Ed Protzel

Genre-stretching novelist — Author of darkly ironic fiction

Screenwriter to Novelist

Ed Protzel's Bumpy Road to Publication

Ed Protzel, award-winning novelist

Ed Protzel, award-winning novelist

In retrospect, Ed Protzel was glad he made the sharp turn to novels, after years of laboring in the world of screenwriting. But it was a bumpy ride, as was his upbringing.

Ed grew up in St. Louis, a mix of a Jewish father and a part-Cherokee mother. He lived for a short time in an orphanage when his parents divorced, and after high school lived in St. Louis’ bohemian Gaslight Square entertainment district among its collection of artists, entertainers, and oddballs. These experiences are reflected in many of Ed’s fictional characters—outsiders and gamesters, male and female, on lonely, often deadly, quests, seeking justice, love, and fulfillment against society’s blindness.

Now an award-winning novelist with his fourth books due out later this year, Ed began writing novels while in college after one of his professors encouraged his talent. He spent years writing screenplays, one of which was honored my Missouri Playwrights and optioned. At one point he relocated to Los Angeles, working on his screenplays and completing five. He thought his “big break” had arrived and that he was going straight to the Hollywood’s “A” list when the head of production at a major Hollywood studio called one of his spec screenplays a “great script.” However, that same week the studio was sold, and Ed fell through the cracks.

Ed returned to St. Louis, earned his master’s in English literature/creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and began writing novels again. He soon landed an agent and then a publisher for his first book, The Lies That Bind, a historical novel that grew into his DarkHorse Trilogy.

Today, Ed continues to live and write in St. Louis. His novels include The Antiquities Dealer (A David Greenberg Mystery); and his DarkHorse Trilogy: The Lies That Bind, Honor Among Outcasts, and Something in Madness (2019).


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Tags: Southern Gothic, historical fiction, magical realism, women's fiction, African-American fiction, genre fiction, literary fiction, Southern culture, adventure fiction, black comedy, comedy-drama, Gothic fiction, thriller, tragedy, tragicomedy, Southern literature, Southern thriller, literature, fiction, antebellum, abolitionist, mystery, race, racial, African-American, black, slaves, inter-racial, brotherhood, charlatan, Mississippi, secrets, family saga, Civil War, magical realism, imagined, drama, literary, humor, irony, plantation, swamp, conspiracy, mystery-drama, romance, love triangle, satire, rural

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