Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road

David Wilbanks and I have sold Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road to Permuted Press. The novel is a sequel to Dead Earth: The Green Dawn, and should be out in 2010.

They crossed over from another world, bringing death and domination to Earth.

With demonic technology they can raise the dead into an unholy conquering army.

The "necros" destroyed Jubal Slate’s home and everyone he loved. Now the only thing that matters to Slate is payback. No matter how far he has to go or how many undead warriors he must slaughter, Slate and his motley band of followers will stop at nothing to end the reign of the aliens.

Even if it costs them their lives.

When you’ve lost everything, the only thing left is vengeance.

Dead Earth: The Vengeance Road
by Mark Justice and David T. Wibanks
Coming in 2010 from Permuted Press

Pod of Horror #53

On Pod of Horror #53, Jonathan Maberry diagnoses PATIENT ZERO and talks about writing BLACK PANTHER for Marvel Comics. Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai introduces Gabriel Hunt, the next generation of pulp heroes. HARLAN COUNTY HORRORS terrorizes the Bluegrass State, thanks to editor Mari Adkins. Norm Rubenstein has the latest reviews and Nanci covers the horror news on The Call of Kalanta. Download the show at i-Tunes or here. Pod of Horror is hosted and produced by Mark Justice.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bridge to Mark

I have a column in the new issue of Bridges magazine. While it probably won't hold much interest for anyone outside of this area, if you want to read it you can go to the site or click on the page below.

Chasing the Bear, a Young Spenser Novel

Robert B. Parker’s latest is a slim novel –a novella, actually– focusing on the childhood of his best known creation, tough-yet-sensitive PI Spenser. Spenser’s past in Wyoming growing up with his father and two uncles has been referenced by Parker in earlier novels, but this is the first time the reader has been given the story behind Spenser’s development.

The story is filled with boxing lessons, an encounter with the titular grizzly, Spenser’s first rescue of a fair maiden, the first time Spenser causes a bad guy’s death, a fight with the town bully and instructions on how to have a manly code of honor.

In other words, typical Parker.

The thing is, I love Parker’s writing, and Chasing the Bear, short as it is, stands as a fine addition to the PI’s canon.

One caveat: the incidents in Spenser’s boyhood alternate with contemporary chapters featuring Spenser and his shrink girlfriend Susan discussing said events. The subject of Susan is a touchy one among many Spenser fans.However, I find the relationship between the two to be a warm and comfortable part of the series. And Parker’s dialogue crackles here, as always.

Chasing the Bear will tide fans over until the Fall release of The Professional, the next Spenser novel.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The State of the Mark

Spring is zooming by like Mine That Bird in the Derby.

On the writing front, work is progressing on that horror novel.

I’m also going to be serializing an adventure novel on the web, beginning in July. I hope to post a chapter a week. I grew up with two-fisted pulp fiction and I’ve enjoyed dipping my writer-ly toe into the waters in the past. So far it’s a lot of fun. It will be challenging to keep up the schedule.

Now the big news: Dave Wilbanks and I have sold a novel. We’re signing the contracts now, and will hopefully be able to announce details soon. We’re also in the early stages of writing a new novel. I love this part of the process, bouncing ideas around and hammering out the details. Dave’s a great collaborator, and not just because he never makes too much fun of my dopier ideas.

And the other good news: It looks like I’ve sold a short story collection. I just got the word, and no other details have been delivered. Again, I’ll let you know more when I can.

Recent reads: The Judas Strain by James Rollins, Chasing the Bear by Robert B. Parker, The Boxer and the Spy by Robert B. Parker. Currently reading Arctic Drift by Clive Cussler.

We saw the new Star Trek movie last weekend. Believe every positive review you’ve heard. It’s that good. I hope to see it again on the big screen. I’m also looking forward to Angels and Demons and Sam Raimi’s Drag Me To Hell. A trusted source has seen Terminator: Salvation and says it’s spectacular.

I’m getting thrown out of the house tonight so Norma can have a Mama Mia party. Tomorrow we’re watching Taken.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Hunt at the Well of Eternity

As someone who grew up reading the paperback reprints of Doc Savage, Operator 5 and The Spider, I’ve lamented the fact that it’s hard to find new fiction that satisfies the pulp itch (a condition that no amount of Gold Bond Medicated Powder can relieve). Fortunately, adventure fiction lives, thanks to Leisure Books.

Hunt at the Well of Eternity launches a new line of novels starring contemporary two-fisted explorer-adventurer Gabriel Hunt, heir to the legacy of Doc Savage and Indiana Jones (many readers will not be able to stop smiling when one of those characters is obliquely referenced in the book).

When Eternity begins, Hunt already has several adventures behind him, a device that allows the reader to be pulled immediately into a high-octane escapade involving a stained Confederate flag, Mayans and a secret that could change the world. The action explodes every few pages, propelling the reader through the book at the speed of light.

Hunt at the Well of Eternity is a slim novel--just 226 pages. It proves to be the perfect length for this type of yarn, and it highlights the fact that publishing concerns require most modern thrillers to be bloated to an often unnecessary length.

The Hunt concept was created by Charles Ardai, the man behind Hard Case Crime. For this inaugural Hunt installment, Ardai wisely handed the writing chores to James Reasoner, one of my favorite western authors. Reasoner’s Death Head Crossing is one of the finest westerns in recent memory.

Hunt at the Well of Eternity could be used as a tool to teach prospective writers how to construct an adventure novel. Reasoner’s pacing, humor and descriptions of action are a blueprint for writing a satisfying page turner. In fact, the only negative is that readers have to wait two months for the next Gabriel Hunt novel.

I look forward to future installments. I just hope the next Hunt novels can come close to the high standard Reasoner has set with Hunt at the Well of Eternity.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Pooh Flu

Click picture to enbiggen.