20 Years!

Growing up, I wanted nothing more than to be a professional writer. I loved the little biographies of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard that would be included with some of the pulp reprints that I bought… and I dreamed of someday being just like them. I submitted stories to comic book companies and other publishers for years, got a stack of rejection slips, and finally decided that as I moved into my Thirties that it was time to realize that it wasn’t going to happen. I told myself that I was okay with it – that’s I’d tried my best.

Then I got an email that changed all that. A friend that I’d made on the Internet while writing fanfiction had gotten a gig at Marvel Comics and when they asked him if he knew anybody that would work – cheap – on some Ghost Rider-related material, he thought of me. He emailed me to ask if it was okay for him to give my name to Marvel and I, of course, said HELL YEAH! Less than 24 hours later, I was sending a writing sample to editor Jeff Youngquist and they hired me the same day.

Since then, I’ve written multiple projects for Marvel Comics, gone on to write classic characters like the Avenger and the Green Hornet, and been published dozens of times. I’ve been a guest at Dragon*Con, Pulp Ark, and numerous other conventions. I’ve seen my books on the shelves next to my idols.

Despite all the stress and disappointments of life, I accomplished one of my dreams – and I want to celebrate that success. This year marks 20 years as a professional author – and that’s partially thanks to all of you that’s bought one of my books, supported my works, and posted a review somewhere. Even if the review wasn’t positive, it still helped – it made me better as a writer and helped me develop a thicker skin, which is actually a useful trait.

This image was done for me by Gilbert Monsanto and features a whole host of my characters surrounding the Reese Unlimited logo. There are big plans to make 2023 a year to remember. Stay tuned!

The Dark Society

While I try to be relatively spoiler-free, there ARE some slight spoilers to be found here – so read on at your own risk!

As with many things that are supernatural, the origins of the Dark Society had their roots in Grove’s Folly, the sleepy hamlet located just down the road from Sovereign City. Grove’s Folly is chiefly famous for two things: its massive Pumpkin Festival held every Halloween and the fact that it was host to one of the bloodiest — and most unusual — battles of the American Revolutionary War.

In recent years, a viral video of the cryptid known as the Straw-Man has given Grove’s Folly a new revenue stream: a surge in tourism related to monster and ghost hunters. Though few know that the city was built atop an open pit to Hell (known as a Hellmouth), the arrival of the Straw-Man has coincided with a number of supernatural sightings and events. The Straw-Man (in actually a gestalt being formed of a young local man named Samuel Hain and Gwydion fab Dôn, a magician, hero and trickster of Welsh mythology) also kicked off a new generation of heroes within the area. In addition to the Straw-Man, several other heroes frequented the area to team up with the Straw-Man or, in some cases, to fight him: Jupiter, Catalyst, Singularity, and the American Crusader.

When a cult attempted to use the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to open portals to both Heaven and Hell in an attempt to bring about the supposed end of days, a collection of heroes came together to oppose this plan. In addition to the heroes named above, Geist, Babylon, and Calavera journeyed to Geneva. In the end, the group saved the world — but at great cost: Babylon was seemingly destroyed in the conflict. In the aftermath, the team swore to come together again if needed.

All of the above is depicted in The Dark Society Book One: Calavera.

Later in the same year, the Dark Society established a headquarters in Romania. It was dubbed The Dark House. They were soon caught up in the machinations of August Messenger, who sought the resurrection of Cthulhu. The Society teamed up with The Peregrine for the adventure, which is shown in The Dark Society Book Two: August Messenger.

If you want more information about the individual members of the team, follow the links to roleplaying game writeups of each — and be on the lookout for the Dark Society tomes, which should be released after the first three Straw-Man titles are released.

Our art is by Gilbert Monsanto.

Recommended Link

If you’re a dedicated follower of this blog, chances are that you’re also a fan of classic and/or new pulp. If so, you owe it to yourself to check out ThePulp.Net. This site not only has news and reviews, it also has some great blogs (including my personal favorite, the Pulp Super-Fan). I’m not making anything off this referrel but while you’re there and commenting on the latest post, let ’em know that I sent ya!

Our image today is by artist Gilbert Monsanto and depicts a character named Ephemera. She’ll be appearing in a volume of the Straw-Man series that’s launching soon. Enjoy this sneak peek!

Writing, Writing, Writing!

I’ve been zooming along over the past few months – wrote two Straw-Man books at the end of the year I’m over halfway through a complete rewrite of Lazarus Gray Volume 14. I’ve been in a nice groove and enjoying myself, which isn’t always the case. Not entirely sure what I’ll work on once I finish off the current project — I’ve considered doing Straw-Man volume 3… mainly because I have a new character named Ephemera that has some great design work by Gilbert Monsanto. She’s a modern-day character and visually she looks like she could fit into the Straw-Man canon as perhaps an ally or a supporting character. But she looks so cool that I kind of think I should do some short stories featuring her as the main character… We’ll have to see.

Television-wise, I’ve been watching Inventing Anna on Netflix… totally different from the kinds of stories that I write but so good! Highly recommended.