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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

Parent-and-child bonds can be nurtured in countless ways. You may remember your dad picking you up from school every day or reading you bedtime stories. You may have a family business where your mother taught you the tools of the trade.

Maybe you’re like Richard and Billy Chizmar, a father and son duo from Maryland who set out to write a horror story together.

Billy Chizmar: “We’ve always just been like natural collaborators. We’ve been best friends for as long as I can remember and he’s been my coach in every sport I ever played. So just collaborating on that level was just natural just because we had so much experience working with one another”

p>That’s Billy, the son, who co-authored the novella Widow’s Point with his father, the author and publisher Richard Chizmar.

The novella tells the story of Thomas Livingston, an author on the paranormal who sets out to spend a weekend in a haunted lighthouse where gruesome deaths and ghost stories have never been in short supply.

Both Billy and Richard raved about the fun of scaring people and their love for the horror genre. The novella is even dedicated to Stephen King, the master of horror and also the Chizmar’s family friend.

Widow’s Point is a creepy story that will get under your skin and keep you up at night. But the father and son who masterminded the whole thing say writing it was a blast- made even more fun because they did it together.

Richard says one of his biggest joys was watching each of their sensibilities and writing styles combine to create something entirely new.

Richard Chizmar: “When I go back and look at it I can absolutely pick some spots that were me, I can pick some spots that are him, and then there’s some gray areas where I cannot remember who wrote this and I think that’s how it should be.  You know I think those lines should be blurred a little bit.”

Widow’s Point by Richard and Billy Chizmar is available now for purchase at or as an ebook on Amazon.


I’m Evan Rook.