The Writers Afterlife
A Novel
by Richard Vetere


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The Writers Afterlife is the story of Tom Chillo, a 44-year-old writer on the verge of fame, who suddenly dies of a stroke and finds himself transported to a place where all writers are sent after they die. After mingling with “The Eternals”—including Shakespeare, Wilde, Keats, and Tolstoy—he discovers that his true “peers” in this new world are all haunted by the same regret: They never achieved the fame they felt they deserved during their lifetime. There’s still a chance, though. Every writer has the opportunity to return to Earth for exactly one week, and convince someone to set the wheels in motion to give their life’s work widespread notoriety. The trick is to come up with the perfect plan, the first time. Failure is not an option. The Writers Afterlife is brimming with warm humor and an underlying commentary about the drive for fame in contemporary culture. With a deft hand, Vetere explores the deceptions that people employ to achieve at all costs. A string of eccentric New York characters fly off the page, and make for a stunning, memorable book that is a delight to read.

The Writers Afterlife: a novel by Richard Vetere
ISBN: 978-0-9884008-9-4; 5.25″ x 8″, 218 pages, Trade Paper; Retail $16.95
Publication date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

For wholesale and trade orders, please visit our distributor, PGW.

Author Richard Vetere
Reads from The Writers Afterlife

Playwright/Film Director Israel Horovitz
Reads from The Writers Afterlife

Author Richard Vetere
AD-TV Interview

High Praise for The Writers Afterlife

“In this utterly unique story, novelist Vetere unfolds a caper of inter-dimensional scope. The scenes taking place in afterlife are written with classic magic-realist gusto; those taking place on earth will have readers rooting for Chillo’s success.” Publishers Weekly, Featured Review

“The Writers Afterlife is a remarkable commentary on the state of literature in the mind of a writer, reminding us that literature is made out of other literature, and that every writer is, in many ways, in some type of competition with all the other writers who ever existed for an audience. He does all this in prose that’s lean, direct, and keeps the wheels of plot turning to a surprising finale.”
Fred Gardaphe, Distinguished Professor of English, Queens College, CUNY

“The Writers Afterlife is an original, hilarious and poignant tale of second chances, the role that fate plays in our lives and the triumph of the creative spirit. Tom Chillo is a hero with heart. You will root for him as he reaches for the brass ring and learns to live life with gusto. Richard Vetere is a great storyteller who moves effortlessly between the genres of theater, television, film and novels. His versatility is on display here as he takes us to the world beyond and back again as Tom Chillo realizes his dreams and earns his salvation. Bravo!” Adriana Trigiani, author, The Shoemaker’s Wife and Cooking With My Sisters

“When Richard Vetere writes about a writer’s life, he knows what he’s talking about. His character Tom Chillo—a playwright, film writer, novelist and consummate New Yorker—has dedicated his life to becoming one of the greats but dies prematurely and learns that he will not spend eternity with the Eternals. So what happens in the Afterlife? Tom falls in loves, suffers anxiety and does all he can to get back to life and change his fate. If this isn’t a movie it is definitely a TV series!” Dan Lauria, actor, The Wonder Years and Lombardi

“Richard Vetere is an elastic writer who has the talent to bend a tale in the direction it needs to go. I hope when I’m in the Afterlife, he’s there to tell me more good stories.” Tom Fontana, writer, St. Elsewhere, Homicide: Life on the Street

“Vetere demonstrates the ability to mix the poetic with the colloquial.” Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[Richard] Vetere is a man with a writer’s soul!” Israel Horowitz, Newsday

“In Mr. Vetere’s work, imagery and metaphor blend, often brilliantly, imparting beautiful word pictures.” Lewis Colka, The Village Voice

Featured Articles by and about Richard Vetere

“Why Writers are the Heroes of Our Times”, guest blog on The Huffington Post, April 2, 2014. Excellent personal column about the need for writers in the age of technology.

Artistic Ascension: Richard Vetere on ‘A Writers Afterlife’ (Q&A) by John Valeri,, March 31, 2014. In an extensive interview, Richard Vetere reflects on life as a writer and what drove him to create The Writers Afterlife.

Queens writer explores literary purgatory in new book by Andrew Shilling, Queens Ledger, April 2, 2014. Brief insight into Vetere’s relationship to his native Queens, New York neighborhood and its influence on his novel, The Writers Afterlife

About Richard Vetere

Richard Vetere

Richard Vetere

Richard Vetere is a playwright, novelist, poet, screenwriter, TV writer, and actor. He holds a master’s degree from Columbia University and teaches a master screenwriting class at NYU and Queens College. His novel, The Third Miracle was made into a film produced by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Ed Harris and Anne Heche. He is a long time member of the New York Playwrights Lab founded by Israel Horovitz, and a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America East. He lives in New York City.