Pay the Piper: Daniel Kraus completes another novel George A. Romero had left unfinished

Daniel Kraus, who finished George A. Romero’s incomplete novel The Living Dead, has now finished another Romero horror novel: Pay the Piper

When the great George A. Romero (my personal favorite of the “masters of horror”) passed away in 2017, he left behind an unfinished manuscript for a zombie novel called The Living Dead. Daniel Kraus was the author chosen to finish what Romero started, and the completed novel was published back in 2020. Now it has been revealed that Kraus has completed another unfinished Romero manuscript, resulting in a novel called Pay the Piper, which will be published on September 3rd! Copies are available for pre-order on multiple sites, including on Amazon.

Publisher Union Square & Co. gives the back story on how Pay the Piper came to be: In 2020, while sifting through University of Pittsburgh Library’s System’s George A. Romero Archival Collection, novelist Daniel Kraus turned up a surprise: a half-finished novel called Pay the Piper, a project few had ever heard of. In the years since, Kraus has worked with Romero’s estate to bring this unfinished masterwork to light.

And here’s the description: A terrifying tale of supernatural horror set in a cursed Louisiana bayou, from the minds of legendary director George Romero and bestselling author Daniel Kraus.

Alligator Point, Louisiana, population 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.

Our friends at Bloody Disgusting were able to get a statement from Kraus: “It has been the highest honor of my life to shepherd Romero’s incomplete novels to a finished state. 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.

Romero had a lot of ideas that he wasn’t able to bring into the world. He left behind treatments and scripts that never became movies, and apparently a couple unfinished novels. It’s great to see some of his “lost works” being revived so we can hear some of the stories he wanted to tell us but wasn’t able to during his lifetime.

Will you be picking up a copy of Pay the Piper? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Pay the Piper George A. Romero Daniel Kraus

Source: Amazon

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.