Friday, September 28, 2012

Book of the Week - The Lucky Strike Papers

This week's featured book is 'The Lucky Strike Papers: Journeys Through My Mother's Television Past by Andrew Lee Fielding.

In 1951, a critic in Downbeat magazine wrote that Sue Bennett was "one of the coming female singers in the country." Bennett was a featured singer on several network shows during TV's early years, including Kay Kyser's College of Musical Knowledge, The Freddy Martin Show, and Your Hit Parade.

Decades later, Andrew Fielding began exploring the period of live television, via the shows on which his mother sang. His resulting portrait of the era - which includes conversations with such early television luminaries as Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, Raymond Scott, Merv Griffin, Arthur Penn, and Kay Kyser - is both enlightening, and captivating.

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

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Author of the Week - Leslie C. Halpern

We would like to say a huge thank you to Leslie C. Halpern for being our Author of the Week this time.

1) What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing movie reviews in high school and have been writing about the entertainment industry ever since. I have written for dozens of magazines and newspapers, including working as a stringer for The Hollywood Reporter for 13 years covering Central Florida’s film and television industry, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and film festivals around the state.
2) What book have you written for BearManor, and what is it about?
My first two books about the film industry were published elsewhere, but I came to BearManor Media for my third nonfiction book, “Passionate About Their Work. 151 Celebrities, Artists, and Experts on Creativity.” The book recounts some of the most intriguing quotes and anecdotes about the creative process from my hundreds of interview subjects, many of whom are internationally known celebrities.
3) Why did you choose that particular subject?
In interviewing actors, producers, directors, comedians, dancers, singers, magicians, poets, novelists, and other creative folks during my 25-year career as an entertainment journalist, I noticed many similarities in the way they came up with ideas, developed and marketed these concepts, and then evolved into a mentorship role for other creative types. I thought people could benefit from learning about various creative strategies.
4) How long did it take you to write it, and did you find it an easy task?
It took 25 years to research the book and about one year to actually write it. I found it difficult categorizing the quotes and stories into chapters because many of the themes overlapped. It was also difficult to discard quotes that I liked, but were not relevant to the book project. Sometimes the quote was delightful and the person was quite famous, but I couldn’t use it because it wasn’t relevant enough for my purposes.
Peter Falk and Paul Reiser in a picture taken from the book.
5) What can we expect to find in your books?
All my books contain lots of analysis. I love examining the link between pscyhology and art. 
6) What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer?
The most interesting aspect of being a writer is sharing stories – whether mine or someone else’s.
7) Do you have a website, blog etc, where readers can find you?
You can find out more information about my books and other activities at my website, on my Facebook Fan Page (which everyone is encouraged to LIKE with my promise not to overload with posts), and on LinkedIn.
 8) Is there anything else you'd like to add?
“Passionate About Their Work” was named one of the Top Ten Reads of 2010 by book review site. Thanks Michelle for the opportunity to tell my story!

And thank you too Leslie!!
If you would like to order a copy of 'Passionate About Their Work' you can do so from our website:

New Book - Also Starring...

BearManor Media proudly announces the release of Also Starring... Forty Biographical Essays on the Greatest Character Actors of Holllywood’s Golden Era 1930-1965.

You know Billie Burke was the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz, but did you know that she had a small zoo in her backyard that included a baby elephant and two lion cubs? You know Claude Rains as the suave Louie in Casablanca, but did you know he began life with a debilitating speech impediment? You know S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall as Felix the jolly cook in Christmas in Connecticut, but did you know he fled Germany after Hitler personally attacked one of his films? 

In this book, readers will discover the unknown stories of Hollywood's greatest character actors and meet the men and women behind the characters they played onscreen. Through the use of rare interviews and articles from dozens of archives and autobiographical excerpts, this book provides an inside look into these supporting stars' stories and shows how type casting in such roles as flibbertigibbet matrons, wisecracking dames, or eccentric butlers could be a blessing and a curse in their personal and professional lives.

About the Authors:  Cynthia and Sara Brideson have been studying classic film from the time they were seven years old. Their special areas of expertise are in musicals, particularly those of producer Arthur Freed and Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. As twin sisters, they are inseparable and have several future writing projects in the works which they are penning together. Currently, they are working on a book about Jews and the creation of the American musical as well as a historical fiction novel set in 1927. Currently, they reside in Sacramento, California with their family and two cats.

Also Starring will soon be available to order from the BearManor website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Book - Radio Pro

A special one-of-a-kind book on personality radio—739 pages, 200 photos—written by radio personality Joe Martelle, who weaves his own 41 year on-air career around the insightful comments from over 150 of America's best broadcasters. Radio Pro is actually several books in one, covering every aspect of personality radio—from the history of pioneer broadcasters to how to become a successful personality. 

As a special bonus feature of Radio Pro, Joe brings together a richly-varied selection of candid comments on the subject from over 150 of America’s best broadcasters, seasoned pros, who tell it like it is and what it takes to be a successful air and on-line personality. 739 pages packed with insightful info, Radio Pro is enlightening, informative and thought provoking for both the radio student and those interested in personality radio.

About the Author: Joe Martelle, who began his radio career in Maine, moved on to WLW Cincinnati in the early 1970s as the all-night host, spent twenty years in Boston radio in morning-drive and also as host of Saturday Night Live at the Oldies, the most popular all-request oldie show in the history of  Boston radio. He also obtained top radio ratings in Houston Texas and West Palm Beach, Florida

This book is now available to order from the BearManor website:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Book - The Films of Donald Pleasence

Mention the words "horror star" and certain names immediately spring to mind--Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Vincent Price.  But another, lesser-known name was also heavily involved in numerous horror and science-fiction films--Donald Pleasence. 

Featuring a distinctive look, memorable voice, and a serious approach to his roles, Pleasence shined brightly in many genre favorites.  Whether as a maniacal body snatcher in The Flesh and the Fiends, a surgical assassin in Fantastic Voyage, the arch-villain of 007 in You Only Live Twice, a sarcastic inspector in Raw Meat, or his career-defining role as the heroic Dr. Loomis in Halloween, Donald Pleasence proved himself to be a top performer in the fantastical genres of horror and science-fiction. 

The Films of Donald Pleasence includes a full biography, tributes from Pleasence’s friends and coworkers, reviews of all his films, and a rare photo gallery in the first-ever book devoted to the man who became a genre favorite to countless fans worldwide.

Priced at $21.95, this book will soon be available from our website.  In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the cover.

About the Author:  Christopher Gullo is a history teacher and a life-long fan of genre films who resides in Long Island, NY with his wife Beth and son Anthony. His first book was In All Sincerity...Peter Cushing and he still runs the Peter Cushing Association on Facebook. In addition, Christopher has contributed to various books, magazines, and DVDs.

The Day the Stars Stood Still

We were very happy to recently discover an article all about the launch party for 'The Day the Stars Stood Still: A Memoir about Logan Fleming' by Suzanne Sumner Ferry.

The article details what went on during the build-up to the launch, including the decision to celebrate not only Suzanne's book, but also educate guests about Logan Fleming's work at the Hollywoodland Wax Museum.  It was also decided to have lots of Old Hollywood items all around, and the result was a very happy author and extremely satisfied guests.

If you would like to learn more about the process behind the successful book launch, please visit the Claiborne and Lime website:

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

Bewitched on TV

We recently caught up with BearManor author David Pierce, who told us that during a recent visit to Salem, he was interviewed for a local TV program called Showcase Salem.  We are very happy to share the interview with you here, which includes David's experience of publishing 'The Bewitched History Book,' his thoughts on his idol Paula Abdul and he even treats us all to a little nose twitch!

You can order a copy of The Bewitched History Book from our website:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Book of the Week - My Life Dancing With The Stars

The Book of the Week this time is 'My Life Dancing with the Stars' by Miriam Nelson.

"Five, six, seven, eight!" Defines the life of actress, dancer, choreographer, and director Miriam Nelson.

Miriam's life reads like a 1930's musical. While still in her twenties, she appeared in six Broadway shows. On the day she moved to Los Angeles, Miriam ran into old friend Billy Daniels from New York who took her to lunch at Paramount.  During lunch, Miriam ran into another New York friend, Paramount president Buddy de Sylva, who hired her on the spot for Lady in the Dark starring Ginger Rogers.  Miriam has been dancing with the stars ever since!

Nelson has tapped and chass├ęd with countless stars, including Julie Andrews, Ingrid Bergman, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, John Travolta and Billy Bob Thornton.

Miriam was there for the opening day at Disneyland - Walt Disney hired her to choreograph dance numbers around the Park, including the famous Golden Horseshoe Revue.  Miriam's career spans both the famous and infamous eras of stage, screen, and television.  Encouraged by friends and family to recall her special "behind the scenes" moments, Miriam sorted through memories, scrapbooks and mountains of photographs to enable readers to share the excitement and anticipation, the joy and the sorrow that chronicled her extraordinary life.

Fortunately, for those who love to dance and those who love to watch dance, Miriam Nelson remains an exciting part of the  professional American dance scene.

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

The Whistler

The fabulous Immortal Ephemera site has recently done an interview with one of our BearManor authors, Dan Van Neste.

Here is the introduction, written by IE's webmaster, Cliff and you can read the full interview on the Immortal Ephemera site:

So did you catch The Whistler (1944) on TCM last Saturday morning? It's the latest in TCM's series of series entries to fill that Saturday am time slot. If you've gotten a kick out of other Columbia series such as The Lone Wolf, The Crime Doctor or Boston Blackie then there's a good chance that The Whistler is going to be for you too!

I'm new to this series myself, having just caught the initial entry for the first time last week. But as I've become a fan of the other series mentioned above and have always been a fan of Richard Dix, the actor who stars in seven of the eight Whistler entries, I really wanted to post something about The Whistler on the site.

Luckily, I knew a guy. Not just any guy, but Dan Van Neste, author of The Whistler: Stepping Into the Shadows. Not a bad way to go when seeking out info about The Whistler, ay?

I met Dan via Facebook where we initially spent several days discussing the wonderful Claire Dodd, whom Dan had published an article about in Films of the Golden Age magazine. Dan's article about Miss Dodd was so splendid that it has delayed me from posting anything on this site--after all, half of the fun for me is learning about the old stars, Dan didn't seem to leave me much wiggle room. In the space of several magazine pages he sketched an economical biography which answered all of my own questions.

So when I opened up my TCM Now Playing guide not very long ago to prepare my September preview and realized that The Whistler was coming, it was pretty obvious what I had to do! I was curious about The Whistler as I assume you are now curious about the series as well. Following are my brief questions, asked prior to first viewing The Whistler, followed by Dan's detailed answers.

For more about The Whistler please pick up a copy of The Whistler: Stepping Into the Shadows by Dan Van Neste with foreword by Robert Dix, son of Whistler star Richard Dix.

We would like to thank Cliff for all the support and publicity he has given to BearManor authors and books over the years.  Please visit his site - it really is extremely informative.

And to order a copy of Dan's book, 'The Whistler' please visit our website:

Allan 'Rocky' Lane

Following the success of her last BearManor book, 'A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story,' Linda J Alexander is currently writing another book; this time about Allan 'Rocky' Lane.

Here is a little about Allan, taken from Linda's new FaceBook page, dedicated to the man himself:

Many of us know him as the infamous--but never officially recognized--voice of the talking horse, "Mr. Ed." Others are aware he had a well-sustained career in the 1940s & into the early '50s as star of the Rocky Lane western serials. But few know...
How many of you as kids went to the picture show & watched in excitement as Rocky Lane fought off all the bad guys & always won in the end? How many of you eagerly flipped through those comic books created under his name?

Fewer people realize Allan Lane had a movie career which began in 1929--a handsome, suave "drawing room" romantic sort--going thru many iterations, & with nearly as many studio 
contracts. Ultimately he landed the "Red Ryder" series, carrying on after Bill Elliot left the TV role.

Even fewer know he began on the stage at the young age of 16, here & there across the country & making his way to Broadway.

And fewer yet are aware of the businessman who was also Allan Lane. He started working to support himself and his family at the age of 6 years. He moved from place to place at very young ages to get his education, make money, and find his place in the world. He owned his own successful photography advertising agency at the tender age of 24 and after his Hollywood career seemed to fade, he went back to his business background.

Allan "Rocky" Lane was an enigma--quite possibly misunderstood, but certainly much more than history has yet to show. Until Now. "I Am Mr. Ed: Allan 'Rocky' Lane Revealed" will premiere as a BearManor Media book in 2013 ... stay tuned!

We can't wait to see Linda's new book in 2013.  In the meantime, please 'Like' her FaceBook page to stay in touch and learn more about the project as it progresses:

And if you would like to order a copy of 'A Maverick Life' please visit our website:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Little Elf

Little Elf has been named by reviewer Thomas Gladysz as one of his top reads this Autumn!

You can check it out here:

And you can order Little Elf from our website:

Book Reviews

A big thank you to BearManor reader Cindy Shank who has taken the time to review two of our books:

The Laughmakers: A Behind the Scenes Tribute to Bob Hope’s Incredible Gag Writers by Robert Mills.

The author, Robert Mills, was a writer for Bob Hope beginning in the late 70's. The book gives a good view of what it was like to work for Hope. The Laugh Makers includes anecdotes about all of Hope's staff members and about Hope himself. It was interesting to hear how much control Hope had at NBC (he could pick the day and time a show would appear) and how involved Hope was in post production. 

Mills and others traveled with Hope to China, Tahiti, Sweden, and London, among other places to tape Hope tv specials and these are all described in the book. Mills provides some of the dialog from the sketches or jokes which are good but just not as funny on paper as they would be being delivered by Hope. 

The book gives a great insight into the workings of the Hope empire and includes plenty of photographs as well.

You can order 'The Laughmakers' from the BearManor website: 

The Hollywood Canteen - Where the Greatest Generation Danced With the Most Beautiful Girls in the World by Lisa Mitchell.

Fantastic book that gives the history of the Hollywood Canteen - from its beginnings to locating and renovating the building, the coordinating of the committees that ran it, what it was like to be there, and the closing and continued work of the funds raised by this institution. 

The book described being at the Canteen in such detail that you felt like you were there.  The book is thoroughly researched and has fantastic photos.  Well worth it.

You can order 'The Hollywood Canteen' here:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Author of the Week - Michelle Morgan

This week I decided to tackle our Author of the Week questionnaire myself.  I hope you enjoy it!

1) What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer?

I live in England, and I’m married with a beautiful 8 year old daughter.  I work from home as an author and as the publicist for BearManor Media.

My first adventure with publishing came when I self published a book in 1993, which was later professionally published as ‘Marilyn’s Addresses’ by a small company called Smith Gryphon.  After that I didn’t do much at all, despite my efforts, but then in 2007 I had the great fortune of having a Marilyn Monroe biography published both in the USA and UK.  This book has now been revised and expanded and was republished earlier this year.

I was thrilled when the Marilyn book hit the bestseller lists in the UK this year; and since then I’ve been asked to talk at the National Portrait Gallery in October, which is a very big honour (and I’m extremely nervous about it I must say!!)

I absolutely love the subject of old Hollywood, and my next book will be all about Hollywood scandals.  Then after that I will be working hard on a book about Carole Lombard for BearManor which I’m hoping will be out in late 2013.

I decided to become a writer by accident really.  I always thought I wanted to be an actress, and I would write really passionate letters to casting directors, asking for auditions.  They always liked my letters and would invite me to audition, but when I got there it was very obvious to everyone involved that I was not actress material.  It became clear to me after two years that while I loved writing letters, I hated auditions, and so I suddenly realised that what I actually was, was a writer.  It was obvious really – I had written stories, articles and pretend books since I was a child – but it took me a long, long time to realise that was what I was supposed to be doing!

2) What book have you written for BearManor, and what is it about?

My book for BearManor will be an illustrated biography of Carole Lombard.  I have been extremely interested in Miss Lombard for several years, ever since I finished my Marilyn book in 2007 and was looking around for another subject.  I toyed with a few other people to write about, but in the end it was Carole who kept invading my thoughts and I knew I’d love to write about her.

3) Why did you choose that particular subject?

Carole intrigues me very much.  Not only was she Mrs Clark Gable, but she was also an extremely witty, funny woman who never seemed to let anything or anyone get her down.  She was and is a huge inspiration to me and I want to bring her back to the forefront of people’s minds, as unfortunately over the years there are many people who have forgotten just what a fantastic actress and comedienne she really was.

To be honest, I’m not sure if she picked me or if I picked her; as I just couldn’t stop thinking about her and I just knew I had to write a book.  Several people I spoke to said there would be no publisher interested in a book about Carole Lombard, but they were very wrong.  I pitched the idea to the wonderful Ben Ohmart at BearManor Media and within 30 minutes I had a contract.  I can’t thank Ben enough for having confidence in my project – It really is a dream come true to have a publisher for my Carole Lombard book.

4) How long did it take you to write it, and did you find it an easy task?

Well I am still writing the book as we speak, but I began researching in 2007 and I am still researching now.  I have found it very enjoyable and have discovered some very interesting letters and documents over the years.  Of course most of the people who would remember Carole have unfortunately passed so interviews are very difficult, but luckily there are lots of archives, articles and vintage articles out there that make my job a lot easier.

5) What can we expect to find in your book?

I am hoping to present a lot of rare publicity photographs of Carole from when she was very young, right through to when she sadly passed away.  There will also be a full biography of her life; a filmography and much more.

6) What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer?

Being a writer is a dream I’ve had since 1991.  I worked as an assistant in an office at the time but I spent all my days dreaming of the time when I was finally able to say good bye to the day job and hello to my writing career.  I’ve had a few stops and starts over the years but now I'm finally able to call myself a writer: working for BearManor in the morning, and then writing books in the afternoon. 

It really is a wonderful job all round, but probably the most interesting thing about it is the research involved, which I just love.  Then after a book is published and people write to tell me how much they enjoyed my work, or come to my book signings - That’s a really wonderful and interesting thing.

7) Do you have a website, blog etc, where readers can find you?

Yes I have a blog: and also a FaceBook page called The Official Michelle Morgan Author Page.  It can be found here:

I am also on Twitter: @MMWriterGirl and my newspaper column is here:

8) Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I love working as BearManor's publicist, and am very much looking forward to the challenge of becoming Production Manager next year too.  I look upon our company as a family; I am extremely close to many of the authors and everyone knows that I am always very happy to help.  I have written for other publishers, and worked for other companies, and never have I experienced the closeness of BearManor.  I feel very honoured to be part of our fabulous team.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Henry Darrow's Lifetime Achievement Award

We are thrilled to share this photograph of Henry Darrow on the red carpet with his lovely wife, Lauren Levian (left) and fabulous co-author Jan Pippins (right.)  This photograph was taken just before the ALMA awards on 16th September, where Henry was receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award

Jan tells us that they sold a great many books during Henry's birthday weekend, and we at BearManor couldn't be happier for them.  We are proud and thrilled to have Henry and Jan in our team of authors, and are simply over-the-moon to see Henry receive such a prestigious award.

To see more photographs of Henry at the events - including one with his award - please go to:

And you can order 'Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle' from our website:

Golden Goddesses

We recently caught up with Jill C Nelson, co-author (with Jennifer Sugar) of John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches, who had the following to announce to her readers:

"Presently, "Golden Goddesses" is in its preparatory stages of production at BearManor Media. Providing all goes according to schedule, we are still looking at a fall release for the book with plans for an official launch in Los Angeles. Once everything is finalized, an announcement will be made. In the interim, I would like to share a preview of the book's back cover image."

We look forward to bringing you more news on the book as and when we get it, and hope you enjoy seeing the back cover.  More news about Jill and her work can be found on her website:

If you would like to order a copy of the John Holmes book, you can do so from our website:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Linda J Alexander interview

The wonderful Linda J. Alexander, author of 'A Maverick Life: The Jack Kelly Story,' recently gave an in-depth interview to about the subject of her book.  The interview is extremely insightful and gives a lot of information about Jack Kelly.  Here is just a small taste, where Linda explains how she first became fascinated with the subject of her book:

I was approached by a friend who knew Jack’s widow, Jo. He was aware I wrote books, particularly about classic entertainment figures, and suggested that Jack’s story might make a good book. He facilitated the introduction with Jo, she and I got along famously, and I decided Jack’s story was not only book-worthy, but there was so much about him no one knew.
I was born in 1956, so I really didn’t remember Maverick from real-time—though I very well may have watched it as a little child—but as all this developed, a recurring image of Jack would go through my mind…standing tall, head cocked a bit to the side, cowboy hat sitting jauntily on his dark hair.
In this fleeting mind-game, he always wore a ghost of a half-smile and had one raised eyebrow. Not exactly sure why, but it was as if his persona called to me. And in a more logical vein, I’d begun some market research and found there was a solid audience out there more-than-interested in Jack’s life story.
Bottom line…he was a handsome cowboy and I had a thing for handsome cowboys of yesteryear. After I got to know his widow and his daughter, I was hooked.

You can read the entire first part of this amazing interview on the website:

And you can find part two here:

Once you have read the interview, pop along to our website to order a copy of the  book for yourself:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

News from LA

You will remember that we recently gave you some news about Henry Darrow's publicity tour and all the exciting things he's been up to recently.  Well I'm happy to say that we just caught up with Henry's co-author, Jan Pippins, who had the following exclusive news to share with us all:

"The signing at the Autry went very well and Henry and I signed a lot of books!  Now we are on our way to sign at Kumaras Center in Burbank, then later we get into the limo and zip over to the ALMA awards where Henry will be getting his Lifetime Achievement Award...."

Yep folks, you read that correctly!  Henry is being presented with a lifetime Achievement Award in just a few hours from now.  We at BearManor are absolutely thrilled that he is being recognised in such a way, and Jan has promised to write a full report for us in the week's ahead.

In the meantime, you may like to read this article from the Los Angeles Times (14th September,) which talks about Henry and his wonderful career:,0,7993137.story

And if you haven't been able to get to any of the events, you can still order a copy of the book from our website:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Book of the Week - A Prisoner of Love

This week's featured book is A Prisoner of Love: The Definitive History of Russ Columbo by Tony Toran.

Russ Columbo was a huge singing sensation in the 1930s and boyfriend of actress Carole Lombard.  It is rumoured that Columbo was actually the love of Carole's life and such was her devotion that after her marriage to Clark Gable, Columbo's name was banned from their house by Mr Gable himself.

Unfortunately, the story of the singing star is ultimately a tragic one and the subject of his mysterious death is still discussed today.  This book explores the life and career of Russ Columbo by someone who spoke to family members and painstakingly explored every aspect of his life.  This book is a true and respectful account of the singer's life and very definitely written from the heart.

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

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Henry Darrow

It is a very busy week for Henry Darrow, co-author (with Jan Pippins) of 'Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle.'  Here is a low-down of what he is up to....

Several days ago Henry took part in an interview for Hometown Station radio, which can be heard here:

On Saturday 15th September, between 1 pm and 3 pm, Latino Heritage Month at the Autry National Center presents Book Talk with Henry, discussing his life and career chronicled in the book “Henry Darrow: Lightning in the Bottle.”

You can read a feature about the event, on the Los Angeles Times website:,0,3804691.story

Finally, on Sunday 16th September, he will be taking part in a book signing at the Kumaras Center for the Arts and Etiquette, 1616 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA, from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm

You can read more details here:

You can order Henry's fantastic book from our website:

Garry Berman

Our wonderful BearManor author, Garry Berman, will be interviewed on the 'Radio Once More' show this Thursday evening (13th Sep.)  The show begins at 9 pm Eastern time, and the interview will run at approximately 9.30 pm.

We hope you will all tune in to hear Garry!  You can listen live here:

And you can 'like' their FaceBook page here:

Copies of Garry Berman's books are available to order from our website:

No Traveler Returns

No Traveler Returns by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger has been given a very nice mention on the Greenbriar Picture Shows blog this week.

The author of the piece, John McElwee, says, "I'm a fan of Lugosi, have been going toward fifty years, but this and other Rhodes books put me, and I suspect others, in strictly dabbler class. I'll enter no BL trivia contest against these authors!"

We couldn't agree more!  If you would like to read the entire feature, please click here:

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Affectionately, Jayne Mansfield

We are thrilled that Rod Lott from has called Richard Koper's book, 'Affectionately, Jayne Mansfield,' the definite work on Jayne!

Here's just a snippet of what he had to say:

"Numbering nearly 400 pages, the paperback is generously illustrated, briskly written, mostly free of errors, and arguably the definitive work on her work — movies, TV, stage and all."

We are thrilled that Richard's book is receiving such great reviews.  He truly deserves it.

You can read the full feature here:

And once you've read the review, why not pop along to our website to order a copy for yourself:

Author of the Week - Jill C Nelson

We'd like to say a big THANK YOU to BearManor author Jill C Nelson, who has answered our questions this week:

1) What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer?
I am a Hearing Instrument Specialist by profession. I started my own business in Hamilton, Ontario Canada, in 1986. In 2008, we sold our clinic but continued to remain on as Hearing Care Professionals on a part-time, weekly basis. Apart from a passion for writing essays in English class in high school, I do not have a formal background in English or writing. I became a writer by chance when I "met" my co-author, Jennifer Sugar, on the imdb message board for the film "Wonderland". Knowing I was interested in the details of the story, privately, she informed me she was writing the first and definitive biography on adult film legend, John Holmes. About a year after we initially connected, Jennifer invited me to be her co-author. The finished product is John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches published by BearManor Media in 2008.

2) What books have you written for BearManor, and what are they about?
As mentioned, my first book, "A Life Measured in Inches" is about the rise and fall of adult film icon, John Curtis Holmes. "Inches" is an oral history spanning Holmes's entire life and career, his involvement in the notorious Wonderland murders, and his 1988 death from AIDS. The book is comprised of our own interviews with key people in his life and supplementary material. We also screened and personally reviewed 114 feature films, 86 loops, and complied the most current filmography underscoring Holmes' career between the years 1965-1986.

My second book slated for a fall 2012 release, is titled Golden Goddesses: 25 Legendary Women of Classic Erotic films - 1968-1985 to be published by BearManor. "Goddesses" spotlights 25 significant women who worked in the classic adult film industry during the years when the hardcore film industry was in its infancy stages through to the advent of video and a few years prior to the 1988 legalization of sex films in the state of California. It consists of performers, directors, writers, costumers, and cinematographers. Interestingly, two of the featured women had supporting roles in the film, Boogie Nights, which is Hollywood's interpretation or version of the 1970s erotic film industry. Another note of interest is that a specific 1981 adult film documentary titled Exhausted directed by another of the women featured in"Goddesses," became the inspiration for Boogie Nights. There is synergy within the book and between the two books.

3) Why did you choose those particular subjects?
I have always been interested in mavericks and fringe subjects. I knew absolutely nothing about the adult film industry prior to co-writing "Inches," so I was interested in fleshing out the true story of such a contoversial and polarizing figure without sensationalizing the facts. I think we were able to effectively show the humanity of Holmes the man, while not shying away from the darker facets of his life. After completing "Inches," I thought it would be interesting to delve more deeply into the stories of the female pioneers of the classic erotic film industry who were the counterparts to the males in the business. I decided to spotlight one lady per chapter presented in an oral history style format. My book also includes an "Honourable Mentions" section with a shorter summary of 15 additional women bringing the total number in the book to 40. 2012 marks the fortieth anniversary of two ground-breaking films, Deep Throat and Behind the Green Door, which is why I wanted to highlight forty ladies.

4) How long did it take you to write them, and did you find it an easy task?
"A Life Measured in Inches" is a project that was almost five years in the making, since my co-author (a 21 year old math major at the time at MSU) first conceived of the idea in 2004 until the book finally reached fruition in 2008. "Goddesses" is a project that has lasted well over three years which I have completed on my own. Writing both books has been exhilarating, exhausting, and rewarding -- many highs and lows punctuated by some extraordinary moments. I've thoroughly enjoyed the interview process on both counts and I've made some good friends throughout which is something I did not expect to do. I should mention that my "Inches" co-author, Jennifer Sugar, wrote my book's foreword.

5) What can we expect to find in your books?
I think you can expect the unexpected; that Holmes and the women are not unlike the rest of us, only they chose a very unique path and vocation. Both books depict the journeys these people made from childhood to adulthood, and in the case of "Goddesses," to present day. I think the books explain in an unbiased fashion how the girl or guy next door might find themselves performing in sexually explicit films, particularly during more liberated and unrestrictive eras in history: the sixties, seventies, and early eighties.

6) What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer?
Writing has afforded me to return to my roots as a person, which is something I hadn't counted on. I am also a wife of thirty-four years and mother of two grown children. Though I wouldn't trade those roles for the world, I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity (now in my fifties) to nurture elements of my creative side that I'd put on hold. Because of the unique subjects I've chosen to write about, I've learned to be less judgemental and more tolerant of unconventional people and lifestyles. I've certainly learned a great deal about human nature.

7) Do you have a website, blog etc, where readers can find you?

8) Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you for extending the invitation to share information about my books. If anyone is interested in contacting me for additional information or for interview purposes, please feel free to reach me at:

We would like to thank Jill for taking the time to talk with us!
You can order John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches, from our website:
And Golden Goddesses will be out later in the year.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Whistler

The superb website is now featuring an excerpt from Dan Van Neste's Bearmanor book, The Whistler: Stepping Into the Shadows (the William Castle profile). 

The feature is very well presented and has some fantastic photographs included.  You can read the full article here:

And you can order a copy of Dan's book here:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Inside the Changing Circus

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to BearManor author David Lewis Hammarstrom who is continuing to gather positive reviews from around the world.

This time, his book, 'Inside the Changing Circus: A Critic's Guide' has achieved an amazing review in the London publication, The Stage.  This weekly newspaper is the place to go for all showbiz related news, views and articles, and we are beyond thrilled that David's book has been reviewed by them.

If you would like to order a copy of David's outstanding book, please visit our website:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Author of the Week - Michael J Hayde

Thank you to Michael J Hayde for agreeing to be our Author of the Week! 
1) What is your background and why did you decide to become a writer?
In fourth grade, our teacher gave an assignment for each of us to write a children’s story.  Mine was very well received, and I subsequently cranked out a series of them during the rest of the school year!  As an adult, I came to love researching the history of my favorite TV shows and movies, and combined this with my love of writing.
2) What books have you written for BearManor, and what are they about?
I have two with BearManor: FLIGHTS OF FANTASY, which is the definitive history of the “Adventures of Superman” radio series and the George Reeves TV series.  The other,co-written with Chuck Harter, is LITTLE ELF: A CELEBRATION OF HARRY LANGDON,which is a lavishly illustrated biography and filmography of the silent comedy great.
3) Why did you choose those particular subjects?
I grew up watching “Superman” on television.  Even though there were other books about the series and George Reeves, none of them went into great detail about its ties to the radio show.  That series was the first successful super hero dramatization, and its eventual acceptance by America’s mothers as well as many civic organizations helped save the character when comic books came under attack in the 1940’s and ‘50’s.
As for Harry Langdon, here was a comedian that was at one time rated by critics and audiences as the artistic equal of Charlie Chaplin, and superior to both Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton.  Yet he’s been remembered as a helpless yet egotistical little man who owed not only his success, but also the character he portrayed to director Frank Capra.  Langdon had been a vaudeville star for nearly two decades!  Something didn’t add up, so Chuck Harter and I tracked down his true story.
4) How long did it take you to write the books, and did you find it an easy task?
Both books were labors of love.  I can truthfully say FLIGHTS OF FANTASY represents 20 years of research.  LITTLE ELF took 18 months from start to finish, but then I had an equal collaborator.  So combined, it took 3 years.
5) What can we expect to find in your books?
In both books, you’ll find truths long hidden.  FLIGHTS OF FANTASY tells how neither Bud Collyer nor George Reeves wanted to portray Superman, yet each found unexpected benefits (and a few uncomfortable moments) in doing so.  It also has the life stories of two other men who were instrumental in bringing a pen-and-ink creation to life: writer-producers Robert J. Maxwell and Whitney Ellsworth.  LITTLE ELF is a celebratory study of Harry Langdon, where you’ll find scripts for his vaudeville turns,detailed analysis and contemporary reviews for all of his films (not just the silent ones), and a complete life story that, luckily, DOES have a happy ending.
6) What would you say is the most interesting thing about being a writer?
That’s hard to say.  What I ENJOY most about writing is discovering obscure pieces of information and assembling them into a whole that not only illuminates the subject but also tells an interesting story.
7) Do you have a website, blog etc, where readers can find you?
Two,actually.  My personal blog is called“Better Living Through Television” (, which I use to write about various subjects pertaining to TV history that interest me.  
The other blog, naturally, is LITTLE ELF (, which Chuck and I use to promote our new book.  It will eventually be a source of updates and new information.  We’ll also spotlight some of the people who helped us out with images and information.
8) Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I enjoy working with Ben Ohmart and his capable staff, and eagerly look forward to the next book!  My friend, fellow author Edward Watz, recently commented on Facebook: “There’s lots of great reading on the classic comedians we love and is it any coincidence that nearly all the titles are coming from the worthy BearManor Media?” 

I’d say, no it’s not a coincidence.  LITTLE ELF, STOOGE HEAVY (Vernon Dent), PERFECT FOOL (Ed Wynn) and the forthcoming FOR ART’S SAKE (Ben Turpin) ought to push BearManor to the forefront of any comedy fan’s mind.  These books aren’t academic psycho-babble; they’re readable and as fun as their subjects.


A big thank you to Michael for the insightful interview and kind words!  If you would like to order a copy of Michael's books, you can do so here:

Flights of Fantasy: 

Little Elf: