Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pilate's Cross Book Trailer

Back in December of 2009, I was fortunate enough to create the book cover for J. Alexander Greenwood's novel, Pilate's Cross. My very talented friend has just released a book trailer of his work. I have posted it here for your viewing pleasure along with the press release explaining the plot in more detail.

Mystery Thriller "Pilate's Cross" Based on Real Life Murders
10.08.2010– In the early 1950s, a professor in tiny Peru, Nebraska strode into a college president's office and shot him dead, then killed himself. Though few remember this terrible event, it inspired J. Alexander Greenwood to write the novel "Pilate's Cross." A two-minute film about the book premiered October 13, 2010.

Today Greenwood is a public relations consultant in Kansas City, but in late 2003 he moved to Nebraska's Peru State College for a two-year stint as director of marketing and public relations. Nestled in the rural "Campus of a Thousand Oaks," he found the inspiration for a mystery story.

“The real core of this book is about the open secrets that can fester in a community until an outsider raises questions,” Greenwood said. "When I worked in Peru, every day I’d walk past a plaque in the administration building that honored the college’s former president and dean, who both died on the same day in the 1950s. It didn’t hint at anything nefarious; it could have been a car wreck for all I knew. I finally asked--and it was worse than I ever imagined.”

Greenwood eventually gained access to police records, crime scene photos, witness affidavits and news coverage of the decades-old murders, but the resulting book is not a thinly veiled fictionalization of an historical event.

“The professor’s motive was, in the grand scheme of things, terribly petty,” Greenwood said. “'Pilate’s Cross' is inspired by the questions this terrible crime created; but as a work of fiction it is set in a different place and has a more complex motive for the murders."

"Nearly all aspects of the book, including the location, characters and most importantly the mystery are strictly products of my imagination.”

However, recent real-life events are chilling in their similarities, and lead Greenwood to reconsider marketing the book.

"In April the former president of the college took his own life as news of a financial scandal was about to break. Though I wrote this book two years ago--three years after I left Peru--I had some serious trepidation about promoting it in the wake of this tragedy."

He added, "The 'college president' character isn't based on my former boss, and I would be very concerned if readers thought he was. Peru was very good to me, and it's very important that people know this book was not meant to mar his memory or upset anyone--especially my friends in Peru, Nebraska."

"Pilate's Cross" has been described as 'The X-Files' meets 'The Prisoner.' It follows newly transplanted college instructor John Pilate, his sarcastic imaginary pal Simon and lovely friend Kate as they investigate the unsolved mystery of a murdered president of Cross College. In too deep to wash his hands of the mystery, he risks his life to get to the truth of what really happened in 1963 and why it's just as deadly more than 40 years later.

The book's cinematic structure made it an ideal project for a book trailer by celebrated digital media design company T2 + Back Alley Films of Kansas City. The trailer's world premiere was at 1:13 p.m. CST on October 13, 2010 at

"T2 is simply the best in the business. I'm over the moon at T2's interpretation of the book," Greenwood said. "The trailer really transports you right into the world of Cross Township--like a movie."

T2's concept and screen execution was teamed with Wheeler Audio of Kansas City to record actors and mix sound for the trailer. Greenwood wrote the dialog and voiced two of the characters.

"The trailer was truly a collaborative effort between T2, Wheeler and me," Greenwood said. "I just hope that the book lives up to the high expectations set by the trailer."

T2 + Back Alley Films, led by CEO Teri Rogers is a nationally recognized digital media agency that creates all forms of new media content. Their specialties include motion graphics design, experiential design, augmented reality and other forms of new media, as well as original films and documentaries, digital production and postproduction.

Cover artist David Terrill designed a book cover as intricate as the plot.

"David's cover reminds me of an Alfred Hitchcock film poster," Greenwood said. "There's a lot going on in his concept. It really elicits the book's themes of isolation, danger and mystery."

Greenwood and Terrill are now collaborating on a novella based on a series of Terrill's paintings titled "What the Gardener Saw." Greenwood is also working on a follow-up to "Pilate's Cross."

"The reviews have been very good so far, and I love writing about these characters, so why not?" Greenwood said.

"Pilate's Cross" is a Premium Selection at Smashwords has distribution relationships with leading online retailers such as Apple, Diesel eBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Sony, and leading mobile e-reading apps including Aldiko, Stanza, Kobo, FBReader and Word-Player, spanning all major mobile platforms including Android, Blackberry and iPhone.

The book's website at has links to retailers where the book is sold; as well as excerpts, more information about the author and an interview about the origins of the book.


Alex Greenwood said...

Thanks David! Looking forward to your next work!

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