Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 17)

My biggest news this month was the incorporation of my publishing company, Gadfly Press, which has been officially established as a business with Companies House in the UK. As it costs thousands to publish a book, I'm focusing on true crime and the subject must have international relevance such as the Pablo Escobar level of interest ie) movies, series or millions of followers online as that should generate enough sales to cover the costs. Writing and publishing are not without challenges: over 1 million books are published each year in the US alone, and over 99% of them never sell.

I’m hoping that September will be a strong month for my publishing company. I have a book tied into season 3 of Narcos, which is about the Cali Cartel, who took over Pablo Escobar’s business. Here’s the blurb that I just refined with the help of Woking Writers Circle:

The Cali Cartel: Beyond Narcos
An electrifying account of the Cali Cartel beyond its portrayal on Netflix.
From the ashes of Pablo Escobar’s empire rose an even bigger and more malevolent cartel. A new breed of sophisticated mobsters became the kings of cocaine. Their leader was Gilberto – known as the Chess Player due to his foresight and calculated cunning.
Gilberto and his terrifying brother, Miguel, ran a multi-billion-dollar drug empire like a corporation. They employed a politically astute brand of thuggery and spent $10 million to put a president in power. Although the godfathers from Cali preferred bribery over violence, their many loyal torturers and hit men were never idle.

Here’s the cover, featuring Gilberto:

On September 29, the Tom Cruise movie American Made arrives in the cinema. It’s about Barry Seal, a CIA pilot who flew billions of dollars worth of cocaine into Mena, Arkansas. Pablo Escobar put a hit out on him, and George HW Bush wanted him dead because he was threatening to blow the lid on CIA cocaine trafficking. My book about Barry Seal is available worldwide on Amazon as a paperback and e-book. The audiobook should be up in a few months. I just received an email from Barry Seal’s son, who said he really enjoyed the book. Here's the cover:

So far only my book about Pablo Escobar is available on audio. The audiobook for Un-Making a Murderer: The Framing of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey should be available in May. Un-Making a Murderer has received over 100 Amazon reviews in three months. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to leave reviews on my books.

My next event is in London on Monday, May 22. I’m doing a talk about Pablo Escobar. Tickets and info. 10% off tickets with promo code pablo10

I did a second Ted Talk: Overcoming fear and building resilience in America's deadliest jails. It was filmed at the University of Surrey, and the video should be up in 1 month. 

If you are stressed out about life, my first Ted Talk might help you: What facing 200 prison years taught me about happiness. I was a bit breathy in the first Ted Talk, so I hired a voice coach for the second. I just got invited to do a third Ted Talk in India.

On Rt.com, I was interviewed by Sean Stone, the son of film director Oliver Stone. Sean has read my books about Pablo Escobar and Barry Seal (American Made). He is helping to expose the prison industrial complex and the dark side of the War on Drugs. I managed to get over 10 minutes of airtime, a record for me. Here are the two clips: clip 1 clip 2

My talks in the schools are still going well. Here’s some recent heart-warming feedback I received from a family member of a student:

Hi Shaun you gave one of your talks at my grandson's school and gave him one of your books life lessons. He was very impressed by you and gave me the book to read. I was a bit sceptical but the book was small so I started to read. Well my goodness I was captured by the first page and was overwhelmed by your courage and insight. I lost my daughter and he his mother last year. And we have both held it together through sports rugby for him and gym for me but I am going to get the book on yoga you mentioned in your book and try and conquer meditation. I have never read anything so inspiring. Thank you so much for putting your life on paper. Fond regards

Shaun Attwood

From T-Bone (Letter 65)

T-Bone is a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter from Arizona prison:

They put a knucklehead in my cell about 3 weeks ago. He lasted about 36 hours. He tried to be slick and do the things that are absolutely loser-ville. He tried to tell me that he had a right to smoke and do drugs and drink hooch and make hooch in this cell. I told him, “NO.”

He didn’t like it, so he went to his homeboys, who tried to influence my beliefs by saying things to get me to give in to their wants. I looked at them and walked away. There’s no compromising one’s well-being.

When I look back at times in my life (that I’m not proud of), when I ran around doing things that were destructive (self-destructive), I see how easy it is for young people to be misled into thinking the wrong way because of their peers. People here always try to fit in by doing some crazy things that get them in serious trouble.

I asked the knucklehead why he wanted to do these things in my cell. He said he wanted to! “Tell tell me the truth man,” I said.
“I wanted everyone to see me as part of something and because they asked me to!”
“In other words, you allowed them to influence your thinking to do wrong!”
He thought for a moment, and said, “You’re right! I never thought of it that way”.

There is a prison story that has been around for a long time. Wild Bill conned Ugly Bob into hurting Sneaky Pete by hitting him upside the head with a clock in a sock! The white meat was showing from his broken skull. Old Sneaky Pete fell down like a millstone in a pond. He was out, gone, all because Ugly Bob wanted to fit in with the boys, to do dope and tell lies.

Strength + Honor
Steel Embrace
Each one – Teach one

Shaun Attwood  

Breaking Anxiety and Addiction

Success from Steady Progress and Perseverance

Public Speaking in Schools

How I Quit Alcohol

From T-Bone (Letter 64)

T-Bone is a massively-built spiritual ex-Marine, who uses fighting skills to stop prison rape. T-Bone’s latest letter from Arizona prison:

It’s been awhile since I’ve written you about this place, and it is sick as ever. People keep coming to me, asking for help, either for guidance or for me to talk to someone about them trying to turn them out, or for prayer! In regards to sexual desires, there is a line one can’t cross, towards men or women! I am a big man, and that stops a lot of small minded people from pushing too far, but the smaller guys who happen to be weak at heart and mind, in this environment, and those who happen to be mentally challenged and physically challenged are always being pushed in someway or the other.

Shawshank Redemption Booty Bandit Bogs Diamond

There are quite a few booty bandits in prison, and a lot of them are out in the open with it, or what their intentions are. They push on guys just to turn them out. Personally, I think it’s sickening for another man to try and get a guy to do whatever to fit in prison because he’s mentally challenged, to have sexual relations with him. Just like it is for a guy to do the same to a woman whose mind isn’t right! We should look out for the weak, not abuse them.

I let go of myself, allowed God to move me in this way. I told this guy named Bernard (he runs a booty-bandit crew), he sets up sexual encounters. He’s a pimp or wants to be, he’s 5’8’’, 240ish and he pushed on this kid who’s on meds, serious medication. He went to him and asked him for a light. The kid said sure and Bernard took a queen into the kid’s cell and they started to rub on his legs and on each other, which led to them having sex. The kid runs out there and tells his cellmate, who in turn comes to me! I wanted to crush him. I wanted to rip his head off and ____ down his neck!

He didn’t know it, of course, but God got involved, and saved him from serious injury. I’m not trying to sound tough, or like I can’t get my butt kicked, because I have, by smaller men and smarter men, but God is on my side. I kept my head and told him the truth, “stop”, and he did. He left the kid alone!

Then, they got drunk and got into the shower and tried to have youngsters in there with them and all hell broke loose. It lasted for a brief time. They moved a few people and that was it.

Then came them putting everyone else on the spot by changing cells at night, so that they could have sex. Well, the guards got wind of it and were going to lock the yard down, but decided to come down on them instead.

The drug problem is the same as usual. Yes, the stealing is going on and I tell people not to be near my cell. That way all of the dope-heads realize we’re aware of them and their actions.

I’ve said a lot about me being innocent, and I want to share with you that there were cameras in that business and they showed me not doing anything at all. But the cops didn’t collect the tapes, so they said….? They looked at the tapes and saw that I didn’t do anything, but because of their hate, and me being black, they didn’t turn over the tapes to me, the defense! Are they rotten or what? I went to trial and they didn’t even inform the jury that there weren’t any tapes. That so-called lawyer of mine was working with them. He didn’t tell me about the tapes, or ask about them, period. They seriously screwed me.

Strength + Honor
Steel Embrace
Each one – Teach one

PS) Hi to the T-Bone Appreciation Society

Shaun Attwood