Writers That Have Influenced Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!”

I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Continue reading → Writers That Have Influenced Me

Dillon (Icons Writeup)

Dillon
(created by Derrick Ferguson)dillon-2-2

Prowess 7
Coordination 7
Strength 6
Intellect 6
Awareness 6
Willpower 7

Stamina 13

Powers
*Regeneration 2
*Resistance (poisons) 3
*Immortality 1 (Limit: Slowed Aging only)
*Guns 4
*Knives 3
*Gadgets 3

Specialties
Athletics (Master +3 bonus), Drive (Expert +2 bonus), Investigation (Expert +2 bonus), Leadership (Expert +2 bonus), Linguistics (Master +3 bonus), Martial Arts (Master +3 bonus), Medicine (+1 bonus), Mental Resistance (Expert +2 bonus), Pilot (Expert +2 bonus), Science (+1 bonus), Stealth (Expert +2 bonus), Technology (+1 bonus), Underwater Combat (+1 bonus), Weapons (Master +3 bonus), Wrestling (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
Complete faith in his own abilities
A man needs a vacation every now and then
Loyal to his friends

Background

For more on Dillon and all of his adventures, check out the official Dillon website.

Dillon first came to the attention of the world at large fifteen years ago.  That’s when he emerged seemingly out of nowhere, formally began hiring himself out as a soldier of fortune. He distinguished himself by displaying many of the remarkable talents and gifts that would soon make him a highly respected and feared figure in that secret world of mercenaries, spies, adventurers and extraordinary men and women that most of us are unaware even exists.  He has been identified as having a variety of aliases and disguises that he uses on occasions.  But ‘Dillon’ appears to be his actual, true name.  If it is his first or last is not known as it is the only one he’ll give you when you ask.

Despite the horrors he experienced as a boy, Dillon has grown into a man with a healthy taste for wild excitement and adventure, fueled by his curiosity and an overpowering desire to see that others do not suffer as he has suffered.  Due to his rigorous and unconventional training he is remarkably disciplined even though he gives the impression that he is anything but.  He has an eccentric, wicked sense of humor that he enjoys exercising on his enemies.

Dillon exhibits a wide narcissistic streak and it has been pointed out to him on more than one occasion that he has way too much confidence in his own abilities. In a lot of ways it can be said that Dillon is an adolescent who has never really grown up  And that probably accounts for his quirks of personality.  But there is no doubt that he has a high degree of belief in his abilities and what he can achieve with those abilities.  Maybe too much belief as he frequently gets himself into hopelessly perilous situations just to see if he can get out of it.

But it cannot be denied that at heart he is a fiercely courageous man with a tremendous sense of loyalty to his friends and a desire to see that the innocent are not abused or harmed.  Although it’s true he hires his body out for pay he just as frequently assists the disadvantaged and oppressed without seeking recompense.

Dillon’s method of payment isn’t limited to currency.  Many times he will assist someone and instead of money will secure their promise to render assistance to Dillon anytime he calls upon them. Or exchange classified and/or secret information.  He’s also been known to accept a ‘silent partnership’ if the person asking for his help owns a profitable business.

Dillon is quite wealthy and enjoys a lavish lifestyle.  When he left Shamballah he was given a bag of precious stones that he converted into currency while traveling through Tibet and Africa and used to open up accounts in different cities around the world.  In his initial adventures if he had the opportunity to acquire the funds of his enemies, he did so without a qualm.

While he spends most of his time traveling he does own various safe houses in locations spread across the United States and Europe and he appears to have two permanent residences.  One is a modernistic mansion located in the Pennsylvania town of Grand.  The other residence is a mansion located on top of a mesa in Colorado.

His age may be unknown but at least one person he is aware of has knowledge of where he was born.  The adventurer Brighteyes Dillinger when confronting Dillon during the events of DILLON AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN BELL stated that he knew Dillon was born on Usimi Dero.  From the little revealed about it so far, Usimi Dero was a technological island paradise destroyed by Thahali, She Who Wears The Dress Of Seven Sufferings when Dillon was 12 years old.  Apparently his father died there while Dillon and his mother escaped.  They spent an unspecified amount of time being chased by agents of Thahali who pursued them to Shamballah, hidden in the Himalayas.  Dillon’s mother died to ensure Dillon reached Shamballah safely where he was adopted by The Warmasters of Liguria, who had also trained his mother.

Dillon spent the next seven years being trained by The Warmasters in various martial arts as well as exceptional physical and mental disciplines that forged his body into a living weapon.  After those seven years, Dillon elected to leave Shamballah and return to the world.  He was warned by The Warmasters that he might never find his way back.  His mother was the first person in nearly five hundred years to find Shamballah twice, a feat considered to be miraculous.

Once back in the world, Dillon wandered, learning various skills that he thought would help him in his chosen profession. He also sought out notable adventurers in retirement for the purpose of them training him in their various specialties.  His intention being to earn his living as a professional adventurer while seeking out the trail of those who destroyed Usimi Dero.  It was during this period that Dillon met the man who eventually became his best friend, Elias Patrick Creed who himself had a long career as a professional adventurer.  Eli Creed took a liking to the young man and took him under his wing.  Eli taught Dillon how to fly aircraft and the two men partnered up and worked as a team for a number of years before Eli went into semi-retirement and Dillon went out on his own. A semi-retirement that apparently didn’t take because Eli drops what he’s doing whenever Dillon calls him for help. But due to recent events as related in “Dillon and The Devil’s Mercy” Eli is giving serious thought to grooming his son Idell to take his place as Dillon’s partner.

Dillon’s range of talents and skills are protean in variety.  He speaks eight languages fluently: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Swahili, Portuguese and Arabic and can get by in half a dozen others.  His physical skills border on the superhuman as he has displayed exceptional athleticism in feats of agility, speed and strength.  He’s capable of bench pressing 1000 pounds and can run a mile in just over minute.  His physical abilities are due in large part to his training in Shamballah.  But unknown even to Dillon himself,  his father injected his mother with various formulas of his own concoction while Dillon was still in the womb.

The experimental formulas gifted Dillon with a metabolism that does not build up fatigue poisons in his system as quickly as an average human giving Dillon far greater endurance. His cognitive and physical abilities also appear to have been enhanced, gifting him with increased energy, a vastly higher tolerance for pain and less need for sleep.  His senses and reflexes are significantly above average and while he is no scientist he has demonstrated an aptitude for various and diverse scientific disciplines such as biology which he studied under Nobel Prize winner Dr. Harold Wolper at the University of California and archaeology with Professor Sydney Fox at Trinity College.

Quite naturally he is expert with an amazing range of modern and ancient weapons, including but not limited to handguns, automatic weapons and bladed weapons.

One of his most interesting quirks is his ‘vacations.’  When Dillon wants to go on vacation he takes a regular job like an everyday citizen.  He’s taken jobs as a dishwasher, a roofer, a short-order cook, a car salesman and a high school custodian among many others.

Spending Time in Sovereign

aidra_fox2Spent much of the past week in Sovereign City, revising and adding to the twelfth volume of Lazarus Gray. I know that some of you have gotten mighty impatient waiting for these books to be released (the seventh book was released three years ago) but I think they will be on the way relatively soon. Until then you do have Broken Empire to tide you over – it’s an Assistance Unlimited book set in 1964.

Once all twelve of the Lazarus books are out, I think I’ll be able to sit back and feel pretty proud of them. While it may not get too much (read: any) attention from the Pulp Factory Awards and it’s not considered as groundbreaking as Derrick Ferguson’s rightfully-beloved Dillon series, I think there’s a place for Lazarus and his friends in the New Pulp landscape. Besides, not many series in the New Pulp landscape reach 12 books (plus spinoffs!).

Whenever I’m feeling down, I always end up starting a new Lazarus story – so it’s unlikely that I’ll stop at 12 books. I was worried that selling the property (along with the rest of the Reese Unlimited catalog) might result in less enthusiasm but whatever doubts I had were lifted when I wrote the Lilith novel, which was the most fun I’d had writing in a couple of years. When I returned to the twelfth Lazarus book, I found that I was able to add about 3,000 words to it and really thought they were good ones.

Our Icons writeups continue to get major traffic for the site, which is an unexpected pleasure. Hopefully some of our visitors will check out my writing, as well! I’ve had a few requests to do stats for Lazarus, Gravedigger, etc. and I’m sure I’ll get around to that eventually.

Spending Time in Sovereign City

nakam_bw_largeMy personal life has been topsy-turvy lately and I was really struggling with my writing as a result. I kind of sputtered my way through 20,000+ words on a Babylon sequel and about 3,000 on a Gothic-style story. I was still sad, though, and unhappy with what I was producing.

So I’ve done what I always do when nothing else seems to work: I go back to Sovereign City. A joint creation of myself, Tommy Hancock and Derrick Ferguson, the Sovereign City Project was going to be home to several characters as part of a shared universe. Tommy delivered Doc Daye, Derrick brought in Fortune McCall and I had Lazarus Gray (and, later, Gravedigger). Me being me, I also tied in The Peregrine and everything including the kitchen sink.

Writing about Lazarus and his companions brings me peace – it always feels like coming home and the words come easily. The book I’m working on now is the 11th volume… books 8-10, plus a Lazarus/Nightveil book, are already in Pro Se’s hands. Volume 11 will bring back Nakam, a character I introduced back in book 6. I may be living on my own now after twenty-three years of marriage but Lazarus and I will hopefully be spending many more years (and volumes) together.

It’s funny that fictional characters can become so real that they’re like family. I need them more than ever and they haven’t let me down yet.

The art accompanying this post is by George Sellas.

Guest Blog: Three examples of New Pulp

Today I’m honored to turn the reins over to Derrick Ferguson, one of my oldest friends in this crazy field that we call “New Pulp.” I’ve known Derrick for well over a decade and not only is he a terrific human being, he’s also a wonderful writer who has created such amazing characters as Dillon and Fortune McCall. If you’re not familiar with his work, stop reading this right now and go seek it out. Then come back.

I’ll be waiting.

Continue reading → Guest Blog: Three examples of New Pulp

Writers That Have Influenced Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!”

I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Continue reading → Writers That Have Influenced Me

Writers That Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

Writers Who Have Inspired Me

EmmaWatson-HarryCrowder03I’m not going to go in-depth as to why these guys have influenced me since in many ways, it would be hard to nail it down. These are authors that have been favorites of mine and are ones that when I read them, I consciously go “Wow, look how they did that! I want to be able to do that!” I certainly read and enjoy other authors besides just these guys but these are the ones that I’d list as inspirations (in no order other than what popped in my head). Some of them have styles that are very different from my own but I still feel like I’ve taken something from them along the way.

Paul Ernst

Robert E. Howard

Walter Gibson

Stephen King (“old” King anyway — ’70s & ’80s)

Michael Moorcock (Elric specifically)

Rob MacGregor (his Indiana Jones work)

Andy McDermott

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Frank Herbert (his Dune series)

Timothy Zahn

Chris Claremont

Clive Cussler

Marv Wolfman

Geoff Johns

Jim Shooter

Wayne Reinagel

Arthur Conan Doyle

Derrick Ferguson

New Pulp Characters That I’d Like To Borrow

I’ve done a number of team-ups and crossovers but there are still a few that I’d like to get my grubby little hands on.

Brother Bones – I think having Lazarus Gray visit the undead avenger would be a lot of fun. At first, I thought about The Rook & Bones… but for some reason, I think a Lazarus team-up with be more fun. Brother Bones was created by Ron Fortier. EDITED: This one will actually be happening, as Brother Bones will guest-star in The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume Five!

Dillon – People have been asking for a Dillon/The Rook team-up for years. Given the longevity of The Rook’s career, I think it would be easy to pull off. Dillon was created by Derrick Ferguson.

Sgt. Janus – I’d want to pair Gravedigger with this character… and for those of you who haven’t read the Gravedigger debut novel yet, you’re probably wondering why I think they’d be perfect together. But trust me… if you have read it, you’ll all be going “Oh my, yes, that would be perfect!” Janus was created by Jim Beard.

Elisa Hill – This modern day Myth Hunter would be fun to pair up with Fiona Chapman (from my Rabbit Heart novel). While Elisa’s adventures aren’t the gore & sex-fests that Fiona’s are, both are kick-ass young women with a penchant for getting into occult adventures. Having Elisa uncover the existence of the Furious Host would be quite interesting, I think. Elisa was created by Percival Constantine.

There are certainly other characters out there that I’d enjoy writing (and two of them, Fortune McCall and Doc Daye, I should get to, eventually) but those four are the ones that I can see crossing over my characters with most easily. What do you guys think?