It’s the Nature of Things

hands.jpgSo I sent off the thirteenth volume of the Lazarus Gray series to Pro Se head honcho Tommy Hancock today. It’s an exciting story with mummies, crazed sanitarium workers, a dangerous chemical weapon, a guy who has a pumpkin for a head and a whole lot more. Hopefully folks will enjoy it and will get a kick out of the additions to the team, the return of an old favorite, and the debut of a public domain superhero to the universe.

That last bit – the tease about the public domain hero – might lead into a future project. I’d kind of like to write about this character in a slightly different way… a long time ago, I wrote comic-book based fanfiction. I’d post chapters of the stories (labeled as “issues”) and it would be an ongoing work. I’m thinking about doing something similar with this character – maybe even just posting the “issues” for free here on the blog. After enough had been posted, I could accumulate enough for a “trade” and release a print version for folks that wanted to keep them in that fashion. One thing that I’ve gotten kind of burned out on is the long publishing lead that we have… keep in mind that the most recent Lazarus novel was volume 7 and that was nearly four years ago. Since then I’ve written six more volumes! So by posting the serial here on the blog, I’d be able to receive immediate feedback, which would be a nice change of pace.

I’m also thinking about taking my Skip Timeline characters and doing something with them.

For a few days, though, I’m taking a break. I’ve written pretty non-stop for years, taking only a day or two between projects. I’ve earned a vacation!

Johnny Dollar brings home an award!

j_dollarYours Truly, Johnny Dollar has been voted Best Anthology of the Year in the Pulp Factory Awards. I contributed “The Swamp Manor Matter” to this collection, which featured brand-new stories starring the classic old-time radio character of Johnny Dollar. Moonstone published the book, which also featured stories by Gary Phillips, Bobby Nash,  Ron Fortier, Eric Fein, Joe Gentile, and Joshua M. Reynolds. The book won best cover as well, so congratulations to Douglas Klauba! I’d also like to extend congratulations to Tommy Hancock, who edited the entire package.

I’m pretty proud of my story and if you’re looking for some good, old-fashioned detective-work, you could do a lot worse than picking up a copy of this book. Thanks to all who voted.

Progress!

keanuHappy New Year, folks!

Last week I had the opportunity to talk to my longtime collaborator George Sellas on the phone – and, believe it or not, this was the first we had ever spoken to one another. We had always carried out our work via email so it was nice to put a voice to the name.

Work continues on Lazarus Gray Volume 12 – I expect to wrap this one up by the end of the month if my schedule and muse are both willing. I was told by Tommy Hancock at Pro Se that they are hoping to release a new Reese Unlimited every three months this year so hopefully that backlog of books they have from me will get released soon.

Watched all three seasons of Penny Dreadful. Loved seasons 1 & 2 but the third was a mixture of good stuff and “Meh”. I wish that Vanessa had been given a stronger arc. So many times she was the victim or the prey for some villain and I liked the few times she was allowed to be powerful. Still, I highly recommend it. Also recommended is season two of “You” – this season was even better than the first! Both Penny Dreadful and You can be found on Netflix. Currently I’m watching The Good Place and enjoying it.

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.

Legends Fiasco

So in a post that was in the New Pulp Facebook group (sadly, it seems to have been deleted…), we were all informed that proceeds from the Legends of New Pulp book were no longer going to be given to New Pulp writer and publisher Tommy Hancock’s medical bills but were instead going to be given to Airship 27’s Pulp Factory Awards to help all the members of that group not have to pony up so much every year.

I, and others, donated our work and proceeds to help out a fellow writer in need not to help fund a set of awards whose legitimacy I’ve questioned in the past. This seems like quite a bait-and-switch… I never would have contributed if I’d known I was donating to the ‘charity’ that is Airship 27’s awards. We have guys in the community like Jaime Ramos going through rough times and the money could go to him if Tommy no longer needs it… or maybe a fund could be set up to let New Pulp authors draw on the funds as needed whenever these terrible situations come up… but instead this is supposedly going to “benefit” all of the New Pulp community. No… it’s not. And even if you quizzed a handful of folks at Windy City and they all said it was fine and dandy with them, doesn’t mean it’s okay to unilaterally tell sixty writers and thirty-six artists that the cause they donated to is no longer the cause being funded. Right there on Amazon it says “…And all of it generated as a benefit project to aid and support writer/editor Tommy Hancock.”

For having questioned this decision, I was told that I was the only dissenting voice and that they couldn’t please everyone. Then all my comments were deleted.

As I said in the thread, I would like my story and name removed from the contents of this book. I have donated to the Airship 27 awards in the past – WHEN I WAS ASKED TO – but this particular book was not supposed to pay for awards, it was to help a fellow writer in need.

I don’t mind being the only dissenting voice when it comes to this – but, to be honest with you, I don’t think I’m the only one feeling this way. I’m just the only one that’s said anything so far.

UPDATE # 1: I have been informed by Ron Fortier that my story will be removed from the Legends book, as per my request.

UPDATE # 2: Ron Forter posted the following on Facebook about four hours after I posted this blog entry – RADIO ARCHIVES TO SPONSOR PULP FACTORY AWARDS. Recently Ron Fortier, moderator of the Pulp Factory Group, suggested that in the future, proceeds from the benefit anthology, LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION, go to supporting the cost of the Pulp Factory Awards. Sadly, several contributors of the volume were not in agreement with that decision, wanting the tome to remain solely for benefit purposes. After some deliberation, Tom Brown, Manager of Radio Archives, which is in the process of recording LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION, magnanimously stepped up to solve the issue. As of now, Radio Archives will sponsor the Pulp Factory Awards. As for the anthology, Editor Ron Fortier, is open to suggestions from all contributors as to where they would like to see the proceeds go.

More on the AC Comics’ Prose Line

nightveilwatercolour3Pro Se head honcho Tommy Hancock was interviewed by First Comics News and he had lots to say about the upcoming prose line featuring characters from AC Comics. I’ll be writing a Nightveil digest novel for the line and I hope to contribute in other ways, as well. For the full story, go here.

I’m a longtime fan of AC and their characters so I’m deeply honored to be a part of this. Bobby Nash will also be writing a Nightveil book and Gary Phillips will be helming a Darkshade book so I’m in very good company!

Our art today is by Mike McKone – he does a lovely Nightveil, doesn’t he?

The Peregrine Omnibus Volume Three!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – POPULAR NEW PULP CHARACTER SOARS ONCE MORE!

THE PEREGRINE OMNIBUS VOLUME THREE NOW AVAILABLE

Award Winning Author Barry Reese created a character that many consider the penultimate of New Pulp creations- Max Davies, now known as The Peregrine. Pro Se Productions and Reese Unlimited, the author’s own imprint, are proud to announce that The Peregrine’s original adventures are now all back in print with the debut of THE PEREGRINE OMNIBUS VOLUME THREE in print and digital formats.

“Finally,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “the entire collection of PEREGRINE stories is back in print and in a three volume omnibus set. These tales are a cornerstone of New Pulp and now readers old and new can enjoy the thrills, twists, and explosive characters that Barry has created in newly edited volumes. Barry has definitely planted his own indelible mark on Genre Fiction with The Peregrine.”

“Where the Good is Swallowed by the Dark… There the PEREGRINE Shall Plant His Mark!” New Voices guide the Peregrine through dark dreams and savage foes! Max Davies has pursued an ongoing mission of justice and vengeance guided by dark dreams and violent visions that compel him to don the mask of THE PEREGRINE. The creation of award winning Genre Fiction author Barry Reese, the amazing adventures of the Peregrine have been devoured by a loyal audience who await Max’s next adventure in the ever expanding REESE UNLIMITED universe. 

THE PEREGRINE OMNIBUS VOLUME THREE brings together an all star line up of New Pulp’s finest who lend their distinct voices to the narrative of Reese’s signature hero. Fly into action with Reese, Bobby Nash, Ron Fortier, Mike Bullock, Tommy Hancock, Percival Constantine, Russ Anderson, David White, Sean Taylor, Adam Lance Garcia, and James Palmer in THE PEREGRINE OMNIBUS VOLUME THREE!

Featuring an awe inspiring cover by legendary artist Norm Breyfogle and cover design and print formatting by Sean E. Ali, THE PEREGRINE OMNIBUS VOLUME THRE is available now at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Peregrine-Omnibus-Three-Barry-Reese/dp/1537773623/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474471045&sr=8-1&keywords=peregrine+omnibus+three and Pro Se’s own store at http://www.prose-press.com for 30.00.  

This final volume of the PEREGRINE omnibus series is also available as an Ebook, designed and formatted by Forrest Dylan Bryant for only $4.99 for the Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/Peregrine-Omnibus-3-Reese-Barry-ebook/dp/B01LYVR6CR/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1474471045&sr=8-2&keywords=peregrine+omnibus+three and for most digital formats via Smashwords at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/666956.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies to review this book, contact Pro Se Productions’ Director of Corporate Operations, Kristi King-Morgan at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to http://www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

2016 Pulp Ark New Pulp Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-
NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN FOR 2016 PULP ARK NEW PULP AWARDS!

pulparkPulp Ark, a convention focusing on New Pulp Fiction and Culture, was held from 2011 to 2013. In 2015, Pulp Ark returned as a major component of the River City Comic Expo in Little Rock, AR. A primary part of Pulp Ark for its first three years were The Pulp Ark Awards, fan voted awards for Genre Fiction defined as New Pulp.
According to Tommy Hancock, founder and coordinator of Pulp Ark and the Awards, The Pulp Ark New Pulp Awards are continuing in 2016 and will be awarded at the River City Comic Expo June 11-12, 2016 in Little Rock, AR.

“It feels right,” says Hancock, “to return the Awards to their association with Pulp Ark, especially with the successful return of the convention in a slightly new form in 2015. We’ve reviewed the slate of awards given in the past and have reduced the number for a variety of reasons, and although we may add removed awards back or even new categories at a later date, we feel like the awards offered are comprehensive for the state of New Pulp today. Pulp Ark was conceived to bring the best and brightest creators to the public’s attention and the Awards proved then and will again prove to be one of the best possible ways to do just that.”

Nominations for the 2016 Pulp Ark New Pulp Awards are now open and will close at 5 PM CST on February 1, 2016. Anyone can nominate in any of the available categories for work that was published in 2015, either in print, ebook form, or in an established internet venue, such as an e-magazine. Postings on personal blogs do not qualify.

All nominations that are made that fit the qualifications of New Pulp will be placed on the final ballot, regardless of the number of nominations any one work or individual receives. NO CREATOR MAY NOMINATE HIM/HERSELF OR HIS/HER WORK FOR A PULP ARK NEW PULP AWARD. Publishers may, however, nominate works from their own publishing houses as long as the Publisher is not a writer or artist involved in the nominated work. This is also a change from previous years.

To determine if a work or creator qualifies for these awards the definition for works that qualify is as follows-New Pulp is fast-paced, plot-oriented storytelling of a linear nature with clearly defined, larger than life protagonists and antagonists, creative descriptions, clever use of turns of phrase and other aspects of writing that add to the intensity and pacing of the story.

Hancock also states, “Every year we held the awards, we received nominations that, due to the subjective way that New Pulp is defined, might be questionable in terms of qualifying as New Pulp. As we have done in the past with the Awards, there will be a selected committee of 4-5 New Pulp creators who will, when such questions arise, be consulted to determine inclusion of said work as a nomination.”

The only works eligible for the 2016 New Pulp Awards are those produced between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015. Anyone can make a nomination and anyone that makes a nomination will receive a ballot on February 2nd and voting will be open until 5 PM CST on February 17, 2016. Also, ballots will be posted on the Pulp Ark New Pulp Awards 2016 Facebook page and available for anyone who wishes to cut and paste and email the ballot to PulpArkNewPulpAwards2016@yahoo.com. Each ballot must contain a link to a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an email profile, or some other verifiable source by which the identity of the voter can be affirmed.

In the past, the Pulp Ark Awards were physical plaques presented to each winner. The final form of the 2016 Awards has not be determined at this point, but a physical award of some sort will be given to each winner.

The Categories open for Nomination until 5 PM CST February 1, 2016, are as follows.

Only One Nomination allowed per person per category in-

1. Best Novel (This includes E-books as well as print books and length must be 40,000 + words)

2. Best Collection/Anthology (This includes single author story collections and multi- author anthologies. This includes E-publications as well as print books)

3. Best short story (this includes stories that appear in short story collections, anthologies, magazines, and e magazines. If from an e-mag, the story must appear on a site identified as an e-magazine, not simply be posted on a site or blog. It includes e-publications as well as traditionally printed works. Length must be 17,500 words or less.)

4. Best Novella (this includes stories that appear in short story collections, anthologies, magazines, and e magazines. If from an e-mag, the story must appear on a site identified as an e-magazine, not simply be posted on a site or blog. It includes e-publications as well as traditionally printed works. Length must be 17,500- 40,000 words)

5. Best Cover-(This is restricted to prose book publications, including e-books)

6. Best Artist (This reward refers to the artist only and any artist with work published in New Pulp works, including novels, short stories, magazines, e-publications, and covers or interiors as well, in 2015 is eligible).

7. Best Author (This reward refers to the author and any author with work published in 2015 is eligible, including novels, short stories, etc. This includes e-publications as well).

8. Best New Writer (To be nominated, a writer must have been published for the first time in the pulp field in the calendar year of 2015. This includes e-publications as well).

Send all nominations or any questions to pulparknewpulpawards2016@yahoo.com.

Legends of New Pulp Fiction is here!

Air-120Below is the official press release for the Legends of New Pulp Fiction book. I contributed a western story to the collection and was honored to do so. Tommy Hancock has a been a friend, mentor and business partner for many years – and hopefully for many more to come.

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS
Proudly Presents
LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION

Earlier in the year we learned that New Pulp writer/editor/publisher Tommy Hancock was suffering from congestive heart-failure. A relatively young family man, this was a dangerous condition that threatened not only Tommy but his entire family. Almost immediately after this news was made public, several members of the New Pulp community began putting their heads together to see if anything could be done to help the Hancocks.

“Jaime Ramos proposed the idea of doing a benefit anthology,” says Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor, Ron Fortier. “It was such a great idea, I realized it needed to get done and we began planning such a project.” The first thing Fortier did was bring aboard his partner in Airship 27, Art Director Rob Davis. “There was no way this was going to fly without Rob handling the book’s overall artwork and design.” Fortier then went to Hancock and informed him of their plans. With Hancock’s blessings, he then posted an ad on Facebook explaining the project and seeking submissions from both writers and artists. “It was always our intention to do this as a traditional pulp tome and thus artwork would be a major element in the final product.”

Much to Fortier’s surprise, and delight, the first creator to volunteer his assistance was Douglas Klauba, one of the finest artists in the field. Klauba volunteered to paint the anthology’s cover once the book was assembled. “Honestly,” Fortier confesses, “I was in shock. Doug is an amazing artist and his offering to do the cover was very much an omen that we were about to put together something truly unique.”

Within 48 hours after posting his recruiting ad, Fortier had received 57 commitments by New Pulp writers while 36 artists in the field signed on to do the illustrations. Amongst these creators were some of the most popular New Pulp writers and artists in the field. In fact, getting so many promised stories in just two days, Fortier begrudgingly realized he and his associates were being handed a giant book and he publicly closed the admission call. “It was crazy,” he recalls. “Fifty-seven stories in just two days! Of course there were naysayers who warned me we’d never get all of them. They were right, we got 62 instead.”

And so the project began with Fortier reading each entry and then assigning it to an artist to illustrate. Each tale features one black and white illustration. Ramos acted as his assistant editor proofing teach story after Fortier with them. Then, months into the project, Ramos, who suffers from diabetes, found his own health in jeopardy and after having handled half the stories, was forced to sideline himself. What looked to be a major set-back was averted with writer/editor Todd Jones, a protégé of Fortier’s, volunteered to take on the task of finishing the proofing.

And so, after months of ups and downs. Airship 27 Productions is extremely proudly to present LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION. A giant treasure chest of some of the finest New Pulp fiction ever produced in an 830 page collection. Representing the varied genres of pulp tradition, this volume features tales of horror, mystery, horror, suspense, pirates, fantasy, private eyes, crime-busting avengers and westerns to name a few.
“Rob and I kidded during the long months of production that we had everything pulp save for a romance story,” quips Fortier. “Then in the final days of story submissions, we were sent a romance. No lie!”

LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION is now available at Amazon.com in both hard copy and on Kindle. All profits earned by this amazing book are going to Tommy Hancock and his family. Sure to become a valued collector’s item, LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION is a one of a kind title pulp fans young and old, will cherish in years to come.

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCITONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!

Available now from Amazon and on Kindle.

(http://www.amazon.com/Legends-New-Pulp-Fiction-Fortier/dp/0692601139/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1450805945&sr=1-2&keywords=LEGENDS+OF+NEW+PULP+FICTION)