The Writing Irish: Irish Writers in Their Own Words by Jason O’Toole

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  • October 31, 2021
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“Indisputably Ireland’s most talented and prolific interviewer.” — Irish Daily Mail

The Writing Irish is an anthology of in-depth interviews with some of the island’s leading literary luminaries.

This wide-ranging collection of 18 subjects includes several of Ireland’s most critically acclaimed novelists: Jennifer Johnston, Sebastian Barry, John Boyne, Emma Donoghue, Donal Ryan, Joseph O’Connor, Pat McCabe, and Dermot Healy, who was described as a Celtic Hemingway.

There’s two entire chapters dedicated to the many candid discussions O’Toole enjoyed with the late Irish-American author JP Donleavy, whose book The Ginger Man was selected 99th out of the Modern Library’s Best 100 Novels of the 20th Century. As the great man himself quipped, “I guess that’s better than a kick in the arse!”

The eclectic collection also includes best-selling authors Deirdre Purcell, Derek Landy and Lee Dunne, who held the dubious honor of being Ireland’s most banned novelist.

The Writing Irish has a posthumously published lengthy Q&A with the critically acclaimed poet Leland Bardwell and a rare personal interview with the two-term, sitting Irish President Michael D. Higgins.

O’Toole also enjoyed fascinating exchanges with Brendan Behan’s biographer Ulick O’Connor and Ian Gibson, whose authoritative tomes on Lorca and Salvador Dalí have seen him hailed as “the creator of modern biography in Spain.”

“O’Toole specialises in in-your-face interviews.”— Sunday Independent

Jason O’Toole is frequently hailed as the finest interviewer of his generation. He is a columnist with the Irish Sunday Mirror and a music writer for the Irish Daily Mirror. The Writing Irish is his ninth book.

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Kung Fu: The Legend Continues by Michael Sloan

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  • October 30, 2021
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“A keen wind had come up that wailed through the streets. With Caine was Peter, the Ancient, Master Khan, Steadman and Rykker. The ‘Magnificent Seven’ looked around the streets where they would be fighting. None of them spoke. The ambiance weighed heavily on them. Peter looked up at the rooftops that surrounded the streets. Steadman and Rykker also took note of the rooftops. More of the ruined buildings crowded in around them. It was a setting that did not sit well with our heroes.”

One of the most prolific writers of his generation, Michael Sloan has written and produced over 300 hours of prime time television, including such cult TV series as ‘THE EQUALIZER’ (which he created), the original ‘BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’, ‘HARDY BOYS & NANCY DREW MYSTERIES’, new episodes of ‘ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS’, the new ‘OUTER LIMITS’, ‘KUNG FU: THE LEGEND CONTINUES’ and ‘MYSTERY WOMAN’, Hallmark Channel’s most successful TV series.
Sloan was also the show runner on ‘THE MASTER’ (which he created), ‘McCLOUD’ and ‘BJ & THE BEAR.’ He has written and produced several TV Movies, including ‘EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK’, ‘FREEFALL’, ‘RETURN OF THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.’, ‘RIVIERA’ and three hugely successful ‘RETURN OF THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN & THE BIONIC WOMAN’ movies. He has written and produced several features including ‘MOMENTS’, ‘MAX HAVOC: RING OF FIRE’, ‘ALIEN AGENT’ and ‘ART OF WAR II: BETRAYAL, starring Wesley Snipes. He has had a successful thriller play, ‘UNDERGROUND’, mounted in the West End of London.

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“Our comedies are not to be laughed at!”

A funny line, admittedly, but dead wrong. This quip, supposedly uttered by one of the Stern Brothers, is another example of the legend becoming “fact,” and has defined – and tarnished –
the lasting reputation of the brothers and their films.

In spite of budgetary constraints and a lack of star power, Julius and Abe Stern were responsible for nearly 900 silent comedy shorts over the fifteen year period 1914-29; films often just as good – if not better – than those of their primary competitors, Mack Sennett and Hal Roach. They were financially successful as well, the brothers retiring from filmmaking at the end of the silent
era as millionaires.

But there is more to the story. Little known is the breadth and depth of the Sterns’ relationship with their brother-in-law, Universal head Carl Laemmle, and the relationship’s eventual downturn. Or Julius’s humanitarian endeavors in the 1930s, sponsoring the emigration of numerous Jews from Hitler’s Germany.

TIME IS MONEY! THE CENTURY, RAINBOW, AND STERN BROTHERS COMEDIES OF JULIUS AND ABE STERN finally reveals the intriguing – and true – story of the lives and careers of Julius and Abe Stern. Lavishly illustrated with more than 300 rare photos, TIME IS MONEY! details the making of the brothers’ films, and delves into their previously undocumented, behind the scenes importance to Laemmle and the growth of Universal.

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Elvis Presley: The Quest for an Oscar

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  • September 3, 2021
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Forthcoming 2021

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Monty Hall: TV’s Big Dealer by Monty Hall

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  • September 2, 2021
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Forthcoming 2021

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Program for Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

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  • August 19, 2021
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Annual nostalgia convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

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Popularly known today as a radio and television quiz program designed to humiliate its contestants through practical jokes, Truth or Consequences inspired imitators by raising the bar for audience participation. Created by Ralph Edwards, the program quickly became known for contestants facing off against custard pies and seltzer bottles, all while it attained a success with charitable contributions which remains unparalleled in the history of broadcasting entertainment. Along with raising millions of dollars for various health agencies and wartime projects, a half-billion dollars in “E” Bonds were sold through the Truth or Consequences broadcasts.

Over the years, Truth or Consequences was instrumental in establishing both The Jimmy Fund and the American Heart Association, while the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes benefited financially through a series of ongoing contests. Following the Second World War, the series served as a public service message for rehabilitating war veterans, setting the stage for another successful Edwards program, This is Your Life. In 1948, Jack Benny secretly agreed to participate in The Walking Man contest, ultimately positioning the quiz program into a national phenomenon. Two years later, the small town of Hot Springs, New Mexico agreed to permanently change its name to Truth or Consequences, making headlines across the globe.

Besides the basic history of the quiz program, from concept/origin to the transition from radio to television, this book documents many stories of contestants and charitable contributions proving that Truth or Consequences was not just an ordinary quiz program. Also included are more than 200 never-before-published photographs, recollections from contestants and crew, and a detailed episode guide.

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Betty White on TV by Wesley Hyatt

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  • February 6, 2021
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She made her TV debut in 1939 and was still on the medium eighty years later. Betty White earned her first Emmy nomination in 1951 and her last sixty-three years later. Her longevity in television earned her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. Betty White’s incredible career encompasses seventeen regular roles, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, and Hot in Cleveland. She also did thousands of guest shots on everything from The Tonight Show to Password and Match Game to SpongeBob SquarePants. Including interviews with many who worked with her, Betty White on TV: From Video Vanguard to Golden Girl recounts and celebrates the achievements of one of entertainment’s most distinguished and beloved celebrities.Wesley Hyatt is the author of The Carol Burnett Show Companion (2016) and Bob Hope on TV (2018), both for Bear Manor Media. This is his tenth book.

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Between 1977 and 1992, the lectures and fragments collected in Ritual to Realism were prepared and delivered in a variety of theatre history courses to supplement assigned readings in dramatic literature. The lectures (and fragments thereof) have been collated into sixteen units that, presented chronologically, offer an easily-assimilated survey of Western theatre history—from the ceremonies of the ancient Greeks to the rituals proposed by members of the twentieth-century avant-garde. Designed for a general audience as well as theatre students, actors, directors, and designers, Ritual to Realism does not pretend to be exhaustive. Instead, it provides an entertaining, lively, fact-based consideration of major theatrical movements, theatre practice, playwrights, and dramatic works—virtually, something for everyone with an interest in theatre.

From the introduction, “Search through Ritual to Realism however you like, line by line, back and forth through the chapters that interest you, or strictly as you need to through the index. No matter how you do it, every page, every paragraph will give you pieces of information and ideas that remain as fresh, subversive and radical today as they were in Ancient Greece or Restoration England. Plays, like all artistic creations, have never really changed, holding steadfast in opposition to conventional ideas and commonplaces, striking against the grain, so to speak, as untouchable, blinding entities that have mesmerized the minds of people for millennia. It is easy to find such a notion as historical context to be too abstract, not personal enough to do a student any good in the theater right now. It is through the evolving process by which one develops as an artisan throughout life that one inevitably feels tied ever closer to the historical long-view of the theater. . . . This book is designed to fill your arsenal with tools. Let it be a step that will influence the way you create dramatic art for the rest of your career.”

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Elissa Landi: Cinema’s Empress of Emotion by Scott O’Brien

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  • October 13, 2020
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Cecil B. DeMille boosted the career of Elissa Landi in The Sign of the Cross (1932). Her leading men included Laurence Olivier, Fredric March, Cary Grant, and Robert Donat in The Count of Monte Cristo (1934). After 33 films, Landi gave up on Hollywood, to focus on her career as a novelist. “O’Brien reveals things about Elissa, I never knew!”- Suki Landi Sennett (niece) Elissa Landi is Scott O’Brien’s eighth biography of classic cinema legends. His books have garnered positive reviews in such publications as Classic Images, Sight & Sound, and SF Gate. Three of O’Brien’s books have made the Huffington Post “Best Cinema Books of the Year.”

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