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Friday Thoughts

Soared past the 36,000 word mark on Gravedigger last night. Things are progressing nicely and I’m still hopeful to have this one put to bed by the end of the month. One thing that I’ve found interesting is that I’ve been building a team of agents and allies for her but it’s a totally different situation from what we have in Lazarus Gray with Assistance Unlimited. In the Gray series, those guys are his partners and are really costars. In Gravedigger, it’s more like The Shadow and his agents — she’s directing them and they take part in the adventures, but there’s no doubt who the star character is.

Heard from Tommy Hancock that the first of his three Rook novels is going to be pushed back into March 2013. This means that the next Reese Unlimited release will be either The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 3: Eidolon or The Rook Volume Two – Special Edition. Either way, you shouldn’t have to wait long to get your next dose of heroic fiction.

I’ve heard from a few writers with regards to their Tales of The Rook stories so work is progressing on those. I’m expecting volume two to match the high quality of the first!

Will Meugniot is about to begin sketching the interiors for Gravedigger — can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

The fourth episode of The Shadow Fan will be posted soon — I think it’s the best episode yet, so stay tuned.


Hump Day Happenings

Coasted over the 23,000 mark on Gravedigger yesterday. The book itself is split into three acts (Book I, II and III), which all fit together as one novel-length adventure. There’s a bit of time-jumping involved, as I alternate between Charity’s “modern-day” (1937) and some Sovereign events that occur in the 1700s. I think folks will really like this story — it not only ties together all kinds of Lazarus Gray & Rook stuff, but it’s also going to delve into some of the origins of Sovereign City. Tommy Hancock is providing me with some tasty morsels of the town’s “secret history” that will be laid out in this.

Will Meugniot has been reading the story and says he’s very excited about the concept and raring at the bit to get started on the interior pieces. George Sellas, who designed Gravedigger’s look, will be doing the cover for the book. I’m hoping for first quarter 2013 but it might be pushed all the way to the summer since Pro Se is aiming to get The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 3: Eidiolon out first.

Speaking of George Sellas, he and I have been talking about a fun piece that would double as both a marketing/promotional piece and the cover to a special project that I’m planning for down the line. It would really reinforce the idea that my Reese Unlimited stuff is one big universe/multiverse (even the portions of it like Rabbit Heart, which are normally set apart from the rest).  Look forward to more details on that soon.

Oh, and you should stay tuned for some big news to come later today….

From the Vault: New Pulp Mash-Ups

I’m currently reading The Golden Vulture, a Shadow novel originally written by Lester Dent and later modified by Walter Gibson. The notion of a Dent/Gibson collaboration is enticing, isn’t it? Couple that with news that Josh Reynolds and Derrick Ferguson have co-written something called The Vril Agenda and you have the wheels turning in my head. I’ve never done much in the way of co-writing, mainly because I’m A) Too much of a control freak and B) I tend to write a lot faster than my collaborators. But it is a notion that’s crossed my mind a few times.

It led me to think about switching up characters, too — inspired by having Doc Savage’s primary author borrowing Walter Gibson’s Shadow. So I figured it would be fun to take some New Pulp authors and “assign” them to other people’s characters. So here’s what I came up with:

1. Chuck Miller’s The Black Centipede by Derrick Ferguson. Derrick writes great action stories but the Centipede would be something different for him, focusing as it does on Lovecraftian horror and real-world mysteries. I think it would make for an interesting read.
2. Tommy Hancock’s YesterYear by Jim Beard. Jim has quickly made a New Pulp name for himself and I think he’d have the perfect sensibilities to write stories in Tommy’s superhero universe.
3. Ron Fortier’s Captain Hazzard by Lee Houston, Jr. This Doc Savage pastiche is a fun character who straddles the line between pulp and comic sensibilities — and Lee has shown with both Hugh Monn and Project Alpha that he’s capable of mixing both of those into a frothy mix.
4. Joel Jenkins’ Dire Planet by P.J. Lozito. The Dire Planet series is a John Carter-style planetary romance… while PJ Lozitio’s pulp debut was the smash hit Sting of the Silver Manticore, which mixed elements of The Shadow with a few other pulp heroes. I’m really curious to see how P.J.” s style would translate into what’s almost another genre entirely.
5. Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon by Nancy Hansen. Nancy is probably the # 1 pulp fantasy author right now — so seeing her handle a he-man pulp hero like Dillon would be a hoot.
6. Lee Houston’s Hugh Monn by Andrew Salmon. Andrew is a writer of varied genres but he’s done quite a few Sherlock Holmes’ tales. I’d like to see him take a crack at a hardboiled alien P.I. like Hugh Monn and see if his ability to craft solid mysteries would function in a wildly different setting.
7. Jim Beard’s Sgt. Janus by Percival Constantine. Again, this would be about seeing how an author would do with a character unlike the ones he’s known for. Percival writes wonderful modern day pulp heroes that are infused with a 21st century mentality. Could he take on a Victorian ghost buster and handle it well? I think he could — and it would be fascinating to see!
8. My own Lazarus Gray by Adam Garcia. I’m very protective of Lazarus and crew but I think Adam could take Assistance Unlimited for a great spin. He’s shown us with the Green Lama and other stories that he’s an awesome writer so I’d love to see what he could do.

You guys have any dream mash-ups?

By the way, our art today comes from the incomparable George Sellas and features a villain from The Rook Volume Two.

Tuesday Tidings

Lots of stuff to talk about today!

First off, I was very gratified to see the second Lazarus Gray book shoot up to # 2 on the Best Sellers list this week — thanks to everyone who has supported the series!

I heard back from the lawyer who represents the “big” license I’ve been trying to snag. We’ve been chatting back and forth for a few months now… and they still haven’t said “no” but they did say that they weren’t prepared to decide one way or the other on my proposal at present. I think that’s probably a polite brush off but since they still haven’t come out and said so, I’m hoping for better news to come. If it does completely fall through, I’ll let you guys know what it was and what my pitch for the property consisted of.

Picked up “The City Destroyer” by Norvell Page to give The Spider another shot. I’m enjoying it and there are definitely aspects to Page’s style that I like but I’m still not prepared to say that I was wrong in my earlier summation of The Spider. I’m going to give it a try and at least one more Spider, though.

Looking forward to this Saturday’s web event — check out my blog yesterday for all the details. Be sure to hit the RSVP link and make plans to attend. I’ll be on at least two panels — one focusing solely on my Reese Unlimited imprint and the other talking about Sovereign City with my buddies Tommy Hancock and Derrick Ferguson.

Been focusing on the fourth volume of Lazarus Gray the past week or so — I’m still hoping to finish this one off fairly soon.

Our art today is by Storn Cook!