The Rook Is Flying High — Again!

rook_v3_cover_mockup_smallThis has been a strange week — I had really hoped to finish off the Pulse Fiction story I’m writing for Pro Se but events have conspired to prevent that. Still, I’ll be hitting the stretch run today and hopefully I’ll be able to type The End sometime on Monday or Tuesday. I’m anxious to return to working on Lazarus Gray Volume Five. I’ve written two of the planned five stories for that one and I’d like to belt out # 3 before I have to start on the Sherlock Holmes novella I owe Pro Se.

George Sellas has now finished all the artwork for The Rook Special Edition Volume Three so I sent off all the stories and art to my editors today. As always, it’s going to be a gorgeous book — George always does such an amazing job with the images and then Sean Ali does some wonderful graphic design on the entire package. Even if you don’t enjoy my writing, you have to admit that the overall presentation is lovely.

I’ll be working a bit on my Crossroads presentation that I’m doing tomorrow. I’ll be talking about New Pulp and how it can be a great avenue for writers to get published for the first time. This means I’ll be explaining what the hell pulp is in the first place, then talking about the various publishers that are out there and how you go about contacting one of them and what things they’re looking for from prospective writers. It’s only a 30-45 minute talk so it shouldn’t be too stressful – I can generally ramble on for that long without much of a script. Still, I want people to leave with a coherent vision of how to dive into this strange little niche.

Our art today is the cover to The Rook Volume Three Special Edition. Obviously, with the way Pro Se’s schedule is, you probably won’t see this one until 2014. I’ve heard from some people who are very unhappy that only the first two volumes (plus # 6) are currently in print. I’m sorry — these things take time. Pro Se wants to get volumes 3-5 back in print as quickly as you (and I) do, trust me. They’re not making any money off of them while they’re out of print. In the meantime, Tales of The Rook Volume Two is in production right now so you’ll have some new Max Davies adventures to look forward to soon.

Anyway, this cover is really awesome, isn’t it? George took four of the villains from the book and really made them sparkle. And the shot of The Rook jumping out at the reader is very eye-catching!

Enjoy your Friday, folks.

Odds & Ends — Plus: Tales of The Rook Volume 2’s Cover!

ROOK Cvr_FNThe weekend is fast approaching, which means that my talk at the Crossroads Writers Conference is starting to sneak up on me. I’ll be talking about the growth of New Pulp and the many publishers that fall into that category… giving people an idea about who to submit to and how to get accepted. It’ll be more thrilling than it sounds (hopefully)!

I was interviewed by the amazingly talented Rachel Helie for the Crossroads website — you can find out my responses by clicking right here.

The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume One picked up a nice little review on Facebook yesterday, courtesy of Mark Beaulieu. This is what he said: I don’t think I’ve mentioned this here yet, but I read Barry Reese’s GRAVEDIGGER vol. 1 and enjoyed it quite a bit. It was a fun, action packed pulp tale. Easily some of his best writing and that’s saying something since his Rook vol. 1 got me reading New Pulp stuff and eventually got me editing for Pro Se Productions (You can like their page). Really fun stuff. And the cover is fantastic. But I’m always partial to Nazi villains. I blame Indiana Jones. (Kindle edition only $2.99)

Thanks, Mark! I’m really pleased that you enjoy the book — hopefully you’ll get just as much enjoyment out of the second book, which should be coming your way in early 2014.

Because I had a sick son yesterday, I wasn’t able to add on to the Pulse Fiction tale I’m currently working on. I did write one hell of a great scene on Tuesday so hopefully I’ll be able to continue that momentum as I head into the second half of the story. I’m looking forward to typing THE END on it.

Pro Se has a number of things in production at the moment – the new edition of Rabbit Heart, Liberty Girl and Tales of The Rook Volume Two are all on the way. Tales of The Rook Volume Two will feature stories from Adam Lance Garcia, Russ Anderson, James Palmer and David White… all behind a gorgeous cover by Grant Miehm! Grant’s work first came to my attention back when he was doing Legend of the Shield for DC Comics and I’ve been a fan ever since. That’s his cover adorning this blog post — and I think it’s a real beaut! I hope you agree!

Take care out there, folks!

Random Bits of Nonsense

RU Proof r1Welcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

Had a busy weekend at my day job as we did our big fundraiser for the year — ended up netting the second-highest total in the event’s 33-year history so that was nice.  I took the next couple of days off but now I’m back in the swing of things!

The Shadow’s Fan Podcast Episode 51 was uploaded this morning. This week I review a 1939 novel (“The Death Ship”) and The Shadow 2013 Annual from Dynamite Entertainment. It’s hard to follow up on the Michael Uslan interview we aired in our 50th episode but hopefully you Shadow fans will enjoy it nonetheless!

I’m really hoping to finish this Pulse Fiction story for Pro Se this week. It’s had its fun moments but I’m ready to move on and do something else. My hope is that folks who read it will enjoy it enough to want to see more stories with these characters, whether or not they come from me. It’s work-for-hire so there’s no guarantee I’d be involved in their later adventures, which is fine. I just want to do a good enough job to inspire more!

Been jamming out to Haim’s debut album “Days Are Gone.” Great stuff and heartily recommended.

Got a new contract from Pro Se, which would extend the licensing deal I have with them for The Rook and associated characters for another two years. I haven’t signed it yet but I probably will some time today. I had one person say I should shop around and see if I could get a bidding war going for my stuff but that’s not my style. Plus, I’m still waiting to get all my stuff back in print after leaving Wild Cat Books. Doesn’t make sense to leave before all of that is done — besides, it’s not like there’s anybody out there who would treat me better! Pro Se has given me more promotion than most New Pulp publishers do by a long shot and I have the freedom to pursue my own desires for the most part, which counts for a lot. So it looks like Reese Unlimited will live on for a few more years. Everybody say “woot!”

Woot!

This Saturday I’ll be at the Crossroads Writer’s Conference. My workshop that I’m leading will be at 11:30 and if you haven’t registered yet, you can still do so! Here’s how they describe my panel:

Making The Most Out of Murder and Mayhem – Barry Reese

The heyday of the bloody pulps might have been the Thirties and Forties but the movement has gained new legs in recent years with the rise of New Pulp. What is it and why might it be the salvation for small press writers? Award-winning New Pulp author Barry Reese will take you through the ins and outs of the New Pulp world, including where and how you can become a part of it.

Yeah. I’ll be talking about murder and mayhem. Who could have guessed?

I’ll be back tomorrow with more pulpy goodness.

From the Vault: New Pulp

Over the past few months, a lot of different folks have become aware of the New Pulp movement and penned blogs or articles about it. Look here, here and here for examples. In some cases, the authors of said pieces seem to be mostly unaware of the actual, defined movement and are mostly just casting about, recognizing that there seems to be something moving in the bushes of the literary world. The “Old Pulp” crowd was somewhat slow to embrace New Pulp, many of them dismissing it as nothing more than glorified fan fiction (Hello, Pulpster!). But now it looks like the Old Pulp crowd is coming around — an issue of Blood and Thunder featured coverage of New Pulp and PulpFest has held a few “New Fictioneers” panels and readings.

For the most part, I don’t like to over-think things. I just do them. I write without an outline. I refuse to take part in weighty discussions of theme and metaphor.

I’m too busy writing stories to give a rat’s ass about the process of writing.

So I find the whole “What the heck is New Pulp” discussion a bit counterproductive. Whenever someone on Facebook or wherever pipes up and asks, I back away, knowing others will gladly step into the ring.

For me, pulp is like pornography — I might not be able to define it but I sure as hell know it when I see it.

To me, the spirit of pulp is that you constantly write. You write as quickly as possible and as smoothly as possible. Distractions get hit in the head with a stick.

I’ll be speaking at the Crossroads Writers Conference again this year, which I always feel odd about, since I think that talking about writing is one of the things that gets in the way of writing! But I generally stand about and say that, then talk about the adrenaline rush that should accompany a good bout of writing and how everyone in the room should stop listening to me and go write something.

I’m thrilled that people are noticing the New Pulp movement, even if everyone who does seem to think they’ve just invented something (Hey, look, I’m gonna call it “New Pulp!”). The more people who are aware of the movement, the more people who might get their heads out of their asses and start embracing what the core of the movement means: We tell stories. We tell a lot of stories. We leave the pretentiousness at the door, where all the English grads are standing around, discussing that Great American Novel that they’d love to write but just can’t find the time to do.

I gotta go. A story is calling.

Book Signing Today!

banner01_smallIf you’d like to meet me, I’ll be at Avalon Comics in Macon, Georgia today! I’ll be appearing there from 11:30 am to around 1:00 pm. The store is located at 2384 Ingleside Avenue and is a great place to come and hang out. It’s also just down the road from Red Lobster, which is always a good thing, right?

I’ll be bringing along copies of all three Lazarus Gray books, plus The Adventures of Gravedigger and several other items. And if you already own one of my books, I’d be glad to personalize it for you for free.

The last time I was there, I had one of the best days ever in terms of moving product — so I’m hoping for a similar turnout this time around. Of course, last time was for Free Comic Book Day but you never know. This particular promotion is their “5th Annual We Couldn’t Afford to go to Dragon*Con Sale” and everything in the store (aside from snacks) will be 50% off. Normally I’m actually at Dragon*Con but I elected not to submit an application this year. While I love Dragon*Con, it’s getting so expensive and so huge that I decided to skip it this time around.

If you miss me at Avalon, you can still catch me at the Crossroads Writers Conference on October 5, 2013 and at COMO on October 10, 2013, plus at the Georgia Literary Festival November 9, 2013.

Hope to see you soon!

Random Thoughts

laz3coverHello, folks!

Got confirmation yesterday that I’ll be presenting at this year’s Crossroads Writers Conference in Macon, Georgia. I’ll be there the first weekend in October, presenting at least talk and also serving on at least one panel. You can head over to their website to register for the conference, which is always great fun. There are writers from many different disciplines who do presentations, including non-fiction, comics and a lot more. Definitely worth your time, whether you’re a novice or an experienced pro.

I read over a Kindle Worlds yesterday and not to sound arrogant but I think I can do better than that. So at some point I do plan to contribute something to the Valiant side of Kindle Worlds. Right now, I’m going to stay focused on driving forward with Gravedigger and then I have to do the mystery project that I teased last week. THEN, maybe I can belt out a Kindle Worlds short before returning to Lazarus Gray. Oh, and then I need to start work on that Thunder Jim Wade novella for Pro Se’s Pulp Obscura line.

Okay, now I’m tired from thinking about all the stuff I have to do! Ugh.

I’ve been really enjoying Defiance on Scy-Fy, though I wish they’d stop killing characters in every episode. They actually teased the season finale by saying that someone’s journey would come to an end. Isn’t that every episode? Death loses its impact if you’re continually killing off the supporting cast.

Don’t forget that I have a couple of recent releases that are for sale (and badly in need of more reviews!!!) – if you’re interested, please check out The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Three: Eidolon and The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume One. I appreciate getting your feedback but I also love it when you leave reviews on Amazon as they spur more sales from others.

Take Care, Everyone!

Let’s Chat, Shall We?

black-and-white-robert-downey-jr-sherlock-holmes-Favim.com-412789A whole bunch of things to talk about today so let’s all settle down and get started, shall we?

The Shadow Fan Episode 17 is now live — this time around I look at all the various projects that have had the title “The Shadow Strikes.” We talk about the 1937 movie, the 1964 Belmont novel and the 1989 DC Comics series. I don’t want to give away too much but I’ll say this: two are snooze-fests and one is a classic.

Thanks so much to all of you who visit my blog on a regular basis. This month set an all-time record for visits to the site and I appreciate all the time you’ve spent reading my ramblings. The comments on yesterday’s post were great — informative, hilarious and enlightening. I may steal Derrick Ferguson’s description of “sweaty man books” for my own work 😉

Reading The Shadow: The History and Mystery of the Radio Program, 1930-1954 by Martin Grams, Jr. — very interesting book and highly recommended if you have interest in The Shaadow radio program.

Tomorrow I’m debuting a new feature — New Pulp Recommendation of the Week. It was suggested by someone on Twitter and I’m going to give it a go. Basically, every week I pick a New Pulp book and tell you about, encouraging you to give it a try if you haven’t already. Stay tuned!

Tommy Hancock’s YesterYear novel is being turned into a roleplaying game. I’m so jealous! I’ve wanted to do that with my characters for years. One of these days….

Starting to firm up appearances for 2013. So far, it looks like I’ll be at Avalon Comics in Macon, Georgia for Free Comic Book Day; at the Georgia Literary Festival in November and somewhere in-between I hope to return to the Crossroads Writers Conference. Pulp Ark still looks unlikely.