Novel Reading: The Adventures of Tek Danger and Larry Applebaum (Discount) Mercenaries for Hire by Rich Hynes

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the writer: 

 What is your novel about?

It’s about two down-on-their-luck morons who, despite having neither
the qualifications nor the brains, decide to become mercenaries.
(Although Larry would have preferred to open up a nice ice cream stand
somewhere.) Due solely to their rock-bottom pricing, they manage to
snag an actual client — a shady religious organization — and agree to
retrieve a stolen relic from the Sisters of Agrona, the deadliest gang
in the universe. Accompanied by the naive Brother Caradoc, Tek and
Larry set out with one gun and not a lick of sense between them. Will
they succeed? Will they even survive? Probably not. But it’s fun
watching them “Gump” their way through it.

What genres would you say this story is in?

It’s a Sci-Fi comedy.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Amusing stupidity.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

‘Rango’, a solid heroes journey that holds up over time with drama,
comedy and relatable characters. The fact that it’s animated is just a

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)

“Fruitcakes” by Jimmy Buffett

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. ‘Brave New World’ is a close
second and then the ‘Dragonlance’ series (Chronicles and Twins).

What motivated you to write this story?

I fell in love with the characters. I was tinkering around with story
ideas when I happened to meet Tek and Larry in the dark, slightly
cobwebby, recesses of my brain. I found myself incredibly interested
in following their adventures as the worst mercenaries in the universe
and seeing how they survive them.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Alive: Steve Martin — Dead: Benjamin Franklin — Both for the same reason.

I imagine dinner would start off with extremely interesting
intellectual discussions. A mini-salon if you will. Then, by the end
of the night, shit would get weird. Good weird, abstract weird, but
weird nonetheless.

Wait! Mel Brooks! I should have chosen Mel Brooks! It is too late to
change my answer? Dammit.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Reading. Finding those books you can’t put down and genuinely lament
having finished.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I always love hearing what I’ve written in someone else’s voice. I’m
so used to hearing it in my own head — my own timing, my own
inflections, my own pre-conceived notions — that I like hearing how
other people experience it. Adding their own emotional cues and

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

It’s a cliché, but keep writing. Be prolific in your writing. Finish
stuff. Millions of people have started writing a book or a screenplay,
but most never complete the first draft. Finish something and you’re
already way ahead of the crowd. Then finish something else. And then
something else after that. Because the first question you’re going to
be asked — if you’re lucky enough to get requested and read — is “what
else do you have?” You should have something else finished, polished
and ready to go. Preferably multiple something-elses.


Producer: Matthew Toffolo

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

By writingfest

Monthly Festival showcasing the best of new novels from around the world. Novel transcripts get performed by professional actors. OR, we also turn novels into movies and seen by 1000s online and at various film festivals.

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