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New John Lennon novel not only for Beatles fans

[Official Press Release]

Hundreds of non-fiction books have been written about The Beatles collectively and each of them individually. And an entire genre of Beatles' fiction has also emerged, imagining the lads from Liverpool in all sorts of unpredictable predicaments and places!

But Jude Kessler's new documented, historical novel, Shoulda been there, is singular. It is the only researched, footnoted scholarly novel on Lennon's life.

Bill Harry, one of the worlds' greatest authorities on The Beatles and John's close friend wrote of Kessler's novel, "Now here comes a book which attempts to into the story by presenting the events as if the author were a fly on the wall, introducing the dialogue and creating a sort of factional approach to the legendary tale." But in order to take such a "factional" approach, Kessler had to do her homework.

Researching Lennon and The Beatles for twenty years, Kessler made seven trips to Liverpool between 1993 and 2000. She interviewed John's childhood friends, college mates, and early band members. She interviewed and consulted with Allan Williams, The Beatles' first manager and Bob Wooler, the d.j. at The Cavern Club where The Beatles performed over 600 times. She talked to Helen Anderson, John's dear friend from his college days and to many of John's professors at Quarry Bank Grammar and Liverpool College of Art. "I conducted interview after interview to back up what I had learned from my 300-plus personal Lennon library. I walked the streets, learned the language, and made Liverpool my second home," Kessler said.

Shoulda been there tells the story of Lennon's life from his birth in 1940 to the day The Beatles signed with manager, Brian Epstein, in December of 1961. It traces the formation of The Quarrymen and later The Beatles, and sets the stage for The Beatles to burst upon the world in Kessler's next book, Shivering Inside (due out in October of 2009).

But it is not a tale for Beatle fans only," Kessler commented. "It is the story of a little boy for whom so many people 'shoulda been there,' and for whom few were." Lennon, under complicated circumstances, was relinquished by his mother when he was four. Similarly, John's father was forced to leave the boy behind a year later. "Everyone that John loved eventually abandoned him somehow," Kessler stated. "None of them did it intentionally, but John's hurt was not mitigated by their good intentions."

Shoulda been there gives the reader quite a bit to enjoy: a 725- page story, followed by a dictionary of real characters and their influence on The Beatles, a Scouse glossary (Liverpudlian lingo), and photos from Kessler's trips to Liverpool. Bill Harry stated, "It's a difficult act to carry off, but it's a worthwhile venture...and I say, Hey Jude, carry on!"

Shoulda been there is $29.95 plus $3.75 shipping and handling in the USA. It's available now by direct mail at:

On The Rock Books
P.O. Box 9572
Dothan, AL 36304

Related articles:

• Jude Southerland Kessler releases Volume IV in the John Lennon Series (8/30/18)
• She Loves You research team sends book to press (12/2/13)
• Distinguished Louisiana lithographer to illustrate Lennon biography (2/18/13)
• Biographical novel of John Lennon now available on Kindle (11/3/11)
• Famous Beatles artist adds her magic to popular John Lennon books (9/15/11)

Published January 9, 2008

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