Daniel Kraus Completes Second Unfinished George Romero Novel

After the death of famed horror director George Romero, many incomplete manuscripts were located, including screenplays, outlines, and novels. Daniel Kraus has finished writing and will publish Pay the Piper, a little known novel that was left unfinished by Romero, on September 3, 2024.

Pay the Piper takes place in Alligator Point, Louisiana, a small town with a population of 141. Young Renée Pontiac has heard stories of “the Piper” – a murderous swamp entity haunting the bayou—her entire life. But now the legend feels horrifically real: children are being taken and gruesomely slain. To resist, Pontiac and the town’s desperate denizens will need to acknowledge the sins of their ancestors – the infamous slave traders, the Pirates Lafitte. If they don’t… it’s time to pay the piper.

“It has been the highest honor of my life to shepherd Romero’s incomplete novels to a finished state,” said Kraus. “Romero’s work helped raise me since the age of five and I see this as going a small way toward repaying that favor. I’m especially excited about Pay the Piper because it expands our understanding of what interested Romero and what he was capable of. It’s most assuredly a horror novel but it has nothing to do with zombies! He loved zombies, of course, but they also boxed him in. Pay the Piper, which includes some of the finest writing of his career, gave him a blank canvas on which he could paint a character-focused, atmosphere-drenched, utterly surprising tale of terror. My job was to pick up his brush and fill in the missing pieces. Maybe put a nice frame around it too.”

Previously, Kraus completed The Living Dead in 2020, the first unfinished novel with which the author collaborated with Romero’s estate. He also co-authored The Shape of Water with Guillermo del Toro, based on the Oscar-winning film, and Trollhunters, which was adapted into the Emmy-winning Netflix series. He is also the co-author of Wrath, with Sharon Moalem, and author of Whitefall, which is currently being developed into a feature film.

You can preorder Pay the Piper now.