The Death Scene Artist

by AGA Wilmot

M_____ is a film industry extra with a meagre list of credits to their name and a side career writing obituaries for the Los Angeles Times. At thirty-two years of age, our protagonist’s young body is rapidly succumbing to cancer. With the stark reality of death looming overhead, and against the even greater threat of being forgotten, M_____ starts down a strange, fantastic, and ultimately tragic path recounting a doomed love affair with the world’s greatest living “redshirt”—a man who, over a career in film spanning two decades, has died or appeared dead in nearly 800 film and television roles.

Written in a semi-epistolary format mimicking that of a blog, The Death Scene Artist is a three-act surrealist exploration of film industry supplementals, the Cinderella complex, sexual denial, fear of commitment, and the dangerous predilections of a man who has lived several hundred half-minute lives without having ever experienced his own.

Publication: October 2018

Wolsak & Wynn/Buckrider Books

Rights sold:

  • North America: Wolsak & Wynn/Buckrider Books

“There is not a single instance in this novel when a reader is going to know with absolute certainty that M____ isn’t lying. And what a compelling liar they are! From the very first page, M____ draws you into these blog posts they’re writing in an attempt to make some semblance of sense of the last few years of their life. They aren’t lying to us, though, but also to themselves. This self-deceit is what makes M____ such a compelling and realistic character in this bizarre, surreal novel. Wilmot, through this gloriously broken character, holds up a cracked mirror to his audience and demands they look because he knows they haven’t been.”
Into the Void

“Presenting an engaging narrative, Wilmot invites the reader to put on the skin of its narrator and see their life of obsession, all jaded film cameras and horror through their eyes.”
Heavy Feather Review

“Violent and grotesque, this book is not for the squeamish. [T]here is a lot for fans or topical horror and dark comedy. Wilmot clearly has something to say here about our culture’s obsession with celebrity and our desire to overshare online, as well as gender identity and loneliness.”
Winnipeg Free Press

“The novel has the tinge of a scandalous revenge story, which adds to its appeal, as does some incisive commentary about the nature of unrequited love and crises of body, gender, and personal identity.”
Quill and Quire

“From the jaw-dropping opening pages when we meet a protagonist perusing their remarkable inventory of ‘outfits,’ up to the very last page, this novel kept me riveted. This is a wonderful book, surreal, disturbing and liberating in the very best way.”
–Suzette Mayr, author of Monoceros

“Wilmot brings a sensually complete sense of reality to the unreal worlds of on- and off-screen Hollywood. Wilmot’s serious play with language and with form makes The Death Scene Artist a hypnotic, surprising novel that doesn’t sacrifice emotion for irony.”
–Nathan Ripley, author of Find You in the Dark