How did I wind up in HEX BREAKER? I’m an actor, and the book is set against the backdrop of filming an independent movie.

Like most actors, I have to go audition for roles. I’m not the kind of guy who gets called because someone thinks of me. I’ve got an agent, and the agent sends me out on calls. Most of the time, I’m in a room with thirty other guys who look like me and sound like me because they want a “type”. Maybe some inventive casting director will toss in someone who’s different, but, for the most part, we’re types.

I’ve got dark hair, blue eyes, I’m not leading-man tall or leading-man buff. I’m nearly thirty, but I play younger (although even I can’t get away with playing high school roles anymore). An ex-girlfriend says I play my emotional age.

I’m a sidekick. I’m the one, in the horror movie, who’s likely to go down in the scary basement or out to get some extra firewood and get chopped into pieces. I’ve done a couple of those movies. I’ve been the dorky best friend of the guy who gets the girl a bunch of times. They put a pair of glasses on me, and tell me to “play smart.” Oookaaaay. Whatever that means.

But that’s part of my job, y’know? I’m an actor. The same way a writer is supposed to personify “weird” in words instead of writing the word “weirdly”, I have to “play smart”, only I’ve got my body and my voice and my look and the clothes wardrobe gives me, and whatever life experience I’ve got to back me up.

Few years back, I did this movie with an actor named Nick Swift. Recognize the name? Yeah, thought you would. Pretty much everyone who goes to the movies or reads tabloids knows who Nick Swift is. He started as a quirky character actor, a “serious” actor, then he landed an action movie, and boom! He’s now a major star. A coupla action movies later, I was lucky enough to get a small role in a movie about pirates stealing Knights Templar treasure. Nick was the film’s hero. For some reason, we hit it off, getting to be friends off screen and having a lot of fun in our coupla little scenes on screen. Nick made them write more scenes for me, and we’ve done a few films since together. Basically, we’re playing variations on the same characters, but it’s fun. We’ve got a shorthand and a chemistry when we work together.

I actually did a film where I wasn’t the sidekick, but the romantic lead, and I got the girl for once. Unfortunately, it died on opening weekend; just couldn’t compete with the vampire and superhero films that came out. We’d probably have been better off if we’d done it as a movie on LIFETIME, or something.

A director named Vince Cannon wrote a small budget adventure piece and got it to Nick through a friend of a friend of a friend, the usual. Nick read the script and thought it sounded like fun, and the character was a little different from his usual. He thought the sidekick role was a good one for me, so he said he’d do the film if I did the film. Vince called me in to audition, he liked what he saw (and he wanted to sign Nick really, really badly). I was unemployed after my attempt at being a leading man, the script was fun, it would be great to work with Nick again, so why not? Vince’s girlfriend, Cady Bruce, was cast as the female lead. Maybe it was nepotism, but she’s a good actress and a nice woman, so that was all cool. And, somehow, Vince and Nick talked Clive Gaskell, that good-looking British guy, into being our villain. I think he and Nick did some buddy cop thing together a few years back.

We had a good cast, we had a good crew, we head off to Western Massachusetts to film. What could go wrong? As it turns out, plenty . . .

HEX BREAKER coming soon from Solstice Publishing!