Friday, August 31, 2012

Author of the Week - Bill Cassara

We are thrilled that Bill Cassara is our Author of the Week this time, and we hope you enjoy his interview as much as we did.

BMM: What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer?

BC: I earned a degree in Criminology and had a 30 year career in law enforcement.  During that time I was already writing professionally doing high stakes police investigations/reports as well as writing professional articles for various journals.  I had fun writing when I was off duty and contributed film related articles for Classic Images and the Intra-Tent Journal.

BMM: What books have you written for BearManor, and what are they about?

BC: Edgar Kennedy-Master of the Slowburn- As a kid I used to watch Laurel and Hardy and the Our Gang/Little Rascals series on T.V.  I noticed they often had a neighborhood policeman by the name of “Kennedy the Cop.”  He was the uniformed officer that had good intentions, but was always frustrated, sometimes to the point of tears.  Edgar Kennedy, had a robust career from Chaplin to Doris Day and starred in his own comedy series for 17 years at RKO.  The man appeared in over 500 films and was book worthy.   

Vernon Dent-Stooge Heavy - Another character comedian that worked his way up from Sennett, supporting Harry Langdon (and others) and later came into prominence in the Columbia comedies.  He was the most prominent comic heavy The Three Stooges ever faced.  He appeared in over 400 movies, but no one had ever attempted to write specifically about him. 

BMM: Why did you choose those particular subjects?

BC: I wanted to find out more about my subjects and it was clear if I didn’t investigate and write about them, no one else would.  Edgar was born in Monterey Co. Calif. where I worked, but no- one knew anything about his childhood or where he was raised.

Vernon Dent was born in my hometown of San Jose, Ca.  I consider myself a historian first and foremost; I discovered Vernon was the grandchild of a very prominent citizen and that Vernon’s dad was murdered in the same town. I learned from an old newspaper that Vernon’s debut in show business was by accident.  He was an usher at a new theatre, and during a play, nine year old Vernon fell from the balcony rail into the orchestra pit.  The many film buffs out there know his work, but not his early childhood and ascent to show business success.  He deserved a book.  

BMM: How long did it take you to write them, and did you find it an easy task?

BC: Before anything, I give one solid year of watching films, research and obtaining data before I ever put pen to paper.  That year’s time gives me an opportunity to thoroughly know my subject, and of course the investigation continues as I write.

The Edgar book took me longer because I had the advantage of going over Edgar’s daughter’s recollections.  Trying to identify films with Edgar and Vernon took a painstaking long time because there is a lot of false information out there.  The fun I had crafting the words to coincide their personal and professional lives, gives us a rare insight to their careers.  Some reviewers claim they get a sense of the real person.

BMM: What can we expect to find in your books?

BC: Before the books were published, my subjects hadn’t been given the recognition they deserve.  Both Edgar and Vernon had long apprenticeships and supported other comedians before they started getting prominent comedy character roles.  I approach my subjects with a fair viewpoint, flaws and all.  Gone are the days when biographies were extensions of a press agent’s attempt at putting their client in the best light.  Readers want to know about the real person and how their screen persona developed.  Of course a complete filmography and bibliography is essential.     

BMM: What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer?

BC: In this society readers consider authors interesting people.  For some reason, retired cops have a bit of a stigma.  I like being “an author” better.  To me, investigating and researching are parallels, so the same principles are involved.  Now I can pick subjects to write about and champion their contributions to comedy. Being an author for Bearmanor Media, I share the common interests of other authors and we help and encourage each other.  I enjoy being around other authors, it’s almost like a fraternity when we meet or correspond.  We seek help confidentially amongst ourselves without fear of compromise.

BMM: Do you have a website, blog etc, where readers can find you?

BC: My email address is: and I have a blog with five pages, photos and details dedicated to Edgar:  we are also in the process of putting a   website together to include Vernon Dent.  

I’ve been to several book singing venues and I’ll be returning to the Los Angeles Cinecon again this Labor Day weekend to serve as guest author.  It’s a pleasure to sell my books, meet other fans and mingle with people in the business.

BMM: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

BC: I am writing another book for Bearmanor Media; Ted Healy-Nobody’s Stooge.  This book feels more like the police investigations I used to do.  Healy died mysteriously in 1937 and many rumors have ensued.  Healy conquered Vaudeville, Broadway, movies and radio.  Along the way he added to his extravaganza stage acts some knuckleheads who later became famous as The Three Stooges.  There are many books about the Stooges but none about their mentor.  This will be another biography where I trace Healy’s life and show business beginnings and reexamine his controversial death.  As a retired Internal Affairs Sgt. I can identify what procedures were taken and clarify his cause of death.  


We would like to thank Bill for taking part in our Author of the Week feature, and we are really excited to hear more about his new book!

If you would like to order Edgar Kennedy: Master of the Slow Burn, please click here:

And if you would like to order Vernon Dent, Stooge Heavy, please click here:

Book of the Week - The Brady Bunch

This week's featured book is The Brady Bunch: Super Groovy after all these years!  By Mike Pingel

Here's the story... of a clan named Brady

It was 40 years ago when The Brady Bunch family hit the airwaves and  is still being shown all around the world today.  The Brady Bunch was the story of a widow with three girls who married a widower with three boys, who lived under one roof and solved life's problems within 24 minutes!

Author Mike Pingel's book shares the history, fun facts, full episode guide and interviews with actors, Ann B. Davis, Susan Olsen, Robbie Rist, Geri Reischl and producers, Sherwood Schwartz, Loyd Schwartz, plus so much more.   Brady Bunch fan Charlene Tilton ("Dallas") has penned the foreword.

Mike Pingel has written three books, Angelic Heaven: A Fan's Guide to Charlie's Angels (BearManor Media);  The Q Guide to Charlie's Angels (Alyson Books) & The Q Guide to Wonder Woman (Alyson books).

He lives in Los Angeles and when not composing books he works as an actor, public relations and webmaster.

Please visit Mike's website at:

And to order a copy of the book, please visit our website:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Book - The Godfather of Gore Speaks

BearManor Media proudly announces the release of The Godfather of Gore Speaks: Herschell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films.

Exploitation filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis is credited with single-handedly creating the gore genre with the 1963 release Blood Feast. This low-budget shocker would ultimately influence nearly every horror movie which has followed, as well as “high-brow” films as varied as The Wild Bunch and Reservoir Dogs. Lewis, dubbed “The Godfather of Gore,” crafted more than thirty-five films in his ongoing career. In The Godfather of Gore Speaks: Herschell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films, the filmmaker explains his choices and motivations—from concept to finished product—in much more detail than ever before. Assisted by noted film historian Andrew J. Rausch, Lewis shares often hilarious anecdotes and provides analysis for the thirty-nine films which he either directed or assisted with direction.

This book will shortly be available from our website.  Please go to for more details.


Good luck to all the BearManor authors who are attending Cinecon in Los Angeles over the coming days.

If you are planning to attend as a film fan, please pop along and say hello!  It would also be great if you could take some photos for our BearManor blog too.  Thanks!

For more details of Cinecon, please go to their website:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle

We are proud to share with you, Author Gary Ledoux's "six gun salute" review of "Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle" by Jan Pippins and Henry Darrow:

"I will start with a confession; I only saw snippets of The High Chaparral when it was on television in prime time. I don’t think I ever saw a complete episode. Thank goodness for You Tube. Otherwise I would have missed completely the acting ability and strong stage presence of actor Henry Darrow, aka Manolito Montoya.

Manolito was Darrow’s character in High Chaparral, his first real break in the acting business. It was a character that not only put him on everyone’s radar screen, including Hollywood luminaries, it kept him there long after the show ended, ever-continuing to spur has career forward. 

Henry Darrow’s story, told lovingly, and in great detail by author Jan Pippins, starts on the streets of New York. It follows a young Puerto Rican kid, Henry Delgado full of fears and ambitions, to the Pasadena Playhouse in California and then on to Hollywood. The story follows Darrow to an Arizona movie set, through family and other loves in his life, through his name change (from Delgado to Darrow) and his interaction with so many actors and actresses. The story reads like an “A” list of television stars of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. The tale is rich, not only with Darrow’s trials and triumphs, but gives an up-close and personal look at the Hollywood television and movie business of those times, and what it was like to be a Latino actor during that period.

Sometimes, the reader finds the book leaning a little towards hagiography. But after reading the book and discovering, despite his human frailty, what a kind and generous man – and what a strong actor Darrow is, it becomes plain that author Jan Pippins wrote this book from the heart. Later discovering that Pippins has known Darrow personally for years, the admiration she has for Henry Darrow is more than warranted, and flows through the pages.

I walked away from this book with an greater appreciation of Henry Darrow, the man and actor, and a better understanding of the world of TV and movies in the 60’s – 80’s.

I would recommend this book to any student of acting, and anyone interested in the classic TV westerns of American television. If a reader of this book is not already a fan of Henry Darrow’s, they will be by the time they reach the last page. This story rates a “Six-Gun Salute!” 

By: Gary Ledoux / Author: Nantan: The Life and Times of John P. Clum Part 1 and 2 and Tombstone Tales

To order a copy of the book, please visit our website:

The Day the Stars Stood Still - Book Signing Event

We recently caught up with BearManor author Suzanne Sumner Ferry, who told us all about the book signing she recently gave in California.  Here's what she had to say...

I had a fantastic time at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, CA this past Sunday doing a "Local Author's Book Signing" event. Besides me and my book "The Day the Stars Stood Still" (A Memoir about Logan Fleming, the Former Top Wax Artist at Movieland Wax Museum), there were three other local authors. I am the only one of the four of us who did not self-publish my book. We took turns standing at the podium and speaking for 15 minutes or so. I started with a quick introduction on how I met Logan Fleming and how he approached me to write his memoir, to sharing a few bits about the book without giving too much away, and mostly just praising my friend and the subject of my book, Logan Fleming (who sadly passed in December 2011) and his amazing creative and artistic genius. He made all of his amazingingly realistic wax likenesses of some of Old Hollywood's most beloved stars without the use of computer technology!

I also shared that there were several funny stories in the book, how Logan got to meet most of the stars he immortalized in wax likenesses (most at their own residences), all the perks of his job, and how he even got the job with NO wax artistry experience whatsoever. I also brought several photographs and a few binders with more photos to share with the audience. Several folks complimented me on my speaking ability (which was a shocker) and were quite interested in the book. I've had to replenish my stock at Vroman's twice now, so I hope they will want to continue to carry my book. I've dreamt of doing a signing there for years, and it finally happened. I grew up going to Vroman's as a young girl with my mother. I sold several copies and my father and several friends from high school (!) even showed up. What a great event it was! I hope one day I can come back and do another signing at Vroman's, either with my latest memoir or a future book! This is definitely the fun part for me (although the writing process is very fun, too!).
Suzanne Sumner Ferry, Author
The Day the Stars Stood Still 2012
Corinna the Christmas Elf 2009

We would like to say a big thank you to Suzanne for sharing her evening with us all!  If you would like to order a copy of her book, please visit our website:

The Encyclopedia of Featured Players of Hollywood

The Encyclopedia of Featured Players of Hollywood by Tom and Jim Goldrup is now available from our website by using the following links:

Volume 1 -

Volume 2 -

Volume 3 -

Please see yesterday's blog entry for more details of this fascinating book.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Neal Stannard

We at BearManor were deeply saddened to hear that our author, Neal Stannard has passed away very suddenly.  He was a valued member of our BearManor family and only a few weeks ago his book, Now and Then the Movies Get it Right was our featured Book of the Week.  

Neal was very pleased that the book had been chosen as our featured book, and we at BearManor are very happy about that.  Neal will be sadly missed by all those who knew him.

The following is a tribute by Neal's friend, Linda Schiffer:

A note to all folks who knew Neal Stannard...who interviewed with him, worked with him...were his friends ...  

Sadly, and suddenly, Neal passed away Saturday, Aug. 18th from a cardiac arrest.  Neal's knowledge of classic film and his expertise in radio made him the 'go to' guy when questions came up.  He was a writer (Now & Then, the Movies Get It Right), a film reviewer/columnist/editor for The Vero Voice, an actor, a Board Member of the Vero Beach Theatre Guild, a member of the Universalist Unitarian Fellowship and an all around decent human being.  He loved interesting people, animals and his work.  He was just beginning a new book.

Neal portrayed the Rabbi in "Fiddler On The Roof" and said he felt an affinity for role.  We gave him the name of Rabbi Abir.  He had a Mezzuzah on his door after learning what it signified.  His beard was always an issue ... It was straggly at times, trimmed the last time I saw him (last weekend) or became 'role appropriate' when on stage.  His reading was eclectic.  He loved old scripts (which is how we met) and non-fiction, but he did read fiction when titles or authors interested him.  He also had a passion for the works of the late Gene Colan, Stan Lee and other artists who drew the graphic novels (comic books).

He had interviewed Robert Osborne, Ernie Borgnine, Tony Randall and a slew of other celebrities in different fields of endeavor,  His style was casual, but his questions were to the point without being abrasive.  He had humor, he had style and he had a certain grace which is why people enjoyed being interviewed by him.  Many became his friends.  

Neal was only 55 years young ... Too young to leave.  But knowing Neal, he will be keeping on eye on things from his radio booth above.  Many, many people will miss him for many, many reasons.  I am most certainly among them.



We at BearManor are holding a good thought for Neal and his family during this sad time.

You can read more about Neal's book, by visiting our website:

New Book - The Encyclopedia of Feature Players of Hollywood

We will shortly be publishing a new 3-volume book entitled, The Encyclopedia of Feature Players of Hollywood

Learn from the feature players of Hollywood what it was like to work on films during its Golden Era. Enjoy their often humorous and exciting stories as they lived out their lives and careers behind and in front of the camera.

About the Authors:  Authors/actors Tom and Jim Goldrup are younger brothers of screenplay writer Ray Goldrup. They reside in Ben Lomond, California, where they are active in local theatre. 

This book is the result of their interviews with over 150 actors and will be available to order from the BearManor website very soon.

Standing Tall in the Shadows

Dale Evans, 'Queen of the Cowgirls' would have been 100 years old in October.  To commemorate this date, many magazines are carrying articles about her; some of which were written by her manager, Dick Baxter, author of the BearManor book, 'Standing Tall in the Shadows.'

Articles about Dale can be found in the fall issues of these publications:
Classic Images (Oct.)
Films of the Golden Age (fall)
True West magazine (probably Oct.)
Western Clippins (Sept. or Oct.)
New Palestine Press newspaper in Indiana (Oct.)
Roy Rogers Festival Program, 2012
Dick's book, Standing Tall in the Shadows is all about his work with Dale and other legendary stars. The book will also be reviewed in the fall issue of Western Way magazine.

To order a copy of Standing Tall, please visit our website:


No Traveler Returns

The outstanding BearManor book, 'No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi' by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger has been featured on the TCM website this month.

To read the whole feature, please click here:

You can order a copy of the book from our website:

Little Elf

The authors of the wonderful BearManor book, 'Little Elf' are very busy this week, with a book signing at the famous Larry Edmunds Bookshop in Hollywood on the 29th August, followed by Cinecon which begins on the 30th.  We wish both Michael and Chuck a very happy week,and in the meantime would like to share with you this photograph of the two authors at the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention recently.

You can read more about the convention here:

And information on the Larry Edmunds event can be found here:

and here:

Meanwhile, the Cinecon film festival can be found here:

To order a copy of the outstanding 'Little Elf' book, please visit our website:

Henry Darrow

We recently caught up with BearManor author Jan Pippins, co-author (with Henry Darrow) of 'Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle,' who tells us that Henry will be doing several book signings in the not-so-distant future.

We are terribly excited about this, and we're sure you will be too.  Here are all the details you need to know:


September 15, 2012 from 1:00-3:00 PM

Henry Darrow celebrates his 79th birthday with a book signing and talk at the AUTRY CENTER OF THE AMERICAN WEST in Los Angeles, California. The Autry will show High Chaparral and Zorro episodes. If you’re in the area, stop by and wish Henry a happy birthday. (Henry’s wife, Lauren Levian, and Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle author Jan Pippins will also attend.)



September 16, 2012 from 12:30-1:30 PM

Book signing with Henry Darrow at the KUMARAS CENTER FOR THE ARTS & ETIQUETTE, 1616 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, California. Call (818) 848-9333 for details. The event is hosted by noted award-winning journalist Miluka Rivera (“Legado Puertorriqueno en Hollywood:Famosos y Olvidados”). Jan Pippins will also attend.

For more information, please visit the website

You can also check out his book on our website too:

Golden Goddesses

Forthcoming BearManor book, Golden Goddesses by Jill C Nelson, now has its own website.  Here is a little sneak peak at what the book is about, along with the fabulous cover:

"Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic Cinema 1968-1985, by Jill C. Nelson, will provide intimate portraits of 25 women who were involved in the adult movie industry during its golden age. The book will feature performers, directors, costumers and script-writers. Presented in an oral history format, "Goddesses" will also include film highlights, photos and 'Honorable Mentions'. Targeted release is fall 2012. The book will be published by BearManor Media.

The book will be available to order from our website in due course, and in the meantime you can visit Jill's website here:

You can also buy Jill's other BearManor book, (co-written with Jennifer Sugar) 'John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches' here:

Affectionately Jayne Mansfield

We are thrilled that Richard Koper's new book, 'Affectionately Jayne Mansfield' has received a great response from fans of the lovely lady.  We are not surprised, however, as the book is truly a beautiful tribute to Jayne and recognises her as an actress in her own right, as opposed to the Marilyn Monroe lookalike she is often seen as.

Richard recently took part in an interview with BearManor friend Koop Kooper, for his popular Cocktail Nation show.  To listen online, just click the link below and then press the 'Listen to the show' button.

And once you have listened to the show, we hope you will pop along to our website to order a copy of the book for yourself:

Michael B Druxman

Wonderful BearManor author Michael B Druxman has been interviewed by The Baz, a website devoted to Basil Rathbone.  The interview covers much ground, during which Michael talks extensively about his successful book, 'Basil Rathbone: His Life and his Films.'

Here is just a taster of the interview, where Michael talks about whether or not he was a fan of Rathbone before he started the book....

TB: So you weren’t a fan of his?

DRUXMAN: I was not a “fan,” but I certainly enjoyed watching him and thought he was a fine actor.  I would see him in movies that I would have seen anyway; not necessarily because he was in them. Back in my younger days when I was a “fan,” my “heroes” were Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Broderick Crawford, John Wayne and Randolph Scott.  And, I had the “hots” for Ann Sheridan, Alice Faye and Doris Day.  Sadly, I did not discover Carole Lombard until I was in my thirties.

You can read the full interview on The Baz website:

And afterwards, why not pop along to the BearManor website to order a copy of the book yourself:

New Books by Philip J Riley

We are happy to report that we have recently published two books edited by fabulous BearManor author Philip J Riley.  Read on for all the details.....


Lon Chaney became a top star with his portrayal in The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1923.

Carl Laemmle announced to his exhibitors in 1924, that Chaney would sign to do one more picture before he started his contract with the newly formed Metro-Goldwyn company. To capitalize on the Hunchback's huge success he wanted to combine the names Victor Hugo and Lon Chaney and proudly stated that the project was Victor Hugo's "The Man Who Laughs".

Meanwhile at Universal City, treatments and scripts were being prepared and contracts between Chaney and Universal were being drawn up by Universal's lawyers Loeb and Loeb. All was going smoothly until Laemmle returned to California and found out that no one had secured the rights to The Man Who Laughs. The production came to a dead stop. Chaney suggested The Phantom of the Opera and Laemmle happily agreed, since he could still use the standing sets from the Hunchback and having met with Gaston Leroux, the author of the Phantom, he was familiar with the story.

It wasn't until 1928 that The Man Who Laughs rights were secured and production started but with a complete new cast and crew. The role previously meant for Chaney was taken over by Conrad Veidt; and Mary Philbin who was scheduled to play the part in the Chaney version, resumed her starring role as Dea, the blind girl in love with Gwynplaine, who as a child had his face disfigured into a permanent grin by a sadistic band of gypsies.  Gwynplaine grows up and is a great success as a carnival attraction. Unknown to everyone, Gywnplaine is actually the son of a Peer of England, whose father had to go into exile to escape the wrath of the King of England.

Also included in this volume is a facsimile of the complete 5 chapter story from Liberty Magazine, by Adela Rogers St. John, "Lon Chaney, Portrait of the Man of a Thousand Faces" published in 1931, 9 months after his untimely death at age 47.

You can order a copy of the book here:


Starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing

Werewolf, Vampire
Malignant Vine
Voodoo God,
Disembodied Hand
Each was to play its horrfic part in
the lives of the five ordinary men
brought together in the railway
compartment. So prophesied
Dr. Schreck, their sinister
companion. To each of them
a terrifying glimpse
of the future . . .

You can order a copy of the book here:

In the meantime, Philip's book, Wolf man vs Dracula has received a nice review at  You can read it here:

And you can order the book here:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Hollywood Canteen comes to Hollywood!

It is with great happiness that we can tell you the wonderful authors of 'The Hollywood Canteen,' Lisa Mitchell and Bruce Torrence will be signing copies of their book at the famed Larry Edmunds book shop in Hollywood.  The event will take place on Thursday, August 23rd at 7:30 p.m and will also include a presentation of dozens of rare photographs - many of which were not included in the book.

This is sure to be an extremely popular event so please reserve your seats by emailing or popping into the store.

And if you do go to the event, it would be terrific if you could take some photos and share your memories for our blog.  Thanks!

Here is a link to the Larry Edmunds website:

And the book is also available at our website:

Book of the Week - The Unknown Peter Cushing

Our Book of the Week this time is The Unknown Peter Cushing by Michael G. McGlasson

More than six years in the making, this book explores various areas related to the life and career of Peter Wilton Cushing, with a focus on his familial acting legacy from grandfather Henry William Cushing, his early stage career, and his life with his beloved wife, Helen Beck Cushing.

Often described as "The Gentle Man of Horror," Peter Cushing was much more than an actor, for he was also a talented painter, model maker, author, a lover of books and literature, and a poet. The Unknown Peter Cushing reveals facts about Peter's acting ancestry via a journey through time from the early 1700s and up to Peter's early days as a stage actor, when he met his Helen, the guiding force of his life and the source of his creative spirit.

About the Author

Michael G. McGlasson is an independent scholar and researcher with a specialty in American literature and the cinema, especially horror, sci-fi, and fantasy. He is the author of Lee Van Cleef: Best of the Bad, published by BearManor Media in 2010, and is a lifetime member of the Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, Maryland. His most current project is Henry and Edgar: The Poe Brothers of Baltimore.

You can order a copy of the book by visiting our website:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Author of the Week - Dan Van Neste

We are very happy to welcome BearManor writer Dan Van Neste as our Author of the Week.  Dan's book is called The Whistler: Stepping into the Shadows

What is your background and why did you become a writer?
I've always had an intense desire to be creative.  It sounds kind of corny but since I can remember I've  wanted to leave something of value behind.  I'd like to think fate ultimately had a hand in my becoming a film writer but the road was long, winding, and sometimes painful (literally)!  Let me explain.  I was born and raised in rural central Michigan.  Guess I was bit of a nerd.  My main interests were reading (biographies, entertainment books), watching old movies on television (horrors and suspense), music, and writing.  By the time I was a teenager I had written short stories, poems, songs, etc.  In high school I studied journalism, and joined my school's newspaper staff.  I was in my element writing feature stories and a weekly humor column.
As much as I loved writing, my greatest artistic passion early in my life was music.  My mother was a singer and a musician so I was around musical people.  I could always sing; and eventually learned how to play chords on a guitar.  After I graduated high school I began performing  for anyone who would listen.   My choice of music reflected my family's interest: folk/country.  While in college I landed a spot as a regular vocalist on a weekly musical television program.  My appearances led to many opportunities and several trips to Nashville, Tennessee.  After my college graduation I had the amazing opportunity to sign a recording contract with a small Nashville label.  Even more amazingly, two of my records reached the national country charts.  One was a song I penned.  I got to do many exciting things during those years but there were many frustrations and disappointments as well.  A decade after I began my musical odyssey I essentially gave up music, and return to school.  Eventually I became a rehabilitation counselor; counseling and coordinating services for physically and mentally challenged individuals. 
Destiny intervened in 1987.  I was seriously injured in an accident which necessitated multiple hip and knee surgeries.  I miraculously recovered but during the initial recuperation period I rediscovered my love for writing and classic films.  By the late 1980's I was penning movie related articles for various newspapers, journals, and classic film publications.   In 1994 one of my articles appeared in Classic Images magazine.  Since then I've written over 40 pieces for CI and it's sister quarterly, Films of the Golden Age.  Many included original interviews with vintage filmmakers.  I believe my experiences in music and as a counselor helped make me a better, more sensitive writer and interviewer.
What books have you written for BearManor and what are they about?
I've written one.  It's called The Whistler: Stepping Into the Shadows  --  all about a series of eight influential suspense movies made by Columbia Pictures during a four year period (1944-48).  The 421 page reference book is essentially a companion to the films which occasionally turn up on cable television.  In fact Turner Classic Movies will be screening the Whistler films (one per week) beginning Saturday, September 1.   The book not only covers the making of the series and the famed radio program which inspired it, but includes detailed profiles of 50 of the talented, unsung actors, directors, and craftsmen who produced it. There's also a discussion of the Whistlers as early film noir by noted noir author, expert Karen Burroughs Hannsberry.  The foreword was written by actor Robert Dix the son of Whistler star, Richard Dix.
Why did you choose this particular subject?
I really like B mystery and crime films.  Over the years I've written multiple articles on B movie series and enjoyed doing them.  When I heard Ben was planning to publish a group of books on series' films I knew I wanted to participate.  I originally selected another mystery suspense series to write about but changed my mind at the last minute when Turner Classic Movies began running the Whistlers in 2008.  I hadn't seen them in years and had forgotten how atmospheric and interesting they were!  People are always curious why I choose to write about B movies and lesser movie stars when I could be doing stories or books on Marilyn, Lana, or Humphrey.   The truth is I want to do original work and perhaps preserve a small bit of motion picture history at the same time.  Marilyn and Humphrey's stories have been told by many fine writers but Richard Dix's, Joan Woodbury's, Karen Morley's, Lew Landers', etc. have not.  I believe they deserve to be.
How long did it take you to write The Whistler and did you find it an easy task?
It took me 3 years; and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears!  When I embarked on the project I thought I would breeze through it.  Early on I wrote a detailed outline of what I wanted to cover.  But things did not go as planned.  My mom passed away a few weeks after I began my research.   When I finally resumed work I discovered Columbia did not have an archive so I would be unable to share important back stories and production details on each movie.  To make matters worse Whistler creator J. Donald Wilson left no memoirs and personal papers which would explain how and why he created the character.  I was forced to change the initial chapters and make the book broader in scope.  I'm pleased with how it turned out however; particularly Chapter 2 which explains how B films like the Whistlers were made at Columbia during the 1940's.  Guess most book writers face challenges.  It's how you face them and work through them that counts.
What can we expect to find in your books?
I think you can expect to be informed and entertained.   All my writings are carefully organized, and detailed. My goal is to tell you about something or someone you probably knew little or nothing about, and tell it in a way to keep you interested.  It's disappointing when a book is loaded with valuable information but is written in a sterile, boring way.  It's like a film which is technically brilliant but is not very entertaining.  
What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer? 
I believe the most interesting thing about being a film writer is sharing a vintage filmmaker's reminiscences and/or details of their life that have never been published.  For instance in The Whistler: Stepping Into the Shadows there are personal memories and anecdotes from Richard Dix's son Robert about his dad which you won't find anywhere else.  There's also revealing excerpts from an interview with Nick McKinney the son of Whistler actor Michael Duane (star of the last series entry, The Return of the Whistler), and bits and pieces from original interviews I conducted  with two of the "Ladies of The Whistler": Gloria Stuart and Karen Morley.
Do you have a website, blog, etc, where readers can find you?
Funny you should ask.  I'm currently working on a website.  Until then you can visit my Facebook page.
I always enjoy hearing from people!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Two things.  If you've not seen it yet, check out The Whistler: Stepping Into the Shadows trailer on Youtube or the BearManor Media website.  It was recently created by fellow BearManor author Michael Druxman who did a fantastic job!!  Lastly I want to thank you, Michelle for this opportunity, and publicly express my appreciation to BearManor particularly Ben and Sandy who endured my endless questions with patience and kindness.  It's my honor to be associated with a company who is publishing so many wonderful books written by superb writers who share my love of vintage entertainment history.

And we would like to thank Dan too, not only for his kind words, but for allowing us to publish such an amazing and informative interview!
 To order a copy of The Whistler, please visit our website:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BearManor Fiction - Kane Rising

Have you been over to the BearManor Fiction site lately?  If not, here is a novel you may not have seen yet, but is very definitely worth checking out:

Kane Rising

The Siblings of Kane

by Janette Anderson
Kane Branson, Veteran Commander of the AFP, returns to Australia from a mission in Iraq to bury his young wife, Agent Kelly Branson, who died by the hands of terrorist Ryan Holden. Attending the funeral is ex-US Marshal Reese Wade, accompanied by the ten year-old child, Leila, that Reese claims is hers and Kane’s.
Leaving his entire family behind, Kane and his bodyguard, Hunter McLeod, set out on a mission halfway across Australia to prove that the child is not Kane’s daughter.
Kane must then rise above what life has thrown at him, all his own transgressions and be the parent he should have been… or should he stay a would-be Hell’s Angel with a license to kill?
Janette Anderson was born in England, but now resides in Los Angeles as a US citizen. Having earned a degree in communications, she travelled round the world, and then began a career as a celebrity journalist interviewing over 500 stars in the process. Graduating from the WGA as a signatory agent, Ms. Anderson opened her own company arranging parties and events for the stars. She now writes the Kane series of books, Kane Branson files to films.
You can order the book from the BearManor Fiction website:

No Traveler Returns


An article by Bill Kaffenberger

Although I’ve been a fan since my childhood, and have previously written several self-published books (though not in the classic film genre), in my wildest dreams I never thought I would be co-author of a book on the late great Bela Lugosi.

About five years ago, mainly as a hobby, I renewed my serious research on the career of Lugosi, particularly zeroing in on his later years out of the Hollywood limelight but before his now well-known trip to England to revive the Dracula play.  Over time, I began amassing quite a bit of previously undocumented information.

Occasionally I would pass particularly interesting new information on Lugosi to my friend Gary D. Rhodes.  Gary is of course co-author of the new book and an extraordinarily gifted Lugosi researcher and film history writer.  I’ve known Gary since the mid-Eighties when I used to write articles for his magazine The World of Bela Lugosi.

After several emails and phone calls starting a couple of years ago, I discovered to my great excitement that Gary had also been gathering some significant new information on Lugosi’s career.  At first we discussed the possibility of writing a few magazine articles as a means of passing this information to the public.  I had been posting some new Lugosi articles on a blog I was writing at the time.  But the more we talked about it, the more we realized that only a properly researched and documented book would do justice to this period in Lugosi’s career.  And so started the seed that grew into the current book.

I believe that the greatest strength of our current Lugosi project is this:  rather than simply presenting a series of new photographs, new facts or new reviews without placing them in an historical context, we strived to get to the unique and personal stories behind the new facts.  Further, we attempted to place Lugosi’s ongoing efforts to maintain his career squarely in context within the changing landscape of show business following the end of World War II.  I think all of this, along with the many new interviews with folks who worked with Lugosi or saw him perform, makes for a very satisfying reading experience for Lugosi fans in particular but also for anyone interested in classic film and show business history.

I don’t believe – and I’m sure Gary would agree – that publication of our book marks an end to serious Lugosi career research.  On the contrary, it is my hope that this will stimulate additional interest in the time period involved, hopefully resulting in new career “gems” being revealed.  For example, we were finding new information right up to the day the final version was due to the publisher, including an interview with an individual who saw Lugosi perform in his Horror and Magic show in New York towards the end of its run in 1951.  No doubt there is still more to be found regarding his vaudeville, radio and television credits of that period.

In closing, it was a fun and rewarding experience working on this book and I hope everyone will enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

Bill Kaffenberger, Hanover, Virgina   August 2012

You can order a copy of the book by visiting our website:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chuck Harter

We are delighted to share this photograph of Chuck Harter, Co-Author of "Little Elf."   Chuck is standing next to the Langdon table at the Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention which took place on 10 August 2012.

To order a copy of Little Elf, please visit our website:

Ben Ohmart - MWOTRC Meeting

We would like to share this fascinating talk by BearManor Media's very own Ben Ohmart, which was given at the MWOTRC October 2011 meeting.  The talk is a fascinating look at Ben's career as a writer and publisher; giving insight into the publishing process and BearManor as a whole.

Ben's talk starts about 24 minutes into the programme.

And afterwards we hope you will head on over to the BearManor website to check out Ben's books:

Golden Goddesses - Ginger Lynn

Author Jill C Nelson tells us that she is now working on the final edit for her next BearManor Book, "Golden Goddesses" and hopes to have it finished this week.

In the meantime, Jill has very kindly shared this lovely photograph of Ginger Lynn, which was taken by Kenji and which will appear on the back cover of the book, along with 24 additional head shots.

If you can't wait for Jill's book to be published, you might like to know that her other BearManor book (written with Jennifer Sugar), 'John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches (New 2nd ed) is available from our website:

Philip J Riley

BearManor Media author Philip J Riley has been given a fantastic article in the latest edition of Sci-Fi Magazine.  The article talks about his very successful Filmonster Series.

To check out our huge amount of Philip J Riley books, please go to our website:

Michael James Kacey

We are pleased to share that on 9th August, Michael James Kacey gave a ten-minute reading from "Memos to a New Millennium: The Final Radio Plays of Norman Corwin" at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, as part of a program called subTEXT.   Michael tells us that he enjoyed the experience very much - just as I'm sure the audience did too.

For more information on Michael's book and to order a copy, please go to our website:

You can also visit Michael's website here:

Cinecon 2012

Cinecon 2012, the classic film festival will take place between 30 August and 3 September this year, and we are very happy to tell you that some of our authors will be in attendance to sign their books.  

Here is some information from the Cinecon website:

Author: Bill Cassara

Book: VERNON DENT, STOOGE HEAVY: Second Banana to the Three Stooges and Other Film Comedy Greats

After years of working in the shadows of Moe, Larry, Curly (and Shemp), as well as the great silent film comedian Harry Langdon, Vernon Dent is finally receiving the attention he deserves with this outstanding biography. Written by Bill Cassara (Edgar Kennedy: Master of the Slow Burn), Vernon Dent: Stooge Heavy contains never-before-seen photographs and a massive filmography.

Author: Suzanne Sumner Ferry


This is a memoir about the career of Logan Fleming, top wax artist and Creative Director of Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, CA. He was extremely instrumental in making these stars come to "life" within the Movieland arena. It was Logan Fleming's artistic vision that created the eternal wax likenesses of some of our favorite and most beloved movie stars of old Hollywood.

Authors: Chuck Harter and Michael J Hayde


A full biography and comprehensive filmography, lavishly illustrated, "Little Elf" is the definitive source for all things Harry Langdon, critically acclaimed "fourth genius" of silent comedy!

Author: Hank Moonjean

Book: BRING IN THE PEACOCKS: Memoirs of a Hollywood Producer

The book tells anecdotes of the famous or near-famous personalities of Hollywood. You will learn more of Elizabeth Taylor, Burt Reynolds, Joan Fontaine, Debbie Reynolds and hundreds of other stars. It's a feel-good book which, hopefully, will make you laugh.

Author: Steve Siporin

Book: CRAZY, CRAZY HOLLYWOOD: What Really Happens Behind The Scenes

In any business there are those amazing, amusing occurrences that only those on the inside know about. What really happened when the camera wasn't rolling! It's those fascinating, almost unbelievable stories about movie making that are revealed in this book.

Author: Steve Stoliar

Book: RAISED EYEBROWS - My Years Inside Groucho's House

Raised Eyebrows is an intimate account of one of our national treasures - Groucho Marx. It's written by a young man who was fortunate enough to live with and work for Groucho, It has a unique insider's point of view and is a fascinating study of a man who was one of the kings of comedy.

For more information please visit the Cinecon website: