Friday, August 10, 2012

Author's Pie: Sean Newman

Sometimes you have sweet pies and sometimes you have complicated flavour pies... This weeks pie is a convoluted and intricate pie; one on intrigue and secrets...

Sean Newman began working for Lolly a year before his death and became his confidant. He lived the Teazers brand and became integral in not only the day-to-day operations as media, marketing and public relations manager, but also as a keen observer of everything that really happened. While others wrote about the Teazers lifestyle, Newman lived it.

You can find Sean on Twitter

About Sean’s co-authors

Peter Piegl was the editor of Playboy South Africa until mid-2011 and is the writing power behind the book. Piegl brings a critical and textured approach to the book.

Karyn Maughan is a legal journalist at eNEWS in Johannesburg with a degree in psychology. With a keen eye for the forensic details, Maughan examines the facts. She’s no stranger to controversy and the dark side of the human psyche.

Biographies taken from Jacana Media Website


1. When did you know you had a book? What was the moment that you said “This story needs to be a book?”
Living the life I did and being so integrally involved in the murder case of Lolly Jackson can be a huge burden, as a spokesperson it is your job to disseminate a story that is favourable to your brand and employers. That story is not necessarily the truth though and I found I was going to braai's and functions only to be bombarded with questions on if I was telling the truth, inevitably the "What is the real story" question would come up constantly. I found myself retracting from social occasions in case I said something wrong to someone and it ended up in the newspapers the next day.

After I left Teazers, I began to remember a lot of what I had buried deep in my mind, the memories would come in the strangest of places and times and it was then that I decided the only way to truly move on was to let go of the story and finally share it. My doctor had me on sleeping pills because the project kept me awake most nights with my mind spinning but strangely the moment the manuscript was handed in I didn't need them anymore. As clichéd as it sounds by writing the book I had finally freed myself and given the story to the public, that and saved a fortune on therapy.

The hardest part of making the decision was coming to terms with how I thought Lolly would have felt, in the end it dawned on me that he just wanted people to know him in life, good or bad he just wanted recognition. It was a lot easier when that clicked because in death I felt he would want the same, he wouldn't care as long as people still spoke about him.

2. How did you choose your two co-authors: Karyn Maughan and Peter Piegl? (i.e. Their writing background, reputations etc?)
Karyn had been one of the many journalists whom I had dealt with during the days and weeks after the murder, she was always there and strangely we formed a friendship under the hardest of circumstances. I learnt very quickly that she could be trusted, but most importantly she was there to listen, often calling just to see if I was okay. That in itself meant a lot to me as she did not always chase the story (she often did) but would also stop to check if I was coping and if she could help me in anyway.

We formed a very strong trusting bond and it was without question that I would ask her to be a part of this journey; after all she is one of the most respected journalists in the country.

The problem was that we both have very different writing styles; I lean towards the emotional while she is very strong on the factual news approach.

So to combat the "my style is right" argument we decided to bring in someone to work with us both, an independent person that had not worked on the story at all.

Peter was in the news at the time as he had left Playboy and I decided to read some of his writing, it intrigued me and gave the texture I was looking for. We were both mature enough to know we had to put this in the hands of someone who could not only bring our writing together but also manage us through the process, who better than a magazine editor that lives on deadlines.

Peter was at first a little reticent but after a meeting he committed more than I could ever have expected of him in terms of time and skill. At one stage we spent two weeks in a one bedroom flat in Durban writing nonstop, he never backed down once and we finished the first draft.

He proved very quickly that as a co-author you can have no better, his work ethic is beyond anything I have ever seen, which in itself was brilliant as it became a competition between us to finish.

As a team we had ups and downs but in hindsight the success of this project was solely based on the amazing support I got and that is thanks to choosing two people that committed to my story and helped me realise my dream. I would not change them for the world.

3. If the book became a movie, who would play you?
I am a firm believer that this story belongs to South Africa and would love to see it made through a locally based production company, it has all the elements needed to bring it to life and with that in mind it is my view that you don't need the whole "Hollywood" tint put on top.

So if I had to choose someone then it would be Brandon Auret, he is an accomplished South African actor that has a wide variety of experience under his belt. I loved his performance in Hansie and would be overjoyed if he took the role.

That said stranger things have happened so who knows I could get what I want sometime down the line.  

4. Are there any other books making in the turbine from you?
Peter and I are busy with a book on Glenn Agliotti at the moment, more of a personal story from his side. We want to go deeper and look at how things can spin out of control, where the line sits and at what point do you cross it.

I think this is going to be fascinating as we uncover the layers underneath the story we all know, the great thing is Peter has a degree in psychology giving us an edge on how the story will be portrayed.

We also have in our possession a very rough manuscript dealing with a Rambo type character, someone who was a gang member and was forced into the Vietnam War instead of prison time. It promises to be a real eye opener dealing with raw human nature.

Dealing with other peoples stories is far harder because it takes a lot more research than we had to do with Lolly and therefore we need to allow ourselves time to get to know the characters and be in a position to accurately portray them and their history.

We really pushed ourselves to the limit with Lolly and this time want the luxury of working through it, while at the same time Peter is building a social media consultancy and I am busy with a number of huge events as I have taken up the position of Marketing Manager for Platinum X entertainment which owns Sexpo, The Last Man Standing Tournaments and The XS Music Festival. So there is a lot of work to be done in between.

5. Name one book that changed your life?
The one undeniable pleasure I have in life is reading and therefore would never be able to justify one single book being the life changer. I am a firm believer that books are there to heal, help, grow and fascinate. They will never betray you nor will they deny you time with them.

The fact is every time I pick up a book it is like going on a journey, the visual you create is always going to be something different that the person sitting next to you reading the same book that is what makes it so intimate and personal. Any good book has a lesson it is up to us to grasp what means something to us.

It has been amazing to watch what people have taken from When Fantasy Becomes Reality and put out there on social media sites (Twitter); it is often the one quote you felt was not worth putting in all that love.

I read a lot of non-fiction works, often preferring it over fiction as the lessons are there it is up to you to go and find them.

If I may be so self indulgent let me give you five books that I have enjoyed of late:
The Last Rhino - Lawrence Anthony (A true South African Hero) 
Mud Sweat and Tears - Bear Grylls (A very humble man, attended his motivational talk and was blown away)
Year of the Gherkin - John Dobson (A laugh a minute book that will have the tears streaming down your face)
The Gruffalo's Child - Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Nothing better than reading to your daughter at night, this is her current favourite)
Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson ( A true visionary and somebody whose products I cannot live without) 

Sean’s Book

When Fantasy Becomes Reality: Lolly Jackson

(Co-author’s Sean Newman, Karyn Maughan & Peter Piegl)

The Lolly Jackson murder case – a mix of elements that has grabbed the public’s imagination. Fast cars, fast money, murder, revenge, missing millions and smashed up Teazers clubs. With kilometres of newspaper headlines and a growing body count, the insatiably curious public is still no closer to the truth. 

Amidst the confusing reports, money laundering on a grand scale, SARS investigations and the mafia-like killings, Jacana Media brings you the inside story. 

The book opens on the night of Lolly’s murder and is a personal, inside track into the reality of Lolly’s private and business lives, never before made public. Intimate and detailed, it provides the reader with a fascinating view of a world that previously could only be imagined.  

Published by Jacana Media

Get the book at your nearest
Exclusive Books store


Club X Sexpo said...

Really enjoyed this blog post.Really thank you! Really Great.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Template by Suck my Lolly