For a while post-war Doc Savage was retitled Doc Savage Science Detective. We’re not there yet, but by and large, Doc comes off as a regular pulp gumshoe in this month’s trio. TERROR TAKES 7 is a fairly straight mystery, enlivened by Lester Dent’s flair for writing a memorable hook. A woman named Paula Argus […]
I’m mostly known for my male creations — The Peregrine & Lazarus Gray, for instance — but I’ve spent a good bit of my career writing female leads. The Damned Thing, Rabbit Heart and Gravedigger all feature strong female characters and I’ve also written a couple of stories featuring Nightveil, from AC Comics’ comic book universe. I’m proud of those books, especially since the pulp field is still so testosterone-heavy. New Pulp does have The Pulptress, Elisa Hill and Callie but those are still just a drop in the bucket.
I’ve tried to add to the diversity of characters within the field while not making too big of a deal about it. The Lazarus Gray series not only features Samantha Grace as a major part of the storyline but I also have Eun Jiwon, a member of the team who is both homosexual and Korean. In Gravedigger, we have Li Yuchun, a Chinese American, and Mitchell, a British hero of African descent. I’m not doing this to make any kind of point, really — I simply want to reflect the real world, which the original pulps didn’t always do.
BARRY HERE: I don’t agree with everything that’s said in this essay but it’s definitely worth a read. I’m a longtime lover of sword & sorcery and Robert E. Howard’s contributions but this is an interesting take on the genre and Howard’s place in it.
While I don’t quite buy John Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces theory, I do think that there are certain basic frameworks that stories can (but never must) follow, and which can yield a nigh-infinite variety of different permutations of the same basic ideas whilst leaving room for the author’s own themes and personality to […]
So I’ve been progressing fairly slowly on the twelfth volume of the Lazarus Gray series but in the last couple of weeks I’ve seen a few articles about a surprising way of boosting writing productivity… and it involves switching to that dreaded comic sans font. People were swearing that it somehow boosted their writing output – being willing to try almost anything, I swapped my font over to this… and I’ll be damned if it hasn’t worked. For the past month or two I’d been only producing like a 1,000 words a week but this week I’ve already written close to 4,000! It’s ugly as sin to look at but damned if the words are flowing with increasing ease. Is it a true thing? Or is it a placebo effect where I’m told it’ll work and if it I believe it does…?
All I know is it’s working.
I’m a long ways off from finishing this book but I have given thought to what I want to do next. I have a couple of original characters that exist outside Reese Unlimited that I might take a crack at or maybe I’ll do something totally different from the pulp adventure stuff I’m known for. I’m not sure. Knowing me, I’ll probably jump into Lazarus Gray 13 but I’d really like to stretch my creative muscles and do something new. Time will tell, I suppose.
This post is accompanied by a photo of the lovely Mellisa Clarke
Today I figured we’d spend a few minutes talking about the ‘other’ hero of The Peregrine Chronicles. Will McKenzie is introduced in the second Peregrine story and soon becomes not only best friend to our hero Max Davies but also a frequent companion on his adventures.
Some of the highlights include:
1937 – Will arrives in Atlanta and is introduced to Max by the mysterious Benson, a man who has risen above tragedy in his own life to become a hero in the employ of the government. The youngest police chief in the nation, Will has movie-star good looks and a fierce attraction both both the ladies and to danger. As we’ll see, the combination of those two interests is a particular problem for him! In his debut appearance, Will heads off into the Atlanta underground to help foil a vampire uprising “Kingdom of Blood”, The Peregrine Omnibus Volume One).
1939 – Max and Evelyn become parents to a son that they name William, after their good friend (“Abominations,” The Peregrine Omnibus Volume One). Later in the year, Will and an ex-girlfriend named Violet Cambridge become embroiled in a horrific adventure surrounding a cursed object, an ancient cult and Aleister Crowley (The Damned Thing).
1940 – Will travels to Berlin with The Peregrine and The Domino Lady to confront the organization known as Bloodwerks (“Bloodwerks, The Peregrine Omnibus Volume One).
1941 – Kidnapped by a Nazi agent known as The Iron Maiden, Will is able to not only escape her clutches but convince her that she’s fighting on the wrong side. Kirsten Bauer and Will are soon married (“The Iron Maiden,” The Peregrine Volume One).
Later in the Forties, we learn that Will and Kirsten are struggling to have a child. As of this writing, we don’t know if they ever succeeded or not. Will is actually in most of The Peregrine stories after his introduction but the above are some of the best. If you’re a big fan of Will, I’d definitely suggest you seek out “Kingdom of Blood” and The Damned Thing, both of which feature him very prominently.
Work continues on the 12th volume of Lazarus Gray – I’ve passed the 17,000 word mark but there have been days that’s been a real slog. This one wraps up things that go all the way back to volume seven so there’s a lot of moving pieces that have to be dealt with, not to mention the fact that there are nearly a dozen main characters, some of them old favorites, some of them we’re seeing for the first time. I usually write with just the bare-bones of a plot in my head but this one has required me to make a few notes and to actually re-read parts of volumes 4, 7 and 11! I hope to be done with the book by the end of January at my current speed but I might be able to do better than that if I get a lot done during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Fingers crossed.
I should wrap up watching season three of Veronica Mars this weekend. It’s really grown on me and I have to say that I finally see where all the love this series has garnered comes from. It’s wonderful.
Also continuing to watch AHS: 1984 (loving it!), Riverdale, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Those are my favorites at the moment – but I also want to recommend Dolemite is my Name, a Netflix movie starring Eddie Murphy. It was a lot of fun!
The photograph accompanying this post is of Veronica Lake.