Lankford, Terrill Lee
LANKFORD, Terrill Lee
Screenwriter, film director, producer, and author. Mysteries, Movies & Mayhem (bookstore), Los Angeles, CA, owner.
Book Award for Mystery finalist, Southern California Booksellers Association, 2004, for Earthquake Weather.
Armed Response, Columbia/Tristar, 1986.
(Coauthor) Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Victory Multimedia, 1988.
(Coauthor) Bulletproof, Columbia/Tristar, 1988.
(Coauthor) South of Reno, Lionsgate/Fox, 1988.
Mob Boss, Lionsgate/Fox, 1990.
Popcorn, Columbia/Tristar, 1991.
(Coauthor) Hostile Intent, Cabin Fever, 1997.
Storm Trooper, Peachtree Entertainment, 1998.
(As Roger Wade) Chain of Command, Lionsgate/Fox, 2000.
Coauthor of screenplays, including The Phantom Empire, 1986, Deep Space, 1987, Spirits, 1992, Dark Red, 1995, and (as Roger Wade), Paper Dragons, 1996.
Shooters, Forge (New York, NY), 1997.
Angry Moon, Forge (New York, NY), 1997.
Earthquake Weather, Ballantine Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to Flesh and Blood: Erotic Tales of Crime and Passion, Mysterious Press, 2001. Also author of short stories.
A screenwriter, director and producer, Terrill Lee Lankford published two thrillers in the late 1990s before making his first big splash in 2004 with Earthquake Weather. Called an "entertaining crime drama about a producer wannabe who gets ensnarled in a murder plot" by a Publishers Weekly reviewer, the novel centers on Mark Hayes, who has little to show for his fifteen years in Hollywood and now screens scripts for a particularly loathsome but successful producer of low-quality action movies, Dexter Morton. When the Los Angeles earthquake of 1994 sends Hayes into post-traumatic stress disorder, he finds his career and his life in tatters. When he discovers Morton's dead body, floating in a pool a la Sunset Boulevard, in classic noir fashion he launches his own investigation after finding himself a chief suspect in Morton's murder. Before long, Morton discovers a wide range of suspects in the death of the much despised producer, and a host of quirky characters soon emerge, whose various motives seem to boil down to a couple of staples.
As Tom Nolan put it in the Los Angeles Times, "Hate seems to alternate with greed as the ruling passion in a town where everyone is always on the make: for a hot script, a hit film, a career advantage or just a quick fix of drugs or sex." Despite this characteristic portrayal of Tinseltown, a Kirkus Reviews contributor commented that "Lankford deserves rosettes for avoiding nearly all the cliches of the LA suspense novel." As Booklist reviewer Bill Ott noted, "Lankford nails the updated noir mood, and he fills the tale with juicy insider stuff about 'the industry.'"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2004, Bill Ott, review of Earthquake Weather, p. 1512.
Chicago Tribune, May 2, 2004, Dick Adler, review of Earthquake Weather, p. 3.
Entertainment Weekly, May 7, 2004, Lynette Rice, review of Earthquake Weather, p. 91.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2004, review of Earthquake Weather, p. 245.
Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2004, Tom Nolan, review of Earthquake Weather, p. R2.
Publishers Weekly, April 5, 2004, review of Earthquake Weather, p. 42.
Us Weekly, March 17, 2004, Eugene Pilek, review of Earthquake Weather, p. 90.
Terrill Lee Lankford Home Page,http://www.terrillleelankford.com (October 14, 2004).*