The perfect pair dolphin trilogy authors launch new novella series, belinda fellgate - interview with stephen kingston of salford star online magazine
ACCLAIMED SALFORD AUTHORS LAUNCH SCARY NEW
Which book is out - both of them?
The first book in the Belinda Fellgate novella series is Belinda Fellgate: HellCat. Its official release date is 18th June 2020. The release is late because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On a good note, the second book in the Belinda Fellgate series – Belinda Fellgate: The Kiss of Flauros – is written and undergoing its final edit. The artwork is complete but awaiting colour. There is a delay because our colourist is presently stuck in Spain, again thanks to Covid-19. However, we hope to have the book released within the next 6 months.
Scary kids’ stuff is a bit different from dolphins - what (literally!) possessed you to do it?
As writers, we needed a breath of fresh air, as the award-winning book series, The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy, was mentally and emotionally exhausting. Remember, The Perfect Pair was a true story written under the fiction banner to avoid legal problems. It was a damning exposé that got us into a lot of trouble and is STILL being interfered with by powerful parties. For us, Belinda Fellgate was an escape and a joy to write.
For many years, Tracy wrote spooky stories for teen books and magazines – The Bunty, The Mandy and Shout. She published around 60 short stories but wrote many more which were rejected as “too scary”. Then she wrote a children’s novel called Devil Doll. An editor from Usborne Publishing liked it so much that she worked on it for some months before being headhunted by a rival company. Sadly, this meant Devil Doll was shelved.
David found the manuscript in the loft, loved it and started to add his magic – and Belinda Fellgate was born. However, David’s input meant we had to raise the reading age to Young Adult.
Is the plan to scare the pants off poor journalists?
Quick answer! YES!
Why do teenage girls like this sort of stuff?
Not just teenage girls, but teenage boys as well. This is a book series for both sexes. It’s a form of escapism that we all need, especially now, during these sad and scary times.
The graphics are great - is that very much a part of the book?
A huge part! The demon tome, Secrets of the Shadow Realms, carries the illustrations and hints at the trials to come. The number of illustrations will increase with every adventure in the Belinda Fellgate series. Tracy believes David’s images would make great posters and can just see them finding their way onto bedroom walls throughout the country. That’s just how good the artwork is!
The book is nasty and creepy and horrid - is that a compliment??
That is indeed a compliment – it means we’ve achieved what we set out to achieve. But, as with all our work, there are hidden messages – animal welfare, bullying and abuse issues.
Anything else you want to add??
We have great hopes for this series, but – as always – it needs support. We are northern writers, born and bred in Salford, and hope that we don’t get side-lined as so many northern writers do.
Link to actual article: http://salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=5649
THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY AUTHORS' LETTER TO UK PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON
Dear Prime Minister Johnson
First, we wish to tell you how happy we were to see you address our great country yesterday. During your illness, you were constantly in our thoughts and in our prayers - and, judging from public reaction, it seems to us that you are loved more than you know.
Next, we wish to raise the issue of China, the Chinese wet markets and the Chinese dog and cat meat trade.
You will know only too well how the Chinese (and many other Asian countries) work: skinning animals alive; boiling, grilling and blow-torching dogs alive; even eating some animals alive; in the ignorant belief that torture sweetens the meat.
We should NOT be trading with such countries - especially not China, which is responsible for a disease that could wipe out almost half of humanity.
We are requesting NO trade with China, and NO monies going to China in times of crisis. Same with Japan, Korea, the Philippines and other countries that see fit to abuse and torture animals in horrific ways, then peddle lies to cover up their gross inhumanity.
Until these countries change their ways, we should boycott them and restore our own manufacturing industries; returning us to an era when the UK produced quality goods, instead of importing cheap throwaway rubbish with which to destroy the planet.
Finally, having suffered from Covid-19 yourself, you know all too well how lucky you were to come through your ordeal. You also know how virulent this disease is. Despite the terrible death toll that Covid-19 has inflicted on the world, there are still some fortunate enough to weather it.
However, we ask you to take a glimpse into the future: the next pandemic inflicted by the Asian wet markets could be infinitely more virulent, more catastrophic, more deadly. Indeed, as the scientific community has testified, we are still not out of the woods with this version of Covid-19.
The world can no longer conduct "business as usual". Nature has handed humanity a harsh lesson – one we must ALL learn from if we wish to avoid another catastrophe such as this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We send our best wishes to you and your loved ones.
David C Holroyd and Tracy J Holroyd, Cert Ed, BA(Hons)
Authors of the award-winning book series, The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy
When we announced the imminent release of Belinda Fellgate: HellCat, we received several emails from activist friends telling us that there was outrage behind the scenes – so-called activists bad-mouthing us via private message.
They know that the new book is a young adult fantasy. They know that we were writers and artists before we wrote the dolphin trilogy. It seems they're not even happy about us returning to our 'old jobs'. They don't want us to do anything that might attract public attention. They hoped we'd simply fade away. Well – shock and horror! - the HellCat is coming whether they like it – or not!
We eventually got confirmation that the charity block of The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy was down to Margaux Dodds and Gaye Hunter of the UK charity Marine Connection. They were trying to protect the interests of Ric O'Barry – a man who didn't want to share the anti-captivity platform with another ex-trainer from around the same era. On discovering this skulduggery, we announced it on social media - and three things happened. First, we and several activist friends were hacked by two people who claimed to be personal friends of Ric O'Barry. Second, one of Dolphin Project's senior team members opened a Twitter account with the sole purpose of challenging former head trainer and whistle-blower, David Capello. Third, several anti-captivity activists got in touch to tell us that the O'Barry team had also attacked them in various ways, including hacking and threats.
You can read the explosive blog that brought all this underhand trickery to a head by clicking on the link below – and be sure to read the comments, especially those made by other former dolphin handlers and Sugarloaf Sanctuary workers.
A friend recently complained that staff witnessing abuse in various industries are unwilling to speak out. That’s because whistle-blowers are treated so badly and get a reputation. Not only do they lose their jobs (be it being pushed or being forced to jump), but they also have great difficulty getting work elsewhere. Prospective employers think they can never be trusted. If people have a job and want to keep it, they quickly realise that they have to keep their heads down and their mouths shut.
The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy was not my story, but I helped to write and edit it. In doing so, I was vilified by the very charities I once contributed to. I lost all my lecturing work. I lost my publishing work. All of it.
I worked on an award-winning story that was emotionally draining; a story that I believed would give the charities ammunition against the captive industry; a story that I believed would educate the public and stop them buying that ticket to a dolphinarium. In my naivety, I didn't foresee that Capello would be viewed as a threat to O'Barry; didn't foresee that the charities would view us as a threat to their professed expertise and incomes; didn't foresee that the UK activists would turn on us and tell us that our help wasn't needed or wanted.
But we are not the only ones who have suffered. On an amusing note, I have commented on the testimonies of two celebrity activists who were complaining about the charities turning on them. In both instances, the celebrities involved replied to every comment of support … except mine. It seems that when the charities turned on US, it was deemed to be justified. When the charities turned on THEM, it was NOT.
Laughable when you think about it, but that’s people for you - one of the many reasons why I have always preferred animals to people … a mindset that stemmed from childhood and has only been reinforced throughout the years.
Tracy J Holroyd, Cert Ed, BA(Hons), Member of the Society of Authors
Freelance writer for D C Thomson
Children’s History of Manchester
Children’s History of Lancashire
The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy
Belinda Fellgate: HellCat
UNDERGROUND PRESS GIVES PLATFORM TO THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY'S FORMER HEAD TRAINER AND WHISTLE-BLOWER, DAVID CAPELLO
William Roache, MBE, aka Ken Barlow of ITV’s hit Soap, Coronation Street: ‘The message is clear and powerful. Humanity has reached a stage where it is intolerant of abuse and ill treatment of animals, especially in the world of entertainment.’
Dr Simon JR Adams, BSc(Hons), BVMS, MRCVS, Independent Zoo and Wildlife Veterinary Adviser: ‘Could lead to a whole new understanding of cetacean behaviour.’
Ben Reeves, Journalist and Book Reviewer: ‘A shocking exposé of callous brutality against highly intelligent living creatures.’
Dave D, Ex-TV/Radio Presenter and Director of Pattaya One Media Group: ‘A national UK media block, corporate book blocking, covert messaging. All seemingly aided and abetted by many of the big-name anti-captivity charities. Intrigue and skulduggery more reminiscent of an international spy thriller than a book series about dolphins.’
David Capello, former head dolphin trainer and whistle-blower, Entam Leisure:
Lies, deceit, corruption – to say nothing of cruelty. All facets of the lucrative captive cetacean industry. And I should know, because I was once a big part of it.
So, who am I?
I have several pseudonyms, my most popular being ‘Capello’, the most colourful being ‘The Psychic Trainer’. But there is another handle – one I’d rather remain unwritten, as my whistle-blowing return was never intended as self-promotion. Either way, I am the trainer featured in The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy exposé, three books written under the fiction banner to avoid legal problems. A story now described by one discerning reviewer as ‘… fact stranger and more brutal than fiction!’ Yet, incredibly, all events chronicled are true, facts authenticated by original dolphin logbooks, long since thought destroyed. (A common Company practice on the death of a show dolphin.)
As you can imagine, my emergence with these logs has severely rattled the conglomerate and animal celebs involved in the story, resulting in a national UK media blackout. A cover-up that appears to have infiltrated the USA, after this award-winning exposé was controversially pulled from an over-subscribed summer reading programme by an unnamed US official. Desperate actions that beg the question, ‘Why are so many organisations, people and – now it would appear – governments so afraid of my story? Why are they so anxious to shut me up?’ Questions that can only be answered by reading the exposé itself.
As for me, my involvement with the aqua circus began at the tender age of 17, when I landed what I believed to be my dream job – a naivety that saw me whisked away from family and friends, and deposited in the harsh confines of the UK dolphin training pens; a facility breaking raw dolphins for the commercial dolphinaria.
Always held in high esteem, trainers graduating from this establishment were known for being ‘hard-nosed’. Not surprising considering the daily horrors they inevitably witnessed - botched transports that left countless dolphins injured and even maimed. I personally witnessed air burns, a blinding and much, much worse, devastating for the dolphins that survived, because - as my pen colleagues always reminded me - many Atlanteans didn’t.
Working the pens was physically and mentally gruelling. Early training was always conducted lying belly down on wet platforms, so we could interact with our dolphin captives eye to eye. Fifteen-hour days were commonplace. Depriving the dolphins of sleep was an important method used to secure the quickfire results that management demanded.
It was here that I witnessed my first suicide dolphin – a phenomenon that the captive industry vehemently denies. It was also here where I learned to hand-catch in preparation for transports, veterinary treatments or force-feeds - the latter, horribly distressing.
The force-feeds consisted of wrapping disinfected towel gags around the upper and lower jaws of the manually pinned-down dolphins, followed by physically pushing lubricated herring down into their throats to activate their swallowing mechanism. This nightmare was normally performed five fish at a time, punctuated by brief rest periods. Even so, this was not always successful, as the dolphins often vomited back their forced feed.
Much worse than the vomiting, however, was the unseen damage inflicted on the dolphins’ psyches, because once they’d undergone this torturous procedure, they were left vulnerable to what many pen trainers refer to as the ‘dolphin mind-set’, a mental condition that, once activated, proves difficult to reverse … suicide by self-starvation.
In fact, my only fond memory of the pens was Duchess and Herb’e (Flippa), my beloved Perfect Pair, for it was their brilliance that allowed the three of us to escape that hellhole and head to our first purpose-built dolphinarium.
The rest, as they say, is history. Over the next three years, my two magnificent show dolphins took the aqua circus by storm, achieving the much-revered shadow ballet. Their story has been lovingly chronicled by the Holroyds in The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy book series - a warts-and-all exposé that I pray will help bring down this horrendous industry.
As for me, once I’d made my decision to walk away from the aqua circus, I was never tempted to return, despite a lucrative offer to train Europe’s then only captive orca. My reason? I viewed my achievements not with pride, but with shame. Nevertheless, despite the attempted cover-up, my experiences are now a documented part of UK dolphinarium history - a tool to shine a light into the sinister and murky world of captive cetaceans.
So, I humbly ask all prominent activist celebs, music-makers and global agents: if you care deeply about cetacean welfare, don’t let them stop this award-winning expose, because one day in the not-to-distant future, we may all awaken to empty oceans.
Thanks for listening and thank you, Frederic Egersdorfer, for giving me this platform. For more info, visit www.theperfectpairdolphintrilogy.com.
David Capello, former Head Dolphin Trainer, Entam Leisure
Only together are we strong
THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY: ANOTHER TOP ACTIVIST CALLS OUT CORRUPTION-INFESTED ANTI-CAP CHARITIES
As we look back in time to our childhoods, I think a lot of people feel guilty, guilty because we once bought a ticket for a dolphin show. I guess we weren’t smart in those days, because so did I. But I made a pledge to myself: never, never again will I buy a ticket to see captive animals in zoos or aquariums.
The awareness of animal abuse brought about by the internet changed a lot. But was it in a positive way for captive animals? I’m not so sure, because, as long as there are hungry money grabbers in organizations and greedy politicians, the victories are likely to be very small.
Everything in life can be bought when you have lots of money, can’t it? But my question to these people is: how can you sleep at night? How many men and women who don’t have children have left legacies to the so-called charities, only for that money to vanish into the pockets of CEOs? Don’t these greedy people have any decency? They betray and deceive not only their own souls, but also gullible people and the innocent animals who are depending on us.
As for Taiji, I have great respect for the volunteers over there. They endure the bloody senseless murder of dolphins for 6 months a year. And yes, they don’t get paid, not a damn cent. The cost of travel and food is down to the volunteer himself. It’s the TOP of the organizations where things come unstuck. There you find the selfishness and the greed. Instead of working together and having a bigger chance of success, the big egos destroy everything that good people might achieve. And again, that leads us back to the ones who are depending on us - our beloved animals; killed, enslaved and mistreated for the entertainment of humankind.
It's a pity there aren’t more whistle-blowers like David Capello, Rick Trout and a few others. People have the right to know what’s going on behind the scenes.
One can become a trainer in a dolphinarium, where dolphins and orcas do tricks for food, used as entertainment for the crowd. All ex-trainer whistle-blowers are paying a debt to their beloved animals, because it is the trainers who have witnessed what the money grabbers are doing with innocent smart animals – the same money grabbers who treat animals like garbage. If the upkeep of the animals is more than the money rolling in: “Ah, we have to dump them!” But killing animals secretly and throwing them into the ocean, in my opinion, is nothing short of horrific.
As far as David Capello is concerned, this is a man with a big heart for animals. His dream became a nightmare. He became a trainer because his heart was filled with love for animals. He didn’t have a clue when he started his new job how animal welfare can be corrupted by greed. How must these beautiful intelligent dolphins - who are in many ways closest to humans - feel when someone is sitting on their back? Not convinced? Imagine your roles were reversed and think again please. I hope that more whistle-blowers will stand up and be counted. Only by working together can we successfully achieve improved welfare and survival rates for animals.