn't know Dad could go to work and have his head mercilessly bashed in by greedy ne'er-do-wells just for doing the job of driving a late night freight train. They didn't know he wouldn't be back for breakfast that morning,)

But the 'fun' really began when Biggs, with twenty-eight years of his sentence still to serve escaped from one of Britain’s most ‘secure’ prisons, went on the run and became the world’s most wanted man. 

He also became a folk hero as, time and again, he gave Scotland Yard’s crack squad the slip all over the globe by blowing his unearthed swag in hush-money, bribes and living like a celebrity who didn’t want to get out of wherever he was.

As the police farce gave the public mounting glee, it was crack newspaper reporters from the world press hub, London’s Fleet Street, who tracked him down in Australia and again in Brazil, returning with world scoops, while Scotland Yard’s top men returned hapless, empty-handed and red-faced to ridicule.

For thirty-six years, Biggsy lived the good life in Rio de Janeiro, laughing along with his countless millions of fans, basking in glory, and untouchable in a country with no extradition treaty. Whilst swearing loyalty to a devoted wife in England, he sported beauties on his arm at lavish parties where champagne and caviar went down in celebration like tea and doughnuts at gloomy police station inquests into their failures. His smiling face was on tee-shirts – every bit the icon Che Guevara had become by then.

He recorded songs and flouted his glamour-life freedom in world media ... as plodding Scotland Yard blushed and blundered.

Biggs even recorded a song with the sickening ‘Sex Pistols’ called No One is Innocent. It includes the words: “God save Martin Bormann and Nazis on the run. They wasn’t being wicked, God, that was their idea of fun. God save Myra Hindley God save Ian Brady. Even though he’s horrible and she ain’t what you call a lady.” Hindley and Brady tortured and killed children; the horrific Moors Murderers. The couple recorded the screams of their little victims as they died in agony and terror. We know what Bormann and his Nazis did. God save Ronnie Biggs, too, was the message.

Biggs believed his own publicity. But Anthony Delano’s insider story – unique, insightful, often hilarious – is a true, bow-by-blow, account of every slip-off by Biggs, slip-in by the press and SLIP-UP by police.

A major BBC film of the book was hastily blocked by the man in charge of the chase – the famously infamous Slipper of the Yard (unkindly referred to in some circles as ‘Slip-Up of the Yard’) – when he threatened legal action; not because of any inaccuracy in Delano’s work, but because he claimed the actor portraying him went too far in caricaturing him as a clown.

BeWrite Books has released the very first digital editions of the book that became Biggsy’s own favourite (that’s him reading it in fun and sun in one of the pictures carried here), had Biggsy fans in stitches, and is an embarrassment to Scotland Yard to this day.

But the final slip-up wasn’t by the police. It was by Ronnie Biggs this week as he was wheeled into his press conference to launch a new claim to fame, fanfared by Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock, sporting movie star sunglasses, with snazzy skull-and-cross-bones braces clipped to the pants of his flashy suit, expensive designer shoes on his useless feet.

This was a dying man’s last opportunity to express remorse, for a full apology to the country he stole from, to the principle of justice he ridiculed, to the millions around the world he’d hoodwinked into thinking him a modern-day Robin Hood, a promise to turn over every penny the book earns to the family of the late Jack Mills or a charity.

He didn’t rise to the occasion. But with some effort, he did rise to a cynical laugh as the cameras snapped. It had been Biggsy's last chance and our last straw. He laughed in our faces.

Ronnie Biggs is what he always was – a mere skeleton of humanity in fancy dress. A ruthless thief, still living on stolen time.

His mouth hung open and his tongue flopped grotesquely like that of a man swinging from a gallows rope. He uttered not a coherent word yesterday, leaving his Brazilian son. Michael, to play ventriloquist to the dummy. Why should we expect his self-serving book to say anything more than Biggs did in his first and last press conference on the soil of his home country? Nothing.

SLIP-UP. Author: Anthony Delano. Editor: Revel Barker: Ebook editions designed and produced by Tony Szmuk. Additional input from the BeWrite Books Team: PAPERBACK from Revel Barker Publishing

Happy weekend. Neil et al at BeWrite Books

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Young Karl Kofoed always watched the skies. And when he graduated from the Philadelphia College of Art in the USA, he landed a dream job as a technical illustrator for the aerospace industry. But his vision stretched for light years beyond our own earthly clouds and higher than any plane could fly.

In the forty-six years since his career achieved lift-off, Karl’s artist’s eye has roamed the surface of planets in solar systems galaxies away. So astute and vivid is his vision that NASA used his images in planning its own adventurous mission to distant Saturn.

For decades, he’s been celebrated in the world of Science Fiction for his breath-taking book covers and illustrations for scores of magazines. Then he exchanged his brushes and pens for the keyboard – at least for a while.

And today, BeWrite Books internationally releases his first SF novel, the far-sighted Jupiters Reef in paperback and all digital formats.

You can read more about Karl Kofoed and Jupiter’s Reef  HERE. The back cover text tells us:

Alex Rose is on the brink of the greatest discovery in the history of space exploration.

And he’ll break every rule in the book to make it.

He keeps his criminal record secret. He steals and modifies an interplanetary ship to probe a cosmic storm system three times the size of earth. And he falls in forbidden love with a girl who’s perfect in every way – just as she was engineered to be by genetic scientists on Mars.

Posing as a miner on Jupiter’s sulfur moon, Io, Alex is not there for the superpay … just for the Great Red Spot on the giant planet. Something beneath its swirling clouds is alive and has been waiting eons for his arrival.
Mary Seventeen is a clone, created to service men and to be a biological radio for communicating to MarsCorp from deep space.

Together they will risk everything to meet Alex’s destiny and prove the existence of Jupiter’s Reef of Life.

Like his illustrated work, Kofoed’s Jupiter’s Reef lures the reader with a palpable and thrilling sense of a world as alien to humans as it is full of wonder … and danger.

Karl Kofoed
Karl’s first voyage into self-produced Science Fiction (rather than covering the work of other stars in the genre) was his famous and lavishly illustrated documentary-styled Galactic Geographic series in Heavy Metal magazine and the subsequent book, Galactic Geographic Annual 3003: Earth Edition.

BeWrite Books is currently working on a new edition, fully revised, redesigned and enriched with new material. So look out for Galactic Geographic: 3012 later this year. This edition will be specially prepared with spectacular full colour digital presentation in mind. It will be our own first foray into the exciting new ground of colour ebook production.

And it’s coming into being because we agree with what Karl said when we spoke about his work recently: “The future is today!”

Even with coming-up seven decades under his belt, Karl sets his calendar a millennium ahead of other earthlings’.

This foresight and his imaginative work became part of NASA’s Cassini Mission to Saturn, providing what the mission chief deemed the most potentially accurate views of the planet’s moons. Kofoed’s uncanny knack of seeing what our most powerful telescopes couldn’t proved itself on the mission and became the water-cooler talk of astronomers around the world. Some of the images NASA worked from are HERE.

But he isn’t alone on the bridge when it comes to vision. Alongside, as he works on his art, literature and the expert restoration of old photographs considered beyond saving by others, is wife Janet, a hugely gifted creator of futuristic jewelry. You can see examples of their work and how they are mutually inspirational at KOFOED DESIGN.

They think alike, even to the extent that each have a daughter from a previous marriage … both young women named Lisa!

Multi-award-winning Karl, who has also worked as a TV set designer and promotional art director for more than a dozen prestigious magazines, said: “You can’t work alongside talented science fiction authors for long without catching the writing bug yourself.

The Fountains of Enceladus, one of the pictures
that amazed NASA and atronomers around the world
“I cut my teeth on two novels outside the genre, and then came Jupiter’s Reef. I’ve also completed an SF trilogy that’s ready to fly.

“And I’m looking forward immensely to working on Galactic Geographic: 3012 with the BeWrite Books team. It’s an exciting project and it seems fitting that it should be presented in 21st Century digital form for state-of-the-art reading devices that, until recently, were considered a science fiction dream themselves.”

Jupiter’s Reef can be bought in paperback and digital formats from the BeWrite Books  and all major online bookstores. The paperback is also available on order from brick and mortar bookshops worldwide.

INFO. Author: Karl Kofoed. Editor: Hugh McCracken. Cover Image: Karl Kofoed. Design and technical preparation for print and digital editions: Tony Szmuk. Additional input: The BeWrite Books team.

Happy weekend, folks. Neil Marr et al at BeWrite Books

PS: The first six readers of the above to answer the following three questions can claim an ebook copy of Jupiter's Reef in the digital format of their choice (Mobi, ePub or PDF) from

1) Of which NASA mission did Karl Kofoed's art work become a part?

2) Where is Alex Rose's place of work?

3) What is the working title of Karl Kofoed's upcoming color illustrated BeWrite Books release?