Tag: Pro Se

Ready or Not…

readyornotThings went kind of crazy after the announcement that Pro Se had bought my intellectual property – my Facebook lit up and we got a lot more traffic here on the blog than usual. I think it’s all calmed back down now and I’ve begun writing Lazarus Gray # 12.

Went and saw Ready or Not this weekend and I highly recommend it – if you love horror movies, it’s a must-see. It had me grinning from beginning to end. The film has a wicked sense of humor, plenty of action and a star-making performance from Samara Weaving.  I truly loved it – it and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood are my favorite movies of the year so far.

Since I’ve returned to podcasting with In the Stacks with Barry & LaToya, I’m thinking of starting up another show – no, it won’t be The Shadow Fan making a return. I want to do something new but I have too many options! We’ll see what I come up with.

What’s Up Next?

dead_of_nightSo this week I hope to put the finishing touches on a novella that I’ve been working on for awhile… I’m looking forward to putting it behind me. I’ve enjoyed the characters but I always end up reaching the point where I’m ready to move on to the next project.

Speaking of projects, I have a few that are in various stages of the pipeline at various publishers. Pro Se has completed edits on The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume 3 and The Second Book of Babylon… they also have manuscripts for Assistance Unlimited: The Silver Age, The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 8 and a Reese Unlimited/AC crossover that brings together Lazarus Gray, Gravedigger and Nightveil. Moonstone also has a Johnny Dollar story from me that’s waiting for ages to be published. Fingers crossed that 2018 will be the year for that one!

When I finish the current work-in-progress, I have nothing immediate that I have to work on. I might begin brainstorming ideas for the next Captain Action novel… and I have a few ideas for new projects, though I definitely don’t need to start any more series!

The art accompanying this post is by Storn Cook and depicts Max Davies, aka The Peregrine!

The Rave Reviews Keep Rolling In!

lg4_frontispiece_smallLongtime reader Pat Casey has reviewed the newest Lazarus Gray volume on Amazon.ca and this is what he had to say as he gave it five-stars:

Lazarus Gray and Assistance Unlimited finally return in five stellar tales in Lazarus Gray Vol. 5.

I have been waiting for months for Pro Se and Reese Unlimited to release this new volume. It was worth the wait!

“The Felonious Financer” introduces us to Wilson Brisk, a wealthy business man who uses his underworld connections in Sovereign City to track down the missing treasure of Hendrik Van der Decken(an infamous pirate). Brisk has financed an incredible air weapon, crewed by a group of top notch female pilots/bodygurads, who come against Assistance Unlimited. What exactly is the treasure? Will it mean certain doom to the residents of Sovereign? You’ll have to read to find out!

“Shadows & Phantoms” has Lazarus Gray on the hunt for Brother Bones, a pulp crime fighter created by writer Ron Fortier. Assistance Unlimited must determine if the Undead Avenger is simply a man taking the law into his own hands, or a true”ghost who walks” on a mission of vengeance. Will Gray join Brother Bones’ crusade to rid Cape Noir of local crime boss Sabastian Hawkes? Will Brother Bones let Assistance Unlimited walk away from Cape Noir unscathed?

“Stare of The Basilisk” introduces a new crime lord in Sovereign City, one who can kill with a simple glance. This masked man tries to unify the various gangs under his rule. Those who oppose him will meet certain death. How will Lazarus Gray face a being who can kill with a blink of an eye? How many will die under the Basilisk’s stare?

“Immortals” ties the book together when Assistance Unlimited butt heads against three beautiful but deadly beings from ancient times. We also see the return of the dark queen Princess Femi, who intends to lead the Immortals to world conquest. Assistance Unlimited is joined by an elder sorcerer who aims to destroy Femi and her cohorts. Egyptian god Sobek also appears, but will he kill Lazarus Gray and any others in his hunt for Femi?

“Wedding Bells” is the final entry in this volume and is more of an epilogue of sorts. Lazarus Gray and Kelly Emerson are ready to tie the knot. How will Assistance Unlimited ensure the safety of Lazarus and Kelly? Grey has made his share of enemies in five volumes!

The excellent cover art is by Chris Batista. “Lazarus Gray -Secrets of The Dead” illustrated story by Reese and George Sellas starts this volume (as it has in volume 3 & 4) with only one other piece of interior art (which may have been used in a previous Gray volume) in the book.

It is unfortunate that Pro Se no longer emphasizes interior art in their pulp printings. These images, when posted online, started the wheels in motion, the chain of excitement that a new Reese Unlimited pulp novel was coming out. They were great for marketing purposes and George Sellas is one damn fine artist! Having these illustrations reminds me of how old pulps had b&w interior art that was done by the best artist in the business. Hopefully we can see Sellas and Reese collaborate together in the future. Their illustrated story shows they work very well together. In fact I would love to see an art book published featuring Sellas’ Reese Unlimited work

Lazarus Gray, The Peregrine, Gravedigger, The Darkling, Leonid Kaslov, the list goes on and on. Barry Reese has introduced characters that can cross over to any media: graphic novels, animation, live action. You name it, it could happen. I’m always entertained by his work and I’m patiently waiting to read Gotterdammerung, his highly anticipated team up novel.

Thanks, Pat! I’m really pleased with the reaction we’ve gotten to the newest Lazarus edition. As for the lack of interior art, Pro Se is a great publisher and they’ve made their decision to (for the most part) move forward without interior art for a number of different reasons. I can tell you that there WILL be some interior pieces from George Sellas in Lazarus Gray Volume Six (which I’m now writing).

Thanks again!

New Pulp Best Seller List (Based on Amazon Sales Ranks 11/5/13)

bone_queenIt’s that time again! Before I unveil the Top Ten, let’s go over a few of the ground rules, shall we?

1) This list only tracks sales through AMAZON. It does not keep track of sales through Barnes and Noble, face-to-face or anything else!
2) This list only tracks PRINT sales. We do not currently track e-books. Exactly how Amazon calculates these things is mostly a trade secret and they vary wildly from day to day. If I checked this tomorrow, the list could be very different. This list reflects sales ranks as of Tuesday morning November 5, 2013. Please read that part about sales RANKS. I am not tracking actual sales, as I don’t know those figures. A sales rank of 40,000 means that there are 39,999 books selling better at that moment on Amazon. You want to have a low sales rank, which means you’re closer to # 1.
3) In order to keep the focus on new releases, eligible works must have been published within four months of the current date. So, since this list is being done in November 2013, I’m only looking at books published since August 2013. Please keep that in mind before complaining that Title X is not listed. Also, keep in mind that for the most part, I’m tracking sales from smaller press publishers who actively publishing New Pulp material. I don’t generally track sales from Simon and Schuster or places like that — they have the New York Times Bestseller List for that. If one of the major publishers starts doing The Shadow or something, I’ll track that… but I’m not tracking Hard Case Crime or similar publishers any longer. The playing field is simply not level enough.
4) I am no longer tracking pre-release orders. Some publishers never actually release their books and when they do, it’s months after they were supposed to be released. Everything listed in the Top Ten is currently for sale.
5) Like the name suggests, we’re tracking “New” pulp — I’m not tracking sales rankings for reprints of classic material. In order for something to qualify for this list, it has to be at least 50% new material that has not been printed in book form before.
6) I am human. I make mistakes. If you are aware of a title that should be listed below (keeping in mind all the rules above), please let me know and I will make sure to remedy the situation.
7) I get most of my information from All Pulp, New Pulp, the Pulp Factory mailing list and a few other sites. If you think I might miss your release, let me know in advance — drop me a line and tell me when it’s being released.

Without further ado, here’s the completely and totally unofficial New Pulp bestseller list as of right now (title, then publisher, then release date, then sales rank):

1) The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs by Various (Baen, October 2013) – 139,344
2) Six Guns and Spaceships by Various (Pro Se Productions, September 2013) – 176,257

3) Doc Savage: The Miracle Menace by Will Murray (Altus Press, September 2013) – 249,052
4) The Bone Queen by Andrea Judy (Pro Se Productions, October 2013) – 393,128
5)
The Crimson Mask Volume One by Various (Airship 27, October 2013) – 498,030
6) Liberty Girl by Barry Reese (Pro Se Productions, October 2013) – 503,268
7) Skorpio by Mike Baron (Wordfire Press, October 2013) – 727,034
8 ) The Queen of Escapes by Curt Fernlund (Airship 27, October 2013) – 812,083
9) Sisters of the Shadows: The Cagliostro Curse by Rick Lai (Hollywood Comics, October 2013) – 856,776
10) Shadow Legion: New Roads to Hell by Thomas Deja (Airship 27, September 2013) – 1,011,879

Just missing the list were: The Spider: Extreme Prejudice by Various (Moonstone Books, September 2013) – 1,091,156, New Adventures of the Green Ghost by Various (Pro Se Productions, October 2013) – 1,252,330, Black Fedora by Various (Pro Se Productions, September 2013) – 1,605,962, Ravenwood, Stepson of Mystery Volume Two (Airship 27, August 2013) – 1,959,386, The Bagman vs. The World’s Fair by B.C. Bell (Airship 27, August 2013) – 2,479,664, The New Adventures of Jim Anthony, Super-Detective: The Death’s Head Cloud by Josh Reynolds (Pro Se Productions, September 2013) – 2,520,901, A Week in Hell by J. Walt Layne (Pro Se Productions, August 2013) – 3,171,214 and Fight Card: Barefoot Bones by Bobby Nash (Fight Card Productions, October 2013) – 3,206,223. Zeppelin Tales Volume One by Various (Airship 27, November 2013) is now up on Amazon but since it was only released yesterday it has no sales rank as of yet.

Since we’ve moved into a new month, several books are now no longer being tracked because we’re now only counting books released since August 2013. Once again, we nearly have the entire top 10 with sales ranks below a million — very strong! But with our top book coming in with a rank of over a hundred thousand, the top spot was there for the taking! Heck, even Doc Savage is down at # 3 this week, which is unusual. I’d think Pro Se has to be happy with the sales of the Six Guns book, which is nestled in at # 2 this week. The Bone Queen by Andrea Judy also debuts strongly, peaking at # 4. Airship 27 continues to get strong sales out of The Crimson Mask, The Queen of Escapes and Shadow Legion. Mike Baron’s newest work cracks the top 10 after just missing it the past two weeks. It does this at the expense of The Spider: Extreme Prejudice, which ends up on the outside.

From a publisher standpoint, we have six publishers represented. Pro Se and Airship 27 have three titles each, while Altus, Baen, Wordfire and Hollywood Comics have one each.

Take it all with a grain of salt, folks.

Sunday Morning Chat

revengeWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog! I hope everybody’s weekend is going well – I’m getting my supplies together for next weekend’s Free Comic Book Day event. I’ll be at Avalon Comics in Macon, Georgia, selling and signing copies of my work. Artist Craig Hamilton will be there as well and I’m looking forward to meeting him. Craig worked on Aquaman (1986), Green Lantern (1990), Starman (1994) and The Spectre (2001), among many other things. Should be fun! If you’re in the middle Georgia area, please consider stopping by and saying hello.

Work continues on the fifth volume of Lazarus Gray. The fourth volume has been sent to George Sellas, who will read over it and come up with ideas for the cover & interior images. As you may have noticed, Reese Unlimited is the only imprint at Pro Se Press still doing the interior art thing. Airship 27 still does it on their titles, as well, but otherwise most folks in New Pulp land seem to be moving away from it. I still like it, though – the classic pulps of the 1930s featured interior pieces and I think it adds something to the package. I have, however, heard from folks who think that interior art (along with “comic book style” covers) keep the books from reaching a wider audience. If I were writing stories set in the modern day,  I might agree with that more — but would a huge audience buy Die Glocke if it had a different cover and no interior art? I don’t know about that. What do you guys think?

Spent most of this week reading non-pulp stuff but I’m going to dive back into a classic Shadow novel this weekend. Not sure which one yet. As always, I’ll share my opinions of it on The Shadow Fan’s Podcast.

I really miss the New Pulp Bestseller List. I did it for well over a year, every Monday here at the blog, before turning it over to All Pulp. Then All Pulp ground to a halt shortly thereafter. They’re still alive and supposedly about to do a big reboot with new owners but I haven’t heard about them continuing the list. Even when it was at All Pulp, I felt the focus was becoming less focused. There were things on the list that required a really broad definition of pulp and there were weeks you could have renamed the entire thing The Sherlock Holmes Bestseller List. Then I heard that the White Rocket Podcast was going to be doing a list but I haven’t heard anything about that since. All of that is a long way of me saying that I’ve considered reviving it here… but the big thing is that it was a lot of work to do it. I originally set out to focus on the ‘core’ New Pulp publishers (Pro Se, Wild Cat, Airship 27, etc.) and I’d probably do it that way again, which wouldn’t sit well with those who think we need to broaden the net, so to speak. I think if you broaden it too much, you lose sight of the core group to begin with. Ah, well. It’s likely I won’t do anything about it — I did my time. It’s someone else’s moment now… but it sure seems weird not to have a list out there anymore.

Hope you all have a nice and relaxing weekend (or what’s left of it!).

Busy on Multiple Fronts!

gravedigger_cover_low_res_cropped_with_copyWelcome back to Ye Olde Blog!

I’m going through the edits I received from Pro Se on The Rook Volume Two – Special Edition. Hopefully it’ll be complete and in the hands of graphic designer Sean Ali soon… I’ve heard from multiple people that they’re really waiting for the eBooks for Volumes 3-6, since those have been never been available. All I can say is that you have to be patient. I have to be patient, too. I don’t like having my books out of print or unavailable any more than you do. But Pro Se has a schedule to keep and artist George Sellas doesn’t work on my stuff 24/7 (though I keep him plenty busy! lol).  Everything will come in due time, I promise.

What should be out very soon is Gravedigger… I understand that Sean is working on that book right now! That usually means we’ll see it for sale within a few weeks. I can’t wait for you guys to meet Charity Grace, aka Gravedigger. I really, really think you’ll enjoy this book… and with that gorgeous Sellas cover and some wonderful Will Meugniot interiors, it’s gonna be one fine looking tome!

In other Gravedigger news, artist Jen Broomall will be doing a Gravedigger image for me soon. Not sure if it will be a print or a cover (or both) but I’m sure it’ll be beautiful. I’ve really liked Jen’s work in the past and can’t wait to see her take on this character.

Started work on my Weird West story that will be published by Mechanoid Press. My heroine is a cool character and I’m enjoying the story so far. Hopefully that will translate into some fun for the readers, as well. Since this will be my first work for Mechanoid, I’ll try to make it a special one.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s episode of The Shadow Fan, which should be action-packed. Hopefully we’ll have another segment of Calling Burbank, then I’ll be covering some Dynamite comics news and reviewing Masks # 4 and “Foxhound,” an old Theodore Tinsley Shadow novel. Should be tons of fun so be on the lookout for it.

New Pulp Farewells

fiction_writerWow.

So this morning, I get up and check my email — where I immediately see a letter from Tommy Hancock, announcing his resignation from All Pulp. Now, I’ll be honest — I’m amazed that Tommy put this off as long as he did. He’s an incredibly busy guy and All Pulp is one of the many things that he’s done that benefits the New Pulp community a lot more than it benefits him and his own company. It’s a lot of thankless work. Still — seeing him announce that he’s leaving makes me immediately think that All Pulp in general is probably going away. Oh, sure, someone will step up most likely… but my experience tells me that someone who inherits something rarely has the same level of commitment as the person who founded it. I hope I’m wrong. If I had more time, I might step up myself… but I know better!

Thanks for all the work you’ve done on the site, Tommy!

Then I head over to Facebook and see a posting from Ronna Hanna that Wild Cat Books is shutting its doors in a few days. WCB has been publishing pulp stuff since 1997 and was instrumental in kicking off the whole New Pulp craze. More personally, Ron Hanna accepted my story submissions and gave The Rook a home for five volumes, plus all the other stuff I did there (Rabbit Heart, The Damned Thing, Ki-Gor, etc.). WCB had been growing more and more quiet in recent years and I’d pulled most of my own titles so they could be repackaged elsewhere… but I’m still damned sad to see WCB gone for good. They say they’ll continue publishing limited edition works and I hope so – but given heir recent output, I wonder if that’s more wishful thinking than anything else. I hope Ron (and, by extension, WCB) the very best, though — without them, my own writing career would be quite different… and the New Pulp movement might never have gotten off its feet. From WCB eventually came Airship 27, which inspired still more companies and publishers. Ron Hanna has contributed a lot to the pulp field and I hope he’s recognized for his contributions.

On a more positive note, I finished going over the Gravedigger edits I got from Pro Se and sent those back in. We’re steadily moving closer to its release date. I’m currently putting the final touches on the Lazarus Gray Volume Four manuscript, as well. It’s been a fun ride but I’m very close to typing THE END on this storyline, which has spanned books 2-4. I’m happy and sad at the same time, as I always am when I finish a major project.

Head over to All Pulp or the Wild Cat Books facebook group and commend Tommy & Ron for all their hard work, why don’t you? I plan to!