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Revenge is a Must – Silverton screenplay writer publishes novel

By Melissa Wagoner

David Brautigam’s writing career began unexpectedly in 2008 when he and his father went to the theater to watch The Happening, and ended up walking out before the end.

“I was just fuming about this movie,” Brautigam – who thought the storyline lacked substance – said. “So, I went home and researched how to write a screenplay.”

Then he sat down and wrote his first draft.

“I vividly remember finishing Revenge is a Must. I took a week off, read through it and thought, it’s so good. But is it good?” Brautigam recalled.

Bravely he sent the script to his friend, Bret Harrison, an actor known for his work in sitcoms including Grounded for Life and That 70s Show. Harrison, who graduated from Tualatin High School with Brautigam, agreed to look it over and provide feedback.

“He had a bunch of suggestions,” Brautigam remembered. “But he said, for your first screenplay, this is really good.”

Encouraged, Brautigam began networking the script to producers and actors, all while continuing to write additional scripts.

“When I started, I researched all of this stuff and they said, create multiple projects… I took that to heart,” Brautigam said. “I wrote three screenplays in five years.”

Then in 2018 a “well known executive producer” decided to give the project a go. He sought financing and began the process of casting.

“We were weeks away from signing,” Brautigam said, “and the writer’s strike happened. We were so close.”

But not close enough. Overnight, the investors pulled, and the project was dropped.

“It was devastating,” Brautigam said. “I went into a two-to-three-day depression mode, questioning whether I wanted to do it.”

That’s when it was suggested to turn the screenplay of  Revenge is a Must into a book.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Brautigam said of the process, which turned the movie he envisioned into a 178-page hardcover book that was released April 3.

The story of Bobby Mancini, whose family has been a part of the Italian mob in New Jersey for generations, Revenge is a Must journeys “deep into the underworld of crime.”

“You’ll feel The Godfather, Goodfellas and The Departed,” Brautigam said. “I tried to pay homage to the movies I grew up on.”

He also attempted to write a story with a plot and characters that hook the reader from page one.

“I’m a big story guy,” he said. “I like injecting somebody into that world right away.”

Rated five stars on Amazon – where it was initially released before making its way to Barnes & Noble stores across the country – Revenge is a Must is the first of four books that will be published during the next three years.

“We’re working on the second book now,” Brautigam said, referencing City of Graves, a crime drama that will be published in 2025. 

“It’s been unbelievable to see all the revisions and changes and to see it go through the book process. But nothing changed with the story or the story line.”

“I’m putting myself out there and I’m so nervous,” Brautigam said. “But I’m 99 percent sure people will love the book…” 

When he’s not writing, he works for Summit Orthotics and Prosthetics, coaches Future Foxes basketball in Silverton and helps raise his two daughters, Payton and Ava, alongside his wife, Cassie. 

He’s also betting that readers will love all the books to come, which is why he is already hard at work on six additional projects.

“I would love for this to be a career,” he said. “I like showing my kids what happens when you don’t give up and keep plugging away.”

Revenge is a Must can be purchased from Amazon, Kobo, and Lulu.

Revenge is a Must book signing

Silver Falls Brewery, 207 Jersey St., Silverton

May 31, 5 p.m.

Meet Silverton author David Brautigam and learn about his recently published novel. Free beer for the first 50 people who bring in or purchase a copy of the book.

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