Mel Brooks summed up my feelings about life in the title song of his film, The Twelve Chairs: “Hope for the best, expect the worst.”
In The Devil and Leo Persky, you’ll meet Leo Persky, the living embodiment of that philosophy. Under the penname “Terrance Strange” (the earlier pseudonym of his grandfather Jacob, himself a monster-hunter and journalist of the weird), Leo is a columnist for World Weekly News, a supermarket tabloid of the supernatural and strange in a world where every Bat Boy, Bigfoot, alien baby, Satan visiting, Elvis sighting story is the truth. A world where vampires exist, magic is real, and extraterrestrial visitations routine.
What you may not know about me is, I was once a reporter for Weekly World News (1979 – 2007), the black and white tabloid that billed itself as “the world’s only reliable newspaper.” There was truth in that statement; you could rely on virtually every word in it to be made up, excluding the trivia column and the 6-point type warning at the bottom of page two that virtually every word in it was made up and suggesting readers suspend their belief for the sake of enjoyment. From 2005 to 2007, I wrote close to 100 bylined stories for the paper, as well as ghost writing at least that many more under the names of our numerous fictitious columnists ranging from “Miss Adventure, the Gayest American Hero” to “Ed Anger” to “Lester the Typing Horse” and “Sammy the Chatting Chimp” once I was on staff as Executive Editor from February 2006 to the end in August 2007.