Hard Time Launch Party!

My book just went on sale here at Random House:


And here at Amazon (with errors in the blurb that will be fixed in a few days).

I’ve been so excited since seeing it for sale. It has made getting published all the more real for me.

This Random House website is for presales, and it’s not available in the US quite yet. The actual UK publication date of Hard Time is August 5th.

It was my blog reader, Rita Abraham, who picked the title Hard Time. My publisher and I are now turning to you again for launch-party ideas. If you have a suggestion, please post it in the comments to this blog entry. The launch party will be in London, so your ideas must be suitable for the London area. The winning suggestion will get a free copy of Hard Time.

Ideas so far include the Courthouse Hotel, which has a bar with original holding cells, and the Clinkbar situated deep in the cells of the old Clerkenwell Magistrates Court in Kings Cross, famous for its infamous felons including 70's punk rockers, The Clash and Charles Dickens' characters, Oliver Twist, Fagan, and The Artful Dodger.

If you’d like to attend the book launch, please email me.

Post comments below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun Attwood


Anonymous said...

Well done you my friend, i for one are proud of you. All that hard work has come to fruition and i will be ordering my book very soon and hopes the bald one will give it a signing


Anonymous said...

YES !!!!!!!!

My friend ! I knew you could and would get this done. I am so proud of you Shaun. Words can't come close. Only wish I could congratulate you in person.
Your US Dad. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Shaun! This is so exciting and I am just overjoyed for you. When will it be available here in Arpaio land?


Perfidious Pablo said...

Hmmmm... how about a rave?

Ha! Sorry I'm just sour grapes that you didn't adopt my preferred title, "Cruel and Unusual."

Congrats, and best of luck with the launch!

Anonymous said...

How about something totally opposite of being locked up for a change?

You just got out not long ago and most people who are still in sure as hell don't wanna be there.

Let the book speak for itself, and have the kinda celebration you've been encouraged to by so many in similar situations.

Jon said...


It's not supposed to be available there till the publisher does an American deal, which in this case, can take up to a year after the UK publication according to my lit agent. Most of my readers are in America, so this is inevitably going to cause some frustration.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the book, you deserve success after all the effort you have put in to it!

Best Wishes,


New Writer said...

Congratulations Shaun, well done. The book cover looks excellent. Good choice of colours and nice lice.

Anonymous said...

I just thought of an alternative title that takes the full story into account: "Hard Time, Good Time"


Anonymous said...

This party is meant to be really fun, and also promotional. Bring a video camera and point-and-shoot.

First you need some of your friends that have read your book, and they should choose one of the men or women in your book (women can be men since there will be more men, just say they are) and then either create dialogue or choose dialogue (or mix the two). One page or less. But not so they reveal themselves. Guests have a list of characters and extremely short description, if any.

Guests try to guess the character, give answer to judge. If correct, they get a cockroach—plastic one, or copy on a small card.

Guests who guess the most (and if more than one guess all, then the fastest)will win a life size seatless toilet sprayed with gold paint (just kidding) actually, autographed book with a golden toilet sticker might be just fine, or lunch with the author at some swank restaurant (publisher pays).

Some close friends or publishing folks who have read the book for review/ editing should recuse themselves? Or maybe the actors won’t be obvious in such a way.

Actors of your characters should be taped, put up on youtube. One for each actor? Tag as “crook, drug dealer, etc. and ultimate crook (sheriff)” and whatever else to grab people’s attention. Tag as “viral,” why not? Weren’t you always getting sick? Maybe “bacterial” too.

Also as press releases with photo of character being played from Hard Times.

Wish I could be there.


Jon said...

Thanks for the most creative response so far, Maria!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until the book is on sale in the U.S.

I have been working on my own stuff, nowhere near finished. I know you wrote a lot about the process of how you wrote
the book, and I want to dig up those blog entries -- you didn't happen to put them together in one file did you?

You could probably get another book out of that, you know -- how you wrote your first book......

Getting your first book published with Random House is a major major major success!!!!! What cheap advice can you offer a cup-rattling writer standing on the street corner?


Jon said...


Here is a link to all of the mentored blogs:


There's a lot of info in there.

Good luck with your writing!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the book.


Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you and so excited to read it. Wish I could get to London to be there at the party.

Take care, HM Puggles snorts her greetings as well.


Anonymous said...

Good luck on this!


Anonymous said...

the usual launch party is at a book shop (Waterstones etc) in London, generate interest from southern blog readers,
or do it up north Widnes/Liverpool, or could be Guildford (no bearded ladies or small people). Local councils could be interested from the economic viewpoint, and help with some publicity?


Anonymous said...

Greetings from Tucson Bloke,
As you now know, hard work and good luck seem to follow each other around. While I am proud of you with regard to the publication of "Hard Times", I am even more proud of you for the success you've made of your life. When the lights dim and the party hats come off, that's what really matters. I am grateful to list you among my friends. Be Well, Allan Mac Donald (AKA Weird Al.)

Anonymous said...

gutted gotta wait till 5 of august.

Steve Balshaw

Anonymous said...

How do I find out the cost of the pre-order in american currency ?

Joshua Friedman

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Shaun! It is good to see this book come to fruition. :) Lets crack the NY Times best seller list!

Jose in San Diego

Anonymous said...

Hope you didn't forget to mention how your anal cavity got stretched to titanic proportions. ha ha How you doin geeza. Hope you are well.

Jez of London

Jon said...

Thanks for the well wishes!


The US price at today's exchange rate equals $15.39.

Zen said...

It was a long journey into yourself, but it is bearing fruit now. Congratulations! Zen

Anonymous said...

Cool order on way

Joshua Friedman

Cheryl said...

Flip flops, the Deep South, toothpaste, big cockroaches, 100 degree heat, cops with guns, really big scary t-girls.

No, I'm stuck. Unless you know a camp gay bar with a brilliant sense of humour and a large boiler room.

Gerald said...

How about incorporating your old title into the event?

One of the hors d'oeuvres could be slices of vegetarian green bologna. Have some cheap pink boxers for sale or as prizes.

Although it would be fun, you probably can't serve shots of squeeze.

For a venue, maybe you could get permission to set up half a dozen tents in a park? Do it on a cold night and offer a threadbare blanket to anyone who is cold.

Chain guests (or perhaps just the high profile ones) on a big chain gang as they walk in the door and tell them "no" when they ask to be unchained to go to the tiolet.

You could have a game of "pin the lawsuit on Arpaio", winner gets a free book or some boxers.

You could have an Arpaio posse roam the room and occassionally shake down people at random. Anyone complains or looks vaguely hispanic (or perhaps irish or scottish or french) and they go to a lock up in the corner.

I'm sure you can think of plenty of other daily inhuman rituals to incorporate.

Anonymous said...

Invite Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his goon squad to the launch. If he shows up, you'd be guaranteed big publicity in America and |England. If he doesn't show up, have your own goon squad searching for drugs and patting guests down.


dirtos said...

The Viaduct Tavern on Newgate Street, was a gin palace and gaol and still has the original Victorian cells in its cellar. It's a top pub and would be a good place to have a launch.

Chris H said...

Aww, mate!

Can't believe the time has nearly arrived. I'm so excited for you and was really made up by the news in your email.

Congratulations, Big Dawg - fewer deserve is more than you.

Hugs & kisses

Chris H

Anonymous said...


Robert Molley

Anonymous said...

when can I order a copy

Jonnel Sloane

Anonymous said...

Looks great, mate.

Do you know if it'll be available on any of the biggies? Amazon, Waterstones etc..

Jon said...


I don't know the exact date it will be published in America. My lit agent said it will likely take up to a year after the UK publication date.

And yes, it will be available from all of the biggies: Amazon, Waterstone...

Anonymous said...

I am very glad to know you got your book published
I would love to have one of your signed books. I really liked you & your mother & dad.
Joe Arpaio is thinking of running for gov, of Arizona. but, he does not want to have
to give his sheriffs badge.he says he will let every one know by may 1 if he is going
to run for Governor or not.
hope to hear from you soon. love and best wishes Pearl Wilson

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting the book published! Is the movie next???? I never had any doubt you would accomplish what you set out to do. You have to send me a copy of the book if possible. Signed by you of course! I heard from Peter through facebook. Says he is assisting you with your endeavours. How is your personal life??? Girls, clubs etc?? You staying out of trouble completely or still dabbling here and there??

Respect and regards,

Gary Menichiello

Jon said...

Cheers, Gary.

Yes, Peter "Wild Man" went over all of the conversations we had in the book, so I could capture his speech style. Regarding movies, that's a very unpredictable business, but if the book sells well, and the right people like the story, then who knows. My personal life consists of classes at the gym, and visits with the lovely Kathi from Germany. I did go to see Carl Cox recently, and when strangers offered me free drugs, boy did I have an aswer for them when they asked me why I said no.

All the best!


Anonymous said...

You little belter! Well done you. Nancy X

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Shaun! You must be so excited to finally see it out there. Best. Vanessa

Anonymous said...

Nice one Shaun, pleased to hear that things are going good for ya at last.

Cheers – John.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shaun,

Well done! I am so proud of you, you are proof that some good can come out of what you endured. I am sure that Ann and Auntie Eve are feeling the same way about you. I can't wait to read it, do you have any idea about it being published in the US? I guess I could order it on Amazon or something. I passed the message on to Paula & David, to which both of them replied "what did I do?". David said he would let Ian know about the book.

Take care, talk to you soon.

Luv, Lorraine

Anonymous said...

thanks for the info and congratulations!

best from berlin,


Matthew said...

Congrats Jon! Looking forward to it's release in the US!

Anonymous said...

What about coming back to the US and launching inside the zip code of the Sheriff's office or prison?

Sheva Kuvet
Fashion Outlaws

Jon said...

Won't work, Sheva, because I'm banned for life from the US by the Department of Homeland Security.

mafia cowboy said...

John;Congrats. I am familiar with your subject matter and will buy your book. Do you have a copy of mine"Mafia, Cowboys and Cocktails." I met you through the Jail journal, a friend of yours new my father and uncle, Charlie "Bats" Battaglia, who worked for Joe Bonano in Tuscon. I would like to sell my book wrights in the UK. There would be a finders fee in it for you! Again congrats!!! Johnnie Bennett Battaglia.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Now this is one book I'd love to read. Our jails here in America are awful and very overcrowded from what I've heard. Perfect reason to stay on the straight path...

Lorie Strittmatter

Anonymous said...

Fate, you just never know - hope that writing it all down helped you deal with it, will be ordering a copy when it gets published here in England. Invited some of the friends from my wall over. Best of luck ..:)

Ralf 'Gypsy' Bevis

Joseph Thomas Clarke said...

All I can say is congratulations! You give me hope yet again. As a hopeless addict I always looked up to you.
Then as my story continued to reach tragic porportions and I finally got clean I found an entirlely transformed revealation of admiration.
I am currently writing a book myself and eventually a memoir. You give me encourgement simply by doing what you are doing.
Giving back to children who may never have to endure the underbelly of society. And there has not been a decent rave in Tucson for quite some time. Those days are lost, never forgotten.
I hope this message finds you well. I do have one idea for your party.
A piniata of Sherrif Joe and a roast pig with his likeness (badge included) and a cake which is in the shape of the word GREED.

Thank you for the hope .
Would love to talk to you and Peter soon sometime

Joseph (aka "Strawberry Joey")

Cityboy said...

I wish when I went to clubs strangers offered me drugs.....

I will just have to settle for Wild Man's early morning calls.

I wish you all the best for the future.


Anonymous said...

Shawn congratulations.

Google delete my post twice due to scripting errors. Anyway I like what Gerald suggested, with have a sheriff Joe and his posse walking about, harassing people or teasing them. Have you staff wear pink, pink swim suits for the ladies and maybe ties for the men—something in pink that links you all together. Pass out plastic pink handcuffs that have been separated so now it is just like bracelets.

Good luck.


I also like the concept of a chain, an analogy of freedom, maybe bundles at key locations or on top of your books a couple links here and there.


Anonymous said...

hi shaun look forward to reading the book. The 2 venues suggested look interesting. are they available for the date you need. Also how about a fancy dress competition. If you cant get any of those venues there is always deptford old police station which has some cells and a bar area for hire.


Another idea is you could get jail guitar doors who are exprisoners to perform at the opening. Hope the talks are going well. The advice you got for the book was really good which you put on your website. Dirty honky is doing a gig on frid 30th april at inn on the green if your free.
in friendship

Jon said...


You are right, this is the best venue idea yet for the launch:


It's grungy. An actual police station with cells and an interview room. I like it and wouldn't mind checking it out.

Anonymous said...

awesome!!!!! im gonna buy it!! is it just online, or like barnes and noble or what? im so proud of you!!!!


Jon said...

its just available for pre-sale online right now, Jessicat

a big thanks to all of the people behind the comments that are still pouring in



Anonymous said...

Wow cool. Awesome! You've sure come a long way, Shaun. Congratulations! I'll definitely sign up for a copy. Best of luck to you.

Linda Saville

Anonymous said...

Well done Shaun ! I’m really glad things are working out for you. I bet you’re really excited. Let me know how you go on.

Hope all is well with your folks and please send them my love. I’ll call in on them one day soon when I get chance.

Les x

Anonymous said...

Will mosdef pick your book up! Hope all is well my friend. Congratulations!


Anonymous said...


Nicholas Shindo

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to read it. My own book just came out (boring academic history, in no way as exciting as yours), and having the thing in my hands was a weirdly profound moment. Good luck with the second one!


Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun

Im glad to see all is going well and the book is out at last.
Let me know about the launch id love to know what you do.



Anonymous said...


Do you have any idea how I can get this delivered to the states? I noticed they will not ship it over here. Any underground book shippers ;)...or should I just cruise facebook, Skype, or myspace and look for someone that might do it.


Anonymous said...

That's cool Bro!

I just got a job as comms manager for a video game company... celebrations big boy...

We both hit penetrated our market sectors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jules the Punk

Anonymous said...

Congratulations thats great news, will check it out..

Cheerio josh

Anonymous said...

Congratulations big guy! I look forward to purchasing and reading over here..

J. Colclasure, Sgt

Anonymous said...

Well done Shaun...I’ll get a copy.

I would love to come to the launch..

Jason Wearden

Anonymous said...

Hay hun what fantatic news, So let me know when the launch party is andi will come and get my signed copy then. Hope life is going well, it seems to be. Hows the school visits going.

Love as Always

Sarah (curry girl lol)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Shaun...I am so pleased for you.

All the best with it and may it lead you far.

Fo X y X

Anonymous said...

Congratulations :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun,

Congratulations on becoming a published author - fantastic news and well done for pursuing your dream. Let's hope this is the beginning of even greater things for you.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

Please take a look at this video and please go to Freepaulcortez.org and educate yourself about another mishandling in our "justice"??? system. Please don't allow this man to spend another year in prison being denied an opportunity to prove his innocence. Justice shouldn't be only for those that can afford it! The Wrongful Conviction of Paul Cortezhttp:/.../www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vU3xG9rOx0

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun

Congratulations on your book, that's really fantastic news.

Namaste, all the best for the future.

Guida xxx

Anonymous said...


Congratulations. I have just pre-ordered it!

If I am around in August (I have a wedding and a holiday due) then I most certainly will attend. Bring Hammy down, that will get everyone talking!

Take Care


Anonymous said...


This is amazing pal.

I bet you feel so good for it! I will be ordering my book (when I get paid next week!)

Gemma xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi mate

I would love to attend the launch, let me know the details when it's firmed up.



Anonymous said...


I can't wait to read it!

Mary in NC

Anonymous said...

Hello Shaun,

Very exciting.

I'm very moved to see this project mature and come to terms.

I will pre order..

Hope you are well..It is beautiful and springtime here,

Cat Eyes x

Anonymous said...


i have just asked for compassionate release of davon and contacted senator Mccains office and candle light vidual in front of the az dept of corrections.Wish me luck its may 19 hepc day.We love you guys A motherscxry advocate for the inmates of az

Julie Acklin

Jon said...

A huge thank you to everyone who has posted comments and emailed comments!

You've set a new record for comments at Jon's Jail Journal!

Shaun Attwood

Kathi said...

Then comment number 80! :)

I am so very proud of you!!!

Much Love from your Kathi XXX

Shannon Clark said...

Congratulations again and again-gee, love the idea of a place with old holding cells...keep us informed about details! If there is anyone around the NYC/PA/WASH area that plans to fly to England, let me know. It'd be fun to have a few US contingents travelling together to London.

Sue O.

p.s. Shannon asked me to alert you to the recent blog post.

Anonymous said...

Have the party at the Tower of London!

Anonymous said...

congrats matey, cant wait to get my signed copy when you do a launch up this way.

will check out ya book asap

andi xxx

Anonymous said...

Hey Shaun, I'm having trouble preordering your book. Any suggestions? Or do I have to wait for it to be in the stores here in the U.S.?

Michal Jacobs

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Shaun! Can't wait to get it in the US.



Anonymous said...

Shaun this book looks great, I want a copy ASAP. I want me and my fiance to read this together when I get to Canada.

Jonnel Sloane

Anonymous said...

Look forward to your posts and comments, and all the good stuff you can report from the UK


Anonymous said...

Have a striped tie made with a pink tie tack. Sounds good and I wish you luck.

Anonymous said...

Your my hero shaun love from az

Julie Acklin

Kathi said...

Yes Julie! also for me! :)

Kathi XO

Anonymous said...

hi mate, when your book is published would you sign a copy for me when i order it. peace.

Steve Balshaw

Anonymous said...

I know this is out of the blue, but I just posted an article on my blog entitled “10 Important Writers Who Went to Jail for Their Work”

Anyway I figured I’d bring it to your attention in case you thought it interesting enough to drop a quick mention on your site about it as I’m trying to increase readership of my blog.

Either way, sorry for the unsolicited email and hope you have a good week.


Samantha Miller

Anonymous said...

OK, guys and girls....

We really need your help...

Lacey from the New Times is trying to get together as many victims of Arpaio
as he can that have been involved in the fight against Arpaio and his Goons
corruption, abuse of power and the many other things this asshole and his
goons have done to so many of us.

The reason for this is for a New Times Cover photo shoot for a recorded
record that notes the sacrifice many people made here in Arizona during this

We need your help, please let me know if you or anyone you know that has
been involved in this struggle and have suffered because of it and is
interested in showing up for this event, and making your voice heard.

We are planning this for either May 4 or 7th at 8:00 AM on the old
courthouse steps.

I know many of you, like myself, have suffered a great deal, please step up
and be counted as I intend on being.
Anyone..... judges, supervisors, lawyers who do immigration work, the ACLU,
Newspapers, anybody that took him on and has suffered because of it..

Let's all be heard as one.

Please let me know ASAP so I can put you on a list that will be notified
with further details.



Anonymous said...

All in pink underwear :-)

Jörg Döhrer

Anonymous said...

congratulations on the book. At last, arpaio has given material for something useful!

Ben Gunn

Anonymous said...

Oh well done! Do hope that it sells well, and that you're all doing well too.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...


When the world ends, all that will be left are Styrofoam cups, cockroaches, and people like Arpaio.


Weird Al

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaun

That is so wonderful - congratulations and well done for perservering. Am going to look forward to this for my summer reading.

I don't know if you are aware but there is a conference at Napier University in Edinburgh - June 4th and 5th - on Reading and Writing in Prison. People from all over the world are attending so looks to be very interestinga and informative. (I am presenting a paper on Identification and the Prison Auntobiography!)

Wishing you every success with your book,



syncopated eyeball said...

Congratulations, Shaun! You must be so pleased - and just look at all these well-wishers!

Lee said...

I accidentally found your blog at the tail end of your sentence (about a year before you were scheduled for release) while researching prison life for a short story I was working on. And I kept up reading it until you got out. And just last week I checked in on you again, and wow, here you are with your book coming out, just as you said you would. That's fantastic man, I'm happy for you. I published my first collection of short stories 2 years ago and I'll never forget the thrill of seeing my book on the shelf at Chapters. I am sure you will feel the same.

All the best.

Jon said...

Thanks, Lee! And congrats on getting published yourself! I would love to read the short story you wrote back then.