Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Sunny Christmas and Happy 2010!

Christmas morning - 1984. Photo courtesy
of Laurie Holmes.

As 2009 comes to a close, Jennifer and I will ring in the New Year with two new radio interviews in January, two book events and plans for a refreshed and revised website. Our domain name: will remain the same.

We are very proud and pleased to announce that our publisher, BearManor Media, will be releasing John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches as an audiobook in 2010 to accommodate blind consumers, commuters and multi-taskers, etc., who have a love for books of integrity and quality. Jennifer and I plan to put forth a creative and engaging audio presentation of our comprehensive biography.

Please stay posted for a follow-up on these news items and more!

In the meantime have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season and all the best in 2010.

Jill & Jennifer

"A good conscience is a continual Christmas."
Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Interview with Lisa Hazelton

Writer, reviewer and editior of fiction and non-fiction books, Lisa Hazelton, recently interviewed me about my collaboration with Jennifer, in addition to the birthing process and follow-up to the release of John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches. Please read excerpts below.

Lisa Hazelton's Reviews & Interviews

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interview with Jill Nelson - biography co-author with Jennifer Sugar
[Note to readers: This interview contains adult content.]

Welcome, Jill Nelson, to Reviews and Interviews! What made you and co-author, Jennifer Sugar, decide to tackle the biography genre?

JN: This biography is a first book for both of us. The adult entertainment industry is a field that neither one of us knew anything about prior to embarking upon co-writing. It wasn’t something that I’d initially set out to do, or was even looking for, but when Jennifer extended me the offer to collaborate with her on this project, I jumped at the opportunity, partly because I knew that it would be a fascinating and engrossing world to explore. I also thought that there was a good likelihood we might even find a publisher.

Please tell us about John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches, published by Bear Manor Media.

JN: It is the first and definitive biography on the world’s most famous (and infamous) male porn legend and pop culture icon, John Curtis Holmes. Presented as an oral history with narrative segments interspersed throughout, our 584 page book is an in-depth, unbiased, and balanced look at the late John Holmes and his entire life. Inches includes interview quotes from over 60 people who knew John professionally and personally. In addition to a biography that details all facets of Holmes’ turbulent life, the book also contains three photos sections (including rare frontal nudes), a 21-page filmography, 114 feature film reviews and 86 loops synopses, all watched and written by Jennifer and myself. John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches highlights John’s difficult childhood in rural Ohio, John’s film career, his connection to one of the most gruesome multiple homicides in California history (dubbed, the “Wonderland” murders), his murder trial, his two marriages, his relationships with his many mistresses and girlfriends, his career comeback and finally, his death from AIDS.

Inches is an ideal choice for discriminating readers who enjoy biographies, true crime, retro, and erotica. It is also a chronological account of the history of the erotic film industry. Our book definitely has something for everyone, even if you are not necessarily interested in the adult film medium.

What inspired you and Jennifer to write this book?

JN: Jennifer had gone to the movie theater to watch a film in 2003, but it was sold out. The film Wonderland, starring Val Kilmer in the lead role of John Holmes, was also playing, so Jennifer decided to go and see it since she’d heard her local radio station make the joke, “Our sets are longer than John Holmes.” Understanding the intimation, she was intrigued to see the movie that actually entails a robbery that John had helped to orchestrate in 1981, which led to the brutal murders of four people. John was addicted to cocaine and freebase at this juncture in his life and career and he had fallen in with some unsavory characters. Wonderland is about that very dark period in his life. After having seen the film, Jennifer was surprised to discover that there wasn’t a biography about John, so she decided to write it herself. Both of us were interested to learn more about John, the man, in addition to finding out about the specifics of the “Wonderland” or Laurel Canyon murders.

Two years later, in 2005, my husband and I rented the film Wonderland and afterwards, I was also very curious about John, as a person, since the film didn’t shed much light on his personal life except that it revealed that John had been married for 19 years to a registered nurse, Sharon Holmes (played by Lisa Kudrow), and that he’d had a mistress at the time of the murders, Dawn Schiller (played by Kate Bosworth). The three seemed to be quite amicable so that really piqued my attention and interest. I began to do a little research about John online and discovered a forum for the film, Wonderland, where I first connected with Jennifer. We had not known one another previously. About a month after participating on the forum, Jennifer offered to send me some interview transcriptions she’d done that were derived from several audiotapes John had made a few years prior to his death in 1988. (He had been planning to write an autobiography but died before he had a chance to finish it. John’s widow, Laurie Holmes, later finished the book and Porn King was published in 1998.)

Jennifer disclosed that she was writing the first and complete book about John Holmes. We continued to communicate together through e-mail and it was about a year after that when Jennifer (a biology and math major studying at MSU at the time) realized that the project was a monumental task and asked me if I would become her co-author. From the time of the book’s official inception in August 2004, it took four years for us to complete.

Did you enjoy the research process? What did it entail?

JN: We very much enjoyed the research process as it enabled us to meet and interview many diverse and intriguing people -- mostly veterans of the adult entertainment industry such as Ron Jeremy; Johnny Wadd, creator and director; Bob Chinn; and also John’s widow, Laurie Holmes, to name only a few. Also, we interviewed two former L.A.P.D. homicide detectives, Tom Lange and Frank Tomlinson, who had been lead investigators on the Laurel Canyon murders and had actually arrested John in Florida in December of 1981, after he’d been on the lam for a period of about 5 months. Over a four year period, Jennifer and I eventually interviewed 35 people in person, over the phone, and via e-mail, who had known John in various capacities throughout his life and career.

We e-mailed our chapters, our film reviews, and our filmography data back and forth, editing one another’s work until we were satisfied and knew that everything was complete. We also required permission(s) to use additional material and images in the book that were not our own. That part was a little bit stressful and took some time, but we were relieved when it all came together for us. People were absolutely wonderful -- right down the line. We are very pleased and proud of the finished product in every respect.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

JN: Probably the hardest part of writing the book was trying to separate fact from fiction, but we are confident that we were able to overcome this challenge to the best of our own or anyone else’s ability. John was notorious for spinning stories about his life and about his career and his stories generally involved numbers. He liked to embellish and inflate numbers, particularly when related to the size of his penis, the amount of films he’d made, and the number of women he’d slept with. We found that one of the key elements to creating a legend is that some stories improve with time and it isn’t always necessary or critical to try to corroborate each and every one of them, but we were pretty successful. In John’s case, he did, in fact, have an extremely large penis, he’d made over 1000 film appearances in a career that spanned 20 years, and he slept with thousands of women, so his legend has certainly outlived him and it will continue to do so for many years to come. He knew how to promote his asset by creating some of his own folklore, so it was a fun challenge to research some of the legendary tales and learn new ones along the way. We soon realized that John didn’t need to invent anything about his life, because it was already stranger and more incredible on many levels, than any fictional account could ever hope to portray.

Did you learn anything from writing your book? If so, what was it?

JN: I learned that John Holmes was a chameleon; he was a world class hustler, he was a ladies’ man and a gigolo, and he was a lot smarter than many people have probably given him credit. John was also talented artistically. He sculpted, he wrote beautiful poetry, and he liked to build and refinish furniture. He was a loving godfather to three children and he was a step-father to Laurie’s (his second wife and widow) son. He had many components to his character, but despite many of the negative things that John was involved in, mostly everyone we spoke to seemed to cherish some positive memories of John. He definitely touched and impacted several lives in his own way.

I also learned that it was a very positive experience to be a co-writer of a book of this nature - a biography - because it allowed Jennifer and I to bounce ideas off of one another and also, offer support to each other when things got to be a little overwhelming or hairy. That didn’t happen often, but there were a couple of occasions when we needed to sit back and take a deep breath because there was just so much information to sift through and assimilate.

The people we encountered throughout the process of working on this book were very helpful as they opened up their lives and memories to us. For many, their memories are bittersweet so we really appreciated their involvement and their encouragement of our project.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

JN: We are currently working on interviews and research for a book that will showcase the ladies of the Golden Age of Adult films. While talking with people and conducting interviews for Inches, I had an idea that it would be interesting to learn more about the women who had decided to enter adult movies and perform in hardcore (real sex) scenes at a time when the XXX-rated industry was in its infancy stage, just after the onset of the sexual revolution during the 1960s.

What ways have you found effective for promoting your book(s)?

JN: I’d say that we have learned to embrace every avenue we can in order to promote our work because the media and book critics do not generally pursue published writers, unless the author is represented by a major publishing house. Then there are provisions in place for publicity and promotion built into their contracts.

We have been proactive in pursuing contacts/media/reviewers that will hopefully pay attention to our work. We have done live radio interviews, blog talk radio interviews, and online interviews. We’ve done several book events and even travelled to Las Vegas to attend the Adult Entertainment Expo in January 2009, where we were at a booth talking about our book to fans of the adult genre who were in attendance at the Expo.

We contact newspapers prior to our book events and request that they write a blurb, a piece or an article, and we have been fairly successful in that regard. We keep our website, our blog, our Myspace page(s) updated and also, we utilize Twitter and Facebook, to announce news and/or happenings.

If a person can afford to hire a publicist, that’s always another added benefit. It’s very important to maintain the book’s profile and particularly, if you are an author of a biography, you’ve already got a built-in fan base to tap into, draw from, and build upon.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with the audience?

JN: I’d like to thank anyone who has read John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches or who might consider purchasing our book after reading this interview. I’d also like to thank everyone who has favorably reviewed our bio so far – it is extremely gratifying. I’d like to give kudos to my (extremely busy) co-author, Jennifer, for providing me with an opportunity to share my hobby with readers, in tandem with her talent as a writer. This experience has added a wonderful new layer to my life as we move ahead with another book in the works. At 52 years of age, I’d say that I am in the midst of a mid-life awakening. It’s fantastic.

How can people to get in touch with you?

JN: People can get in touch with us at: and through our website at:

Thank you for taking the time to answer my interview questions. I wish you the best with this book, and with your future projects.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mississauga Chapters Recap & Into the Light

Two avid readers and fans of John Holmes' work,
pose for a photo opportunity, as promised! Hope you enjoy the book, guys!

On Saturday November 28th, from 11-7pm, I had the good fortune of being the special guest author at this very busy Chapters location that borders Oakville, Ontario. The day passed quickly as I thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone (including women!) who crossed paths with me to chat about John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches and its origins - thanks to Jennifer.

As always, people are curious to notice a 50-something woman talking with the public about the late porn star and they generally inquire as to what had inspired me to join Jennifer in telling this very in-depth story about one man's turbulent, but also fascinating, high voltage, and at times, heartbreaking life. It is my personal belief, especially since having our book published, that Jennifer and I were not only ideal candidates to take on such a monstrous amount of research and hard work, but that there was also a sense of destiny to our endeavor.

My husband had repeatedly questioned me when we were up to our eyeballs in interviews, narrative composition, and watching mountains of John Holmes' DVDs, VOD, and VHS tapes containing vintage, but grainy black and white loops, why a complete biography on John Holmes had not been written prior to 2008. I would always smile at him and answer, "Because Jennifer and I are supposed to write it." That wasn't arrogance on my part, it was a completely genuine response.

I'd like to take a moment to remind readers that John did attempt to document his life through audiotapes in the early to mid 1980s, but he passed away prior to its full completion. John's widow Laurie pieced together much of the information that John had imparted and published Porn King ten years after his death in 1998. She also wrote a beautiful epilogue in John's memory to conclude the book.

On Saturday, a significant connection occured that reinforced my intuition. A store customer and his wife stopped by to talk about the book and the motivation behind writing about a legendary and tragic figure like Holmes. They were both familiar with John Holmes, "porn star", but I was surprised to learn that they were also knowledgable of John's traumatic and abusive childhood. I was truly impressed as that component is as tangible a part of John's story as is his infamy as an adult film star, his connection to the Laurel Canyon murders and his death from AIDS.

After engaging in conversation for a while, the gentleman introduced himself as Richard Perry, Director of Operations for The Gatehouse, a Child Abuse Support Investigation Site located in Toronto, Ontario. I was not familiar with The Gatehouse, but I was very interested in hearing what Richard Perry and his wife had to say about this special home and the people there.

Perry's main area of interest is with the men's program called Into the Light. He works with male survivors of childhood physical and sexual abuse and he explained that there are not enough support programs available for male survivors. He also confirmed a fact that I had always suspected to be true: an alarming majority of males incarcerated in medium to maximum security prisons are victims of various forms of child brutality. Not surprisingly, many of these boys eventually act-out when they reach puberty and also adulthood, by perpetrating their self-loathing, hurt and anger against friends, co-workers, loved ones and ultimately society. After taking a self-guided tour of the former Alcatraz prison last July and becoming educated about the lives of some of its notorious inmates, I understood what Perry was saying.

At the conclusion of our enlightening discussion, Richard invited me to come out in the New Year to meet some of the men who are currently participating in the Into the Light program. I accepted his offer and was honoured and touched when he asked me if I would be interested in contemplating writing a book that would help male survivors share their stories.

Please check out this website link to Into the Light:

You never know where life will lead you, and at this point I seriously consider all opportunities. It's especially nice to have another idea on the back burner as we have already begun research and interviews for a new book that will highlight the women of the Golden Age of Erotic Films.

Thank you, Richard, and thanks to everyone else who stopped by (and bought books!) on Saturday. It was really great to meet you all.

P.S. To my very busy co-author, Jennifer... you were right beside me. :-)

Please also visit our website:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Author Talks About Porn Star Book - Mississauga News

Burlington author Jill Nelson will be at Chapters at the Erin Mills Power Centre on Saturday to speak about the book she co-wrote with American Jennifer Sugar called John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches. Photo supplied

Author talks about porn star book

Burlington author Jill Nelson will be in Mississauga this Saturday to sign copies of a book she co-wrote about a controversial and well-known porn star. Nelson will be at Chapters at the Erin Mills Power Centre, at 3040 Vega Blvd., between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to speak about the book she co-wrote with American Jennifer Sugar called John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches. Published last year by Bear Manor Media, the book is a biography of Holmes, a pop culture figure who was arguably the first porn star to gain mainstream appeal. The 581-page book includes three photo sections (including rare nudes) and a 21-page filmography.
Please also visit:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Video-clip from 2009 Book Event!

We recently uploaded a 3 minute video-clip to youtube from one of our 2009 Canadian Book Signing Events that was covered by local news media. Unfortunately, Jennifer was unable to attend the engagement, but she was definitely there in spirit.

Every attainable goal is ignited with a defined curiosity that is sustained by energy, commitment and ferocity. Those integral ingredients enabled the book to be successfully completed and published more than four years after Jennifer's initial conception to compose the first and definite biography on the world's most famous (and infamous) adult film legend.

The cameraman who shot this footage had a great idea to film and zoom-in on specific photos that are included within our book.

Note: The year of publication for "Inches" that is mentioned at the end of the interview should be 2008. :)

Please click on this link to view:

Please also visit:

Monday, November 2, 2009

John Holmes Book Review & "The First Crime Scene"

The following book review is written by Bill Castanier, an award-wining weekly newspaper editor, advertising and public relations executive in his 40 year career. Castanier writes a weekly newspaper feature on Michigan authors and is on the Board of the Kerrytown BookFest and the Michigan Notable Book Awards. He has the only daily blog on Michigan literature. (Mittenlit)

New Book Co-authored by MSU Grad Takes An Intimate Look at Porn Star John C. Holmes

It’s time to boogie with big (584 pages) John C. Holmes Book

I remember my first “blue movie”. It made a big impression on me. For one, I learned you should take off your socks. I don’t remember the stars or the name and the plot is a little blurry. I think it was the classic door-to-door salesman routine and a pretty, but bored housewife. The movie was shown at what was called a “smoker” in a dusty basement on an 8mm projector. And I think it was projected on a bed sheet.

Porno movies have come a long way since then and we can thank John C. Holmes for a lot of the improvement. Holmes who was called the “King” for a variety of reasons did for the porno industry what Elvis did for rock. He elevated it.

Now, two authors, Jill Nelson of the Toronto area and Jennifer Sugar from Michigan and MSU graduate, have written the definitive biography of John C. Holmes titled, “John C. Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches”. Sugar decided on writing a book on Holmes after seeing the movie “Wonderland” starring Val Kilmer. The movie is an abbreviated look at the porn star, focusing mostly on a gruesome, drug-related, robbery-mass murder in which Holmes was involved in 1981.

From start to finish, this is the most comprehensive and really the only biography of the “King”. Holmes had authored the autobiography, “Porn King” before his 1988 death from AIDS.

In addition, to some of the most detailed looks at more than 200 Holmes’ video and loops, the two have written a remarkable piece of film history using oral histories of the participants to carry the narrative. For most readers, the first thing they do is turn to the photographs to see “it” and yes it’s there in all its glory. This is one of the first, if not the first mainstream books on the porno industry to include full-frontal nudity. Maybe Iggy Pops’ biography published last year covered new ground.

The only comment that I have heard which isn't even close to a criticism and actually may be the book’s strongest point is that the book is too detailed.

This book is perfect for anyone involved in the film industry “blue” or otherwise. It is destined to become a basic text for film classes across the country. In the meantime, for us amateurs it is a great read and a stimulating look at the growth of the porn industry.

I was curious where you would go to see all these videos and loops so I asked co-author Jill Nelson. It wasn’t easy. It’s not like the public library has them. She said they rented films (probably got some raised eyebrows after the fifth one); they bought some on e-bay and other porn-related websites; and used a pay as you go website In addition, numerous directors in the business loaned them copies of Holmes’ work.

One real coup was that their research was the impetus for the release on DVD of the first Johnny Wadd movie, filmed in 1970. According to Jill, it was only one of the nine-part series that hadn’t seen light of day or in this case, dimly lit rooms.

The two authors asked around the industry for the availability of the film and one director ("Johnny Wadd" creator Bob Chinn) had one in storage. It turned out to be pristine and once again Johnny was able to fill the screen. Jill says the film has broken all sales records for the distributorship.

You can bet this isn’t the last we’ll see or read of these two authors.

The following look at “Measured In Inches” appeared in the Lansing City Pulse: link to;see-a47R6c6×1H2n6b2C#page-7;c-92660

News Item:

We would like to share the news that our friend and former LAPD homicide detective, Frank Tomlinson, is a published author of his first effort, "The First Crime Scene".

The book is based on a 1970s true crime story, when seasoned veterans relied upon gut instinct and leads during a time when there were "no computers, no DNA, no internet and no cell phones."

Along with fellow former L.A.P.D. homicide detective, Tom Lange, Tomlinson was responsible for tracking down and finally apprehending John Holmes in Florida, in December 1981, after he had been on the run for a period of five months. He was eventually turned over to the police by one of his girlfriends, Dawn Schiller. Tomlinson and Lange were interviewed extensively for "A Life Measured in Inches".

Frank Tomlinson is a man of integrity, faith and true grit. For what promises to be a riveting and engrossing read, check out his new book at

Please also visit our website for chapter excerpts, film excerpts, photo galleries and more!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall/Winter Book Signing Events


We are pleased to announce two newly added book presentation/signing events in Southern Ontario. We look forward to meeting discriminating readers who are fans of biographies, true crime, retro and erotica, as "Inches" has something for everyone! (Stay tuned for the posting of a third date soon.)


Chapters Book Store, located at the Erin Mills Power Center, 3050 Vega Blvd., in Mississauga (the GTA), will be hosting a "meet and greet" in-store signing event on Saturday November 28th from 11:00am-7:00pm. This special occasion will enable interested readers to chat with us about our work and learn what had motivated us to choose the legendary adult film superstar as the subject for our first collaborative effort.

Please call: (905) 820-9910 for details. Chapters - Erin Mills


Chapters Book Store, located at the Meadowland Regional Centre, 737 Golf Links Road, Unit 1, Ancaster, has invited Jennifer and I to present and sign copies of our biography on Saturday February 13th between 1-3:00pm. This will be another opportunity for people living in the Golden Horseshoe area to attend a special presentation of "A Life Measured in Inches".

For more information, please call: (905) 648-7155 Chapters - Ancaster

** Note: Due to unexpected circumstances, the "Writer's Rally", that was scheduled for Sunday October 25th at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario, has been postponed to a later date that will be announced.

** The image above was taken at the premiere for Girls on Fire in Hollywood on February 14, 1985. Two of John's godchildren stand in behind.

** Don't forget to check out our website for excerpted chapter content and film reviews at:

Friday, October 9, 2009

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches - Excerpts

While Jennifer and I plan and prepare for fall and winter book-related happenings, please visit the link below to our website in order to read excerpts from six chapters of our book. Soon, we will be adding additional excerpts, including some of the Wonderland/Laurel Canyon segments of the book, with a few other surprises in store.

The above photo is a still from a loop, circa 1970. John and his longtime girlfriend, auburn- haired Sandy Dempsey, appeared in several loops and features together. John also appeared in loops with girlfriend, Gilda Grant, during the early 1970s. Next to Ms. Dempsey, John and Seka were frequent on-screen partners.

Friday, September 25, 2009

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches - Critical Acclaim

We are proud to announce that over the past 13 months, since our biography's debut, John Holmes: A Life Measured In Inches has accumulated respect and high praise from critics and also, from many of the subjects that we interviewed for our book. We would like to share some of these very positive notices that our book has received.

Please also visit our website at:


L.A. Times Film Critic comments: "I was impressed at how thorough and definitive it was." -- Kenneth Turan

Senior Editor of AVN magazine remarks: "John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is packed with information that even the closest student of the porn legend’s life may not be aware of. Holmes’ life story, told primarily in the words of the interviewees, like an oral history, is endlessly fascinating. The book has some terrific extras: an amazingly thorough filmography (and loopography) as well as detailed reviews of the major movies. This is no small achievement." -- Jared Rutter

Film Threat described it this way: "Emotionally exhausting, but a truly compelling real-life story." -- Phil Hall writes: "John Holmes: a Life Measured in Inches is the first book by authors Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson and is a work of considerable scope, ambition and importance in its chosen field. Indeed Sugar and Nelson have taken a subject inherently problematic – the history and scholarship of the adult film – and rendered it lucidly accessible to all, whether fans of adult material or not and whether male or female." -- Robert Cettl

SKUNK Magazine sums up "Inches": John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is to porn what the bible is to religion, the best detailed acccount of a king." -- MI

The author of the "Whatever became of?" series, had this to say about, "A Life Measured in Inches": "Long overdue, precisely researched and a breezy read." -- Richard Lamparski

Sex provides an analysis of "Inches: "From the first recorded scene with “snowballing” to Holmes’ preference to brunettes, A Life Measured in Inches offers an incredible gamut of information. The book concludes with a consummate filmography of John’s works, along with selected feature film reviews and the delineation of 150 loops, 306 features, and 27 compilations.

The vicissitudes of Holmes’ life offer a thought-provoking view of a time past, of a life lived dangerously and passionately. A Life Measured in Inches is a must-have for any fan of John Holmes and anybody interested in the origins of the fastest growing and most internationally lucrative industry today." -- A. Nicaj

Mittenlit book review expresses: "Instead of unverified accounts given by outsiders with no obvious connection to Holmes, these authors included the personal accounts of many of his peers which allow readers an inside view into Johnny Wadd’s troubled life.

Jennifer Sugar and Jill Nelson provide the reader with hundreds of synopsis’ of Holmes’ films including little-known reels from the earliest days of pornography that conclude with brazenly poignant reviews such as “…John gets the girls prepped for a shared facial—a personal memento from Mr. Big.” -- Ben Castanier

Hustler (Canada) exclaims about "A Life Measured in Inches": "The end result is a captivating, heart-wrenching account of Holmes life related through intense interviews with his loved ones, colleagues, business associates and follow stars.

Rounded out with narrative links, previously-unreleased photos and a stunning index of every Holmes production throughout his career, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is a long overdue tribute to one of the adult industry's pioneers, let alone the industry itself." --Keith Carman

Purchaser for Chapters-Indigo book stores (Canada) states: "Exhaustive and impressive." -- Michael Nicholson

Editor of the Village Voice sexuality blog, "Naked City" summarizes: "Chocked full of primary sources... This book is an excellent piece of porn history. You learn a whole lot about John Holmes and also about porn in the 70s and 80s." -- Audacia Ray

The editor of Ottawa X-Press remarks: "An intimidating piece of literature. Comprehensive." -- Cormac Rea

AV Maniacs comments: "Holmes makes for a fascinating subject and the care and attention to detail put into this project, the obvious desire to paint an honest portrait of his life rather than to simply focus on the more sensationlist aspects of it, makes this a book very much worth reading." -- Ian Jane

America's "beloved porn journalist" observes: "Inches is an excellent companion piece to Cass Paley's and Rodger Jacobs' 1998 documentary Wadd: The Life And Times of John Holmes. Holmes is iconic in American and porn culture for many of the same reasons rock stars are: unchecked fame and ego, low self esteem and an addictive personality, a personal magnetism and, beneath it all, a gift that destroyed him in the end." -- Gram Ponante

Veteran writer for Adult FYI exclaims: "The book John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is an oral history of the most famous and controversial porn star of all time... blizzard of quotes and assembly of porn junkie recollections and anecdotes... fascinating book by Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson..." -- Gene Ross

Mr. Skin Magazine concludes: "Since its publication this year, the book, which also serves as an oral history of the Golden Age of porn, has become regarded as the definitive biography of adult cinema’s most famous leading man." -- C.G. Hilliard

Cindi's Naked Truth author writes, "This book is the TEXT BOOK on John Holmes and his era of porn. There is so much detail! Currently rated 5 stars on, this is a must read for all porn history buffs." -- Cindi Loftus

Vice Magazine (Canada) writes: "A Life Measured In Inches serves up details on pretty much every aspect of Holmes’ life. It turns out to be a ridiculously well-researched, unbiased account of Holmes’ life. -- Mel C.

Bio Interviewees

John Holmes' godson shares a heartfelt sentiment: "[A Life Measured in Inches] paints a picture of someone who once meant everything to me, in a light that I can honestly say touched me. There was the good, the bad and the extremely ugly. There was so much of the real him in the book, of the John I knew. And not just in my stories, but in those told by others." -- Sean Amerson

Veteran film director, friend and creator of the Johnny Wadd series summed up the biography: "A comprehensive survey of a great tragedy." -- Bob Chinn

Holmes' premier leading lady, The Platinum Princess, herself, weighs in: "It has taken a long time but these two ladies got it dead spot on as far as it has to do with John C. Holmes." -- Seka

Former L.A.P.D. homicide detective and Laurel Canyon/Wonderland murders investigator writes: "A real insider's look into the life of John Holmes. The many quotes throughout the book give an interesting and insightful perspective to the Holmes story." -- Tom Lange

Holmes' friend and photographer states: "'A Life Measured in Inches' should be in every library. It is a historical piece." -- Joel Sussman

Former L.A.P.D. homicide detective - Laurel Canyon/Wonderland murders investigator and President of Hope Coming Ministries in Simi Valley writes: "I was impressed by the detective work you did." -- Frank Tomlinson

Well-respected actor and erotic film director claims: "It is a fine, sensitively written piece of work. I am very pleased and proud to be a part of it. It will always be the definitive work on Holmes and it's a great read. -- Jamie Gillis

The psychologist who counselled John Holmes and others at L.A. County Men's Jail, and author of the new book, Without Remorse writes: "Thank you for doing such a great job writing Inches. You put a lot of love and effort into the project. Whenever I even look at the cover I remember the 'Wadd'. I'm sure he would appreciate the book also. Great Job." -- Dr. Vonda L. Pelto, Ph.D.

Former Golden Age starlet, who did her first film with John Holmes shares her thoughts: "This is an amazing biography! By far, it is the best and most balanced account of John Holmes and the most truthful book about the adult film industry that has ever been written." -- Rhonda Jo Petty

Former Holmes comrade and fellow performer writes: "Thanks for quoting me word for word, unlike other interviews I have participated in." -- Don Fernando

Erotic movie legend, exclaims: "You did a fabulous job!" -- Marilyn Chambers.

A Hollywood scriptwriter says: "It tells the whole story about the man. It's the truth, not someone's fabricated tale of the life. It's a page turner and absolutely compelling. Kudos, ladies. You did an amazing job." -- Raven Touchstone

Porn's Ambassador reflects in the 02/09 SWANK piece, "John Holmes versus Ron Jeremy": "And in the final analysis [Sugar and Nelson] present a fair, balanced and complete look at "The King", John Curtis Holmes, without anti-porn hysteria on one hand, and without sugar-coating on the other -- just the good, the bad and the ugly of one man's life. May 'The King' rest in peace." -- Ron Jeremy

The director of Exhausted: John C. Holmes, The Real Story and John Holmes' former girlfriend is short but sweet: "Jennifer and Jill have done a very fine job." -- Julia St. Vincent

John Holmes' widow states: "After watching the film, Wonderland, Jennifer and Jill believed there was more to John Holmes. They have put a lot of research into this book and interviewed many people. I find the biography refreshing. I am proud of the book and I am proud of them." -- Laurie Holmes

Friday, September 11, 2009

September Interview Schedule

Jennifer and I will be featured guests on four blog talk radio programs during the month of September. Please see schedule below for details.


- Monday September 14th from 6-7:00pm Eastern - Monday Madness & Mayhem with host, Jahzara.

- Thursday September 17th from 10-11:00pm Eastern - The Odd Mind with host, Lesa Trapp.

- Saturday September 19th from 11-12:00pm Eastern - Chaklet Coffee Books with hosts, "Mimi" Jacobs and Gayle Johnson.

- Sunday September 20th from 5:30-6:30pm Eastern - Lit Media Reviews with host, Colleen.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Writers Rally:

Jennifer and I have been invited by special request to attend the very first Writers Rally, that will take place on Sunday October 25th from 10-5pm at the new Atrium, located at Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario Canada.

Forty hand-selected authors from across Southern Ontario will showcase their inspiring literature and magazines to a seasoned crowd. We are very pleased and proud to be included among this prestigious celebration of artists.

Events throughout the day will include readings from the authors that have come to sell their works, live musical performances from local young talent and cooking demonstrations from the cook book being launched at RBGs own archivist, historian and author, Marie Minaker.

For more information, please contact:

Royal Botanical Gardens: (905) 527-1158 ext#222

680 Plains Road West


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blog Talk Radio - Upcoming Interviews

Jennifer and I continue to celebrate the one year anniversary of John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches as we post information about two forthcoming BTR shows in August, with more radio appearances (and other news) to follow in September. We are excited to participate on these programs!

** Inches" authors will be guests on the Blog Talk Radio show, 'Creative Soul' on Saturday August 22nd at 12:00pm Eastern. The program is one hour long and will be hosted by Mr. John R. Williams. Please tune into this link to listen live or to the archived podcast.:

** Jennifer and I will make an appearance on'Chaklet Coffee Books' in September, as the slated August 29th interview will be rescheduled. The program is one hour long and will be hosted by "Mimi" Jacobs and Gayle Johnson. Please visit this link for details to listen:
In the meantime, stay tuned for more news!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Inches Celebrates One Year!

August 8, 2009

Today would have been John Holmes' 65th birthday and today, Jill and I are celebrating one year since the launch of A Life Measured in Inches at Book Soup in West Hollywood. The photos below are from that event.

Jennifer Sugar & Jill C. Nelson pose with Inches following the reading

Book-inspired birthday cake 8.8.08
(John's 64th birthday)

Jennifer and Jill sign copies of Inches for fans and VIPS

Johnny Wadd director, Bob Chinn and Jennifer

Former adult actress, Rhonda Jo Petty with Jill

John's widow, Laurie Holmes and Jennifer

P. S. We have also uploaded a live 3-part radio interview on youtube that we did on the eve of our book's release on Sirius Playboy Radio with hosts, Christy Canyon and Vanessa Blue. We are joined by Laurie Holmes. The interview can be found at this link:

Jill & I will also be doing another BTR interview on August 22 at 11 a.m. (Eastern). We'll post details about the event as it approaches!

~Jennifer Sugar

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Complete "Inches" Essay and Talk Radio Interview

Book Review/Essay:

Last week, we posted a preview of the articulate new essay/review on John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches written by Australian writer and critic, Robert Cettl. The essay in its entirety has been published at and is now available to read at the following link:

Talk Radio:

Tune in on Friday July 31st from 9:00-11:00pm Eastern, as Jennifer and I participate in a special 2 hour interview on KRRN Radio with host, D. J. Knightman. You don't have to be a member of this station to listen live. Please visit the following link for details:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 Essay on INCHES

Australian critic and writer, Robert Cettl, who maintains the website, recently wrote an in-depth review and essay in response to reading A Life Measured in Inches. His complete review will be posted at very soon, in the meantime, we wanted to share some excerpts from his very thoughtful piece.

"John Holmes: a Life Measured in Inches
(a book review by Robert Cettl)

John Holmes: a Life Measured in Inches is the first book by authors Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson and is a work of considerable scope, ambition and importance in its chosen field. Indeed Sugar and Nelson have taken a subject inherently problematic – the history and scholarship of the adult film – and rendered it lucidly accessible to all, whether fans of adult material or not and whether male or female.

Sugar and Nelson have researched their subject considerably and it is evident on every page – John Holmes: a Life Measured in Inches is the distinctive Holmes biography, sorting through Holmes’ tendency to fabricate the truth in his own accounts of his life with actual biographical fact and first-hand accounts of the man and his life presented uncut in the actual words of those who knew and interacted with him – from Sharon Holmes (the wife he kept secret to his adult industry business partners) to Bob Chinn (the Chinese-American UCLA graduate turned pornographer who in tandem with Holmes would birth West Coast US porn in the Johnny Wadd series of films, meticulously described in the comprehensive filmography which closes this remarkable book)."

Monday, July 13, 2009

BBS Radio Interview with Jennifer Sugar & More

**The one hour popular exclusive interview Jennifer did for BBS Radio on June 28th with host Nancy Wallace is now available through the BBS website program archives. Please visit this link for listening options:

**I would also like mention that during my recent trip to California, I had the opportunity to meet for a drink with freelance writer, Damon Brown, at Sugar Cafe in San Francisco. Brown is the author of the new book, "Porn and Pong: How Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and other Sexy Games Changed Our Culture". This is a very interesting and fast-paced story about the marriage between sex and technology during the past 30 years.
I encourage you all to check out Brown's blog for more information:

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Book Review - SKUNK Magazine

This new book review can be found on page 90 of the latest (and first) sex issue of SKUNK Magazine: Volume 5, Issue 3 -- The Big O's - Outdoors, Orgasms & Organics.

SKUNK magazine is now available at all Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters Book locations.


BOOK - John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches
Jennifer Sugar & Jill C. Nelson (Bear Manor Media)

"It's a long road from Ohio Country boy to legendary filmmaker. Making the trip to the top is even harder when the genre of film you specialize in is porn. This book allows you to be a fly on the wall and witness how John Curtis Holmes became Johnny Wadd Holmes, the greatest X-rated superstar of all time. Told in graphic detail by the people who were closest to him, you get to learn firsthand how the greatest (and possibly the largest) dick in adult entertainment fucked his way from the shadows of a budding billion-dollar industry to universal hardcore adult fame. John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is to porn what the bible is to religion, the best detailed acccount of a king. Only, in this case, Holmes is the undisputed king of porn whose life swirled down the drain as he was consumed by drugs, bad choices and worse friends." MI

Saturday, June 27, 2009

BBS Radio & Artist's Corner interviews!

New Interviews

On Sunday June 28th, Jennifer will participate in a one hour exclusive (live) interview with host, Nancy Wallace (Nancy's Metaphysical World and More), heard on BBS Station 3 Radio. The program airs between 4-5:00pm Pacific Time (7:00pm Eastern) and can be located at this link:

On Tuesday June 30th, Jill Nelson will be a guest on Canada's Artist's Corner with host, Mona Marcobelli. The half hour pre-taped program airs at 6:00pm Eastern and can be located at this link:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hustler Canada - Excerpts

As Jennifer mentioned, the new Hustler Canada magazine - August 2009 edition, is now available for purchase. (This is our first cover!) Because this magazine can't be read online, we have provided you with some excerpts from the article/review/interview. Enjoy!

JOHN HOLMES BIOGRAPHY - Johnny Wadd... We Hardly Blew Ya!

By Keith Carman

"While his infamous Johnny Wadd is still omnipresent in pop culture some 20 years after his death and a few documentaries have struggled to peel back Holmes' personal layers posthumously, they were of minimal impact. Little was truly known about the true Holmes."


"Even two decades later, Holmes is an icon, making men jealous and women coo. From his portrayal as a ladykiller to his drug dependency, soft-heartedness and yearning for love, to ignoring his own mortality and endangering the lives of others after contracting AIDS, and his unusual involvement in the Wonderland Murders of the '80s, Holmes was--and is--an intriguing, beguiling figure."

"Therefore, it comes as little shock that the world's first authorized biography, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches (Bear Manor Media) finds the most unusual of cohorts uniting to tell the in-depth tale of of Holmes' fascinating, albeit, troubled and dichotomous life: 20 something year-old MSU graduate, Jennifer Sugar, and 50-something hearing aid specialist/mother of two, Jill C. Nelson."

"And how, exactly do these two very opposing, very distant personalities find one another, let alone collaborate on their shared interest in Holmes, despite having absolutely no previous ties to the industry? Thank the internet. After participating on a message board for Wonderland, Nelson met Sugar who was already in the process of writing Holmes' biography."

Sugar: "I watched all of the documentaries, read John's autobiography and started watching his movies. I had so many questions; I wanted to read an in-depth biography and when I found that there wasn't one, available, I decided to write it."

Nelson: "I was blown away that a young woman of her age had taken on such a monumental task, particularly since [Jennifer] was only five years old when Holmes died from AIDS-related causes in 1988," Nelson relates with pride. "About a year after we'd started communicating, Jennifer invited me to be her collaborator."

"The end result is a captivating, heart-wrenching account of Holmes life related through intense interviews with his loved ones, colleagues, business associates and fellow stars. Rounded out with narrative links, previously-unreleased photos and a stunning index of every Holmes production throughout his career, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches is a long-overdue tribute to one of the adult industry's pioneers, let alone the industry itself."

"Love him or loathe him," adds Sugar with finality, "John Holmes is a part of pop culture and American history."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hustler Canada Review

The August 2009 issue of Hustler Canada includes a 2 page spread with a review of the book and photos. Check it out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Book Review! SEX HERALD

Books: Erotic Writing

John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches By Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson
A. Nicaj Sex Vol 6, Issue 9

Rating: 4/5 stars

“Everything in life is an act; it’s the performance that counts.” -John Holmes

And John performed.

One can’t help but wonder where the life of the first true porn star, John Holmes, would have gone without the notoriety gained by his atypical physical endowment. Although the length of his penis is often contested, Ron Jeremy, an immensely popular male porn star, openly admits that Holmes “had me beat by about an inch—inch and a half.” But there was much more to John Holmes than his illustrious career in pornography, his drug abuse, and his involvement with one of the most notorious mass murders in Hollywood history.

Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson’s coauthored biography, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches (2008), is as girthy as it is informative—nearly 440 pages of detailed first-person accounts from those who knew Holmes personally, as well as from the legend himself. The people interviewed and excerpted throughout the book become distinct through the tone and idiosyncrasies of their voices, providing intimate and multi-layered perspectives.

Sugar and Nelson have organized these accounts chronologically and rather seamlessly—the occasional pairing of certain statements regarding similar subjects help to reinforce each other. The differing perspectives of each account have an undeniable effectiveness in shedding light upon and conveying Holmes’ intriguing story. Holmes’ notorious propensity to lie discredits certain aspects of his posthumously published autobiography, Porn King (1998), since close friends have said that he began to believe his own lies.

Throughout A Life Measured in Inches, you will find that three black-and-white photo sections of John from early childhood onwards supplement most chapters. The reader learns the trivialities of Holmes’ wholesome Ohio upbringing during the late 1940s and his tendency to drink gallon(s) of milk per day. The paternal figures from his childhood and early adolescence devolve into abusive alcoholics and force the teenage Holmes to drop out of high school and enroll in the Signal Corps. Along with a few other odd jobs, Holmes also drove an ambulance and a forklift in a meatpacking plant before finally volunteering in a stag movie in 1964.

Sugar and Nelson provide the historical framework for Holmes’ story, detailing the infancy of the adult entertainment industry before the era of “free love” with Hugh Hefner’s first Playboy publication in 1953. The next few decades would transition from scantily clothed stills into the 8 mm and 16-mm film used for more explicit material during the “Golden Age” of pornography.
Holmes’ freelance acting granted him unprecedented flexibility with production companies.

Aware of the extensive demands of the porn industry, Holmes took on a variety of sexual roles to reach a wider audience by participating in gay scenes, masturbation loops, and sex with pregnant women. In a time where records were lost through the havoc of police raids and general disorganization, the nebulous facts regarding Holmes have contributed to the perpetuation of his legend. Although his prolific career includes two decades worth of adult loops and feature-length movies, the length of his penis (10-14 inches), the number of women he slept with (estimated at 4,000), and the age at which he lost his virginity (six and up), remain unverified, crafting an epic character with a tragic downfall.

The decadence of Holmes’ health from his drug abuse began damaging his career and triggered his involvement with the Wonderland Gang, a lethal group of cocaine dealers situated in LA during the early 80s. His association with this gang only increased his obsessive compulsion to sell stolen items to support his developing drug habit, further entrenching him in the drug exploits of Ed Nash, a high-profile crime figure.

The sections exploring the Wonderland murders and the ensuing trial immerse its readers into a fast-paced world of drugs and fatal deception. The dialogues exchanged between Julia St. Vincent, a romantic partner of John’s after having acted in Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here, and Dawn Schiller, John’s na├»ve teenage mistress and drug-using cohort, recall their involvement through vivid narrative. Following his sentencing of 119 days in jail for contempt, Sugar and Nelson end the chapter with a resonant distinction: “John was never a murderer; he was a drug addict!" (311)

From the first recorded scene with “snowballing” to Holmes’ preference to brunettes, A Life Measured in Inches offers an incredible gamut of information. The book concludes with a consummate filmography of John’s works, along with selected feature film reviews and the delineation of 150 loops, 306 features, and 27 compilations.

The vicissitudes of Holmes’ life offer a thought-provoking view of a time past, of a life lived dangerously and passionately. A Life Measured in Inches is a must-have for any fan of John Holmes and anybody interested in the origins of the fastest growing and most internationally lucrative industry today.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Exclusive Interview with Roger T. Pipe

Jennifer and I met adult writer and film critic, Roger Pipe, at the Adult Entertainment Expo in January. Recently, we participated in an exclusive interview for his website:

Jennifer Sugar and Jill Nelson have written a new book on John Holmes. It’s called John Holmes, a Life Measured in Inches and it’s a very compelling read. It is a comprehensive look at the life, career, downfall and eventual death of the biggest legend the adult industry has ever seen. I got to meet the authors of the book in Vegas at the AEE and they agreed to a an interview about their project. It is short and sweet, but I hope you find it interesting.

What are your backgrounds?

Jennifer Sugar: I am a graduate from Michigan State University with a background in math and biology. Besides my background in research, I didn't have any specific qualifications when I began writing the book.

Jill Nelson: I am a 51 year old married mother of two and a Hearing Instrument Specialist by profession. I have always enjoyed writing as a hobby, but never attempted to have anything published prior to working on this book.

What led you to do a book on the adult industry? / Why John Holmes as the central figure?

Jennifer Sugar: I had no affiliation with the adult industry and I didn't know enough about it to have an opinion, one way or the other. At that point, I had only seen a couple of porn movies, but none of Holmes'.

Of course, at 21 years old, I understood the intimation on the radio, "Our sets are longer than John Holmes," and I was naturally curious. One random day in October of 2003, I skipped class to see a movie. I guess it was fate, because Wonderland was the next thing playing, and I was instantly interested in seeing it when I heard it involved John Holmes -- sex, drugs and an unsolved multiple murder. Ironically, after I saw it, I remember saying to my husband, "I will never see a John Holmes movie!"

Over the course of the next few days, I became more curious about the murders, but also about John's entire life, being that he was a country boy from Ohio and I'm from Michigan. I watched my first two Holmes movies that weekend, California Gigolo and The Adventures of Dickman & Throbbin, I watched all of the documentaries and I read everything I could find, but was disappointed that there wasn't a biography dedicated solely to exploring John Holmes with the depth that I felt the subject required. It seemed unreal to me, so I decided to begin a comprehensive and definitive biography in 2004. That was the conception of Inches.

Jill Nelson: I became interested in John Holmes as a person after having rented the Hollywood film, Wonderland, in 2005. Afterwards, when I started to do my own research on John, I met Jennifer on a message board for the film Wonderland. Privately, she informed me that she had commenced to write the first and definitive book about Holmes and about a year later, when she became bogged down with school work and realized the sheer magnitude of the project, she invited me to become her collaborator.

John struck me as a multi-dimensional person, rather than the simpleton many people assumed that he was. Although not academically smart, John was a bright and enigmatic individual throughout his life and career. When Jennifer informed me that she had decided to write John's biography, I was impressed that it was her mandate to present a fair and unbiased look at his life. Holmes is a seminal figure who is an influential and important forefather of the X-rated adult entertainment industry, so it was challenging but also exciting to work through the process together in order to produce this very complete look at John's life. Part of my interest in the subject was due to the fact that I had no prior knowledge of the adult entertainment industry.

The book includes comprehensive interviews. How much did you do and how did you put the material together?

Jennifer Sugar: Between Jill and myself, we talked with a total of 35 people who knew or worked with John Holmes, and this includes several extensive interviews, which resulted in plenty of new material for the book. I began putting material together after doing the first couple of rounds of interviews (because of being a full-time college student and working to pay the bills, I was limited to working on the book during summers until the final year, when I took a year off after graduation). In the beginning, I experimented with several styles, but it was clear that the oral history format with some narrative was the best way because John's story is so complex. Throughout the process of writing, Jill and I endlessly reworked chapters because it was important, with the idea of creating something definitive, to remain as unbiased as possible.

Jill Nelson: Several of the people Jennifer and I interviewed for the biography had not gone on record before to speak in depth about John. People such as John's girlfriend and Exhausted director, Julia St. Vincent, Marilyn Chambers, Jamie Gillis, Seka, former L.A.P.D. homicide detectives, Tom Lange and Frank Tomlinson, and others, opened up to us about their interpersonal relationships, friendships and experiences with John. Because Jennifer and I reside in different countries, we sent our interview transcriptions, chapters, film/loops reviews and the filmography, back and forth via e-mail, once we had decided upon a format that worked.

How willing were people to talk about the various aspects of John’s life, career and issues?

Jennifer Sugar: Most people who had worked with John were very willing to share their experiences, although many of them were cautious at first and asked questions about our motives and how we planned on portraying John. It was important to us to be unbiased toward John, and also, not to take sides -- to be fair to everyone who was quoted in the book.

Jill Nelson: People were open and forthcoming in talking about the various aspects of John's life, career and issues. For some, their memories are bittersweet, but overall, they have been very supportive and are pleased with the finished product.

What was the most surprising thing you learned?

Jennifer Sugar: I think the most surprising thing was the many facets of John's character. I suspected that there had to be more to him than what had been shown before, but we showed everything -- the good, the bad, and the sometimes very ugly, but the result is that John was simply a human being, just like you and I, and we felt that was the central theme.

Jill Nelson: It was surprising to learn that John was an artistic person who indulged his creative side whenever he had an opportunity. He enjoyed woodworking, gardening, building, refinishing furniture, sketching, writing and sculpting. It was interesting to have an opportunity to flesh out these aspects of John's character since those elements had not really been focused upon in past projects about him. He definitely was a multi-tiered and flawed individual.

After all these years, why do you think the world is still fascinated by John Holmes?

Jennifer Sugar: I think the world will always be fascinated by John because of his massive size and the fact that he was the first world famous porn star, back when porn in America was new and illegal to make and sell. John was and always will be a figure of American pop culture from that alone, plus his name has been cemented in infamy, because of his association in the 1981 drug-related murders in Laurel Canyon and his 1988 death from AIDS. It's an unflinching look at a real person that will make you laugh and cry.

Jill Nelson: John was the very first adult film superstar and the first can never be replaced or replicated, which is why he is known to this day by his contemporaries as The King. At a time when it was illegal to produce and perform in hardcore films, John was a pioneer in his chosen field. I believe that our book reveals John as the complicated and conflicted person that he was, and because of the many contradictions that typify his life, John's story makes for a fascinating read. His is truly a tragic tale.

What do you think Holmes legacy is?

Jennifer Sugar: Like any other film star, John immortalized himself. His death from AIDS raised awareness of sexual health practices in the adult film industry, and John's is probably the best anti-drug story around.

Jill Nelson: To add to what Jennifer has said, I think John's legacy is also that he is porn's anti-hero in the minds of many who remember the Golden Age. Before the days of Viagra and augmentation, John had a screen presence that was natural, non-threatening, but also commanding. Men could identify with his average looks and because of his unique size, women found him to be desirable.

Do you have any other plans for books on the industry?

Jennifer Sugar: I would never say never, but it's not my plan. I would like to write more non-fiction, but my goal isn't to become an adult industry historian.

Jill Nelson: If I were to write another book about the industry, it would be about the women of the Golden Age. I am interested in their stories and I believe that they are worthy of being told. At the same time, it would be fun to explore other topics.

If you could ask John one question and be assured of a 100% honest answer what would you ask?

Jennifer Sugar: Because my initial interest in John's life story stemmed from my interest in the unsolved murders, I would want to ask him to tell me what happened from beginning to end. I'm not sure that I would ask that, though, because I believe that John already said what he wanted to about that topic in the tapes he made prior to his death. We printed his side of the story in the book, and it all fits surprisingly well with what the police believe happened. I'd probably ask him to explain how he became involved in the adult industry, since there is a lot of conjecture about that, and it appears that he first started as a nude model almost immediately after moving to California and meeting his first wife.

Jill Nelson: In his audiotapes, John joked when talking about writing his autobiography that he would like to dedicate his book "to the only woman I ever loved" and then leave people guessing as to who he had intimated. Jennifer and I were able to include some of John's primary relationships in the book, but it would be interesting to find out who he had truly loved. I would also like to ask John to list his five favourite leading ladies of his 20 year film career. Because he was a person who often did things contrary to what one might expect, I suspect that his answer would be quite different than what most people would predict.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chapters in Ottawa and "Inches" on Youtube!

Saturday May 23rd marked the second Canadian book event for John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches, when I appeared at the Chapters Rideau store to chat about "Inches", discuss and sign copies of the critically acclaimed biography. The event was covered by SNAP Ottawa Downtown -- photos and a synopsis will appear in the June publication of the magazine. Special thanks to Chantal from SNAP (kudos for the rulers!) and to Tony Trinh of Chapters for making this an enjoyable event! Piece and photo link from SNAP:[]=96501

The CBC Radio interview with "Q" host Jian Ghomeshi (many Americans will recognize the name from the recent interview he did with Billy Bob Thornton) is now available on youtube. It is in two-parts and set to a montage of John Holmes photos. Please check out the link(s) below to listen and view: