Stephen Kenneth Figler

Finished Fiction Manuscripts and Works-in-Progress

Bad Guys
It's midtown Manhattan and two long-time rival gangs---both mixed Italian and Jewish---are trying to stretch their territory, because everyone knows, if you don't grow, you die. Some guys are happy in the life, one wants out, one wants in. And then there are a couple of grandmothers who square off. And a daughter who needs her Pop to explain what he does. And a newly minted accountant who just wants to be an accountant, but that doesn't seem to be his fate. Fate plays large in these stories, but some of the Bad Guys fight it. The tales are Runyanesque and Westlake-esque, along with a few straight dramatic stories.

Hangtown (finished novel manuscript)
In 1850 Hangtown, California, was aptly named. The easy gold was taken, while the worst of men kept coming. Hanging was frequent and was decided by five people. The novel is written in linked stories of each of these five, as well as that of 17-year-old Lucky Joe German who comes to town bearing a "curse" in which people who get too close die, though he doesn't kill them.

Max in Repose (finished novel manuscript)
Max Bronstein had three wives, who hated each other. He leaves his estate to be shared equally, but only if they live together for one year. While Frieda, Hilda, and Mary Margaret hate the idea, each for their own reason submits to the will. They come to live with Frieda in her Palm Beach condo and, through conflict, learn about each other and who Max really was.

Altadena's Demise
Aza Kvetchmore and his beloved Valerie are the police force of Camelot, CA, a small central coast town where nothing much happens, except for two murders, a bullet whizzing by Aza's head, and attempted arson on their cozy home, all within one week. Along with Yogi, part-time cop/yoga instructor, and Mandy Korn, news reporter/unofficial detective, they close in on the culprits: the City Council.

Swine at Sea (political satire--in progress)
The Neocons are desperate to regain power, but they have no one to challenge the incumbent sort-of-liberal President Solomon Bargash. What they have is a very smart, self-educated, and erudite pig raised on continuous satellite tv and the large home library of a disaffected and perpetually drunk ex-newsman from New York. (Eugene McGonigle: "I was a REAL newsman, not one of these cap-toothed, cleft-chinned, big-haired, youth-mongering word-readers they trot out these days. I went out and got stories, asked pertinent questions, and pushed for actual answers. I used White House press releases to wipe my butt. So where do they send me? Papoose County, Nebraska.")

The Neocons feel they have no chance against Bargash and decide to make a mockery of the election by running Rrrandy. But during the campaign, Rrrandy reveals their deeper and darker democracy destroying purpose.

Moira Rules (thriller-in-progress)
Zack works for the Moira Institute, a small independent assassination contractor. He has been Moira's top mechanic for thirty years, but has tired of the work and just wants to get home to sell expensive automobiles to the avaricious and arrogant, and to finally settle down with his long-time lady, also a former assassin. But after completing his job in the Portuguese fishing village of Nazare, circumstance and "someone" keep him there and he is himself a target. After escaping Nazare, he finds more trouble in Lisbon, then on the flight back to D.C., finally figuring out that it is his beloved who wants him dead.

Selected Works

Short Story Collection
Bad Guys
The characters are hard boiled, but sometimes soft in the noggin and not especially "wise" guys. They are not especially successful at crime and tend to be a bit twisted, but in an entertaining way. Sure there's some murder and mayhem, but these fellas, and their women (including grandmothers) go about life and death in a manner that leads you to like them.
Historical Fiction
Hangtown (finished novel manuscript)
In a California Gold Rush town, five people determine who will get hanged and for what reason, while an 18-year-old boy journeys to Hangtown leaving a trail of bodies.
Contemporary Fiction
Max in Repose (finished novel manuscript)
The three wives of Max must live together for a year to share in his estate
Murder Mystery, with some laughs
Altadena's Demise
Small-town cop Aza Kvetchmore and his beloved find the Camelot Town Council guilty of murder.
Political Satire
Swine at Sea (political satire--in progress)
Rrrandy Wurst, autodidact hog, takes on the Neocon pseudo-pigs of the Corporatocracy
Thriller Fiction
Moira Rules (thriller-in-progress)
Zack Jacobsen, having fulfiiled his final murder contract in Portugal, wants to get home to live out his days selling Infiniti's, but someone conspires against him.

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