08-29-2010 06:00 PM
08-29-2010 06:04 PM
08-29-2010 06:07 PM
From Robert's website:
BOOK TO SCREEN - KISS HER GOODBYE
CBS Television and Sony Pictures bought my book KISS HER GOODBYE to be used as the basis for a television series called THE LINE.
The pilot was filmed in Chicago, starring Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) as Jack Donovan, Terry Kinney (Oz, The Mentalist) as Alex Gunderson, Michael Rapaport (Prison Break) as Agent Waxman, Sandrine Holt (24, The L-Word) as Rachel Wu, and Emmy Clarke (Monk) as Jessie.
The book was adapted and directed by Michael Dinner (Justified, Sons of Anarchy) and was executive produced by Dinner, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly for Timberman/Beverly Productions.
ATF Agent Jack Donovan has two ambitions: take down cult leader Alex Gunderson after years of violent mayhem, and reconnect with his daughter Jessie, who has somehow managed to slip from his life. But, none of Jack’s experience as a stellar cop or an absent father has prepared him for the unthinkable way these two parts of his life are about to collide.
In a desperate act of revenge, Gunderson kidnaps Jessie and buries her alive. But just as Jack’s team is closing in, fate intervenes in the form of a bullet and the secret to Jessie’s location is lost. With only a few precious hours of oxygen to sustain her, and with not a single clue pointing in her direction, Jessie is sure to die—unless Jack can somehow find her.
But what Jack doesn’t realize is that he’s about to take a sharp turn into a world from which few of us return: the darkness of death itself.
08-29-2010 06:09 PM
It all started when the pregnant girl went crazy.
Walt spotted her right away, standing amid the knot of customers who waited out front as he unlocked the doors: nineteen, twenty years old. Belly about to burst. Sweet smile.
When Walt saw that smile, the first thing that came to mind was Emily. He remembered the fresh-scrubbed look she’d had when she was pregnant with their first child; an effervescence she had carried through to old age; the ability to smile even as Death reached up and put a hammerlock on her heart.
Walt looked at the girl and felt a choke of emotion bubble up as he swung the doors open. He had loved his wife, but he didn’t really like thinking about her. He’d never been one to dwell on the past, and as sweet as this little lady seemed to be, he felt uncomfortable looking her in the eye.
She, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have a problem with it. As customers filed past him into the bank, she waited her turn, then let her smile widen as she approached, looking directly at him.
“Beautiful morning, isn’t it?”
Her voice had a carefree, I’ve-conquered-the-world lilt to it. The kind only kids her age are able to muster. Walt himself had never been much of a conqueror—as thirty-seven years working security for the same bank easily demonstrated—but he envied those who seemed to feel they were invincible.
Avoiding the girl’s gaze, he stared out at the sky, which was as blue as Emily’s eyes.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said. “A morning like this makes me wish I had wings.”
It didn’t really,but he believed in being polite and the words sounded good. Almost poetic.
Walt didn’t think it possible, but the girl’s smile grew even wider as she slipped past him, her shoulder brushing against the gray of his uniform.
He watched her waddle to the counter at the center of the room, where she grabbed a withdrawal slip and began filling it out with deliberate strokes, as if the final result would somehow be worthy of framing.
Walt realized it wasn’t just her smile that reminded him of Emily. It was everything about her. Her build, the little yellow sundress, the short-cropped hair, the way she kept her purse cocked on her hip as she stood there, all of her concentration centered on the task at hand.
For just a moment he wished he were young again. Wished he could wipe away all these years without his woman and go back to a time when the only thing that mattered was how much they loved each other. When laughter was a way of life, and a leaky pipe or a pet on the loose or a wrong turn was an adventure rather than a chore. An adventure they shared as comrades-in-arms.
Try as he might, Walt couldn’t stop thinking about these things. This girl had somehow opened the floodgates and he knew now that her beautiful morning was just the beginning of his bad day.
Then, it happened.
08-29-2010 06:11 PM
As Walt watched, the girl turned slightly. He could see she was still smiling. Then something flickered in her eyes and the smile abruptly disappeared. Clutching her swollen belly, she stumbled back and released a small cry of pain, her withdrawal slip fluttering to the floor.
Walt went to her and caught her by the shoulders as she started to fall. “You alright, ma’am?”
“Peachy,” she said.
This wasn’t even close to the response Walt had expected, but before he could give it too much thought, the girl twisted away from him and brought her hand out of her purse.
She was holding a Smith & Wesson nine-millimeter.
Pointed at his sixty-three-year-old paunch.
All at once the sweetness evaporated, the lilt in her voice replaced by a cold, hard edge.
“On the floor. Now.”
At first Walt couldn’t believe it. A pregnant girl was pointing a weapon at him. A crazy pregnant girl who no longer reminded him of Emily at all.
He hesitated, thinking about his own weapon that hung heavy at his side.
“Now,” the girl said. “Or you will have wings.”
Walt started to move, feeling his old bones creak as he did what he was told. Halfway down, he heard a shout from across the room and immediately recognized Sam’s voice.
Sam was his partner. A ten-year man with a wife and two cute kids who giggled a lot and called him Uncle Wally.
“Drop your weapon!” Sam shouted.
Without even the slightest hesitation, the pregnant girl spun around and leveled the Smith, letting loose two quick shots.
Walt jerked his head up just in time to see Sam—hand resting on a weapon that hadn’t even cleared its holster—take two bullets to the face and fly backward, landing in a heap on the linoleum.
It was then that Walt decided to act.
No thinking, no planning, just action.
His hand dropped to the butt of his pistol and with a quick jerk he pulled it free.
But the pregnant girl was too fast.
As if sensing what he was up to, she spun back around, and this time Walt looked her right in the eye. What he saw there sent a chill through him:
The gaze of a predator.
A fierceness that froze him to the spot.
His weapon was only halfway out of its holster when she pointed the muzzle of the Smith & Wesson at him and squeezed the trigger.
And the last thing Walter O’Brien thought before the lights went out was I’m coming, sweetheart.
See you soon.
Everyone was screaming. Tellers. Customers. The haughty little banker bitches who sat behind their desks with their oh-so-superior smiles.
They weren’t smiling now.
Sara raised the Smith over her head and fired a round into the ceiling, just like Alex had taught her. Gotta let them know right away who’s boss.
“Everybody down!” she shouted. “Noses to the floor!”
What a rush.
She almost let out a giggle, but held back. No time for levity now. This was serious business.
All around her, people dropped to the floor, keeping their heads down, afraid to look at her for fear she’d put a bullet in somebody’s brain.
And she would, too.
No mercy, Alex always said. Show them no mercy. Mercy is a sign of weakness. And weakness will never be respected.
He was a genius, Alex was. Poet. Philosopher. Mystic. Activist. All the clichés rolled into one.
Only Alex wasn’t a cliché.
Alex was the real deal.
Sara had known that the moment she’d met him back at Knox College. Her roommate, a giggly bitch named Tiffany, had picked him up at The Passion Pit and brought him to their dorm room for a quick tuck and tumble—a guy with a ponytail, no less. But once he laid eyes on Sara, Tiffany ceased to exist. He gave Tiff the quick brush-off, then caught up to Sara in the hallway and invited her outside to smoke a joint.
Tiffany was miffed, to say the least, standing in their doorway with her famous **bleep**-you scowl, but Sara didn’t care. This guy had magnetic green eyes that bored into you as he spoke. Like he knew you were really there. Like you weren’t just some hole he was sniffing around, hoping to get lucky.
They sneaked into the bell tower atop Old Main, got high, and spent the night laughing and talking. And in those hours, she discovered that he could read her feelings like no one she’d ever met. By the time the sun came up, they’d made love twice and Sara knew this was it.
He was the one.
A month later they married and Sara dropped out of school. Her old man nearly had a brain aneurysm when he found out, but there wasn’t much he could do about it. She knew he had tried to buy Alex off, but Alex had told him to go take a flying **bleep**. For once Daddy’s money was useless.
Besides, Alex had his own financial strategy.
08-29-2010 06:13 PM
“Please, don’t hurt anyone else.” This from some sweaty little ass-bag in a bow tie. “Take whatever you want.”
Sara figured him for the bank manager. Probably treated his employees like **bleep**. You could see in his face what a creep he was.
He reminded her of her father.
She leveled the pistol at him and he ducked, covering his head with his hands. She had half a mind to pull the trigger just because the sight of him made her sick, but that wouldn’t be right.
Another of Alex’s tenets: no unnecessary killing.
The two guards had been shot in self-defense. If they hadn’t been crazy enough to try to draw on her, they’d still be alive instead of lying in pools of their own blood and waste.
Sara felt kind of bad about the older one. When she gave him the look and pointed her gun at him, his watery gray eyes got all big and scared. She’d practically had to force herself to pull the trigger.
But it was his own fault. He should have gotten down and stayed down like she told him to.
Stupid old fool.
There was movement toward the back of the room and Sara fired another round into the ceiling. A woman screamed as plaster showered down around her.
“I’m not gonna tell you again,” Sara shouted. “You move, you die. Got that?”
She gave everyone the look now—that flat, deadly, animal stare she’d practiced for hours. Alex said she had a natural propensity (his word) for sweetness, and he’d spent days working with her, teaching her to turn it on and off. He said her ability to do that was better than any weapon he owned, and Alex owned a lot of weapons.
Speaking of which, where the hell was he?
The guards had been immobilized; the room was under her control . . .
He should’ve been here by now.
Before she completed the thought, the bank doors burst open and the love of her life strolled in.
Gunderson hated bank jobs. They were messy and unwieldy and full of unknown variables. You never knew when some nutcase might decide it was more important to die a hero than tuck his kids into bed that night.
On top of that, the labor-to-profit ratio was a bit too thin to make it all worthwhile. He could make more money copping credit card numbers off the Internet.
But bank jobs generated heat. And if you’ve got a message to get across, as Gunderson did, then heat is what you need.
He pushed the bank doors wide and gestured for Luther and Nemo to go in first. Like Gunderson, they sported black battle gear, ski masks, and Colt Commando 733s. A bit showy, but that was the point.
Their armbands featured hand-sewn Chinese characters against a black background, the symbol for warrior, a favorite of Gunderson’s. Sara had designed them one night after a particularly athletic bout of lovemaking. He was her warrior, she’d said. His energy inspired her.
And she, in turn, inspired him.
08-29-2010 06:14 PM
Gunderson hefted the 733 and pushed in after Luther and Nemo. Sara was near a counter at the center of the room, her game face on, the nine-millimeter he’d given her for her birthday clutched in her left hand.
Her wedding ring glinted under the fluorescent lights—a $40,000 work of perfection he’d stolen off some fake-n-bake bitch in Boulder City after he’d boned her silly.
Nothing but the best for his Sara.
Gunderson crossed to where Sara was standing and handed her a Kevlar vest. She waved the nine, indicating the crowd of civilians facedown on the floor. “Proud of me?”
Gunderson smiled and rubbed the swell of her abdomen. The kid was kicking like crazy. “Always, baby. Always.”
As he helped her into the vest, he marveled at how good she looked pregnant. He couldn’t imagine anyone more beautiful than she was right now. Or any other time, for that matter.
She was the kind of woman men write sonnets about. Fight duels over.
And she was his. All his.
Gunderson pulled off his ski mask, kissed Sara’s forehead, then turned and pointed his 733 at the nearest surveillance camera, blasting it right off its swivel mount.
There was an audible reaction from the crowd as camera guts blew everywhere.
Gunderson smiled. “Alright, folks, settle down. This, as they say, is a stickup.”
Copyright © 2007 by Robert Gregory Browne. All rights reserved.
08-29-2010 06:17 PM
Naked. Incoherent. Covered with blood. That’s how Detective Frank Blackburn finds her—a beautiful Jane Doe brandishing a pair of scissors near the scene of a brutal murder. Is she the perpetrator? Or is she the only eyewitness to the handiwork of Vincent Van Gogh, a twisted serial killer with an “artistic” bent? SINS OF THE LIVING
To find out, Blackburn takes her to renowned psychiatrist Dr. Michael Tolan. But Tolan has problems of his own. One year ago today, his beloved wife Abby was savagely slaughtered by the very same serial killer. And when Jane Doe starts saying things that only Abby could know… about long-buried secrets…about the night of Abby’s death…Tolan finds himself headed for a confrontation with his past that could well lead to a breakdown. And it’s up to Frank Blackburn to find the connection between Jane, Tolan…and Vincent—before the killer strikes again.
08-29-2010 06:19 PM
IN THE HOUSE OF DEATH
The newspapers called it Casa de la Muerta, a grisly house of horrors in the Mexican desert where five Catholic nuns were brutally murdered. Freelance journalist Nick Vargas knows it’s a terrific subject for a true crime book—and a chance to revitalize his ruined career. But when he arrives at the scene, he learns there may have been a sixth victim: an American woman whose body has disappeared. Now Nick is dead set on finding her…
IN THE SHADOW OF EVIL
L.A. prosecutor Beth Crawford thought it would be fun to join her sister on a cruise to Baja Norte. But when she meets a pair of seductive strangers onboard—and her sister mysteriously disappears—Beth follows her suspicions into a sinister world of crime, corruption, and dark superstition. Now, with the help of reporter Nick Vargas, Beth must enter the heart of evil itself, where all shall be revealed…on the Day of the Dead.
08-29-2010 06:21 PM
ONE WOMAN'S MIND HOLDS THE SECRET
Ever since a close call with death, FBI Agent Anna McBride has been having strange visions of a kidnapped little girl... a little girl who is about to be murdered. Is she going crazy? When Anna is assigned to a multiple homicide case, her visions recur with an even fiercer frequency...and she can't shake the feeling that what she's seeing is somehow connected to this latest grisly crime.
TO FINDING HER OWN KILLER...
When Anna meets Daniel Pope, a hypnotist who's no stranger to the paramormal, he suggests the impossible: that the girl in her visions is Anna in a past life. But Anna refuses to believe Pope -- until she finds herself face to face with the killer from her nightmares. Now she must go into the dark recesses of her mind and relive the horrors of her past to find a diabolical psychopath who won't rest until he kills her again...
“This is a writer whose name will soon be a household word.”—Bookfinds.com
“Screenwriter Robert Gregory Browne knows [the] rules of creating a compelling plot.”—Mystery Scene Magazine
08-29-2010 06:22 PM - edited 08-29-2010 06:22 PM
08-29-2010 06:29 PM
Robert Gregory Browne is an AMPAS Nicholl Award-winning screenwriter who ran screaming from the movie industry and jumped into writing novels.
A television pilot for his first novel, KISS HER GOODBYE, was recently produced in Chicago as a pilot for a CBS Television series tentatively titled THE LINE, by Sony Pictures and Timberman/Beverly Productions, with a script written and directed by Michael Dinner.
Before the jump, he developed screenplays for Showtime, Viacom, Saban/Fox Kids, Krost-Chapin, and Marvel. He was also staff writer for Fox Kids’ Diabolik, and a contributing screenwriter for Spider-Man Unlimited.
Post jump, Rob has written four thrillers for St. Martin’s Press in the U.S., Macmillan in the UK, Droemer Knauer in Germany, with books also published in Russia, Bulgaria and the Netherlands.
His books KISS HER GOODBYE (2007) and WHISPER IN THE DARK (2008 UK/2009 US), are critically acclaimed. Bookfinds.com proclaimed, “This is a writer whose name will soon be a household word” and Publisher’s Weekly gave WHISPER IN THE DARK a starred review: “The deeply satisfying story moves at a furious pace, packed with unexpected and original clues and plot twists.”
His third novel, KILL HER AGAIN, was released by Macmillan UK in May of 2009 and July in the U.S.
DOWN AMONG THE DEAD MEN was released in May, 2010.
Rob is now working on PARADISE CITY (working title), a supernatural thriller, for Dutton Books. Temple Hill Productions, producers of TWILIGHT, are currently attached to produce for the big screen.
His short story, BOTTOM DEAL, can be found in Lee Child’s KILLER YEAR: Stories to Die For, which was released in the U.S. by St. Martin’s and in the UK by Mira. The story has been optioned for television.
Rob blogs every other Wednesday at the Anthony Award nominated Murderati.com He also has a writer’s advice blog at CastingtheBones.com
Rob is represented by Scott Miller of Trident Media Group in New York.
Rob was born in California, but at the age of 11, moved with his family to Honolulu. His father had threatened to quit his job in Los Angeles, but the company wanted to keep him so badly they offered to send him wherever he wanted to go. He jokingly said, “Hawaii” and the next thing he knew, the transfer was approved.
It took Rob a while to adjust to life on a tropical island, but once he got used to it, he fell in love with the place. In high school, he exchanged glances with a cute girl at the back of one of his classes (just prior to dropping it) and had no idea that he was looking at his future wife. As of this year, he has been married for 30 years.
During those thirty years, Rob has spent time as a musician, a screenwriter, and now novelist — all the while holding a variety of jobs to keep his family eating. He worked as a janitor, a flower delivery boy, a Hollywood messenger, a hotel room maid, a clerk for the Hawaii Legislature, a criminal intake processor for the Honolulu Public Defender, a legal secretary, a magazine columnist, and a video editor.
Since that first year living in Honolulu, Rob regularly browsed the bookstores and libraries, looking longingly at the shelves full of books and dreaming that he’d one day see his name on a novel of his own.
Rob and his wife have two grown kids, two cats, two dogs, and live in California.
08-29-2010 06:30 PM - edited 08-29-2010 06:55 PM
I get email. People ask questions. Here are some of the answers.
Will there be a sequel to KISS HER GOODBYE?
It’s true that Kiss Her Goodbye is just begging for a sequel. I’ve gotten a number of emails asking me to write one, and while I have no plans in the immediate future to do so, I haven’t completely ruled it out. There’s a scenario that keeps running through my head that may have to be written one day, but it won’t happen anytime soon.
Are you planning to write a series?
My first four books are standalones, so if you’re looking for a series, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. But those who do like continuing characters — and I’m with you, there. I like ‘em too — you’ll be happy to know that I’m developing a series idea that I plan to pitch to my publisher in the very near future. So it may well happen. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the standalones.
Why do you have bad language in your books?
People aren’t always polite and not all of my bad guys are pretty. They have dark thoughts, they do terrible stuff. Even though I’m writing fiction, I want my books to reflect reality as much as possible. If you’re uncomfortable with strong language, suspenseful situations, sexual encounters or acts of violence, you’d best shop elsewhere. But PLEASE KNOW that I’m a strong believer that such things should NEVER BE GRATUITOUS. If they don’t fit the storyline, they don’t go into the book.
Where do you get your ideas?
FYI, this is probably the most asked question of writers, and the answer varies from writer to writer. I get ideas from watching news shows, reading books, newspapers, browsing the Internet, etc. Most of the ideas pop into my head as fragments that eventually work themselves into something whole. Once they take enough form to get me excited, then I start seriously thinking about writing a book.
Will you read my manuscript?
Truth is, I barely have time to work on my own manuscripts, let alone read anyone else’s. And my lawyer would surely tell me not to read work by people I don’t know, for fear of lawsuits. I can’t count the number of times I’ve independently come up with a premise that was eerily similar to another writer’s. This happens all the time. Those of us who have been around for awhile are used to it. But aspiring writers tend to be very protective of their ideas, so it’s best that I not read your work so that there’s no confusion about where my OWN ideas came from.
But if you won’t read my book, who will?
My advice to any aspiring novelist is to start going to writing conferences where you can a) meet a ton of writers, some of whom might read your book once they’ve gotten to know you; b) meet a ton of agents, who are often looking for new clients; c) meet a lot of aspiring writers like yourself, who may help you out once they find their own agent or publishing deal; and d) meet the editors and publishers themselves. In other words, it’s all about networking. This business, like any other, runs on relationships. And the more you hang around writers and editors and agents, the better chances you’ll have of getting your book read. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.
Do you outline your stories?
Nope. Once I come up with a premise and a few characters, I start writing. When you’re on pages 25, you know as much about what’s going to happen as I did when I was writing it. I figure if I can surprise myself, then you’ll be surprised, too. I’m basically reading to myself.
08-29-2010 06:33 PM
I’ll be appearing at the following venues:
San Francisco, CA
October 14-17, 2010
- Rob is pleased to announce that KISS HER GOODBYE is in production by CBS as a pilot for a television series tentatively entitled ATF. The show is produced by Timberman/Beverly Productions and Sony Television, the people who brought us JUSTIFIED. ATF stars Dylan Walsh as Jack Donovan, Michael Rapaport as Special Agent Waxman, Sandrine Holt as Rachel Wu, Emmy Clark as Jessie Donovan, and Terry Kinney as Alex Gunderson.
- Rob was recently invited to the set in Chicago and is overjoyed that his baby is in very good hands. Writer/Director/Executive Producer Michael Dinner is at the helm and Rob is happy to report that the footage he’s seen is outstanding. He can’t wait to see the final product.
- Rob’s short story BOTTOM DEAL, which is part of the KILLER YEAR anthology, has also been optioned for television.
- Rob is also happy to announce that he’s now with a new publisher — Dutton — and is writing PARADISE CITY, the first in a series about Demons trying to take over the earth and two people struggling desperately to stop them. He’s busy working on it now, so stay tuned for updates.
- Rob sends a special thank you to Anne Terwisscha, a reader/reviewer on Crime Zone in the Netherlands for the wonderful 5 star review of his book VALS RITME (False Rhythm), the Dutch version of WHISPER IN THE DARK. The review translation comes via Google Translator, but it’s easy enough to understand and it all sounds great to Rob…
08-29-2010 06:53 PM
ROBERT GREGORY BROWNE and BRETT BATTLES - Monday's and Tuesday's guests here - offer Essential Writing Workshops. Read more about them here:
Rob's website is here: http://www.robertgregorybrowne.com/
He's on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Gregory_Browne
He's on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Robert-Gregory-Brown
08-29-2010 06:54 PM
08-29-2010 07:02 PM
Rob - this is going to be interesting, because you already answered a lot of the questions I was going to ask in your bio and FAQ sheet!
I see you are busy working on your next book - do you have a release date?
Also, huge congratulations on youTV/Hollywood connections! Can you tell us more about that?
08-29-2010 11:12 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Becke! It's an honor to be here. Barnes & Noble has been very good to me over the years—in fact, my very first signing was at a Barnes & Noble here in California, so it's nice to be among friends.
As for the next book, I'm in the midst of a polish right now—my editor is working me hard—but I'm not sure what the release date is yet. I'm guessing early summer of 2011, but don't quote me on that. It really is a guess.
Now the Hollywood thing. That came as a complete surprise to me. My agent got a call back in the middle of 2009 asking if the rights were available to Kiss Her Goodbye and seven months later they were shooting the pilot for CBS. When we got that first call, I never expected anything to happen—because books get optioned all the time in Hollywood and very few get beyond that stage, so it was pretty exciting to see the project go the distance.
I was invited to the set, so my wife and I flew to Chicago and watched them film for a couple days, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I got a little misty sometimes. They were VERY faithful to the book and characters and it was pretty amazing to see them come to life in front of me.
The bad news is that pilot season has come and gone and CBS does not have the show on its fall schedule. They loved the show, I'm told, but apparently felt it didn't quite fit in with their demographic. So I have no idea when or even if the show will ever wind up on the air.
It's a shame, really, because Michael Dinner (the director and screenwriter) and crew did an outstanding job. And Dylan Walsh made the perfect Jack Donovan. He told me he loved playing the part and it certainly shows.
As for the other Hollywood stuff, my new book (the one I'm finishing up right now) has the producers of Twilight attached, so we're excited about that, and my short story from the Killer Year collection—Bottom Deal—has been optioned by another production company.
Exciting times, but we'll see how it all pans out. I just write the books and hope somebody's interested in reading them.
Author of THE PARADISE PROPHECY (Dutton, July 2011)
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly