After ten years of writing, ten years of envisioning characters and wondering what they would look/sound like in real life, I’ve finally gotten an answer. Allow me to introduce you to Detective Riley Parra (Marem Hassler) and Dr. Gillian Hunt (Liz Vassey). Anyone who has ever written a novel will know how this feels. It’s surreal and it’s cool and it’s so, so amazing. I suppose there was a chance that it could’ve gone off the rails, but the casting is so good that I feel like I was writing the characters specifically for them (even though Gillian’s hair in the books was red… a minor detail that I am ABSOLUTELY FINE with surrendering ::g::)

If I ever write more stories in the Riley Parra universe, know that I’m doing it with these two in mind. They are Riley and Gillian, and that’s all there is to it. 😀

Riley and Gillian



This isn’t the thing I want to blog about today. Hopefully that will happen later. But this is just an observation about something that I wanted to share to the world at large (or the world that wanders across my blog) and an attempt to increase the number of people who come across my blog. This is also in honor of Bowie’s death which was almost exactly one year ago. RIP Starman.

It involves two David Bowie songs written 30 years apart – neither particularly well known – which I believe are connected. It makes both songs a little sadder, but also enriches the experience. The first is “Conversation Piece,” written in 1969. I prefer the later version that was included as a bonus track on the Heathen album. The middle verse is:

“I live above the grocer’s store
Owned by an Austrian
He often calls me down to eat
And he jokes about his broken English
Tries to be a friend to me
But for all my years of reading conversation
I stand without a word to say.”

The song is about the narrator’s depression and melancholy (which is one reason I like the newer version better… Bowie just sounds like someone who has been through hell because… well, he has.

The other song is “Algeria Touchshriek,” from the 1995 album Outside. This is a weird album, and the songs all have connective tissue between them. But this one in particular feels like it ties back the “Conversation Piece” from the point of view of the Austrian who owns the grocer’s store.

“I’m thinking of leasing the room above my shop
To a Mr. Walloff Domburg
A reject from the world wide Internet
He’s a broken man
I’m also a broken man
It would be nice to have company
We could have great conversations!”

The re-use of the word ‘broken’ and ‘conversation,’ the idea that “Mr Walloff Domburg” is a “reject” fits with the original song’s narrator saying ‘my essays lying scattered on the floor/fulfill their needs just by being there.” No one thinks about him, no one knows him, no one will remember him. He’s a broken man. And the idea that his grocer is another broken man who is just trying to reach out and maybe give him some peace just makes it even sadder when the narrator just walks away.

Anyway! This has been a pointless exercise in analyzing two songs by one of the greatest songwriters ever. And if this makes you check out either album or just the songs, then I’ll consider it time well spent.



Welcome to the year of Riley Parra!

Big things are happening this year, including filming of the webseries beginning later this month! We’re within weeks of the show actually getting on the road. I can’t wait to see these amazing people bringing my characters to life. I was already blown away by Marem reading Riley’s lines, and that was before she dove in with both feet preparing to become the character. So I can only imagine what she’ll be bringing to the table when the cameras start rolling.

Here’s hoping everyone has a fun, safe, exciting 2017!

Riley Parra Cast

CONNOR TRINNEER – Samael
LIZ VASSEY – Gillian Hunt
KARL E LANDER – Marchosias
CONNOR KELLY-EIDING – Sweet Kara
MAREM HASSLER – RILEY!
LUIS KELLY-DUARTE – Muse Skaggs
MAEVE QUINLAN – Nina Hathaway
PAUL EIDING – Father Jacob
WHITNEY MIXTER – Wilma