Three new fiction books are in the works for 2023, with one ready to launch.
Dead Park Records will be book three in the Dead Park series. Unlike the first two volumes, this is not a short story collection but a full novella about one of the many businesses located in Dead Park Plaza. An aspiring musician receives the offer of a lifetime when an artist repped by Dead Park Records comes to town for a concert. He will get the recording contract of his dreams, no questions asked, no audition required. There’s just one catch: he must murder a woman he’s never met in cold blood.
Not far behind will be Dead Park Estates, the inevitable third story collection in the series that dives into evil residing in the premiere subdivision built in Dead Park. Murder, mayhem, monsters, cryptids, new mysteries, and a surprising crossover with another Dead Park novel (anyone read Die Alan Die?) reside within the pages of Dead Park, book four.
There’s also a sequel to my romantic thriller Girl Most Likely to Kill You on the way. Currently titled Girl Most Likely to Get You Killed, the new story begins with a woman named Andrea looking for a new life having the wrong person’s belongings delivered to her new home. It turns out the ugly clothes and furniture belong to an international assassin, and as soon as they get delivered, a host of rivals seeking revenge show up, thinking Andrea is their long-sought target.
Finally, I have a new short film project that will be released in January. Back in 2020 my son and I collaborated on The World’s Shortest Horror Films, a series that depicted people in horror movie situations acting with… extreme self-control and common sense and thus avoiding terror. The new series, The World’s Shortest Noir Films, takes the same approach with the world of gumshoes, thugs, nogoodnicks, secret Nazis, and femme fatales. It stars some of my favorite past collaborators including Sonny Burnette, George Robert Bailey, Cory Burdette, the lovely Christina Cannon, and the always delightful Roni Jonah.
Thanks to everyone who has made this first official year of Dead Park Books a hit. Happy New Year, and Happy Reading in 2023!
During the 2020 Summer of Covid, my son Sam and I started a weekly tradition. We’d go out every Saturday morning to have breakfast and play tennis. We still have breakfast every Saturday, but in deference to our being artsy types and not athletes, we no longer play tennis. The rackets are still in my car should we ever get the urge, but it’s been a good while. And it’s winter now, so…
Sorry, I digress.
One morning over a round of badly played tennis, we started spitballing ideas for short horror films. Not the kind you normally see at film fest, mind you, but the kind you’d see if people on horror films had something called Common Sense. You know. Common Sense tells you not to open doors that say, “Keep out.” Common Sense says, “Don’t hunt vampires during the day.” Common Sense says, “Run out the front door, not upstairs where there’s no escape.”
We had six or seven ideas by the time we left the courts that day. In the coming weeks, we ended up with fifteen. I started reaching out to actors on Facebook, asking folks to film themselves and send us footage. (Covid, remember?) We cut them together on my trusty ol’ MacBook, the one with iMovie HD because I still to this day refuse to learn the newer versions. (It’s just easier, okay?) And we released them one at a time on YouTube.
The World’s Shortest Horror Films is a fifteen part series featuring the talents of many old friends and new. I made a lot of short films in my day, but few make me prouder. I mean, I made them with my kid. We wrote them. We cut them together. We even appear in one. Well, I appear in it; you can hear his voice. (Spoiler alert, I am not opening that door!)
Sam and I went our separate ways creatively after Covid. I’m back to writing, and he’s in a killer school of rock band called Abstract Agenda. He plays keyboard, bass, guitar, and saxophone. As a matter of fact, I was in quarantine with Covid the day he brought home a saxophone for the first time in July. He went from the usual beginner squeaks and squawks to accurately playing the opening solo from “Careless Whisper” in less than two hours. Kinda makes you sick!
Maybe one day we’ll collaborate on another short. Until then, I’m proud of the one series we assembled together.
You can watch the whole series, all 15 short films, in the video below. It’s only an eight minute commitment, so give it a whirl, will you?