Sunday, September 7, 2014


Here is an excerpt from my Hollywood novel JOHNNY CRUISE. JOHNNY CRUISE is a Jekyll and Hyde type of story about a very big movie star who is at war with his abusive public persona, which has LITERALLY taken on a life of its own. John (the person) stays secluded inside a mansion high up in the Hollywood Hills while Johnny (the persona) leaves the mansion and does all the movies, premieres, press events, charity events, interviews, talk show appearances etc. John desperately wants to leave the house and show the public the REAL him, but Johnny abusively makes him stay inside, warning him that the public won't like what it sees and his career will be ruined.

Here is the book's teaser-trailer:


NOTE: The excerpt below takes place soon after Johnny has purposely leaked a sex tape out to the public as part of a publicity stunt. Johnny made the sex tape with Playboy model Pamela Lopez...



A door slams somewhere deep into the house and John suddenly gets the feeling that he isn’t alone. His subconscious senses an energy coming from the far corner of the room. He lifts his head out of the couch and sees Johnny staring at him with an eerily blank expression.

“Didn’t sleep ‘til noon today?” he asks.

“Oh, Johnny...please don’t,” says John, burrowing his face back into the couch.

Johnny swaggers over to the Casablanca coffee table and swipes the remote control into his possession. As soon as he presses the ‘power’ button, the JumboTron shouts... 

“Johnny Cruise!”

He changes the channel.

“Johnny Cruise!”

He switches channels again.

“Johnny Cruise!”

And again.

“Johnny Cruise!”

Johnny jumps atop the Casablanca coffee table and pounds his chest like Tarzan.

“Johnny Cruise!”

“Say it again!” Johnny shouts at the television.

“Johnny Cruise!”

“Say my name again!”

“Johnny Cruise!”

“Say! My! Name! Bitch!”

“Johnny Cruise! Johnny Cruise! Johnny Cruise!!!”


All right, John has had enough of this frigging nonsense. This is absolutely ridiculous. So immature. So sophomoric.

“Turn it off, Johnny.”

Johnny whips his head away from the Jumbotron and leers into John’s line of vision. His face is freakier-looking than an eel’s.


“Turn the fucking TV off,” John says with the most confidence he’s had in a really long time.

Johnny suddenly becomes muzzled with submissiveness - like a puppy who’s just been scolded – and he does what he’s told. The TV shuts off.

“Well...we’re mighty assertive this morning. Aren’t we?”

“We gotta talk about what’s next.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s gotta be something big. Like another trip to Somalia or something.”

“John, those refugees are amazing heroes to me. They make me so grateful for what I have. But I’m not gonna have time to go there.”

“Why not?”

“John, look...Pamela and I...we’ve decided to get married.”

The word “married” kills John’s high almost instantaneously.

“Married? What are you talking about?”

“Pamela and I are in love. We’ve decided to get married.”

John leaps off the couch, grabs Johnny by the arms and starts shaking him like some twisted Au pair would shake a baby.

“No. No! No way!!! There’s no fucking way you’re getting married!!!”

“Get the fuck off me,” Johnny says, slamming John into the carpet.

“Right now, everybody thinks you’re a sleaze-wad who makes sex-tapes with sluts! You gotta go to Israel and help promote peace or something!”

“No, we gotta capitalize on the moment. Right now, everybody’s talking about Johnny and Pamela. Johnny and Pamela this...Johnny and Pamela that. If we get married right now, we’re gonna be America’s biggest power-couple - hands-down. We’ll be the next Beyonce and Jay-Z!”

“No, this isn’t right. I’m gonna fix this right now!”

“Fix what?! Twelve hours ago the Johnny Cruise brand was dead! You should be kissing my ass. I saved your career!”

“MY CAREER?! Ha! It’s not my career anymore. It stopped being MY career a long time ago! It’s YOUR career!”

“Yeah, well that’s because you don’t know how to manage your career. If it wasn’t for me, you’d already be back East now, working at Shop N’ Save. You’d be washed up! A has-been. A never-was!”

John’s eyes start watering.

“Jesus, you see what I mean? You cry over every little thing. Pussies like yourself don’t have successful careers, John. Pussies like you work in a supermarket and live with your parents your whole life!”

The tears stream down John’s cheeks. For a brief moment, Johnny realizes he’s being too harsh. He decides to show a little sensitivity.

“I’m sorry.”

“Take it back, Johnny.”

Johnny kneels to the floor and rubs John’s back.

“I take it back. I take it back. Come on, buddy. Chin up, now.”

He gives John a few more rubs. Then he whips a rolled Playboy magazine out of his back pocket and opens to the centerfold.

“Look, John. Take one good look at Pamela. Take one look at Pamela and try to tell me she isn’t the hottest piece of ass in Hollywood right now.”

John sniffs up his tears and takes a peek at the magazine.

“Look at those tits. That ass. Think about all the girls who rejected you in high school. What are they gonna say when they see you with Pamela? Huh? Ya know?”

“Look, Johnny. I’m not gonna let you marry a girl you don’t love.”

“I LOVE Pamela. I LOVE her.”

“That’s bullshit. You love Hea...”

“YOU love Heather. YOU love her!!!”

“Shut up, Johnny! Shut up!!!”

Johnny has had enough of John’s impertinence. He clenches his fist and winds his arm up for a nasty punch. 

But John snatches his fist in midair! And whips it to the ground!

“Don’t fuckin’ touch me! Get back! I control you! I made you and I control you!!!”

For the first time, Johnny actually looks a little scared.

“Whoa...ok. No need to get so worked up. Relax.”

He rests his hands to his side and gives John a little room to breathe.

“I’m outta here,” John says. “This is ridiculous. I’m leaving this house. I’m leaving Hollywood.”

He hobbles his way up from the floor and heads for the foyer. But he can’t even make it halfway across the room before Johnny says:

“Heather doesn’t love you, John.”

John stops dead in his tracks, but refuses to turn around. He takes a deep breath and musters up the confidence to move forward.

“Heather NEVER loved you.”

John stops in his tracks again.

“Heather and her husband are curled up in their bed right now, holding each other tight, talkin’ about how great it was fucking each other last night.”

John’s knees start shivering and he collapses to the floor.

“But you know what she’s gonna do when she rolls outta bed, turns on the TV and hears about the sex tape? Know how she’s gonna feel? She’s gonna suddenly realize how much sex you’ve been having without her and how amazing it must be. And then she’s gonna wish that sex with Alex could be more amazing. And then she’s gonna see how hot Pamela is and she’s gonna see you get married and she’s gonna beat the shit out of herself knowing she coulda had you, but it’s too late, bitch. ‘Oh, just kidding. Come, here, hun. Let me hold you all night long. No, it’s too late, BITCH!!!’ You’re gone from her forever with a girl who’s got better boobs, nicer ass, cuter face...the list doesn’t end, motherfucker.”

Johnny starts spitting out every word like some beast from a J.R. Tolkien movie.

“That stupid bitch is gonna live out the rest of her life in complete misery knowing she missed the boat with you. Too late, you fucking bitch!”

His beastly spits turn into all-out barks.

“Too late!!!!!!!!!!!!”

John’s eyes glaze over, like they’re being put under a spell. But he shakes it off.

“No, Johnny. You’re messing with my mind. I’m not listening to you. I’m the only one here. You don’t exist.”

He regains his confidence and gets back on his feet.

“I’m leaving this house.”

This time, he successfully makes it out of the living room and even makes it into the foyer, but when he gets into the foyer, he finds that the door leading to the outside world is Johnny. It’s almost as though he ‘beamed’ himself there, like a character in Star Trek!

“You’re not going anywhere,” Johnny growls like a guard dog.

“Yes I am, Johnny. I’m leaving this house.”

John charges at the door and plows into Johnny, but Johnny swats him away like a fly. 

John charges at him again, but Johnny easily pushes him away like he weighs about two pounds. 

John fucking lunges at Johnny, but Johnny sweeps John’s legs and slams him into the floor, belly-first. 

“Ouch! You fucking asshole!”

Johnny tries to grab John by the hair, but John slaps his hand away.

“Get back! Get back!!!”

Johnny cautiously takes a step back.

“I’m not afraid of you anymore, Johnny! I don’t even see you! You don’t exist!”

Johnny says nothing - just stares at John with an unsettling stoicism.

“I’m leaving now.”

John pushes himself up from the floor, limps to the door, grabs the brass ring and begins to pull it open.

“All right, tough-guy,” Johnny says from behind. “Go out there and fix things. Let the world see your face. Your hooked-nose. Your craggly skin...” 

John can’t pull the door open any further.

“...How about your yellow teeth?! The eczema on your upper back. Your left arm that’s bigger than your right arm due to excessive masturbation with the left hand. Let them see your thick eyebrows and uneven sideburns...”

John slams the door closed with his face and starts bawling uncontrollably.

“Let the public see the REAL you. The guy who sits on his ass all day and never donated one single penny to any charity. How much did you donate to the Red Cross last year? Huh? How many Aids walks did you participate in? How many children with Leukemia did you be a role model to? None. But you sure as hell smoked a lot of weed!”

John slides down to the floor, trying ever-so-desperately to suck the tears back up into his nose.

“Johnny, please stop. Don’t do this.” 

“Go on and leave the house, you selfish asshole! Boy is Heather gonna be glad she never left Alex for you. Holy shit is she gonna have some pleasant dreams after a long night of riding Alex like a carousel.”

Oh, John can’t bear to have such an image in his mind.

“Johnny, I beg you! Please!!!”

“You walk out that door and you’re buying yourself a one-way ticket back East. Back to the supermarket. Back to your parents’ basement. Back to having no woman. Back to snapping it to porn. Back to fantasizing about how you’ll someday marry Heather when, in reality, you absolutely never will.”

“Johnny! Agh-ha! No! Oh, stop! Please stop!!!!”

“Stop that crying, pussy! You’re one of the most famous motherfuckers in the world. You make twenty million dollars a picture. You’re a bigger brand than McDonald’s! You live in one of the nicest houses in the Hollywood Hills. Stanley Hitchcock’s house. Your favorite filmmaker shot some of your favorite movies right here where we stand and you want to leave it??? Something’s not adding up here, John.”

“Aha-ha! Oh, no! No, Johnny!”

“You always want more and more and more. You’re never happy. Millions are starving in Africa. People are repressed by dictatorships. Soldiers are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan! What do YOU have to be sad about?!”

John can’t answer the question. He can only close his eyes and hope that Johnny disappears.

“I said what the fuck do you have to be sad about?!” 

“Oh-ho! Johnny! Oh God!!!”

Johnny’s eyes pop out of his face.

“Shut up, motherfucker! Shuuuuut!!! Up!!!!!!!!!!!”

John opens his eyes and sees that Johnny has vanished. Only the echoes of his demonic screams remain, reverberating through the foyer like a dragon’s roar.

He sits upright, hugs his knees into his chest and whimpers.

“I need a hug. Somebody give me a hug. Oh, God.”

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