A Classic Hero Returns – And He’s Bringing Me With Him!

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roaringheartWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog! It’s been fun the past few weeks doing the Characters I Love feature on Wednesdays because I’ve been hearing from so many people on Facebook, Twitter & here about their own memories of those characters. Great fun.

Since there’s so many characters that I adore, I don’t think I’ll run out of material for several years yet.

Posted the 30th episode of The Shadow Fan’s Podcast yesterday. This week is mostly spent talking about The Shadow Year One # 2 but I also review a classic Shadow novel from 1939. As always, I had a blast talking about pulp’s greatest hero.

Speaking of classic pulp and great heroes, the only character who comes close to comparing to The Shadow in my opinion is Richard Benson, aka The Avenger. I was lucky enough to write a story (“The Devil’s Workmen”) that appeared in The Avenger: The Justice, Inc. Files back in 2011. That was a great honor and fulfilled a lifelong dream – plus, it seemed to go over well with fans since it was voted Best Short Story in the 2012 Pulp Ark Awards.

Well, I was asked to write another story that will appear in The Avenger: Roaring Heart of the Crucible. This time, my tale is entitled “The Box of Flesh” and it’s a sort-of sequel to “The Devil’s Workmen.” The newest Avenger book is already for sale on the official Moonstone site and it should be available via all other retail outlets very soon. Growing up as a huge fan of The Avenger, it’s amazing to think that I’ve contributed, in some small way, to his enduring legacy. Writing him once was a breathtaking and terrifying experience — doing it a second time kind of confirmed that it was “real” and I’m very proud of my association with this wonderful character. While there are too many differences between the two to list briefly, I think it should surprise no one that Lazarus Gray’s inspiration lay in The Avenger. I sat down and took all the elements I loved most about Benson and his crew and grafted & twisted them around my own interests in occult-inspired pulp fiction.

Work is proceeding well on Gravedigger Volume Two — I had such a blast writing the first 2,000 words that I’ve kept going. Lazarus Gray Volume 5 isn’t going anywhere so I can return to that at any time. Besides, with Volumes 3 & 4 not even in print yet, Volume 5 isn’t a pressing concern. It’s been fun to return to Charity and her associates — I hope that everyone who loved the first Gravedigger book will find this a worthy follow-up.

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