Eugene Stryker, Hollywood Movie Times
Mike Kearby’s beloved sci-fi/noir/gangster comedic novel that defies and parodies half a dozen genres is now breaking down the box office barriers with the release of the Long Term Parking feature film May 23rd at the comic-con convention in Houston, Texas.
In today’s cinema, a world premiere in Hollywood is passé especially when the true fans are the 35,000 cosplayers vying for seats in the ComicPalooza Theater at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
We reached Kearby at his Texas ranch by phone to ask about the film’s premiere and how the quirky novel came about in the first place.
ES: You’ve written many novels, but none in this genre. What inspired the story of Long Term Parking?
MK: The story has its background in listening to my Granddad cursing at the neighbor’s dog for digging in his garden. He was too gentle of a man to physically hurt the dog, but always had more than a few “Goddamn Dog” to mumble as he re-staked his tomatoes. Later as an adult, I always chuckled while remembering these comedic encounters between man and beast. Thus was born the preface to Long Term Parking.
ES: How much is Boston Nightly like you? How do you get into the head of your characters when you’re writing?
MK: Boston definitely contains a mixture of my real and my imagined personality. I find this to be a common trait among those who tell stories. The heroic imagined part of one’s personality when fused with the real and flawed part of one’s personality makes the fictionalized character easy to cheer for.
ES: Long Term Parking has quite a following. Do you think the movie version will inspire more people to read your original novel?
MK: The ingredients are all there. The cast brings the characters to life just as I imagined. I hope the movie fans want to extend their viewing pleasure by reading the book.
ES: Most films adapted from books usually don’t do the original work justice. How does this movie compare?
MK: The film and the novel match up perfectly in showing Boston as that flawed character caught in the eternal struggle in doing what is right and doing what feels right.
ES: The story takes a lot of very unexpected turns. When you started writing did you know where the story was going or did the characters take you in directions you didn’t expect?
MK: My novels always seem to write themselves after the first few pages. It was no different with Boston who seemed to evolve into favorites from my childhood; a combination of Groucho Marx and The Three Stooges.
ES: Any truth to the rumor a sequel for Boston Nightly is in the works?
MK: Boston’s latest – Beware of Dog – is well underway. Our hero is pitted against a career criminal who only speaks in third person, a defrocked priest, and a female warden whose most prominent feature is the appearance of being struck in the back by two heat seeking missile’s. And of course, Marlene.
ES: The screenplay adaptation for Long Term Parking was written by you and the director. Is this your first time working with another writer? How was the experience of co-writing?
MK: This was my first foray into screenwriting, and Paul Bright was kind and patient enough to help guide me down the trail. I enjoyed working with Paul and can’t imagine a better first writing partner.
ES: What should audiences expect when they see the movie Saturday night at ComicPalooza?
MK: It can only truly be enjoyed when accompanied by raucous, belly laughter, which 4 out of 5 doctors agree is very healthy for you.
ES: People are already saying the film will become a cult classic. Can you imagine people dressing up as Boston Nightly at next year’s ComicPalooza?
MK: I think that would be the greatest accolade a writer could receive.