Dead & Busy Episode 1
by Kfir Luzzatto
Genre: Humorous Noir, Supernatural Mystery
It is sort of annoying having dead people dropping by at all hours...
A paranormal detective like Dave Callaghan has already seen everything, but he never expected to find a presumed dead mobster drinking scotch in his armchair. He is definitely unhappy when he (it?) engages him to find out who shot him. But the worse is yet to come; Dave’s girlfriend gets involved and the real trouble begins.
Episode 1 of the DEAD & BUSY series will keep you laughing to the (bitter) end.
"Dave Callaghan is not here to bring you profound, life-changing thoughts; only quick, unadulterated fun."
Dead & Busy Episode 2
A SEXY ECTOPLASMIC HOOKER
Why Do All These Deadies Keep Flocking Around Dave?
"It was bad enough, I can assure you, finding a half-naked ectoplasm sitting at my desk, but she had to talk nonsense too . . ."
Dave Callaghan is used to having ghosts drop by uninvited at all hours. But this time he is in for a new experience, and you must get ready for a good laugh!
Episode 2 of the DEAD & BUSY series - the one with the hooker.
Dead & Busy Episode 3
TALKING MICE ON YOUR BED
A Mouse That Keeps Reciting Poetry to You, Is a Pest
When white mice plague a short-tempered mobster, he hires Dave Callaghan to find out where they are coming from. The mobster wants to know why the mice wake him up in the middle of the night to recite "Mary had a little lamb" to him.
Dave is used to dealing with ghosts of every description, but this time he is facing a complex conspiracy that involves the government and a lascivious ghost.
Episode 3 of the DEAD & BUSY series - the one with the Aussie ghost sailor.
Dead & Busy Book 4
HOW TO ELOPE WITH A GHOST
In Which the Accountant Disappears With the Bank Codes
What can be more maddening for a businessman, than to have his trusted accountant disappear with all the bank access codes? Well, discovering that he has eloped with the ghost of a prostitute surely makes it worse.
The need to walk into a ghostly brothel doesn't put Dave off. He even befriends one of the girls there and fun is had by all.
Episode 4 of the DEAD & BUSY series - the one with the little ghostly whorehouse.
Kfir Luzzatto is the author of eight novels, several short stories and six non-fiction books. Kfir was born and raised in Italy, and moved to Israel as a teenager. He acquired the love for the English language from his father, a former U.S. soldier, a voracious reader, and a prolific writer. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering and works as a patent attorney. In pursuit of his interest in the mind-body connection, Kfir was certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist by the Anglo European College of Therapeutic Hypnosis.
Kfir is an HWA (Horror Writers Association) and ITW (International Thriller Writers) member.
Why Scary is Fun
by Kfir Luzzatto
Isn’t it a bit masochistic, that we spend good money on buying a scary book, or going to a scary movie? Many in the publishing and movie industries have built fortunes by delivering fear, and since we cannot all be masochists, there has to be a good explanation for it, right? Well, in fact, there is more than one. Some experts attribute this strange behavior of ours to our attraction to novelty, something that departs from our everyday experience. We see or read about a scary experience, but we don’t have to actually worry because we know that we are safe. It’s a surrogate experience, and not quite as good as the real thing, but much safer.
We Need the Thrill
I can compare the thrill of watching a documentary about a dangerous mountain climb, to actually doing the climb (which I have done in my days.) I can still feel a rush of adrenaline during the documentary, but in the end, I realize that it was quite a pathetic experience—not comparable to actually being up there with the wind on my face. Luckily, when I watch a good zombie or ghost movie (“Dawn of the Dead”, or “The Sixth Sense”, to mention but two) I don’t have first-hand experience to ruin the thrill for me, and I can still enjoy it fully, as the closest thing to a real zombie or real ghost experience. The flood of fear it gives, paired with the relief of safety, can release naturally occurring opioids like endorphins that signal pleasure, along with a hit of dopamine, a chemical that works on the brain’s reward center.
But scary tales have a much more important role: we need them to conquer the fear of death. Death is something that looms in everybody’s future, and although we’d rather not think about it, we are constantly reminded of death by events around us. As a result, we need to confront it, as if we were picking scabs off a wound that will never heal.
When, years ago, I started writing stories with a horror theme, I had to confront those issues. I realized that I wanted my “scary” story to be comforting, to “normalize” death. That understanding led me to write my award-winning novel, “Crossing the Meadow”. But that was not enough, because although that novel accomplished my goal, I only dared to introduce a small amount of humor into it. Humor, to me, is an essential ingredient of every situation, no matter how bad and potentially conducive to dire consequences, simply because humor is what helps us to deal with it.
It took me a few years to find the time to write my “DEAD & BUSY” four-book series, which I wanted to tell scary stories that make you laugh. I believe that uncomfortable thoughts become much less frightening if we can see their funny side, and that we can stop repressing thoughts about our expected end if, every now and then, we can smile about it. So from now on, make sure that your ghosts have a sense of humor.
The Gory Angle
The remaining question is what the role of gory stuff is in all this. A little, tastefully described blood is fine by me, and so are hints that something much worse may be coming. It’s like nudity: a bare body is much less interesting than a scantly clothed one. So, gore is okay when it is really needed to help the story, but anything beyond that I count as a cheap fear-inducing device. I don’t give that to my readers, because it doesn’t do it for me. I actually fell asleep watching “Kill Bill”, and that shows you.
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