During a particularly dark period in my adult life, I decided I wanted to learn how to write screenplays. I’d gone through a horrible breakup, moved back home, and was working part-time at a chain record store. I was floundering around, unsure of what to do next.
One night I watched Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko (2001) for the second time, but I saw it for the first. It struck something in me, in that time, and I wanted to figure out how to write a movie. I got the script and started studying what you put on the page to make things happen on the screen.
As a result, the screenplay I started writing was heavily influenced by Donnie Darko. I’ve worked on it off and on in the fifteen years since, and even took an introductory screenwriting class at Second City. Last year I finally novelized the whole thing into a loooong short story.
Fender the Fall is about Chris Bridges, a lovelorn physics graduate student who goes back in time to return the journal of his high-school crush in order to save his marriage and her life. The plan doesn’t go as planned.
Tagline: You don’t know what you’ve got until you get it back.
It’s now available from Alien Buddha Press! It’s 5”x8” and 136-pages long, like a good paperback should be. It’s the perfect fall read.
Here’s what other people are saying about it:
“A fun, classic roller-coaster of a time-travel story that could have been published in the 1950s, except that it’s furnished with all manner of savvy insights into current 2020s life.” — Paul Levinson, author of The Plot to Save Socrates
“Fender the Fall is a nostalgia-infused journey through time about second chances and the causality of love. It’s a formative song from your youth revisited, a favorite VHS tape found in the back of your closet.” – Joshua Chaplinsky, author of The Paradox Twins
“Hard-boiled strange loops in a froth of weird.” – Will Wiles, author of Plume
Many thanks to Matt Revert and Mike Corrao for making this thing look so good; Red Focks for putting it out there; Paul Levinson, Josh Chaplinsky, Will Wiles, Jaqi Furback, Gabriel Hart, C.W. Blackwell, Ira Rat, J. Matthew Youngmark, and Jeph Porter for their time, feedback, and kind words; and Claire Putney, from whom I stole the title.
Here’s a soundtrack I put together while writing Fender the Fall. It has songs mostly from and around the years in the story (2002 and 1991).
Order your copy of this lovely, little paperback from Alien Buddha Press now! You won’t regret it.
And don’t forget about my recent collection of poems, Abandoned Accounts, about which Bristol Noir says, “Perfectly balanced prose. With the subtext, gravitas, and confidence of a master wordsmith. A joy to read.”
One last thing: My next book for Repeater Books, Post-Self: Journeys Beyond the Human Body, comes out next March during SXSW. I’m hoping to go down there and talk about it. Voting is now open, so if you could go drop a quick vote for my talk, I would appreciate it.
Hope you’re well,