Month: November 2012

Friday Fun

The beautiful Li from Gravedigger's crew.
The beautiful Li from Gravedigger’s crew.

So today I officially get started on  my newest project, which is novelizing a graphic novel. First-time experience for me and I hope it goes smoothly. Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes work on Gravedigger continues. I may have finished off the story itself but my two hardworking artists are still doing their parts — tomorrow we’ll get to see another version of George Sellas’ stunning cover design and today we see the lovely but dangerous Li Yuchun, as sketched by Will Meugniot. Next to Gravedigger herself, Li is probably my favorite character introduced in this book. Fearless to the point of foolishness, she wears a brassy smile even in the midst of incredible danger. I’m expecting a lot of readers to be quite smitten with her by the end of the story, just as I was.

I’ve been asked by several folks on Twitter when this book will be out. As with all things in the publishing world, there’s no easy answer. Pro Se has a lot of books in the pipeline (including The Rook Volume Two – Special Edition and The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three – Eidolon). I have been told they want Gravedigger out before Pulp Ark 2013, which will be held in April. So you still have to wait a little while — sorry! But you really do want to read Lazarus 3 first anyway.

Wish me luck on the new project. I will, of course, keep you updated as it progresses.

Thursday Updates!

I’ve been a podcasting fool the past few days, as a new episode of Ubergeeks (# 37) was released last  night and The Shadow Fan (# 8) was released this morning. Both shows are doing well, with only  a little bit of listener crossover. For the most part, fans of one aren’t really fans of the other, which is more than fine — they’re designed for difference audiences, after all!

I’d like to thank everyone for supporting this website, by the way — with a couple of days left in the month, we’ve already set an all-time high for hits! When I first started this blog, I was thrilled if I got twenty hits in one day. Now, if I only got twenty hits in one day, I’d wonder if the site had gone down — I get that many hits in an hour now! As with the podcasts, I get interest from a wide variety of visitors — the Marvel Heroic RPG writeups I’ve done in the past get many visits every day (especially Fu Manchu, for some reason), several people come here looking for New Pulp best seller listings and, of course, there’s that strange breed that comes here because they want to read what I have to say!

Today I’m starting work on a licensed project that involves me taking a previously published graphic novel and converting it into a prose novel. That’s a first for me but there should be plenty of room for me to inject new ideas and character bits. Wish me well. It’ll either turn out to be an awesome experience or I’m going to go mad. Or both!

 

The End

Ah, how I love typing those words: THE END. I did so yesterday, as I finally ended Gravedigger’s first novel. I think it turned out pretty well but the ultimate judges will, of course, be the readers. I was able to work The Rook and Lazarus Gray into guest-starring roles, featured a whole host of Sovereign history courtesy of Tommy Hancock and even managed cameos by a bunch of supporting characters from New Pulp universe — Assistance Unlimited, Inspector Cord and various staff members of the Sovereign Museum all pass through the book. Even with all the tight continuity, I still hope that it will stand alone for those readers who don’t follow the rest of my universe.

Pro Se EiC Tommy Hancock says he wants the book out by Pulp Ark 2013, which means April or earlier. With the story itself complete, we just have to get in the cover and interior pieces (by George Sellas & Will Meugniot, respectively) and then get the whole thing edited and formatted. Given all the books Pro Se has in the pipeline, April 2013 is pretty quick.

Next up for me is a licensed project, where I novelize a graphic novel. Turning it from a visual story to a prose one should be an interesting experience. I’m hoping (fingers crossed) to be able to do this project in the month of December and have it finished before the end of the year.

Now I’m off to testify in court — it’s an assault case and I’m one of the witnesses. Fun day, I’m sure.

Tuesday Tidings

I should finally type THE END on Gravedigger today. I’ve lived with Charity Grace and company for quite awhile now – whenever I end a project, it’s a mixture of relief and sadness. I love knowing it’s completed but there’s always a sense of losing touch with good friends. Back in the “good old days,” I’d take a week off after finishing a novel. Unfortunately (or is it fortunately?), I don’t have that luxury anymore. So I’ll be starting work on a licensed project in the next few days — one that I would love to complete in December. I’m taking a graphic novel and adapting it into a novelized form, which is a first for me. I’ll be adding some new wrinkles and fleshing out what’s already in the graphic novel, hopefully giving it some new layers. Hopefully, Pro Se will announce this thing soon and I can talk about it more fully.

Got my PulpArk invitation today — I’m not sure I’m going to make it but I’d like to. Since it moved to April, it’s very inconvenient for me — but I’m sure it’s better for everyone else, so I can’t complain.

I’m also chairing the planning committee for the 2013 Georgia Literary Festival  that will be held in November 2013 and it was decided yesterday that we’re going to have a New Pulp Thrillers track. I’m going to be sending out a small number of invites to take part. So far, we have one “Yes” — Mr. Bobby Nash will be attending the Festival and taking part in all the fun. More updates on this to come.

Recently read the first two chapters of Mike Bullock’s new Death Angel serial on the Kindle. Good stuff. We need more Death Angel, Mike!

Currently reading an old Shadow novel — I should be recording a new episode of The Shadow Fan later this week.

Art for today is George Sellas’ sketch layout for Gravedigger’s cover. I really dig it!

New Pulp Best Seller List (Based on Amazon Sales Ranks 11/26/12)

It’s that time again! Before I unveil the Top Ten, let’s go over a few of the ground rules, shall we?

1) This list only tracks sales through AMAZON. It does not keep track of sales through Barnes and Noble, face-to-face or anything else!
2) This list only tracks PRINT sales. We do not currently track e-books. Exactly how Amazon calculates these things is mostly a trade secret and they vary wildly from day to day. If I checked this tomorrow, the list could be very different. This list reflects sales ranks as of Monday morning November 26, 2012.
3) In order to keep the focus on new releases, eligible works must have been published within four months of the current date. So, since this list is being done in November 2012, I’m only looking at books published since August 2012. Please keep that in mind before complaining that Title X is not listed. Also, keep in mind that for the most part, I’m tracking sales from smaller press publishers who actively publishing New Pulp material. I don’t generally track sales from Simon and Schuster or places like that — they have the New York Times Bestseller List for that. If one of the major publishers starts doing The Shadow or something, I’ll track that… but I’m not tracking Hard Case Crime or similar publishers any longer. The playing field is simply not level enough.
4) I am no longer tracking pre-release orders. Some publishers never actually release their books and when they do, it’s months after they were supposed to be released. Everything listed in the Top Ten is currently for sale.
5) Like the name suggests, we’re tracking “New” pulp — I’m not tracking sales rankings for reprints of classic material. In order for something to qualify for this list, it has to be at least 50% new material that has not been printed in book form before.
6) I am human. I make mistakes. If you are aware of a title that should be listed below (keeping in mind all the rules above), please let me know and I will make sure to remedy the situation.
7) I get most of my information from All Pulp, New Pulp, the Pulp Factory mailing list and a few other sites. If you think I might miss your release, let me know in advance — drop me a line and tell me when it’s being released.

Without further ado, here’s the completely and totally unofficial New Pulp bestseller list as of right now (title, then publisher, then release date, then sales rank):

1) Doc Savage: Death’s Dark Domain by Will Murray (Altus Press, September 2012) – 43,371
2) The Spider: Shadow of Evil by C.J. Henderson and J. Anthony Kosar (Moonstone Books, October 2012) – 245,597
3) The Green Hornet: Still At Large by Various (Moonstone Books, August 2012) – 273,519
4) The Golden Age by Jeff Deischer (White Rocket Books, October 2012) – 484,391
5) Monster Aces by Various (Pro Se Press, October 2012) – 996,619
6) Horror Heroes by Various (Pulp Empire, October 2012) – 1,179,525
7) Pro Se Presents # 14 by Various (Pro Se Press, October 2012) – 1,311,263

8 ) Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira by Derrick Ferguson (Pulpwork Press, August 2012) – 1,313,221
9) Blood of the Centipede by Chuck Miller (Pro Se Press, September 2012) – 1,726,462
10) Pirates and Swashbucklers Volume Two by Various (Pulp Empire, October 2012) – 1,875,704

Just missing the list were: The Spur: Loki’s Rock by Mark Ellis (Fortuna Books, September 2012) – 2,098,749, Mystery Men (& Women) Volume Three by Various (Airship 27, November 2012) – 2,109,361, Black Bat Mysteries Volume Two by Various (Airship 27, August 2012) – 2,158,107, and Secret Agent “X” – Volume Four by Various (Airship 27, October 2012) – 2,600,383.

If you’re thinking that this week’s list looks familiar, you’re not far off. We have the same top ten as last week, with only a few minor deviations in where the books ended up. And our four “just missing the list” books are also the same, though Loki’s Rock moves up from # 12 to # 11. We continue to see the classic heroes dominating the top of the list (I’m including Jeff Deischer’s The Golden Age here). Once we get to # 5, we see a rash of New Pulp creations, which always warms my heart. Still, we definitely see that classic heroes hold sway over fans, both young and old. Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon drops from # 3 to # 8 but Monster Aces rises an almost equal amount. Pro Se continues to see solid sales from Chuck Miller’s Black Centipede franchise. Pulp Empire snags two spots this time around, which is now such a common occurrence that I think you have to put them up there with Airship 27 in terms of sales, if not in volume. For the second week in a row, Airship didn’t place any books in the top 10, though they do have spots 12, 13 & 14.

From a publisher standpoint, we have six publishers represented. Pro Se leads the way with three titles, followed by Moonstone and Pulp Empire, who have two each. Pulpwork, Altus and White Rocket have one each.

Take it all with a grain of salt, folks.

New Monster Aces Review!

Ralph Angelo has given Monster Aces a Five-Star review on Amazon.com – here’s what he had to say:

Monster Aces, a new book by four of the best and most well-known authors in New Pulp is a just released book of tales concerning an oft forgotten or downplayed area of pulp fiction, Monsters. Creatures that frighten us with their unknown powers and lack of humanity. Things that are out of the norm and seemingly only of nightmares that play out behind closed eyelids. Horrifying beings that no sane man would ever want to encounter let alone seek out or hunt.

And yet that is exactly what the Monster Aces do. They hunt out and seek to destroy those things that go bump in the night. The Monster Aces are a team of four people with a fifth unofficial member (Sixth if you count the pilot of their boat, who never sees action.) The mysterious grey haired man known only as The Cap’n is their leader. Digger is their strong man and hand to hand fighter as well as stealth expert, or commando. Gats is a weapons master and marksman, always armed with more then a few guns, a steady hand and perfect eye. Joker rounds out the main team. He’s the smooth talker. The one who soothes the crowds nerves as well as gets the ladies notice wherever he goes. He is the group’s mouthpiece or public affairs officer. He deals with the aspects of their missions others can’t. The last member of the team is an unofficial one. Her name is Trill. She’s a small, pretty girl with certain psychic abilities that are not clearly determined, but her usefulness is always welcome, even begrudgingly so as it is most of the time, by The Cap’n.

The Monster Aces travel the globe in search of Monsters that seek to destroy mankind for whatever reasons, be they hunger for human flesh, or the simple reason to do evil for its own sake.
Within this tome you will find five stories featuring the Monster Aces facing off against different creatures. All horrifying in one way or another. Jim Beard, (Also known as the author of `Sgt. Janus’, and `Captain Action’) the series creator has two stories within this volume, the first one and the last. There is also one story each by Barry Reese (`The Rook’, `Lazarus Grey’) , Van Allen Plexico (`Hawk’, `The Sentinels’) and Ron Fortier (`Captain Hazard’, `The Pulptress’, `Brother Bones’ etc.) each lend their unique voices to the Monster Aces collection with tales of things that go bump in the night.

Each tale is well crafted and draws you into the almost mythical world of the late 1930’s where each story takes place. Each story has its own flavor, its own unique account of what goes on in the monster hunters lives. It’s hard to pick a favorite as all are engrossing and, as you would expect with a word like “Monster” in its name, fun. But for me the last two stories stood out as `true’ monster tales and were to me at least the most memorable. The last simply because it featured two very familiar monsters in a never before seen situation that brought a smile to my face while reading it.

That being said though, there are no clunkers in this volume. Each tale has more then enough fun factor within its pages to lock the reader in for the full ride. It is an excellent book focused on a different genre then most of New Pulp usually is. The concept alone makes giving this a read more then worthwhile.

Special mention to Ron Fortier’s “The Ghoul” story for the use of a Brough Superior Motorcycle as Trill’s mode of transportation. Being a motorcycle enthusiast and instructor myself I got a big kick out of that scene.

From the Vault: The Rook (Marvel Heroic RPG Stats)

THE ROOK
Max Davies

Affiliations: Solo D10 Buddy D8 Team D6

Distinctions: D4 (+1PP) or D8
Compelled to Fight Evil
Family Man
Weirdness Magnet

Power Sets:

Gifts From My Father
Precognition D8
Telekinesis D6
SFX: Second Chance. Spend 1 PP to reroll when using any POWER SET power.
Limit: Uncontrollable. Change Precognition power into a complication and gain 1 PP. Activate an opportunity or remove the complication to recover the power.
Limit: Mental Strain. On any failed Telekinesis roll, turn effect die into mental stress and gain 1 PP.
Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown any POWER SET power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

Trained By the Best
Enhanced Stamina D8
Enhanced Senses D8
SFX: Focus. If a pool includes a POWER SET power, player may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Limit: Exhausted. Shutdown any POWER SET power to gain 1 PP. Recover power by activating an opportunity or during a Transition Scene.

Tools of the Trade
Automatic Pistol – Weapon D8
SFX: Unlimited Ammo. The Rook’s specially modified pistols can hold hundreds of miniature bullets, each strong enough to punch a hole through solid steel.
Limit: Gear

Knife of the Elohim – Weapon D6
SFX: Powered by the Lord. Replace D6 with D10 damage when using the Knife of Elohim against enemies who are supernaturally evil.
Limit: Hard to Hide. The Knife of Elohim glows with golden light when in the presence of evil.
Limit: Gear

Heart of the Demon (Ring)
Weapon D6 (brands the Rook’s symbol onto the flesh of his enemies)
Limit: Gear

Long-Range Radio Receiver D8
Limit: Gear

Specialties:
Combat Master D10 or 2D8 or 3D6
Covert Expert D8 or 2D6
Crime Expert D8 or 2D6
Menace Master D8 or 2D6
Mystic Expert D8 or 2D6
Tech Master D10 or 2D8 or 3D6
Vehicle Expert D8 or 2D6

Milestones:
Family Matters
1XP when forced to speak with the ghost of his dead father.
3XP when a member of his family is threatened by an enemy or when Evelyn accompanies him on a mission.
10XP when a loved one is kidnapped.

Enemy of the Reich
1XP when attacked by an agent of the Occult Forces Project (OFP).
3XP when taking trauma from an agent of the OFP.
10XP when you forgive your foe, or they beg for your forgiveness and you let them go.