Oct. 1, 2019
Millie Blomquist, an aspiring filmmaker from Fargo, always dreamed of attending The Manhattan Movie Academy, run by her favorite film director, Billy O’Naire. But her dreams go up in flames when halfway through shooting her thesis film, O’Naire is arrested for tuition fraud and the academy is closed. Six months later, Millie sees a preview for the next Billy O’Naire film: a direct rip-off of her thesis project. Determined to get revenge, Millie turns to her intimate knowledge of heist flicks and convinces some former classmates and a downtrodden security guard to join her for an elaborate theft of Billy’s film, which she intends to ransom back for major money. They pull it off in dramatic fashion, but things soon get out of hand when Bugs and his gang of criminals get word of the plot, demanding in on the action and laying claim to the ransom by way of a threat on Millie’s life. Her heist-flick prowess now aimed at outsmarting both O’Naire and Bugs, Millie leads this bizarre cast on a wildly entertaining sequence of criminal activity that ultimately catches the attention of an organized crime family, willing to enable Millie’s filmmaking dreams while secretly planning to exploit her criminal mastermind.
Tyler Schwanke is currently enrolled in Hamline University’s MFA in Creative Writing. His short fiction has been published in Havik, Fiction Southeast, The Duck Lake Journal, The Courtland Review, IO Literary Journal, The Tusk, eFiction, and Rock, Paper, Scissors. He is a graduate of the filmmaking program at The New York Film Academy and hold bachelor’s degrees in film production and creative writing from Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he earned a Minnesota Film and Television grant for his thesis film, Old Dog, which was shot in 16mm color and an invited film to the Fargo Film Festival. Several of his short films, which he wrote and directed, have played at multiple film festivals nationwide. His 16mm black and white short Thurston was an honorable mention in the student category at the Fargo Film Festival and his digital short, A Day with Mom, won best student film at the Forx Film Festival. Heist Flick is his first novel and was longlisted for Retreat West’s 2019 First Chapter Competition.
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