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An invitation to join a four-year collaborative project to produce the novel, screenplay, and movie Father of The Grooms.
5 backers pledged $210 to help bring this project to life.
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A small church in an out-of-the-way village where the wedding is to take place.
A small church in an out-of-the-way village where the wedding is to take place.

For me this is a late-life project that I have been stewing about for the past decade that I want to complete. The concept stated with  visits to a family of Sicilian origin who lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who paid a visit to Sicily to see some of their relatives who happened to have Mafia connections. Then I came to know another family in Alabama who had two handsome sons who were experiencing a variety of marital difficulties. I combined these two families' experiences into a book and movie plot which is the present  Father of  The Grooms. 

Over the years I mentally outlined the significant aspects of the story and the characters. Like most of my generation I was influenced by The Godfather series' treatment of a Mafia family's experiences in Sicily, New York and Las Vegas. I wanted to examine the Sicilian experiences from the point of view of a non-mob connected family who lived in the Southern U.S. who go to Sicily to seek brides for two quite different brothers via arranged marriages. The two young ladies  who are to be the brides want to escape the continuous bloodshed that they had experienced which was intensified by the recent killing of a beloved cousin in a cycle of revenge killings that had gone on between two families for over a century. 

This is a dark comedy with some very light moments as the family finds themselves in mortal danger if they dare dishonor the family by having the two brothers refuse their brides after already refused the honor of being taken into the Mafia.  On the the principals is an older Mafia member who was brought out of retirement to take temporary control while the two principals who ran the organization

The family when it arrives will meet the prospective brides during a four hour meal.
The family when it arrives will meet the prospective brides during a four hour meal.

 are incarcerated after being arrested by Italian authorities the week before the Americans are to arrive. Luigi, The Claw, fought the Germans when he was 10 years old during World War II. He fancied himself to be descended  from the original Sicilians who had been successively enslaved by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Franks, and Moors for over a thousand years. "When they steal your property, take your women and children, and you are a slave in the mines or galleys, nothing is left but your honor. That I will fight to defend," he said as an explanation of how he became involved with the Mafia. 

Luigi's interest in Sicilian culture was intensified when he worked as a digger excavating the island's ancient ruins after the war. He had a talent for drawing which he developed into painting scenes of the reconstructed sites. After his retirement he began what he considered to be his climatic piece of art, The Death of Archimedes, which is nearly completed at the time of the visit, and plays a  significant part in one brother's interaction with his future Father-in-Law. 

The brothers decide that they want out of the marriages and seek the help of their gay hairdresser Uncle. He conspires with a transplanted Irish priest who is to perform the wedding and they hatch a plot so that the brothers are seen in a compromising condition in the close company of two of the priest's gay parishioners. Nonetheless, the wedding is still on. "No difference." Luigi declares. "A contract is a contract . The wedding is Thursday."

Resigned to their fate, the two brothers prepare for the day and what seems to them to be an uncertain future married to two women that they do not know and can hardly communicate with.       

Risks and challenges

As an author who has written 18 books and has his own publication company, I see no particular difficulty in publishing the novel in about a year. I have never done a screenplay and am seeking a co-author to work with me on that. Selling the movie is always an uncertain business. However the plot is good, the story is sound, the potential visuals are striking, and the movie will explore some things not seen before on screen. These are all significant pluses for a potential movie, and I have every expectation that it will be funded and completed.

As the project goes forward over the next four years, I will be in periodic touch with those who purchased the book and give them updates on the progress that is being made. There is a chance that major contributors who helped with the editing, provided a rendition of the movie's artwork or perhaps wrote some music that might be applicable for the movie will receive recognition and perhaps even work on the movie's production.

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    Pre-publication book chapters, book

    Each person will receive, and have the opportunity to comment on, chapters of the book as it is written and the first copies of the completed book when it is published. Collaborators will receive credit in the book and in the movie if they make a significant contribution to the final effort.

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