Friday, July 31, 2009


The trailer for the new Coen Brothers film, A Serious Man, has hit the internet. If you didn't know, the film was shot entirely in Minnesota, with a majority of the talent coming from the Cities.

I had the opportunity to work on the film for a handful of days. Many of my days were spent on a small block in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis. The production had skillfully transformed the block into a 1950s neighborhood. They tore up the road and sidewalks, re-sod the entire block, pulled trees from yards (which they replaced once shooting had been completed), and created new facades for many of the ramblers and their garages. Stepping on set was pretty amazing, like being transported back in time (if you disregarded the fifty-plus crew members, camera and lighting gear, and constant stream of nearby traffic, that is).

My additional days were spent at St. Olaf College, during the massive classroom scene (the dream scene with Larry getting his head bashed into the chalkboard) and on Rice Avenue in St. Paul, where we spent the day filming the car crash you see in the trailer.

All in all, I feel very blessed to have worked on such a large project with a group of very talented folks. And it was quite surreal standing near such strong directors as Joel and Ethan, not to mention the talented Roger Deakins.


*Note: The rabbi's secretary in the film may seem familiar to you. She is none other than the amazing Claudia Wilkins, a Guthrie professional who played the evil Mayor Lesher in Midnight Chronicles.


Friday, July 24, 2009


Well, I have some very exciting news to share! My first published book with local children's book publisher Stone Arch Books has been released as part of their new Fall 2009 catalog.

The book, titled Dodger Dreams: The Courage of Jackie Robinson, is part of Stone Arch's Graphic Flash line of books. The books are high-action, dynamic stories that are told in both prose and graphic novel format. They take historic events or important figures and tell a fictional story from a young person's point of view. The concept is fantastic, and when I was offered the opportunity to write a story about the most important person in the history of baseball, I was ecstatic.

Dreams is gorgeously illustrated by the talented Claude St. Aubin, whose work on the book (and on previous Flash titles) is downright amazing.

Here's a plot rundown for the book: Max Owens is New York's biggest baseball fan. On his birthday, Max's grandpa gives him the greatest gift of all: World Series tickets! During the game, Max watches his favorite Brooklyn Dodger, Jackie Robinson, compete against the New York Yankees. But when his team loses, this fourteen year old fan will learn that baseball is more than just a game.

The book is currently available in a couple of locations. The easiest place to find it is at the Stone Arch website. You can find information about it HERE.

It is also on Amazon, and you can find it HERE.

I'm very proud of this book, and am so excited to have worked with a great publisher like Stone Arch.

Thanks, and happy reading!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


That's not just a clever, catchy title. This post is truly about a few books in the pipeline that I'm pretty darn excited to pick up and read (as if the massive pile in front of me isn't towering enough).

Heaven's Keep by William Kent Krueger

Keep is the ninth book in the Cork O'Connor series, and (I believe) the second to last. Krueger is a local author, and I've had the pleasure of meeting him on a couple of occasions. He is a genuinely nice guy, the kind of guy that would be a fine mentor for a young, scrappy author. His books show an authentic affinity toward Native American customs and history, the beauty of the Minnesota landscape, and familial bonds. While they often deal in gruesome reality (the breathtaking finale of his prior book, Red Knife, is a fine example), there is something sincere about his storytelling.

Once Upon A Crime bookstore will be holding a release party for the novel on Wednesday, September 2nd. I've already got it on my calendar.

Once Upon A Crime: An Anthology of Murder, Mayhem, and Suspense Edited by Gary R. Bush and Chris Everheart

Speaking of the fine folks at OUAC, this anthology of stories is something I just came across. Brimming with crime fiction by familiar names like, well, William Kent Krueger and Anthony Neil Smith, the book honors the store that has championed many mystery authors, and its proceeds will go toward assisting the owners with recent medical costs. It's a great way to support local, independent booksellers, while receiving a slew of stories written by great Minnesota authors. It's win-win!

Memory by Donald Westlake

Leave it to the gang at Hard Case Crime to get their hands on the very last manuscript by the late Donald Westlake. Written nearly forty years ago and shelved, Westlake's story follows a man who is the victim of an assault that leaves a peculiar scar: his brain is unable to retain memories, or form new ones. Now, he sets out investigating a missing person's case where he is the missing person.

Memory will be published in January 2010, a fitting tribute to a talented author.

More exciting news coming soon, so check back!
Happy reading!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Yep, you read that right. After three years of production, additional shooting, and extensive post-production work, Midnight Chronicles will be released in the United States and Canada.

On August 13th, the film will be available on both DVD and as a digital download (from a number of sources, including iTunes). This fall, the release will expand to include a wide variety of retail sources.

The DVD will be overflowing with extra features, including a director's commentary, deleted scenes, and a making-of featurette.

If you'd like to pre-order a copy of the film, click HERE.

If you have no clue what I mean when I use the words midnight or chronicles, you may want to click HERE.

(You can also scroll down on this very blog and find more info about the international release)

Until next time,