Bryan Kennedy’s talents as a musician are well known in Beachcomberland, but he’s also a playwright and author of the first order. His latest accomplishment is the poignant holiday short story Charlie’s Favorite Christmas, a tale inspired by a weeklong cabin trip Kennedy took in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Kennedy had rented the cabin to work on Mistletoe Roaster, the follow up to his play Toe Roaster. “I had written this story that appears about halfway through the script,” he says. “The story came to me from a friend (from) high school, Andy Anderson.” An earlier book penned by Kennedy, Andy Wouldn’t Let Me, included the Charlie’s Favorite Christmas story. Positive feedback inspired Kennedy to make it available as a standalone this Christmas.
“Andy wasn’t the Charlie in the book,” says Kennedy. “He was more of the Steve in the story. My friend Andy had a brain tumor, and though Andy’s time was limited here on this earth, he spent all of his time helping me rehabilitate from a football knee injury. And he wouldn’t let me quit.
“It was his dedication, sacrifice and selflessness that brought Charlie to my soul and ended up on paper somehow. Andy was an amazing young man.” Confused? Read the story.
Kennedy says he’s currently “tweaking” a suspense thriller called El Perro Perdido (The Lost Dog). He offers this synopsis:
Never really knowing who her real parents were, Monica Salidimos was given to her wealthy and socially elite foster parents at three years old. This hopeful promise of a better life never came to be for Monica because of the overwhelming jealousy and resentment her foster mother carried towards her. Monica’s dreams, however, are rescued in the striking form of Detective Jeremy Harlan.
Jeremy and Monica soon settle into their facade of a happy marriage while they both struggle to forget the dark and difficult lives they are trying to leave behind. Living in Miami, Detective Harlan is haunted by the mysterious, yet familiar actions surrounding the “Lost Dog Serial Killer.” Jeremy desperately searches his soul for the killer, while Monica is desperately searching for who her husband really is, and regretfully, might be.
No one suspects her to uncover the common link connecting the murders. And no one could have suspected that she would set herself up to be the next victim…
It sounds like a far cry from Charlie’s Favorite Christmas, but I’ll be first in line to sample anything Kennedy offers up. For now, you can pick up a copy of the holiday story at amazon.com. The Kindle version is only a buck fifty, so don’t feel guilty about buying a present for yourself. You’ll cherish this.
Bryan Kennedy performs with Dave Perez at Seaside. Photo by Shelly Swanger/ www.shellyswangerphotography.com.