With my new book The Real Chopper hitting the shelves this week, I received my first piece of fan mail last night. It was from one of the libertarians who believe that authors need permission to write about their subjects.
“Does Chopper Read give you permission to write a book about him? Why would you wait till the mans dead to write a book about him?
You my friend are a…”
And that’s as far as my fan got. I am sure he was about to write “jolly good fellow” before he was tragically struck down by an aneurism, or a falling asteroid. RIP. It’s a bit of a silly thing to say given Chopper was the greatest posthumous re-writer of history since the authors of the Bible. His books are full of his views on, and experiences with, dead gangsters. Many of them were transformed into blood enemies or bosom buddies under his pen. In reality few had anything to do with him. I took the time to research those stories on behalf of the people who, being dead, didn’t get the right of reply. Almost all of it was puffery and fantasy.
For the record, Chopper did give me his permission to write the book. That discussion forms chapter one of the book. Read knew what powered his celebrity. He knew that his books would keep selling after his death if people kept talking about him. I have no doubt that The Real Chopper will send readers back to Chopper’s books, if only as a basis for condemning my efforts. And Chopper will continue to provide for his family, which was really his most worthwhile achievement. After 23 years nine months in jail, Chopper became a successful author and artist, an extraordinary turnaround. I explore and applaud that in my book.
For those who missed it, here are the extracts from the book which ran in News Ltd mastheads and websites on the weekend. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/books-magazines/extracts-from-the-real-chopper-by-adam-shand/story-fna50uae-1227064333587
And keep the nasty letters flowing people, it’s what Chopper would have wanted.