Mott Haven resident self publishes first book

The cover of the book "PHENOMENAL" by Mott Haven resident Chris Bilcik.
Courtesy of Chris Bilcik

Christopher Bilcik spent a decade working in the psyche ward at Bellevue Hospital as a nurse and never imagined he would be a published author. Well, that is exactly what he is today.

In March, Bilcik, 60, of Mott Haven released “PHENOMENAL,” a book that is a mashup of “Star Wars,” “Rocky” and re-imagined biblical characters for the 21st century. It features drama, action, science fiction, humor and life lessons and has characters such as Satan as Dark Hater, Jesus who looks like the wrestler Stone Cold Austin and the hero of the story, a black teen named Shawn from the south Bronx.

Bilcik began writing the book in 2017, but is still surprised he finally finished.

“It’s kind of scary,” he said, “This is like my baby.”

Born in the Bronx, Bilcik moved to Chester at age 6. Even though he lived upstate, the Boogie Down was always in him. His dad, Rudy, was a fireman in Hunts Point and as a child he would sometimes sleep over night at the station with him.

He initially wanted to pursue elementary education, but realized it was not for him. So, he switched gears and got into nursing.

Bilcik worked in the psyche ward at Bellevue Hospital from 1989 to 1999, which was quite an experience, he recalled. In fact, there is also a prison there and during his tenure housed the notorious Julio Gonzalez, the man charged for the Happy Land Fires.

“Bellevue was an incredible place,” he explained. “We dealt with everything.”

Bilcik noted that psyche patients didn’t scare him because he is bipolar.

After leaving the nursing field tragedy struck Bilcik. While in Queens visiting a friend he was struck by car and tore a ligament in his knee and had bulging discs in his neck.

It took him about a year and a half to recover and he went on disability. Shortly after that he moved to Mott Haven and has been there since 2000.

“It was very scary,” he recalled. “I looked both ways and didn’t see her.”

During his recovery Bilcik realized he was done with nursing. He began to ponder about what he could with life and writing popped in his head.

He explained that he was a creative guy and had 20 or so letters published by the “Daily News.” In 2017 his love for sci-fi, fantasy and action began brewing as his first idea for the book crept in his head.

“All the sudden I had these visions in my head of Satan and Jesus in a laser battle and the song “Phenomenal” by Eminem playing,” he stated.

Right then he began creating and crafting “PHENOMENAL.” He took a writer’s workshop to help the process and discovered the toughest part was all of the revisions and coming up with the characters and plot.

“It’s not a ‘Star Wars’ story, but also like a ‘Star Wars’ parody,” he said.

Bilcik originally wrote it as a play, but after showing it to a script doctor was told it was too complicated for theater. His hope is to eventually have it made for TV or Broadway.

Since the book was released a couple weeks ago he is on cloud nine. Some of his favorite parts include a boxing match between Jesus and Goliath and a scene where Jesus has an angelic light particle saber.

Bilcik is a big boxing fan and once met Mike Tyson.

“I’m very happy with how it turned out,” he said. “I’ve never written anything in my life.”

The book is available at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the Upper East Side and on their website: shakeandco.com.

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