New book - Girl With A Gun: A Teenage Freedom Fighter in Iran

My sister is writing a book about a world-renowned women’s rights activist Diana Nammi and we’re asking for your help in making this happen.

The book Girl With A Gun: A Teenage Freedom Fighter in Iran is being published by Unbound, the world’s first crowdfunding publisher, and you can pledge for a pre-order copy of the book at this page.

Diana Nammi became a frontline fighter with the famed Peshmerga -  Kurdish freedom fighters - when she was only 17. Born in Iran and now living in the UK where she runs a women’s rights organisation, Diana’s life story is full of incredible twists and turns.

Diana when a peshmerga freedom fighter in Iran
Karen was sent to interview Diana Nammi for the British newspaper the Independent on Sunday in October 2014 after Diana won a Woman of the Year award for her work campaigning to get ‘honour’ based violence recognized in the British legal system.

Karen says: “I had one hour but could have talked to her all day. I knew immediately that her story should be told in a book and hopefully, one day a film.”

My sister Karen Attwood


One Person Can Change The World

Karen explains what the book is about:

“Originally named Galavezh (Morning Star), Diana grew up in the Kurdish region of Iran in the 1960s and 70s. This was a time of cooperation and looking out for neighbours. It was also a world of forced marriages, with a woman’s value determined by her husband or male relatives.

But Galavezh was cherished by her father, who was a kind and brave man. At the age of four, she witnessed him stepping forward to save a woman’s life on her wedding day. From this act, Galavezh learned that one person can change the world around them.

After Kurdistan was attacked, she became a soldier in the famed peshmerga fighting force. She spent 12 years on the front line, and helped lead the fight for women’s rights and equality for the Kurdish people. She became one of the Iranian regime’s most wanted. The book is also, at its heart, a love story.

Diana wins woman of the year award
Peshmerga literally translates as ‘one who sacrifices oneself for others’. The forces, including more than a thousand women on active duty, are currently fighting ISIS in northern Iraq. This is the unique and powerful account of a woman who fought with these troops, travelling across Iran and Iraq, standing up for women and girls and slowly but surely changing the world.

“We’re working with the publisher Unbound, who are behind a number of recent best-sellers including The Good Immigrant and The Wake which made the Booker long-list. Unbound raise the money for the cost of a book's publication by pre-selling the hardback to about 600 people. This is where you can come in by helping to get this important story told.”

Shaun Attwood

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
Yours,
T-Bone
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
Yours,
T-Bone
Each one – Teach one

PS) Hi to the T-Bone Appreciation Society





Shaun Attwood  

From T-Bone (Letter 63)

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:
                                                                                               
The other day, I was officiating a basketball game and this youngster didn’t like a call I made, and I was really disrespected on the extreme side by this young man. Believe me when I say this: there was a voice inside my head telling me to knock that kid out, to put him on a gurney and have them wheel him out of here! I had the choice at that moment and I let him make a fool out of himself by laughing at him and letting the CO III deal with him.


In other words, life is full of choices that can cause sorrow and pain or joy and peace. For example, this kid last year was horny and he wasn’t satisfied jacking off, so he went and had sexual relations with a man. Now he is infected with HIV because of the choice he made.

We all should look at how we set an example to young people out there. People were looking at me to see what I was going to do to the kid at the basketball game. I let go myself and let God control my thinking and actions! Almost every day we all are able to make a difference in someone else’s life and that call comes down to the choices we make! That kid couldn’t deal with me on any level, but the choice I made to not harm him kept me and him out of the role, and not harming oneself is always a good idea.

When I used drugs, I thought it was a positive decision because of the way I was taught by people who were misguided in my youth! This place is full of fear and hate, and I’ve been put in this place to help lives.

A youngster came to me two days ago extremely angry, telling me how the guards shook his cell down and took almost all of his things.
He asked them, “Why did you do it?”
They said, “Another inmate told us you took a box of hooch to your cell!”
He went ballistic, but we had been talking for months and God gave me all the words to speak to him to calm him down.

But the other guy who snitched him out didn’t think at all in regards to his life in here and it could have cost that and so much more! He made the wrong choice, like getting involved with people who want to drink and drive (illegally) and then another bad choice when he told the guards.

Please share that with TBOS and let them know that listening to The truth and living the truth and doing what is right is the real way to be successful. There will be many challenges in life. Don’t allowing yourself to be controlled by doubt, fear and hate, or to be led to make the wrong choices. 

Thing’s here are wild because of the drugs and alcohol, but, thanks to God, I have the ability to overcome all those things that have hindered my life. I am studying through Pima Community College, doing Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). I’ve completed the course, and now I always have my nose in the second book and keeping notes. It’s a lot of fun.

Be strong and of good courage and you will see that drugs, gangs, evil thinking in general, aren’t what will make you who you want to be: A Positive, Strong, Intelligent Person!

Stay at Peace. I’ll be out of here soon.

                           EACH ONE - TEACH ONE
                           STRENGTH & HONOR 
                           STEEL EMBRACE!
                           T-BONE!





Shaun Attwood  

Wednesday Night London Talk at Yes Group

The early bird tickets for my event on Wednesday are about to sell-out.
Tickets info @ Yes Group London: https://www.yesgroup.org.uk/event/march-2017/
Use the code Shaun10 to get £5 off the early bird ticket price
Tickets = £10 with code

From T-Bone (Letter 62)

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:

I am at a loss for words at how these guards hate you. They just come in and take from you, meaning you property, stuff you paid for and then they write you up and give you a disciplinary ticket when you question them about it. But as you know, I won’t give in to the injustice of this place because of the system that’s in place!

Being an American and a Marine means that I love this country and I’ve never had anything bad to say about it, but after dealing with the racist court system here in Arizona, I know now that my country has let me down.

When the cops first stopped me in August 2012, she said to me that there was no evidence or any reason for her to arrest me, and “it was her word against mine” and that she had no probable cause to arrest, but they still came after me!

Now they denied my appeal! Why? They didn’t give me a reason. I didn’t rob anybody, and these people know it. I need to find a way with God’s help to attack the case in my next stage of appeals. I am doing a Rule 32, as I write this letter, and God willing I’ll get a different judge, not that trial judge who allowed this case to go to the jury without any evidence.


There has been so many times in my life where I was blamed for things because I am black. I was hanging out with my friends who were white and they lived on the west side of old Columbia turnpike, which separated the black neighborhood from the white neighborhood. We were at a house. I was 8, and to my surprise, this man ran up to me and was about to hit me, while he was calling me the N word.

I was saved that day by an officer in the US Coast Guard! We were two 8 year old kids, running around after school, playing, that’s all, and this crazy guy who was full of hate came after me because I am black. I stood there frozen.

When the cops got involved, they came after me for no other reason than I was black. They told my parents that I provoked that guy and that “they should keep me in my place.” Meaning on the other side of the road in the black neighborhood for many miles.

But in all that has happened to me – some from my own doing and some from those who are full of hate and fear – I trust God and I also love my country. America is a beautiful place, but there is an evil inside some of her people.

There have been other times in my life where the police have shown nothing but hate, and others when the police have done their job with complete honor. As you read this, you see that I do have some pain from all the unwanted evil from people who happened to be white, who are in authority, but that evil will not stop me from telling the truth.

Not all cops are evil. There are countless people who do the right thing each and every day! But there have been times when I’ve thought that what if? Do you know what I am saying? In light of all the negative, there is hope, and I know I will be out of here one day, and hopefully sooner than later!  

Strength + Honor
Steel Embrace
Yours,
T-Bone
Each one – Teach one

PS) Hi to the T-Bone Appreciation Society





Shaun Attwood  

From T-Bone (Letter 61)

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:

Good news! I have a Rule 32 [appeal] attorney. It took them 13 days to appoint one. God willing, I’ll be back in court soon in front of a rule 32 judge. God knows, I have several issues that need to be addressed. The whole case should be thrown out for lack of sufficient evidence.

I was shocked yesterday when the CO III [counsellor] called me to her office. She wants to talk to me on Friday at 2:00 pm. All I can say is praise God. Everyone is telling me that there is some reason why she wants to talk to me so quickly. I am full of hope.

I can’t wait to visit Shaun in London and eat a big English steak and discuss the schools we’re going to speak at! I also have special dish I’d like to cook.

White Power Aryan Brotherhood Prisoner

The white boys who think they are superior to everyone else are walking around saying things like “white power,” and “build the wall.” All of us adults know full well that everything we say is without a shadow of a doubt meaningful to those who want to hear. Fear and hate put nothing but complete evil on the table and only the people who believe in white power listen to all that crap. There are even kids walking around saying white power.

A lot of my time is spent helping people see the truth.

Strength + Honor
Steel Embrace
Yours, T-Bone





Shaun Attwood