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Paul Stenning
In Mauritius, 2019
In Mauritius, 2019
BornPaul David Stenning
(1976-06-12) 12 June 1976 (age 46)
Brighton, East Sussex, England
OccupationWriter
EducationBury Church of England High School
Period1990s–present
Genres
  • Poetry
  • biography
  • criticism

Paul David Stenning (born 12 June 1976) is an English author, ghostwriter and poet. He has written twenty-nine books, of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and biography. The best-known of his books is The Robert Pattinson Album, a biography of Robert Pattinson, first published in 2009 and appearing in seven languages since then.[1] According to WorldCat Stenning has released 30 works in 106 publications in 7 languages.[2]

Early life

Stenning was born in Brighton in East Sussex. He had trials with the Brighton & Hove Albion youth team and wanted to be a footballer or a writer.[3][4] Stenning's primary school teacher remarked that he would be a writer at the age of four.[5]

His family moved to Manchester when he was eight years old.[6] Stenning attended Urmston Grammar School amongst others, including Bury Church of England High School. He did not attend college or university. Despite early encouragement at school, Stenning is a mostly autodidactic writer.[7]

Take That and early career

Stenning wrote poetry through his late teens and submitted his first poem in late 1999, which was published as part of an anthology titled Magical Memories, a year later.[8]

During this time he worked for Take That as assistant to their financial advisor Simon Orange, the brother of Jason Orange. Stenning was privy to the intimate details of the band's personal finances. During his time working at the office in Cheadle he had an accident where he fell through a roof inside the building and was almost electrocuted.[9]

After leaving his work in finance, Stenning worked at the Frog and Bucket comedy club in Manchester where he worked alongside Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay. In an interview with Key 103 radio the owner of the club explained how he told Stenning that he could make him a "very rich man" in revealing what he knew of Take That. Stenning declined. According to the owner, Stenning assisted Peter Kay with his first memoir.

Between 1998 and 2005 Stenning was employed at the well-known Manchester record shop, Vinyl Exchange, where his expertise in Metal and Rock made a substantial contribution to the shop's success.

He also worked as a DJ, often playing sets before live concerts, particularly before shows at the Manchester Apollo. Stenning's sets appeared before concerts by No Doubt, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Bruce Dickinson. He also once worked at a famous toy store where he met Karel Poborsky.[10]

Periodical Journalism

Stenning has said music was his first love and he wrote music reviews for fun during his teens.[6] In the mid-1990s he submitted reviews to Metal Hammer where he soon became a regular contributor. Other music magazines he wrote for included Rolling Stone, Record Collector, Metal Maniacs, Decibel, BraveWords, Terrorizer and Alternative Press. He has also written for FHM, Front and, after moving to Cyprus in 2008, the Cyprus Weekly. He continues to contribute to Record Collector most recently interviewing Fish.[11] Stenning contributed a piece to The Independent newspaper on the anniversary of Michael Hutchence's passing.[12]

Ghostwriter and author

Stenning's first book was on Guns N' Roses, an unofficial biography that was later cited as the most accurate book on the band by guitarist Slash.[13][14]

He also wrote unofficial biographies of Iron Maiden, Metallica, My Chemical Romance, Rage Against the Machine and AC/DC. Stenning describes Tommy Vance and especially the Friday Rock Show as big influences on his early career. He dedicated his biographies of Iron Maiden and Slash to Vance.[15][16]

He has conducted hundreds of interviews including Meat Loaf, Pete Best, Alice Cooper, Steve Guttenberg, Kathy Sledge, Peter Steele, John Myatt and Linda Hamilton. Stenning's interviews often run over the allotted time allowed. He spoke to Peter Steele and Leslie Easterbrook for almost 3 hours despite an interview restriction of an hour. Easterbrook told Stenning he asks "great questions".[8][14][17] In 2006, Stenning interviewed Steven Adler live onstage at The Cavern Club in Liverpool.[13][18]

After working on a biography of Robert Pattinson, Stenning focused on areas beyond music. Since 2009 he has worked primarily as a ghostwriter, working with Patty Schnyder, Jason Newsted, Frank Abagnale, Tomáš Berdych, Steven Adler, Adam Dubin,[19] U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted Fugitives Jody K Thompson[14] and British champion wrestler Ray Robinson.[20][21] Stenning was considered as ghostwriter for the memoirs of Amanda Knox due to his sensitivity and empathic interview style and ability to deal with harsh subject matters, the same reason he was chosen to handle the memoir of David Gill, the controversial owner of South Lakes Safari Zoo.[10]

In 2013 Stenning released Success – By Those Who've Made It, which featured Mario Andretti, Jörgen Elofsson, Ching He Huang, Cherie Lunghi, Roy 'Chubby' Brown, Greg Merson, Susan Polgar, Phil Gallagher aka Mister Maker and Penelope Spheeris.[22] Anne Wafula Strike was the last personal biography featured in the book, which Stenning explained was because her story was the most powerful and the greatest example of success.[23][24] After the book was released, Stenning gave talks on success at corporate events, festivals and schools.[25]

He is working on biographies of Archbishop Makarios III and Jayne Mansfield, which he considers "labours of love".[14] In 2011 he met Margaret Nolan who was thinking of writing her memoir.[10]

Asked in 2015 if he would like to write an Axl Rose autobiography, Stenning replied, "without question". In the same interview Stenning revealed he could potentially work with Jason Newsted on a memoir in the future.[10]

Stenning's books have been released in multiple languages with several titles in Bulgarian, Polish and Portuguese.[2]

Since 2018 he has served as the official poet for the tourist board of Guinea-Bissau.[26]

Stenning is a member of the Society of Authors.

Former managing director of Virgin Books, KT Forster, has described Stenning as a polymath and a ghostwriting chameleon.[27][28]

Personal life

Stenning has a wife and daughter. He travels around the world to ghostwrite and is based in the United States and Cyprus.[29]

He lived in Brighton during the time of the Brighton hotel bombing, being woken by the blast. He was also in Manchester on the day of the 1996 Manchester bombing.[30]

Stenning has been an active campaigner for animal rights since his teens and is a vegetarian.[31] He is a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.[5]

In August 2020 Stenning expressed his support on Twitter for Rowan Atkinson and the coalition of authors and journalists campaigning against the hate crime bill.[32]

He released a podcast on the TV series Minder in July 2021.[33]

Bibliography

As official biographer or co-writer

As writer

References

  1. ^ Formats and Editions of The Robert Pattinson album [WorldCat.org]. OCLC 428777221.
  2. ^ a b http://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no2005032110/
  3. ^ Stenning, Paul (24 November 2013). Success – By Those Who've Made It. Pg.230. In Flight Books. ISBN 978-1628475869.
  4. ^ http://www.edicoesideal.com/paul-stenning/[dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Paul Stenning".
  6. ^ a b Brett Davison Interview, BBC, July 2005. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01g28s9
  7. ^ Live Preston & Fylde http://www.live-magazines.co.uk/regions/preston-fylde/ magazine interview 2014, Pg. 117 Arts & Culture.
  8. ^ a b "Live Preston & Fylde magazine", March 2014
  9. ^ BBC Radio Lancashire August 15th 2020
  10. ^ a b c d BBC Radio 5 Live interview with Dawn Dunlop, December 2015
  11. ^ "June 2021 Issue - Record Collector Magazine".
  12. ^ "Elegantly Wasted: Behind the scenes with Michael Hutchence". Independent.co.uk. 22 November 2021. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022.
  13. ^ a b Devolution magazine interview https://devolutionmagazine.co.uk/ Issue 20, 2009.
  14. ^ a b c d "The ghost writer".
  15. ^ Iron Maiden: 30 Years of the Beast (2006). ISBN 978-1842403617.
  16. ^ Slash: Surviving Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver And Rock’s Snakepit (2007). ISBN 978-1786064196.
  17. ^ "U.K. Journalist: Music Will Be Lesser Without PETER STEELE's Impact". 15 April 2010.
  18. ^ The Cavern Club: The Rise of The Beatles and Merseybeat, Spencer Leigh
  19. ^ "Press – Adam Dubin". adamdubin.com.
  20. ^ "Wrestler hoping life story will be great hit".
  21. ^ "Marty helps Ray's book to be a forearm smash". oldham-chronicle.co.uk.
  22. ^ "News – Page 2". jorgenelofsson.com.
  23. ^ "Ambassadors | Access Rating - Disabled Access Reviews". 30 August 2020.
  24. ^ Stenning, Paul (24 November 2013). Success – By Those Who've Made It. Pg. 203–207. In Flight Books. ISBN 978-1628475869.
  25. ^ Live Preston & Fylde http://www.live-magazines.co.uk/regions/preston-fylde/ magazine interview 2014, Pg. 118 Arts & Culture.
  26. ^ "Rios and Lagoons". January 2014.
  27. ^ Avocado Books launch 27th September 2016
  28. ^ "Events".
  29. ^ "Stenning - SCRIBIOMEMO".
  30. ^ Manchester Metro newspaper, May 2004
  31. ^ The Cyprus Weekly, 20 May issue, 2016
  32. ^ @PStenningAuthor (11 August 2020). "When did logic exit from popular culture? Rowan Atkinson's logic is quite simple. If you want everyone to be able t…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  33. ^ https://minderpodcast.co.uk