Tag: Rabbit Heart

The (fictional) women of my life

Rachel-Weisz-rachel-weisz-120258_800_1101I’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.

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RABBIT HEART goes under the knife!

rabbit_heart_newRay Bara posted a review of RABBIT HEART on Amazon.com and he gave it a solid 5 star rating! Here’s his full review:

A Different Type of Barry Reese Book But a Great Barry Reese Book Nonetheless!

I have read all of Barry Reese’s New Pulp series, including the Peregrine (who will always be the Rook in my heart), Lazarus Gray, and the Gravedigger. I finally got around to Rabbit Heart and I wish I had read it years ago. While it varied greatly from Reese’s series work, it still had his excellent writing and his New Pulp sensibilities. I enjoyed the change of pace. Rabbit Heart is more violent and sexy than Reese’s series, which he wrote well. I enjoyed the character of Fiona Chapman, an undead killer with a conscience. I liked his use of Ascott Keane, the apparently ageless occult investigator from the days of Pulp. I also liked Reese’s use of his hometown of Milledgeville and the local lore he included in the story. Rabbit Heart was action-packed, full of sex and violence, and loaded with great characters and plotting. That is, Rabbit Heart is everything one would want from a New Pulp book. Reese, as usual, hit the mark with another excellent story. Read it, read it, read it!

Thanks, Ray! Rabbit Heart was always meant to be a departure from my standard fare and I’m glad that people have seemed to enjoy it. I’ve had many readers say it’s actually their favorite work of mine!

I appreciate you taking the time to review it.

The (Fictional) Women In My Life

Rachel-Weisz-rachel-weisz-120258_800_1101I’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.

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Two New Reviews

rabbit_heart_newFuntony47 has returned, posting two different reviews on Amazon.com. This time around, he took a look at Nightveil: The Quiet Girls and Rabbit Heart. Let’s see what he had to say about Nightveil first:

Can’t wait for the next adventure! 5 stars

Once again Barry Reese gives us a great character whom we can love. An intricate plot that does not lose you in the twists and a story you want more of. Not a part of his Lazarus Gray universe yet I for one would love to get more from this new one. Eagerly awaiting new entries in this universe where it seems the superheroes are actually superheroines! Awesome story about the possible end of the world by a demonic entity seeking, even more, power through an ancient artifact. No spoilers in here must read to find out the details! And very definitely a MUST READ so sit back and enjoy!

Thanks, Tony! I had a blast writing this book – if you haven’t sampled Femforce or the other titles from AC Comics, I definitely recommend looking into it. They’re fun, old-fashioned superhero books with an emphasis on visually appealing female heroes. I was honored to write Nightveil, she’s a wonderful character.

Now, on to his review of Rabbit Heart:

Barry Reese unleashes his dark side! 5 stars
The surprises never seem to end in this book. This is NOT your normal Barry Reese adventure yet it is still an incredible tale. Seems like Barry has a dark side he has been hiding or maybe it has been caged and unable to have free reign. Either way, we get much more violence and gore. Still very well crafted with memorable characters including one known to those who have read The Peregrine books. Honestly a book I would love to see much more of from him!

Thanks again, Tony! Rabbit Heart was definitely a different style for me but it was intended to be that so I guess it worked quite well. I wanted to go all out in terms of sex and violence — and it seems to have really clicked with some readers. I always say I might return to Fiona Chapman’s story someday… who knows?

How Far Is Too Far?

I keep most of my New Pulp writing in the PG-13 range but I’ve been known to cross “the line” on occasion… some of you may remember when Sun Koh mutilated a rapist in an old Peregrine story, for instance. And my novel Rabbit Heart is basically a study in excess! Whenever I thought that I might be pushing the envelope too far in that book, I went ahead and tore it open.

But when is it *really* too far?

I’ve kept hardcore sex and violence out of Lazarus Gray, for instance, but there’s an element of subjectivity there, as with all artistic endeavors. When I wrote The Damned Thing, there was a scene early on that involved oral sex. To be honest, I’d forgotten about it by the time it saw print — it was just a brief character moment and believe it or not, not every scene sticks in the mind of the person who wrote it (I write a lot of scenes…). So when it came out, I had a reader who went on and on about that scene and how much it disturbed them. I didn’t even remember what they were talking about! See, for them, that was shocking and extremely memorable. For me, it was no big deal. So you never know how folks will respond.

But there are times when even I know that I might be going into territory that would be best left undisturbed. I’ve mentioned before that I started writing a sequel to Rabbit Heart — it was going to be titled Starstruck. In fact, I wrote about 12,000 words on it, meaning it’s about 20% complete. But even as I was writing the opening scenes of Starstruck, I knew that this probably couldn’t see print. Despite how far I’d gone with Rabbit Heart, I went a lot further into the disturbing territory with just the first 12,000 words on Starstruck. There is at least one scene in there that I think would be hard for people to get out of their heads when they thought of me… and I’m not quite sure I want to go there.

Nobody’s read Starstruck – not even people who’ve really begged & pleaded! I’ve thought about finishing it but it’s so dark and if I didn’t publish it, what would be the point? I’ve considered completing it and then sticking it in a box with a note to say that it could be published after I was dead & gone but then I’d miss the perverse pleasure of seeing people freak out!

On the other hand, I don’t want to tone the story down, either. If I’m going to write disgusting smut then by God, I’m going to write disgusting smut!

Anyway, I think that I’ll continue staying on the PG-13 path for most of my New Pulp work – I often try to craft stories that will appeal to adolescent boys the way that classic pulp did me when I was that age. A little titillation is fine but I try not to veer too far into adult territory. Of course, sometimes the characters demand their course of action (like Sun Koh did in that Peregrine story) and often what I consider PG-13 isn’t what someone else would. In fact, I had one lady tell me she’d never let her 15 year old son read my books because they contained too many “demonic” elements.

In the end, the work puts whatever restrictions on itself that feel appropriate. When I’m writing The Peregrine, there’s a certain feeling to the world that lets me know the basic parameters, even if I sometimes bump against the guard rails.