California Crime Writers Conference !

This weekend, a group of dedicated and slightly deranged crime writers from all over California and points west will converge on Culver City for a stimulating weekend of talking shop, learning from our peers and idols, and consuming startling amounts of liquor.

And, yes, I will be one of them. I’ll be promoting my novel “Blunt Force” and rubbing shoulders with some truly amazing and talented people. Last one to name the murderer buys drinks !! It’s going to be a ball!

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The Barrymore Effect

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The Barrymore Effect

by Gregory Von Dare

It’s 1935 and disgraced acting legend John Barrymore has escaped from Hollywood to New York, where he’s lived the high life. Now he has a huge hotel bill with no cash to pay it. The hotel manager threatens to throw him out on the street. When a determined young woman arrives, claiming that Barrymore is the father of her teenage daughter, Barrymore resists. But the dark-haired girl is his very image and even has many of his haughty mannerisms. To avoid a scandal, Barrymore agrees to watch over young Betty for a few days while her mother goes up to Albany to find a job. On a whim, Barrymore has Betty read a few lines of Shakespeare and he’s astonished by her natural talent. He concludes that she certainly is his daughter and goes about promoting her up and down Broadway, thinking he can profit from the girl’s notoriety. Father and daughter fall madly in love with each other. The night before Betty’s debut, things start to go off the rails.

(Two-Act Comedy – about 100 minutes – 12 characters)

For more information: click here

Here’s a look at a model of the set for “That Time of Year” – Barrymore’s hotel suite

"That Time Of Year"

A Brief Interview With the Supreme Being

brief_interview_logoA Brief Interview With the Supreme Being

by Gregory Von Dare

God is not in a good mood, and he’s especially upset about those jokes that begin, “A priest, a minister and a rabbi…”. Some trailer park is going to suffer, that’s for sure.

When his shy teenage daughter commits suicide after being outed as a lesbian, religious Joe B. prays that he be allowed to speak directly with God, because he simply can’t fathom what happened, nor can he stand the grief and guilt he feels. His request is granted, but he must wait until the Supreme Being has a free moment to see him. While he waits, Joe witnesses all kinds of cruelty and excesses caused by religious fundamentalism and intolerance. When Yahweh finally arrives, he’s bitter, narcissistic, belligerent, and not very interested in anything Joe has to say. But, the appearance of an older and wiser God helps Joe put things into perspective and helps him find peace.

(Two-act comedy – about 80 minutes – six characters)

To learn more: click here

Pasadena

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by Gregory Von Dare

In the middle of the psychedelic 1960s, America seethes with change. There are protests over the Vietnam war and anger from the JFK assassination. Martin Lee Mitchell, a low-rent private eye, discovers that a serial child-murderer who outsmarted him in the 1950s (when he was with the LAPD) is back in town. The suspect has ties to some very powerful people in Hollywood and Washington D.C. and evades Mitchell at every turn. The search for a missing millionaire in Pasadena leads Mitchell down a rabbit’s hole of deceit, drugs, dangerous hippies and double-crosses. He makes love to a self-destructive blonde movie star, tracks a Cuban defector wanted by the CIA and finally corners the child-killer in a remote desert shack. Only one of them will come out of it alive.

(Screenplay – Action/Drama – 120 minutes)

For more information: click here

JAZZED – The Women of F. Scott Fitzgerald

286JAZZED – The Women of F. Scott Fitzgerald

by Gregory Von Dare

Written on commission for the City of West Hollywood in 2012 to promote reading awareness and Fitzgerald as a great American author, this play is a collage of Fitzgerald’s writings, plus pieces from Zelda Fitzgerald and Sheila Graham. It examines the four major women in Fitzgerald’s life and the impact they had on his writing. Some dialog from Tennessee William’s play about Fitzgerald, “Clothes for a Summer Hotel”, is included as well as significant original material to bind the segments together and give the piece an ending. Read by a cast of professional actors (pictured) to a live audience at a performance space in 2012, this play was a highlight of the “Big Read” event.

To learn more: click here

With A Bullet

Texas_Ranch_Road_1With A Bullet

by Gregory Von Dare

Mitch Mitchell is the number two sharpshooter ever produced by the U.S. Army. He returns from a tour in Afghanistan to his home in Midlands, Texas and agrees to stay with his wealthy older brother, Sonny, and his brother’s trophy wife, Daisy. Mitch’s dream is to rebuild their father’s ranch, raising mustangs and Quarter Horses. But Sonny has promised to sell the ranch to a crooked land developer, despite the fact that Mitch legally owns the property. When the developer and his hit men kill Sonny, Mitch uses his skills as an Army vet and world-class marksman to take revenge. A corrupt cop makes it much harder than Mitch figured. Can he shoot his way out of this one?

(Action/Drama – 105 min. – low budget)

To learn more: click here

Rocket In My Pocket

Love Couple Wallpapers (4)Rocket In My Pocket

by Gregory Von Dare

Two couples, a pair of rockers in their 20s and two married Yuppies in their 30s, have relationship problems. All four of them have put career and ambition ahead of the one they love. One night, through a series of wacky events, they switch partners. It wakes up their view of themselves, and their idea of love. For one thing, the sex is amazing. However, adapting to the age gap is not so easy. They barely speak the same language. By demolishing the status quo, the four new partners help each other in real, practical ways. Eventually, all of them realize they want their original lover back. Can they overcome their pride, ego and stubbornness – and the insane advice of their friends and co-workers – to return things the way they were?

(Screenplay, Rom-Com – about 100 min – R-rated)

For more information: click here

The Hole

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by Gregory Von Dare

With no reasonable explanation, a young man finds himself alone at the bottom of a large hole that is too deep, wide and vertical to scale. He can’t possibly escape. Even though food and clothing are provided, he grows increasingly desperate and driven to find a way out – and to have the company of other people. A young woman – who may be a dream – hints that there may be a way out if only he is brave and smart enough to try it. Strange and surreal, this story will haunt your imagination.

(Screenplay – Eight characters – 30 min.)

For more information: click here

Time Apart

300px-SophieAndersonTheHeadOfANymphTime Apart

by Gregory Von Dare

Odysseus has just finished the Trojan War and is desperate to get home after ten years away. But, in a raging storm, he’s shipwrecked on the island of Calypso, a lonely goddess craving a man to make her happy. When they meet, Odysseus pretends to be a common sailor and Calypso pretends to be a noble woman in exile. Calypso’s three serving girls trick “Oddy” into revealing his true identity, and he tricks “Cally” into revealing her true identity. She claims that she cannot help him get home, her powers are too weak. But she slowly and powerfully seduces him and they have a volcanic affair that includes some raging kinky sex. After two years in residence, Odysseus also sleeps with one of the serving girls and she confesses that Calypso is a powerful goddess who could send him home any time. When the messenger god Hermes arrives to warn Calypso that Zeus is not happy with her for consorting with a mortal, Odysseus gets his chance to escape. Will he make it?

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Gertrude Stein In Hell


G&A.jpgGertrude Stein In Hell

by Gregory Von Dare

Two sophisticated women, Beryl and Irene, one a writer and one an editor in New York of the 1950s, pretend to be Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in order to soothe their own troubled relationship. As they play out the life stories of Gertrude and Alice, Beryl and Irene get a renewed sense of their love for each other and come to appreciate the horrors of war-torn Europe in the 20th Century and the difficulties of being an innovator in literature.

(One Act – Two characters – about 60 minutes)

For more information: click here