Thursday, February 29, 2024

Faded: New Novel

Denver, CO 

FADED is now available.

I cranked out a new novel in the summer of 2023 and edited it in January 2024. FADED is the first book that I wrote, edited, and published via the new house in Denver.

Here's the book description:

Jackson McCool is the son of a prominent Beverly Hills psychiatrist, and for three years has quietly impersonated his now-ailing father in his medical and therapeutic practice. His success in this ruse is largely in thanks to his eccentric roster of self-absorbed patients, denizens of the entertainment industry who crave nothing more than a loose prescription pad and someone to listen to their complaints.

While providing an empathetic ear to Hollywood types, Jackson is also slinging (and ingesting) painkillers with his best friend, retired pro football player Mingus Christmas, as well as providing counsel at all hours to Westley Bolinger, the front man of a globally touring emo band. However, when suspicions arise and nefarious outside forces aim to expose him, Jackson must not only prevent his house of cards from falling but reckon with his own reasons for wanting to keep this charade alive.

A story about the ebbs and flows of fame on the fringes of Hollywood, FADED makes us question impermanence, ephemera, and celebrity culture.

FADED is currently available as a paperback and ebook (for those Kindle fans).


And here's a brief podcast with change100 about FADED including some behind the scenes info and Easter eggs.


My recent novels have an accompanying soundtrack which I curated via Spotify playlists. Once again, I created character-specific playlists (similar to GUARD THIS mixtapes). FADED has three playlists... if a character made a mixtape or playlist, what do they listen to?

Jackson McCool: The protagonist who wrote two books on music history/criticism. His playlist includes... Sly and the Family Stone, Steely Dan, Curtis Mayfield, Wilco, New York Dolls, David Bowie, Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Phish, Beck, LCD Soundsystem, Tribe Called Quest, Chicago, Circle Jerks, Tom Petty, Edgar Winter, Doobie Brothers.

Ophelia McCool: TV producer and actress who is married to Jackson. Her playlist includes... Jungle, Parcels,Neal Frances, Grizzly Bear, The National, St Vincent, Hole, LCD Soundsystem, Fiona Apple, Phoenix, FLeetwood Mac, Wild Belle, Arcade Fire, The Smile, Mazzy Star, Dua Lipa, Nuetral Milk Hotel, Brittany Howard, Muse, Dandy Warhols, Concrete Blonde, Khruangbin, The Go-Go's.

Mingus Christmas: Former pro football player who breeds exotic cats and Jackson's best friend. His playlist is hip-hop heavy and includes... Sugar Hill Gang, Pharcyde, Warren G, Ice Cube, 2 Pac, Al Green, Cypress Hill, ODB, Run DMC, Snoop, Dr Dre, NWA, Fun Lovin' Criminals, DJ Khaled, Kuris Blow,  Donny Hathaway, Biz Markie, Too $hort.

FADED is currently available as a paperback and Kindle.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Faded: FAQs

Denver, CO 

Here's some answers to frequently asked questions that you might have about the new novel. Time for a quickie Q & A and FAQ about FADED....

Q. Is FADED your LA novel? 

A. FADED takes place in LA on the fringes of Hollywood. We spent a decade in LA (2012-22) after a short stint in San Francisco. We moved to Colorado in the summer of 2022 and I wrote this last summer. After spending one year away, the timing was ideal because LA was still somewhat fresh in my mind and my perspective began to shift a bit.

Q. FADED is a comedy and satire?

A. Yes. FADED is a a nod to Billy Wilder films, but the tone is a throwback to some of my favorite comedies from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jackson McCool, the protagonist in FADED, is a mix of Bill Murray's film characters (Stripes, Meatballs) plus bit of Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller, WarGames) and Chevy Chase (Fletch). There's a sliver of Bruce Willis during a short time he was a budding TV star (Moonlighting) before he became a movie star.

Q. One of your characters played pro football, but I don't recognize the team names. Why?

A. Mingus Christmas played linebacker for the Miami Sharks. In my literary universe, the major pro football league is known as GIL or the Grid Iron League. I wanted to avoid any potential legal entanglements with the NFL, which is why the GIL is the stand in from the NFL in both FADED and THE KICKER. The local pro football team in FADED is known as the LA Demons.

Q. I thought you wrote two manuscripts last summer? What happened to the other one?

A. Yes, that's true. I wrote a memoir -- DEBASER (tentative title) -- which takes place in NYC in 1989. It's based on the summer before my senior year in high school. You're only 16 once, and that summer before I turned 17 was a pivotal time. I wrote DEBASER fairly quickly (in less than 3 weeks) in June 2023 after spending nearly six months in NYC helping out with a family illness. The subject matter is a little too personal and I doubt it will get published. I wrote for myself to help make sense of an intense stint in NYC while I stayed in my childhood bedroom for several months. I might revisit it sometime down the line.

Q. So, FADED is the second manuscript you wrote last summer?

A. Yes. I began it in July 2023 and completed the first draft in early August. I tend to write very fast, but edit very slow. FADED took around three weeks to complete the first draft. I completed subsequent drafts in January 2024.

Q. Are all your novels linked in its own literary universe?

A. Yes. In an homage to Kevin Smith's cinematic universe, there are direct references to characters in previous published novels including FRIED PEACHES, GUARD THIS, and JACK TRIPPER STOLE MY DOG. There's also character connections to two unpublished manuscripts for THE KICKER and DEBASER. I also incorporate the fictional world of other authors including Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Donna Tartt, and Bret Easton Ellis.

Q. What's up with the eye patch? Did you really write FADED with one eye?

A. The rumors are true. I have been experiencing vision problems in my left eye since the summer of 2022. We had a setback in July 2023, and I was sidelined for two weeks when I went blind in my left eye. I wore an eye patch during that time and started FADED. I wrote one chapter per day mostly to keep myself sane and laugh with the characters. As my vision improved, I quickly finished the first draft before a potential surgical date. I essentially wrote FADED because I freaked out that the vision loss would be permanent, and to address the anxiety over the question -- what if surgery doesn't work?

Q. What's up with THE KICKER?

A. It's still marinating. I hope to take another crack at sometime in 2024. I wrote the first draft at the end of 2020. I set aside time to work on a rewrite in April 2021, but I had too many things I wanted to change yet didn't have enough time to pull off a proper rewrite in the time I had allotted. That's why I pivoted and cranked out GUARD THIS instead. I wanted to work on the new draft of THE KICKER in the summer of 2022 when first moved to Colorado, but it got sidetracked when my vision issues began. I planned to work on it in January 2023, but then I had to move back to NYC to help my brother and mother. 

Q. Were you listening to a lot of audiobooks before/during FADED?

A. I was sidelined for two weeks in July with vision problems, and spent that time in total darkness while holed up in our guest bedroom because it's the darkness room in the house. I listened to a dozen audiobooks to keep sane because it was difficult to watch/stream with one eye. I devoured audiobooks and consumed like two per day, so I revisited Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. The book is over 1,000 pages and the audiobook clocked in at 55 hours. I started/stopped reading the massive tome multiple times in the 1990s. When I finally conquered it, I has spread it out over several months. I listened to the Infinite Jest audiobook at 1.5x speed and it took me a week or so. There's one character in FADED who is a former tennis prodigy, which is my homage to DFW.

I consumed other audiobooks during this stretch that influenced FADED because it was fresh in my mind.

  • Blue Movie by Terry Southern
  • Pappyland by Wright Thompson
  • The Creative Act by Rick Rubin
  • Deliver Me from Nowhere: The Making of Bruce Springsteen's 'Nebraska' Album by Warren Zanes
  • Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin): A Memoir by Sly Stone

 Q. What were some of your other inspirations behind FADED?

A. I listened to the first seven Steely Dan albums (recorded/released between 1972-80) while writing the first draft and it was in heavy rotation during the rewrites.

I revisited two books including Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem and Heat 2 by Michael Mann. 

I also had three books about Hollywood on my mind. Hello, He Lied & Other Tales from the Hollywood Trenches was written by Lynda Obst who produced some big films in the 1980s-90s. I was also heavily inspired by The Devil's Candy by Julie Salamon, which chronicled the insanity behind the film adaptation of Tom Wolfe's novel The Bonfire of the Vanities. Lastly, there's The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West about Hollywood in the 1930s.

Jon Favreau hosted Dinner for Five on IFC back in the early 2000s. During the show, he ate a meal with four guests who shared funny and strange stories about working in Hollywood. Many of those throwaway stories were an inspiration for this book. 

I love a good show biz story, and the odder the better. I attempted to fictionalize a few I heard over the years. Wil Wheaton told me a few bizarre stories, and Kevin Smith often shared hysterical stories during his Q&As with his legion of fans.

I was not even an hour into watching Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood when I made a decision to write an LA novel sooner than later.

All of Noah Baumbach films, especially Greenberg, were on my mind during the first draft. 

Paul Thomas Anderson flicks especially his ones set in LA were an inspiration. PTA is heavily influenced by Robert Altman, and his films were a creative beacon. 

Richard Linklater,Whit Stillman, Kelly Reinhardt, Spike Lee, Wes Anderson, and Jim Jarmusch are all excellent filmmakers and their work has always been a massive influence on me.

Damien Chazelle's film Babylon -- about the rough transition from silent films to talking films -- was also an inspiration.Hollywood just survived multiple guild strikes and in the era of streaming wars and the rise of AI, so it felt compelling to write a story about this transition phase almost a century after silent films gave way to talkies.


FADED is available in paperback and as an ebook for Kindle devices.

Monday, April 04, 2022

Guard This: Now Available in Paperback, Plus Mixes

 Los Angeles, CA

Thanks for waiting three plus months for the paperback release of Guard This. Yes, the print version is finally here after Guard This debuted as an ebook on Christmas Eve. I appreciate everyone who bought the ebook, especially those of you who read it! If you're a Luddite and were waiting for the paperback version, then here's your chance to get your own physical copy.

What is Guard This? It's a novelized memoir that takes place in NYC in 1994-95.

Here's the book description:

Guard This depicts New York City's art community during the last vestiges of gritty Gotham in the 1990s. Tenzin McGrupp takes a security job at the most famous art museum in the world while he saves up money for film school. He's welcomed into an enclave of painters, musicians, photographers, nonconformists, and freaks that hold day jobs as museum guards to fund their late-night creative endeavors and drug-addled antics. The guards are defiant artists at the dawn of the new millennium before every nook of the City is gobbled up by corporations and transformed into a capitalist theme park.

All of my other books are available as paperbacks or ebooks: Fried Peaches, Lost Vegas, or Jack Tripper Stole My Dog.


I curated different musical playlists to help market the new novel. You can listen to any of them in the background while reading Guard This, or listen to it before you crack open the book to help set the mood. Some of these Guard This mixes are great stand-alone playlists that many friends crank up for their morning commute or pre-party situations.

There's a trio of playlists that represent the soundtrack for Guard This if it were to ever become a film or limited TV series. In creating those initial playlists, I tried to use only music that was released prior to 1995, or stuff that I actually listened to 27 years ago.

Guard This 1.0 (aka Act 1)... Talking Heads, Radiohead, Lenny Kravitz, Black Crowes, Pearl Jam, Beastie Boys, Tribe Called Quest, Soundgarden, Phish, Blind Melon, Stone Temple Pilots, Wu-Tang Clan

Guard This 2.0 (aka Act 2)... INXS, Jimi Hendriz, David Bowie, Warren Zevon, Jungle Brothers, Primal Scream, Tom Petty, Blur, Sonny Rollins, Beck, Morphine

Guard This 3.0 (aka Act 3)... Elliot Smith, Drivin N Cryin, Bill Evans, Luna, Tom Waits, Gomez, Television, Steely Dan, Mazzy Star, Funkadelic, Ween, Widespread Panic, Velvet Underground

I also curated character mixes, or mixtapes that each character from Guard This would make if you gave them a blank tape in 1995. Yes, these are the names of some of the main characters and you can catch a glimpse into their headspace by listening to their mixtapes and music that they had access to in 1995. Hey, I did not really make these... the characters crafted each mixtape themselves.

Tenzin McGrupp... Maceo Parker, Bob Dylan, REM, NWA, Traffic, Grateful Dead, Curtis Mayfield, Dandy Warhols, Allman Brothers, Phish, Mojo Nixon, Shuggie Otis, Supertramp

Izabella... Digable Planets, Los Amigos Invisibles, Brick, Fugees, The Cure, Sly & the Family Stone, Queen Latifah, Arrested Development, The Breeders, Belly, D'Aneglo, Luscious Jackson, Liz Phair, Mary J Blige, Pulp, Dee Lite

Cube... Jaco Pastorious, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Doobie Brothers, David Bowie, The Pixies, Stone Roses, The Cars, Phil Collins, Captain Beefheart, Roxy, Jan Hammer, The Beatles, ELO, Big Audio Dynamite, Beastie Boys, Beck

Jazzman... Kenny Burrell, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Wes Montgomery, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, Willie Bobo, Billie Holiday

Zelia... Air, Giorgio Moroder, Serge Gainsbourg, Jacqus Dutronc, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones, Johnny Hallday, Les Merseys, Charlotte Leslie, Portishead, The Wailers, L'Imperatrice, Daft Punk, Garbage, Michel Sardou, 10,000 Maniacs

Rabbi Hoffman... Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band

Now that Guard This is out in a physical and digital form, it's time to get back to work on the second draft of The Kicker.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Guard This: New Novel

 Los Angeles, CA


Guard This is my third novel and fourth overall book that I wrote and published since 2010. Guard This is now available as an e-book. Stay tuned for information on a print version and paperback, which is due out in early 2022.

What is Guard This?

Here's the book description:

Guard This depicts New York City's art community during the last vestiges of gritty Gotham in the 1990s. Tenzin McGrupp takes a security job at the most famous art museum in the world while he saves up money for film school. He's welcomed into an enclave of painters, musicians, photographers, nonconformists, and freaks that hold day jobs as museum guards to fund their late-night creative endeavors and drug-addled antics. The guards are defiant artists at the dawn of the new millennium before every nook of the City is gobbled up by corporations and transformed into a capitalist theme park.

Guard This is a project that I started over 25 years ago. It had so many variations and formats that it's hard to keep up. It started out as a screenplay. Then a comic book. Then a novel. Then a stage play. Back to a novel. Then a series of short stories. Back to a screenplay. Then a limited series. Flirted with an animated series. And now, back to a novel.

The current novel version of Guard This came together quickly and almost by accident. In April of 2021, I blocked out a couple of weeks to work on rewriting a second draft of a project called The Kicker, which I penned at the end of 2020. After sitting on a shelf for the customary 90 days, I read The Kicker for the first time in three months and realized I did not have enough time to fix all the problems and rewrite a second draft. I still set aside two weeks without anything to work on, so I decided to give Guard This another pass. It had been 18 years since I last told a version of this story, but was surprised ho quickly the first draft of a the new novel wrote itself.

It took me five years to write Lost Vegas. Took me another five to work on Fried Peaches. It might take me five years to finish The Kicker. But, I didn't have five years to work on Guard This. Call it laziness, or just PTSD from the pandemic, but I didn't have the patience to hold this story back. I'm starting a major project in 2022 and just don't have the time to devote to a prolonged process of re-writing and editing and re-writing Guard This. I convinced myself to put out a less than desirable version of it out now, than let it grind away at my insomnia until 2025. Instead of five years, I gave this project less than five months time from start to finish.

Guard This will eventually become a paperback version in the Spring of 2022. For now, it's an e-book while I accumulate all the typos and errors that I missed to rush this version out before Christmas. I'll thank you in advance when you catch something. As soon as I successfully crowdsource all those typos, I'll convert Guard This to a print version in a couple of months. I promise that it won't take three years in between e-book > print conversion like what happened with Fried Peaches, which finally became a paperback in October 2021.

I appreciate your assistance, support, and understanding. You can purchase your e-book of Guard This here. You do not have to own a Kindle to read it. Your phone or tablet has a Kindle app that makes it easy to read. If you're a Luddite and detest e-books or Kindles, then grab one of my other paperbacks: Fried Peaches, Lost Vegas, or Jack Tripper Stole My Dog.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Fried Peaches: Print Version Now Available

 Los Angeles, CA

The print version of Fried Peaches novel is currently available. Buy a print copy here. If you read the e-book version, here's your first chance to fondle a print copy of Fried Peaches.

If you've been waiting three-plus years for a print version, I appreciate your patience. The moment has arrived for all of you Luddites and old-school book purists.

I curated a special Spotify playlist for Fried Peaches as an accompanying soundtrack to listen along in the background while you read it. It's three different playlists broken down into three acts with 33 songs on each playlist. Check out the Fried Peaches playlists here: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3.


Q. Why did Fried Peaches print version take so long? 

A. Laziness. That's the quick, quirky, and pithy answer. 


Q. Seriously, why?

A. The real answer is a little more complicated. I had the opportunity to work with an old friend on a new project in the fall of 2018 and didn't have time to convert the e-book to a print version. In 2019, I was simply too lazy to get it done. In 2020 the pandemic hit and I didn't think anyone gave a shit about a book I wrote two years prior that takes place in 2015. Since late 2020, I cranked out two new manuscripts including something I hope to publish soon as an e-book.


Q. When does the next novel come out?

A. I wrote a new novel titled Guard This about my experiences working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as my first job out of college. It's also a period piece about the 1990s art scene in New York City. Keep your fingers crossed for a late December release of Guard This. The e-book should be available before Christmas, at least that's the current plan. I promise that the print version of Guard This will not take three years before it's available. I'm eying a print release for Spring 2022.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fried Peaches: Available at Midnight 6.12.18

Fried Peaches is here. The ebook drops at Midnight ET on 6-12-18. Yes, that's tonight.

The print version will be published in November 2018. For updates on the print version, follow @PeachesNovel on Twitter or @FriedPeachesBook on Instagram.

For now, enjoy the e-book version. You do not have to own a Kindle to read it. Simply download the app for your device. You can also read it via your laptop/desktop.

I created a soundtrack, or special mixes as a companion to the novel. Three Mixes. The Fried Peaches mixes can be found on either Spotify or YouTube (same mix, just different channels).

Spotify Mixes: Fried Peaches, Act 1 - Fried Peaches, Act 2 - Fried Peaches, Act 3

YouTube Mixes: Act 1 - Act 2 - Act 3