Dead Jokes by Mark Brennan

Just Published!

When Anna’s husband dies suddenly, she’s left to mourn the kind of man he was: a relentless jokester. In the weeks following his death, she still expects Graham to jump out and scare her, or to fall for one of his booby traps. In this way, it feels like he’s still with her.

This sentimental connection becomes much more real when the pranks keep happening. One after another, Graham’s gags let Anna know he may not be gone from her life forever.

The right name for a child is important. No one understood this better than Chance Branch. As he grew to over 400 pounds, the derogatory nickname Fat Chance became unavoidable.

If his problems ended there, it might not be so bad. But life had other plans for Chance—from an embarrassing lisp to a height of nearly 7 feet, he was destined to be an easy target for his cruel peers. The hot summers of southern Missouri, a meager home, and absentee parents offered him no reprieve from the struggle. He has little choice but to suffer and find small pleasures wherever he can.

This is no longer an option when Chip Smith—a bully unlike any other—comes to the high school and challenges Chance’s right to live in peace. Laying low won’t suffice; he must take control of his life, or risk losing it.

About the Author

Mark Brennan was born and raised in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area. Unfortunately, he has been a die-hard Cleveland sports fan ever since. Somehow, he managed to graduate from Richmond Heights High School, and then stumbled into an adventure as a U.S. Marine for five years. He spent almost the entire time in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is not as commendable as serving in combat, but just as grueling.

After a (surprising) honorable discharge, Mark moved to Richmond, Virginia, to become a construction worker, and eventually attended Virginia Commonwealth University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in English. There, he over-analyzed literary works and accrued absurd amounts of parking fines and student loan debt; but he also sharpened his critical thinking and writing skills a bit.

Since an English degree is relatively useless, and becoming an inner-city high school English teacher turned out to be as lucrative as the priesthood, Mark then considered attaining a law degree. This was a difficult path with two toddler Irish twins, so he got a job as a bankruptcy paralegal–right after the 2008 financial crisis–which paid dividends. This career path enabled him to move on to a major financial institution years later, in the Raleigh, North Carolina region, where he currently lives.

He began his first story at age 12, on a Smith-Corona electronic typewriter his mom gave him for Christmas. Many stories would be “begun” thereafter, but rarely, if ever, finished. Nevertheless, he persisted. The love of writing and weaving a narrative followed him throughout the years, until he learned how to outline a story and embarked on a journey to publish a novel independently. Then, as if the Universe commanded it, he wrote The One and Only Fat Chance–the first of many stories in the works at the time of its publication.

The rest is history: Mark Brennan went on to win endless literary awards and earn billions of dollars in royalties, selfie fees, and autograph surcharges. The Church of Mark Brennan was formed in 2024, paying homage to his many contributions to mankind.

Reviews for The One and Only Fat Chance

Contact Me

Got a burning question for Mark? Shoot it his way and let the fun begin!