Friday, November 30, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Education of a Pulp Writer Review

Over at Dead End Follies, Benoît Lelièvre knocked my socks off with his review of The Education of a Pulp Writer: 10 Crime Short Stories.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Fragments

We’ve pretty much settled into our new apartment a little farther up the Eastern seaboard. The new job assignment is good as new day job assignments go. (Hell, I’m just happy to be gainfully employed these days and thankful Hurricane Sandy wasn’t any worse for us than she was. Continuing thoughts go out to those still without power.) But the employment does nip into the publishing and writing game. Specifically, the writing. For someone like myself who could nail Jack London’s 1k a day with ease, I was lucky over the last month to even type, “Once upon a time.” Now the republic could probably stand it if I slowed down a bit. The latest Cash Laramie collections remain steady sales. So, it’s not product (cold word, but true) I’m worried about; it’s the worry about becoming razor-dull with my own chicken scratches. You understand, keeping the creative spark lit.

Enter James Bond.

Yeah, 007. Secret agent, License to Kill, and all that nifty Skyfall jazz. Always been a fan of Ian Fleming’s short stories. Not so much the full-length novels that have taken on iconic status, but the moodier, pithier pieces like “007 in New York,” “The Hildebrand Rarity,” and the Somerset Maugham homage, “Quantum of Solace.” You learn more about the famous spy and what makes him tick away from the gadgets and babes and villains with crazy names. So what does that have to do with me and writing?

Well, I have gotten this question several times—which side of the American Civil War did Cash Laramie (my anti-hero) fight on (or champion since he was only a tyke in 1861)? So, in little bursts over the last few nights I answered that question in a flash piece called “On the Death of President Grant.” Also, I found time to whittle a scene of Cash and Miles playing chess and discussing Twain’s take on Cooper’s literary offenses. These lil’ bits and two more flowed from fingertips to keyboard with zest. Kinda sorta my characters off the clock and, well, being normal Joes.

I’m sure a few of these will turn into longer pieces and others will be discarded. I am calling them fragments because that’s what they amount to at the moment. But they have served this writer well by keeping the blade sharp and, more importantly, just being fun to create. I have shaken and stirred the mojo. So for that, I say, thank you, Ian.

Friday, November 16, 2012

New Cover for Vin of Venus

Sales have been a bit slow for "Vin of Venus," so, because I believe in this Crime/Sword-and-Planet novella, I though it might be time to spruce up the outer packaging. After talking it over with Little d, we came up with this new cover, which I think it is much more eye-catching than the previous. With fingers crossed ... let's try this again.

Description: Vin, bereft of half his limbs and his memory, struggles between two worlds--the mist-shrouded, verdant hell of ancient Venus and the mean streets of modern Europe--battling both alien monstrosities and underworld villains on his quest to recover his identity. Along the way he is aided by an unlikely cast of allies, as well as the mysterious, ruby-encrusted bracelet that serves as the only link between his heroic past and grim present. Written in classic pulp-style, VIN OF VENUS mixes Hardboiled and Sword and Planet elements in a genre-bending series of action tales.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Savage Blood by James Reasoner

James Reasoner has done it again: “Savage Blood” is a 16k word burst of good, old-fashion western, pulpy adventure. Brodie—a one-armed Civil War vet—is called back into action. A woman, who had abandoned him many years before, runs a saloon and needs Brodie’s help to fight against the local power trying to humiliate her and run her out of town. In Mr. Reasoner’s skillful hands, the well-known story of the lone gunman with the odds stacked against him rises above cliché and darts off onto fresh, thrilling new trails. And at this price, it’s a steal for the reader.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Loose Ends

Garnett Elliott sent me an unexpected short story for one of the continuing BTAP sagas. In his email, Garn said, “I think you'll figure who it's about pretty quickly.” That I did. But what fun reading and a stroke of genius in combining a familiar sci-fi classic with ... well, I don't want to ruin it by saying more. It runs only 900 words, so check out this quick read called “Loose Ends.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New Cover: That Damned Coyote Hill

I was overdue to update the cover of That Damned Coyote Hill so it's consistent with The Long Black Train and The Spider Tribe.

Book description: He came to set vengeance down upon the heads of the wicked--but the strange town of Coyote Hill had its own kind of unearthly retribution. From Heath Lowrance, author of the cult novel The Bastard Hand, comes a weird Western tale of revenge, violence, and supernatural evil.