Sunday, June 26, 2011

Catching Up

Now that Norma’s recovery is on track (or actually ahead of schedule, according to my totally non-professional observations) I’m starting to catch up on stuff. It’s slow progress, to be sure, but progress nonetheless.

I’m back to working on Dead Earth 3. In fact, Dave and I have just worked out the novel’s finale. We’ll see how much of the plan survives to final draft. I love plotting out these books, just as much as I love seeing how much we deviate from the plan.

I am also going over what I hope will be the final edits on the first book in The Dead Sheriff series. I really want this one to come out soon.

Looking at the World With Broken Glass in My Eye is here. I got my copies this week. I’ll post a pic when I have more time. The book looks great. I’m planning a couple of promotions to give away copies of the collection. Keep watching this space.

We’ve been watching the last season of Burn Notice. I have several episodes on the DVR, along with the Sam Axe movie. It’s one of my favorite shows. Even if Fiona rarely wears a bra.

That’s a joke, son.

I’m still working on the next Pod of Horror. Events of the past few weeks have put the show on hold. I’m hoping to have a new episode ready by mid-July, depending on how things go.

We also watched Crazy Heart last night, with Jeff Bridges as a down and out country singer. He was phenomenal in the role. The rest of the flick was equally well-cast. Highly recommended.

I also have been cooking a bit, under Norma’s guidance. It reminds me of the idea I had to combine two popular genres into a cooking/ghost-hunting TV show.

It would take place in the kitchen of a different house each week. Norma would make a fabulous recipe, while I would wander around behind her with my cool ghost hunting electronics and things like “Did you hear that?” and “If you’re here, send us a sign” and “I hope that shows up on the tape” and “The temperature just dropped 30 degrees. Can you feel that?”

This has “hit” written all over it. Interested networks can contact me here. Have your checkbook ready.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pulp Fever

It’s a recurring disease that hits me every summer. Suddenly, the thought of reading “legitimate” fiction is repulsive. I need grotesque and heinous villains, larger than life heroes, mayhem and hot lead.

I have no choice. I have to read pulp fiction.

Over the next couple of months I’ll read a few escapades of Doc Savage, several Spider thrillers, a couple of Phantom Detectives, A G-8 WWI adventure, maybe an Avenger or a Secret Agent X or Captain Future, supplemented with a couple of Candid Camera Kid tales and a Suicide Squad adventure.

When summer rolls around pulp becomes my crack.

I also have to write pulp fiction.

Yes, I love reading and writing horror, but the 12-year-old that still lives inside me occasionally must have his way. And he wants more pulp from my keyboard.

I hope to write a big chunk of Donovan Pike and The City of the Gods in the next few weeks.

I also have two other big pulp projects in the work, one set in the anything-can-happen blood and thunder 1930s and the other in World War 2.

I’m not sure yet where they’ll show up. Perhaps over at Pulp Nocturne, or maybe I’ll self-publish. Take it from me, nobody is getting rich from pulp fiction. At least not the writers. You write it because you have to.

By the way, new pulp fiction is becoming quite the cottage industry. There’s some good stuff being published by the next generation of pulp writers. At the same time, some of the stuff is simply awful. But that’s the way of most things.

(Quick aside: the fandom that has sprung up over the new pulp fiction is a little schizophrenic. On one hand it’s great to see a lot of enthusiasm over something I’ve loved since I was 9 years old. At the same time, the territorial fiefdom of fandom can be a little confusing. A few years ago I was invited to join a blog for pulp writers. This was about the time that a publisher (not associated with the members of the blog) was beginning a series of pulp facsimile reprints of Doc Savage and Shadow novels. I made a post about the topic on said blog, only to see the post deleted because I had violated the unstated rule of talking about a pulp project that wasn’t originated by a blog member. Later, I was asked to leave the blog because I wasn’t posting enough.

The other day I dropped in on the blog and discovered a post heralding the new series of original Doc Savage novels.

The unstated rules have apparently been rewritten.)

Anyway, the pulp fever rages and Tylenol can’t touch it. Time to dig through the boxes of moldering paper. There’s a dirigible and a tommy gun waiting for me.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Joke of the Week

A man staggers into an emergency room with two black eyes and a golf club wrapped tightly around his throat. Naturally the doctor asks him what happened.

"Well, it was like this," said the man. "I was having a quiet round of golf with my wife when she sliced her ball into a pasture of cows. We went to look for it and while I was rooting around, I noticed one of the cows had something white at its rear end. I walked over and lifted up the tail and sure enough, there was my wife's golf ball... stuck right in the middle of the cow's butt. That's when I made my mistake."

"What did you do?" asks the doctor.

"Well, I lifted the tail and yelled to my wife, 'Hey, this looks like yours!'"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Donovan Pike and The City of the Gods

Two new chapters of my pulp adventure novel have gone up this week. You can check them out at Pulp Nocturne.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Man of Bronze Is Back

Altus Press has just announced a series of new Doc Savage novels to begin in July.

For those who don’t know, Doc Savage was an adventure magazine published by Street and Smith in the golden age of pulps, the 30s and 40s.

In the 1960s, Bantam Books began reprinting the pulp novels, covered by striking paintings by James Bama. Eventually, Bantam reprinted the entire series, included an unpublished novel from the pulp era. Afterwards new Doc books appeared, first from science fiction legend and uber-Doc fan Philip Jose Farmer, then several books written by pulp historian Will Murray, based on unpublished work by primary Doc Savage writer Lester Dent.

Apparently, this new series by Murray, titled The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage (which makes me think Doc is teaming up with Austin Powers; Yeah, baby!), will also be based upon Dent’s unpublished notes, outlines and fragments.

As a Doc fan since my uncle gave me three of the paperbacks in the late 60s*, I am excited to have the chance to read new Doc novels and I hope the series is a massive success.

However, some of the Savage novels Murray wrote in the 1990s suffered from excessive length. Doc works best as a short, lightning fast adventure tale. Frankly, a couple of the 90s novels were a trudge through the mud. Whether the word count was imposed by the publisher or was the author’s choice, I hope the new series gets back to the sleek, rocket ride that made up the best of Dent’s pulp yarns.

I’ll definitely be there when the first one rolls off the press next month.

*For those completest out there, my first three Doc novels were Dust of Death, The Flaming Falcons and The Other World.

It's Been A While

Two weeks ago today my wife Norma Kay had heart surgery. Discussing her health online makes her just a tad uncomfortable, so let me just say that she is improving and, in my opinion, her recovery is ahead of schedule. As I’ve said elsewhere, my wife is the kindest, gentlest and most unselfish person I’ve ever known, and the world is a better place with her in it.

We both appreciate the unbelievable outpouring of support, prayers, well-wishes, visits and calls. We have amazing friends and family, and we are humbled by your response.

Hopefully, you’ll understand if I’m late in responding to emails or other correspondence. I’m working to catch up now.

I’m also endeavoring to make up for lost time on writing assignments. I just sent off my latest installment of the next Dead Earth novel to Dave Wilbanks. I have the final Dead Sheriff edits to do this week and a short story to write.

The past three weeks have been dizzying and, at times, terrifying, but I think both of us will end up being stronger (and healthier) because of it.

Thanks for your continued support.