Cemetery Highway is a rollicking tale of fame, friendship and falls from grace, set in a world where zombies are the elite and humans are the underclass.
Best friends Dexter, Michelle, Penny and Cakes have started a group called the Anti Zombie Alliance and plan on sticking it to the zombies once and for all. But when zombie big-wig Max convinces the suave Dexter to trade his standards for stardom, things get ugly.
Wow. What a different book. I mean different in the best possible way. I must say, I loved this book. There are a lot of books I like, but not many I can say I love. Cemetery Highway is definitely one that I can say I love. - Goodreads
Right now, as we speak…or write, I am in active pre-production on the movie version of my novel CEMETERY HIGHWAY. The funny thing is, I wrote the screenplay before the book, and didn’t actually intend to write a book at all.
! I attended a movie pitching event in Hollywood a year ago. It was like speed dating with film executives, whereby you get three minutes to tell the story of your film, and explain why they would want to devote time and money to it. I had a few interested parties, but one gentleman in particular took quite a shining to me and my tale of supernaturally unrequited love.
We talked a couple of times after the initial meeting, but in the end he told me that it would be too difficult to break a fresh world such as this, to an audience without a lot of marketing money. And unfortunately he did not have a stack of that. But he told me that if it was a graphic novel or a book, it would be a much easier sell.
! So naturally I called up everyone I knew in the comic book world. Two phone calls later I had drained that well to no avail. I figured I’d have to hire someone to adapt the screenplay into a book, but the more I looked into it, the pricier it became. !
! I guess it was a lack of confidence talking, but I did not think I was smart enough to write a book. I thought that was for the well educated, scholarly types, and while I was right, there was also no reason that I could not be one too. I had, after all written the script. And a script is full of very concise and descriptive action. So why could I not just expand on that, weave the dialogue in and out appropriately and see how it read?
! To my surprise and relief it read very well. or at least well enough for me to knock out a great first draft. But it was not until I was on the second draft that I came to understand how much fun this can be. I mean, screenwriting is a blast, but there a many restrictions. Generally one page is equal to one minute, so it is utterly pointless to have a 250 page script. But with novels, you can go as long as you like. And tangents? Please! What freedom it is to write from inside the heads of a crazy array characters, as they prattle on about their whims, desires and each other.
! I am very proud of myself for writing my first book. It was no easy feat, and it gave me the confidence to pursue the movie with seriousness and determination. And it turns out that Hollywood exec was right, a book gives a script a real boost. Now I have a genuine star attached for the lead and am talking to one of America’s most famous indie directors. And if all goes according to plan, we will commence principal photography in December.
I grew up in Melbourne Australia and was fortunate enough to have a relatively unexciting childhood. After high school I attended film school at Deakin University, and while making the requisite pretentious art projects I discovered I had a knack for writing dialogue. In short, I wanted to be the next Quentin Tarantino.
After film school I put my passion asside and began an hilarious and relatively short lived culinary career. Quickly rising up the ranks, I found myself cooking in some of Australia’s finest restaurants and finishing a 3 year apprenticeship in 18 months. It was in these hellish kitchens that I rediscovered my love for quirky, dirty, flirty characters, which again stoked my desire for writing and the arts.
Upon hearing The Strokes for the first time, and with absolutely no preparation whatsoever I moved to New York City in 2003. I was once more surrounded by a bevy of interesting folks, inundating me with stories of hardship, romance and hope. How one cannot find inspiration in this city was beyond me. What was also beyond me was the ability to generate an income, so I hopped on the Greyhound with the little money I had left and got as far away as I could.
Austin Texas was my next port of call. Upon arriving I had a mere $40 to my name, but coupled with the attitude of a fearless traveler I was invincible. I quickly finagled a job, a room in a Revenge of the Nerds style college housing situation and the prominent position as lead guitarist in The Handsome Charlies.
I wouldn’t say I was a great guitarist, but I certainly knew how to act like one, and as we were sharing bills with The Black Angels and Ghostland Observatory I could be excused for thinking that I too would make it. But after a particularly ghastly SXSW performance I found myself standing in the parking lot listening to The Strokes perform “Is this it?” across the road. “No it is not”, I answered, and declared that I would return to writing and not continue to get distracted by flashier pursuits.
I commenced writing screenplays, pilots and web series like a madman and have not slowed down since. I now have multiple screenplays in various stages of development, and have completed my first novel. And I am here to stay!