If you think it’s bad to work here, wait til you go shopping. The first video trailer for the book The Shops at Dead Park is now online. Read the sequel to Dead Park Plaza in all its cryptid, vampire, talking mannequin, killer clown, killer prom queen, killer video game, killer puppet, and killer Amish (yes, I said killer Amish!) glory.
Hear the opening from “Executive Dining,” the shocking finale to Dead Park Plaza.
Then order the book. Click here to get your signed copy.
Many years ago, a friend of mine told me about a friend of hers. His job was to fulfill rider contracts for major recording artists when they came to town to do a concert. Most of the items in the rider had to do with creature comforts, like the meals backstage and the accommodations in the dressing room. You can Google some of these and read what your favorite artist used to demand. Some of them are pretty outrageous.
My friend went on to tell me that her friend often had to fulfill some off-the-book requirements. You know, picking up things you couldn’t ask for in a legal document. That led to a short story that I called The Rider. That in turn led to a screenplay, also called The Rider.
And then, Dead Park Plaza happened.
A year an a half ago, I realized I’d written a Dead Park Plaza story long before I dreamed of the place. That story is now in print as Dead Park Records, the third book in the Dead Park trilogy.
What’s more, a character I introduced in the teaser for the first book, has become one of the focal points of this story. Remember Emily?
This sweet little thing wasn’t even in Dead Park Plaza. But thanks to her involvement with Cale, someone now wants her dead.
I had a ton of fun putting together a series of teasers for Dead Park Records with actress Christina Cannon and Lisa McConnell, who both appeared in the Dead Park Plaza trailer. Watch the short films below, then click here to get your signed copy.
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!
Real books make better gifts. You can’t put an ebook in a gift bag.
Real books don’t interrupt you with text and email notices.
Real books can’t be taken away by stingy content providers (or suddenly and inexplicably altered by writers who keep revising released works… myself included).
I offered eBooks direct on this website for a while, but I changed my mind today. Yes, I know, it’s using up natural resources, but (a) I’m not selling millions of copies (yet), and (b) they are recyclable.
I used to publish all my wrestling books to Kindle as well as paperback. I stopped doing that partly because wrestling fans like to collect. No one displays their amazing eBook collection, but they do show off their bookshelves.
This, however, was the clincher: I made two of my day job co-worker’s days this week giving them books. Not airdropping them eBooks, but handing them BOOKS. That’s the experience I want my readers to have, the joy of having and holding something. A real book.
You can still find all my titles on Kindle; I’m not taking that option away. But you’ll have to go to Amazon from now on.
Give the gift of books for Christmas. Or whenever you give. And support indie authors always!
A year ago, these two stories were sitting in mothballs. Virtual mothballs, but mothballs nonetheless.
I began writing Girl Most Likely to Kill You around 2004. It was originally titled High School Sweetheart, and it went through multiple drafts. It once made the finals in a screenplay competition. I got a very nice consolation call from the contest runner when it fell short of winning.
Zombies of Oz isn’t quite as old, but it passed through many creative hands on the local indie film scene. It started with me simply sharing an idea as a Facebook post, and it went further when one of those local filmmakers suggested I write it.
A year ago, I decided to turn both of these scripts into novels. They’re short novels, but they received raves from the beta readers who gave them a look. Now both are in print and in my hands, which is just amazing to me.
Right now, I’m offering a special on the website. Order direct, and you can save 20% on your entire order. If you’re a buy local/ buy direct person, you know that’s the best way to support me and other creative artists you like. We get more money, and a major website owner takes less. Plus, I’ll sign them for you, something that big web store can’t offer.
One final note to the story: there’s a third screenplay that will soon be in print as a novel. Not just a novel, but the third part of the Dead Park series. Look for it in November!
Click here to shop now, and don’t forget the coupon code fall.
I had no intention of writing Zombies of Oz. For one thing, I’m not exactly an Oz fan. That mean old wicked witch scared me as a child. Sure, I’ve grown to love Margaret Hamilton for her little wink and nod to the camera in William Castle’s 13 Ghosts, but that hasn’t endeared me to the 1939 classic any more.
I haven’t read the Oz books, and the only other Oz story I know is The Patchwork Girl of Oz, thanks to a junior high musical I directed about, oh, 20 years ago. We had a lot of laughs. We didn’t exactly stick to the script. Correction: the delightful young show off I cast as the Glass Cat did not stick to the script. But other than her shenanigans, which unexpectedly went to 11 in front of an actual audience, I remember nothing about it.
A number of years ago, this idea came to me. What if Dorothy didn’t go to Oz? What if there was a storm and a bump on the head, and then a zombie apocalypse? And what if Dorothy was a juvenile delinquent? A rough, inner city kid sent to the farm to chill out? In other words, what if she was fully prepared to kick some zombie butt?
I liked the idea. I didn’t want to write it. So I made it a Facebook post. I posited the questions above and added a few notes about a gun-toting redneck, a cyborg, a shell-shocked soldier, and a pit bull. (You do the math; or better yet, read the story!) I sent it out into the world and told my filmmaker friends, of whom I have many, “Have at it.”
One of those friends, Irv Severs, responded. He loved it, and he said if I wrote it, he’d make it.
I started writing. Irv and I started talking. Then we roped Roni Jonah into the mix, which is how Dorothy became a redhead. You may have seen Roni in some of my films or, more famously, in Shark Exorcist. She’s a delight, and a heck of a muse for a rampaging, redheaded Dorothy Gale.
Long story short, the film never got made. Irv, Roni, and I moved on to other projects, and the script sat in mothballs until about a year ago. That’s when I first converted this story (along with the script that became Girl Most Likely to Kill You and the script that is now the upcoming third Dead Park book) from script to prose.
Zombies of Oz is now available on Amazon, and it will soon be available here. You can pre-order you signed copy from me by clicking here, or you can click here and get it direct from Amazon.
I’d apologize to Frank Baum, but that mean old witch scared me. I think he owes me for that.
John Wroblewski and I have become good friends the last few years, even though we’ve never met in person. We have regular visits to talk about writing and pro wrestling. And the Chicago Bears, though we tend to keep our frustrations about the Monsters of the Midway out of the public broadcast.
I’m sharing this visit here because we spent a lot of time talking about Girl Most Likely to Kill You and my soon to be released horror novella, Zombies of Oz. And yes, we talk a little wrestling too.
It’s kind of fitting the events of my new book Girl Most Likely to Kill You take place over twenty years. It took almost that long to get the story into print.
Girl Most Likely to Kill You didn’t start life as a novel, though. It began as a movie idea. Back in the early 2000s, my prime creative goal was to become a film maker or, at the very least, a screenwriter. I’ve still got a file on my laptop with nearly two dozen screenplays in various stages of completion. White Trash. The World According to Dallas. Must Do No Harm. Grade Expectations. Facade. Beachhead.
Girl Most Likely started out under the title of High School Sweetheart. It’s a love story about a guy who wanted to tell his best friend he was in love with her on prom night. The girl vanished on prom night, and he doesn’t hear a word from her for twenty years. When she comes back into his life, he’s a divorced dad with a teenage girl of her own, and all seems to finally be right in his world.
That is, until a conspiracy theorist student in his class warns him: your girlfriend might be the world’s most wanted assassin.
Girl Most Likely is not the first of my screenplays to transition to a novel. That honor belongs to the sci-fi adventure Martian Queen. It won’t be the last either. I have a second that will be released shortly, and a third is about to become the third book in the Dead Park series.
This is one of my all time favorite stories, combining humor, romance, intrigue, and something I’ve always loved but never written much about: spy stuff.
You can pre-order Girl Most Likely to Kill You now on paperback. All pre-orders include a free copy of the ebook version sent to your email address. And if you prefer to shop Amazon, well, you can buy it at this link.