Showing posts with label Airship 27. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Airship 27. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2017

February 2017 Update

Hello, one and all and Happy New Year! I trust that all of you came into the New Year healthy and happy and my fondest wish is that nothing but continued health and prosperity will fill your respective houses with many bright blessings.

A lot of things have been going in recent months both personally and professionally. Before we get to the professional let's get the personal out of the way. Some of you I've told about my recent weird ailment via Facebook or phone but for the rest of you who haven't heard the grisly yarn, here 'tis: What happened was that out of nowhere I developed this really funky rash on my hands. It manifested itself as dozens of small blisters between my fingers and on my palms. No pain but they itched like hell and they would break open, releasing clear fluid.

I slathered my hands in hydrocortisone and that worked for two or three days and then the rash came back with a vengeance. I stopped messing around and went to a dermatologist who claimed I was suffering from something called scabies which are basically dust mites. I myself don't think that's it as Patricia and I got rid of the basement carpet last summer and that thing was a dust magnet. if I was going to be attacked by dust mites, wouldn't that have have happened while we had the dust attracting carpet that was a natural home for dust mites?

In any case, he gave me scripts for some kind of cream I was to use all over my body and on my hands and come back to see him in three weeks.

Well, I used the cream and again it worked for three or four days then returned and this time actually seemed to be spreading to other areas of my body and no, I ain't gonna tell you where.

Know what finally worked? Both my wife and my mother suggested sulfur soap. So I ordered some from Amazon and started washing my hands twice a day with it and damn if the rash didn't start to clear up right away! I even started to shower with the soap and those spots on my body where it started to spread disappeared like that *snaps fingers*

It took some time but my hands are just about back to normal and so I've been able to resume writing with regularity. Not that I couldn't before and I did so with plastic gloves on as I didn't want to take the chance of spreading whatever it was I had to the keyboard but it felt funny and just darned uncomfortable.

So I'm back to work on the Dillon serial for my Patreon page: "Dillon and The Prophecy of Fire." And there's another Dillon project I'm working on. But then again, when am I not working on a Dillon project?

But something happened recently that spurred me back into full tilt boogie action into once again working on "The Return of Fortune McCall" and that was the release of the audiobook version of "The Adventures of Fortune McCall"


I'll tell you something; as special as it is to hold an actual printed book that you've written in your own two hands, it's even more special to listen to an audiobook of a book that you've written and hear dialog and description that you've written with your own two ears. And Calvin Worthen as Narrator does an absolutely mind-blowing job as such. I found myself listening to the thing on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen to next as if I didn't write any of the stories and therefore knew what was going to happen.

But in a way, it was me rediscovering these stories all over in a new way, interpreted in a different way and as such, it made Fortune McCall, his supporting cast and his world new and fresh all over again and I couldn't wait to get back to work on the sequel.

There are also audiobooks available of THE VRIL AGENDA, BASS REEVES FRONTIER MARSHAL, Vol I. which contains my story "A Town Called Affliction" and SINBAD: THE NEW VOYAGES Vol. I which contains my story "Sinbad and The Voyage to The Land of The Frozen Sun"




What else am I up to? I wrote a story for "Bass Reeves, Frontier Marshal Vol.2" so you need to keep your eyes open for that. I wrote a story for Balogun Ojetade's upcoming black superhero anthology which introduces a superhero I created named Regency. I've got four or five more complete stories about this character so if you enjoy his appearance in "Black Power" let me know and I'll see what I can do:


So as you can see, just because I've been quiet doesn't mean I haven't been busy. And you know me. I'd rather post something meaningful here every couple of months that won't waste your time instead of posting something every week or two just to fill up space.

What else? Oh, yes, the writer interviews will definitely be continuing. Not only will I be catching up with writers I've interviewed before to see what they're doing now but I'll be interviewing writers I've never interviewed before. Especially African-American female writers of speculative fiction which is a project that Nicole Kurtz (a formidable writer herself) and I have talked about in the past that we were thinking about launching as it's own blog. But I don't have time to keep up with yet another blog. It's enough work keeping up with the three I got now.

I really didn't want to do those interviews here as I didn't want folks to think I was just using the interviews to get more traffic for my blog but then it struck me that people have long accused me of doing that anyway so what's the diff? So that's something else you can look forward to here.

And I think that's enough of me running my mouth for this session. As always I thank you most sincerely and with all my heart for your continued support and kind attention to my ramblings. I appreciate each and every one of you who have stuck it out with me this long and I look forward to all the fun and excitement we'll share in 2017.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With...BARBARA DORAN

Derrick Ferguson: Who Is Barbara Doran?

Barbara Doran: I'm a New Pulp writer, currently published by Airship 27. My work includes "Claws of the Golden Dragon" two years ago, a Sinbad short - "Sinbad and the Island of the Puppet Master", "Wings of the Golden Dragon" (due out soon, we hope) and a Sherlock Holmes/Van Dusen crossover that I hope will be appearing someday in Ron's Sherlock Holmes anthology. (Not soon, however; he's got quite a queue there.)



DF: Where do you live and what do you do to keep the bill collectors away?

BD: I'm currently living somewhere in the general vicinity of the birthplace of powered flight. (That's Dayton, Ohio, where the Wright Brothers designed and built their aircraft.) As for keeping the bill collectors away, I'm a very lucky writer in that my Long Suffering Husband handles that side of things. I just keep my own personal Tiger and Dragon from immolating themselves. Mostly. Err...back in a moment. Time to put out another fire.

DF: Tell us a little something about your background, if you please.

BD: I was an army brat who moved around a lot as a kid. Chicago, Carbondale, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri and finally Ohio. My father is a Western Beast bred and born and my mom was a native born Chinese, born in Nanjing just around the time of the invasion. She came to America for college and met my dad at his mother's cafeteria in Carbondale, IL. (Amusingly, genetic tests show that I have more than 50% Asian ancestry, thanks to my Dad having Northern European ancestors. He always has claimed to have a Chinese stomach.)

I studied as a software engineer at the University of Dayton, but my first love was always writing and I spent most of my spare time with fanfic. It took a while but I finally realized I really preferred writing and that's where I put most of my focus. Truly dedicated readers might be able to find some of my old work still out there. They may even recognize a character or so.

DF: How long have you been writing?

BD: Pretty much from the day I learned to read. Bits and pieces, mostly unfinished, but my brain was constantly creating fanfiction universes based on my comics and TV shows.

DF: What's your philosophy of writing?

BD: The words go on the screen. Keep typing until they're done. Then edit. And edit. And edit. Respect your characters' personalities. Respect your readers' intelligence. Make sure the plot doesn't wander around and get lost in the scenery. Keep things moving, even when there are plot points that need to be talked about.
        
Don't stop. Just. Don't. Stop.

DF: You a plotter or a pantser?

BD: I'd say I'm mostly a pantser, but I use research as my guide. I like to think of writing as creating a clay sculpture. I know the general shape I want, but sometimes I have to add some material here, remove some there. And every so often, take the whole blessed head off and redo it.

DF: Do you enjoy writing?

BD: I love writing. I realized, years back, that it really was the thing I should have been doing with myself. Even when I'm not at my computer and putting words down, they're working their way around inside my head. So one could say that I'm creating stories all the time.

Too, I've discovered that I simply don't know what to do all day if I'm not writing. So, when I'm not persuading my children to do the dishes and/or their homework, I'm tap, tap, tapping away.

DF: What writers have influenced you?

BD: P.C. Hodgell, Diana Wynne Jones, GNU Terry Pratchett, Dick Francis, Walter Gibson, Arthur Conan Doyle, just to name a few. I've also become quite fond of N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth series. It's amazing and devastating and I'm really looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

DF: Do you write for yourself or for the reader?

BD: Really, both. I try to make sure the work can appeal to more than just a narrow audience, of course. However, if I don't enjoy what I'm writing, I'm not going to be able to do a good job with it. So I write for readers who like the sort of things I like to write and hope that's a wide enough appeal to draw in readers.

DF: Are you interested in critics or criticism?

BD: I don't go out of my way looking for them. I do get beta readers, but that's to make sure what I wrote works and doesn't leave questions. I'd be glad to get more reviews, though, to get an idea where I might improve.

DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? is there an audience for Barbara Doran?

BD: As far as my original pulp work goes, I think the audience would be fans of shows like the Green Hornet. Sinbad and Sherlock Holmes both have a fandom and I'm overjoyed to write for them.

I hope there's an audience for the sort of work I do. I'm not a hard-boiled detective type writer, but I think there's room in New Pulp for the type of over the top, weird science/magic crossover stories I like to write.


DF: Do you crave recognition?

BD: I'd like my work to be known. I'm a fairly shy and retiring person, so I don't mind letting it do the talking for me.

DF: Do you think that New Pulp will ever have respectability?

BD: I think it already does, really. There might never be a big New Pulp publishing house along the lines of DAW or Baen or Tor, but I think it's getting more and more wide spread.

DF: What's the best advice that you can give someone who wants to write New Pulp?

BD: Don't talk about it. Do it. Also, research is always your friend. Even if you never put a word of what you've found directly in the work, it'll act as a foundation for the piece and help your world feel more lived in.

DF: How important is it to follow your instincts while writing?

BD: As a pantser, pretty important. I've learned that when I find myself blocked and uncertain about what I'm doing, it's usually because I'm headed in an unworkable direction. So I trust my subconscious to be looking ahead of me and saying, "Eh, Barbara, what the heck are you doing?"

DF: What is the one book or story you’ve written that you would recommend to somebody to read who doesn’t know anything about you?

BD: Right now I only have the one original New Pulp out, so I'd have to recommend "Claws of the Golden Dragon". However, when it does come out, "Wings" is a much tighter, better written piece. It's set in Shanghai a little before things got bad and features mobsters, spies, monsters, magic and Gods. Oh, yes and a bit of romance, just for spice.



DF: What are you working on now?

BD: A rather large, probably not for Pulp, novel about a colony of humans stuck on a water world and dependent on Artificial Intelligences for survival. They live on floating islands (AI'lands) and are on the run from an insane and homicidal AI named Varos, with only their own AIs to help stop him. It's sort of a space opera, as the SF is quite loose.

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know about you?

Barbara Doran: Along with my love of Green Hornet, I'm a big anime and Shaw Brothers' fan. My work is peppered with references and I will gladly award a great big know-it-all-prize to anyone who recognizes where one of my characters got their name, personality and/or appearance.



Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With...JAIME E. RAMOS

Derrick Ferguson: Who Is Jaime E. Ramos?

Jaime E. Ramos: I am a writer who lives in St. Louis MO. I was raised on the bad streets of Gary Indiana and graduated Calumet High School. I am a happily married man with one son, named Thomas. I love dogs and writing and reading and watching football. I am a lifelong Chicago Bears fan.



DF: Where do you live and what do you tell the IRS you do for a living?

JER: I am a Claims Adjuster.

DF: Give us some of your background info, if you please.

JER: Let’s see. I graduated High School and immediately attended Indiana Boys State which is a competition sponsored by the American Legion. I was nominated to be a County Commissioner in the competition. I tried college a couple of times and found it to be not my cup of tea. I have worked blue-collar jobs like factory work and restaurants. I have worked in the insurance claims field for the last fifteen years, proving that a college education isn’t really needed, at least I didn’t need one to become successful. I have a successful marriage to my wife Phyllis. Phyllis is the one person that can handle my many personality flaws and I appreciate that greatly.

DF: How long have you been writing?

JER: I have been writing since the age of six.

DF: Do you enjoy writing?

JER: I enjoy writing now that I have had a small tastes of being published. Lingering in obscurity is not fun and I never write just because I am bored or whatever. I write with a purpose.

DF: What writers have influenced you?

JER: Great question. Roger Zelazny, Ernest Hemmingway, Robert Shea, James Clavell, William Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the great David Michelinie.

DF: Do you write for yourself or for the readers?

JER: I have never written anything for myself. I’m not really sure exactly what that means. I write with a purpose to tell stories that others can read.

DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? Is there an audience for Jaime E. Ramos?

JER: I would like the whole world, the entire planet to read my work.

DF: How did you get involved with New Pulp?
JER: I gravitated to New Pulp while doing research for a prose super-hero story that I had written. I was looking for a publisher and discovered Pro Se Productions. I found my home in this genre and made real sound business and creative connections. New Pulp also kicks my creativity into over-drive.

DF: Do you think that New Pulp has the potential to be The Next Big Thing? (Whatever that means)

JER: I think Pulp being the precursor to comic  book characters and other genre fiction has always been a viable universe for Hollywood and publishing houses.  As New Pulp evolves there is always a chance that new fans and creators discover the genre.

DF: Where do you see New Pulp being five years from now? And do you see yourself as still being an active, vital element of New Pulp?

JER:  I think that many New Pulp publishers will discover new writers with diverse characters and settings.  I think the Movement will gain steam and broaden as a genre.

DF: Tell us about your involvement in LEGENDS OF NEW PULP.

JER: Well I had gotten an email from Tommy Hancock and discovered how ill he was. I wanted to help him in some small way. So I sent out a few messages to other writers (you included) and asked if a benefit anthology with the proceeds going to Tommy or his family would be in line. The answer as a resounding YES. I knew that I wasn’t a “publisher” per say, and I would need help putting the book together. I contacted Ron Fortier at Airship 27 and he loved the idea. Ron really took the lead and put it together, I proofed roughly half of the stories.


DF: How do you feel about the runaway success of that book?

JER: I am ecstatic that the book has been a success.  So far the book has won some awards and I am proud of  the creators.  I am also very proud that Tommy has benefitted from the proceeds.  It’s great to see a community come together.



DF: Tell us about SINGULARITY: RISE OF THE POSTHUMANS.

JER: This book has been in the making for three years. It is a “shared world” setting, in which each author’s characters share the same space and environment. After a technological singularity has plunged the world into war and darkness, a small city is built from the ashes. After a self-appointed monarch rises to control the inhabitants, super heroes are called upon to fight for the citizens. I created this really complex history for the world, but the stories are relatable and the characters are solid.


DF: David Michelinie is one of my favorite comic book writers. I loved his work on “Iron Man” and he created the World War II hero Gravedigger, one of the best African-American characters in comics. How’d you persuade him to join this project?

JER: I became friends with David on Facebook after sending him a fan-message. David graciously answered fan questions from me and we eased into a very cool “internet friendship.” When I came up with the concept of Singularity, David agreed to look at my concept, but didn’t commit until I actually sold the idea to a publisher. I pitched the idea and within a week a publisher committed to the project. David was then forced to service and created an amazing character called the Righteous Red. His story for the project is stellar!

DF: Will there be more books to come?

JER: I think so. I have been in talks with my publisher at Pro Se Productions and we are looking at sales. Sales generates sequels so if the sales are strong, I hope their will be more books. My goal is to create a brand and I have worked hard to put it together. I am ambitious and relentless.

DF: Which is tougher, writing or editing?

JER: I think editing is more difficult. I enjoy reading the stories that people write, but I don’t enjoy being the “heavy.” Editing is really not in my wheel-house, but I have learned to do the best I can and keep it positive. I let the writers know that I am in their corner and they seem to respond to me.

DF: What is a typical Day In The Life of Jamie E. Ramos like?

JER: I get up early and head to work down in the city of St. Louis at 8 AM. My office is just a few blocks from Busch stadium. I work on claim files until 430 PM and then I head home. After getting home, I visit with my wife and son and my dogs Coco and Chewie. After dinner, I try working on Facebook and writing stories that I am committed too. I try to take in either Game of Thrones or Ancient Aliens before turning in for the night.

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else you want to add?

Jaime E. Ramos: I appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed by you, sir. I hope that Singularity becomes a great success and watch for announcements for my next solo novel “Cash Rawlins and the Infernal Eye.”






Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bass Reeves Is Gonna Saddle Up And Hit The Outlaw Trail Again!


BASS REEVES
FRONTIER MARSHAL – VOL TWO

Airship 27 Productions is excited to announce the production of a second anthology featuring the adventures of real life western Deputy Marshall, Bass Reeves. BASS REEVES – FRONTIER MARSHALL Vol One  was released in December of 2015 and has gone on to become one of the publisher’s best selling titles. Four popular New Pulp writers; Derrick Ferguson, Mel Odom, Gary Phillips and Andrew Salmon, contributed fictional tales starring this legendary western hero. Bass Reeves was an escaped slave who, during the years of the Civil War, lived among the Indian tribes of the Five Civilized Nations. After the war he was recruited by Judge Isaac Parker to be a U.S. Deputy Marshal and his jurisdiction was the entire Oklahoma territories.



HBO is currently filming a Bass Reeves mini-series with Morgan Freeman as a producer.

Once the book was released, it became an instant hit. Due to this overwhelming response, Airship 27 Productions is currently assembling a new quartet of Bass Reeves western adventures. Volume Two will features four brand new stories by returning writers Derrick Ferguson and Mel Odom joined now by Michael Black and Milton Davis.

Production is scheduled for the end of 2016 with an early 2017 release. So, saddle up, western fans, Marshall Bass Reeves is about to hit the outlaw trail once more. 

BASS REEVES – FRONTIER MARSHAL Vol One  is available inhard copy and on Kindle at Amazon.com.  An audiobook version from Radio Archives is also in production.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With...LOU MOUGIN

Derrick Ferguson: Who Is Lou Mougin?

Lou Mougin: Me. Texan, Christian, writer of comics and New Pulp, and managing to get by. Comics fanatic for virtually all my life, which means just about 60 years. Writer of historical comics articles, interviewer of comics pros, and generally a pest.



DF: Where do you live and what do you do to keep the bill collectors away?

LM: Abilene, Texas. Customer service and sales from home.

DF: Give us some of your background info, if you please.

LM: Born in Iowa in 1954, and getting born there is virtually all the time I spent there.  All my memories are in Texas. Parents and brother passed on. Worked in radio about 20 years.

DF: How long have you been writing?

LM: Probably before school and ever since then. Mom told me stories (she could have been a writer). I told her stories. I wrote and never stopped. Had my own universe of heroes when I was in junior high. Tried submitting scripts to the Big Two when I was in high school, to no avail. Many years later, circa 1978, was invited by George Olshevsky to submit articles for COLLECTOR'S DREAM. They ended up in COMIC READER in 1981 and I made my fandom bones then. Many more articles followed, along with interviews w/ pros for COMICS INTERVIEW and others.

When pro work dried up, I wrote a ton of fanfic, which is what brought us together, and many thanks for your kind reviews. A year or two back, Tommy Hancock of Pro Se was looking for contributors to an upcoming anthology. I applied. Turned out he knew my fanfic, and he liked my contribution. We've been pals and he's been my main prose market since then. I have a lot of stuff in the hopper with Pro Se, which hopefully, will start coming out later on. Also, my first prose short story, featuring a hardboiled detective computer, came out earlier in LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION.


DF: What’s your philosophy of writing?

LM: Keep it interesting, keep it moving, wed action and characterization together, know pacing, write something you'd like to read, and listen to your editor. The best friend you have is an editor who will not let you put out crap.

DF: Do you write for yourself or for the reader?

LM: I'd assume for both! But I never assume the reader knows as much about the characters as I do. You have to give 'em enough info about the characters to let the readers know them and care about them.

DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? Is there an audience for Lou Mougin?

LM: Anybody who wants to read them! I guess anyone who likes a good action yarn.

DF: How important is it to follow your instincts while writing?

LM: That's ALL you've got. Sometimes they play you false, but you learn from it.

DF: You wrote comic books for many years. Tell us how you got into the business.

LM: I was friends with Mark Gruenwald from afar. He gave me the opportunity to script some Inhumans stories for Marvel (which came out, many years later, as INHUMANS SPECIAL #1).  Also did the Swordsman origin story for AVENGERS SPOTLIGHT. Wrote some articles for Eclipse's AIRBOY, which led to me plotting 3 Heap stories. Then I hooked up with Dennis Mallonee, for whom I wrote the three-issue SPARKPLUG mini-series and tales of the League of Champions, Flare, and Icicle. I have some new stuff coming out from Heroic even as we speak.


Also I got acquainted with Roger McKenzie on Facebook, which led to my gig with CHARLTON ARROW. I've met others thru him.

Also have comic stories in at Empire Comics and another outfit, and I'm always working on other stuff.

DF: What’s the biggest difference you see in the comic book industry when you were active in it and now?

LM: A lack of heroism. We used to have characters that inspired us, who would do the right thing no matter what the cost. Now, we mostly have "heroes" who do the most expedient thing, written by people who just don't believe in heroes. I would not have Green Lantern or the Scarlet Witch go nuts and start killing people, or get Elongated Man's wife raped. Spawn was uber-popular, but how can you root for a hero who's powered by the Devil?

Decompressed storytelling, of course, is a bugaboo. So is the difficulty in keeping up with storylines these days. Of course, the generation that's the primary target ain't me, so there is that. I hope I'm not coming off as C.C. Beck.

DF: You’ve been writing for so many years…why now did you decide to write a novel?

LM: In a way, I was writing novels way back in my fanfic days. Before I did the present work, I wrote a couple of books for Pro Se that were novel length but adapted from unpublished scripts. Writing a novel wasn't too much of a jump.

DF: Tell us about MONSTER IN THE MANSIONS and how you ever got the idea to bring together two such unlikely characters.

LM: Great question, and I'm not exactly sure! What I do know is that I've long been a fan of Frankenstein by Shelley and of Green Mansions by Hudson. Loved Rima. I like the idea of crossovers if you can make them work. Also I have a habit of asking myself, "What if?", and following from there.

I wanted to see where we could go if we picked up with Frank from the end of Shelley's book, kept him in more or less the real world, and had him try to find a way of coexisting with men of his time. All of which, of course, led him to various adventures. Frank's appeal is that he is not truly evil, but a grotesque...one who would probably be content to live in peace, if others would let him do so. But he attracts trouble. And God help you if you make trouble for him.


Frank also has to deal with "the Beast", which is a rage that can be triggered by extreme anger. This may sound like the Hulk, but he's a lot deadlier than ol' Greenskin when he gets riled. And he usually doesn't know what he's done during it until the rage subsides.

The biggest problem with the book was the timeline, trying to fit the end of Frankenstein into the era of Green Mansions.  Don Glut helped with the Frankenstein time period. I had to do some research on the 19th Century world and on Rima's timeline as well. Reread the Hudson book, of course, and watched the Audrey Hepburn movie, which helped. I rejected several plotlines because they wouldn't work chronologically, but ended up,  thankfully, with one that worked. I hope.

DF: Do you have plans for a sequel?

LM: Yup. I left a lot of gaps in this one, some of which Frank mentions in passing. He had to work his way from the northeastern U.S. thru Mexico, Central America, and finally to South America. That took years and he did have adventures along the way. I've got ideas for a story that takes place during that gap time.

Also, there are stories that can be set after the end of this one. I'm pretty sure Frank fought in the Great War, but we'll have to see.

DF: Do you have any other novels in the works?

LM: I've got two superhero novels turned in to Pro Se.We'll have to see when those come out.

DF: Tell us about your involvement with the CHARLTON ARROW.

LM: Serendipity is the word. Roger McKenzie had been out of comics for a long time until recently. I got to be a pal of his on FB during a time in which I was really down, and he helped me out. Around that time Mark Knox started up the Charlton Arrow fanpage on FB and there were enough pros and wannabes involved for the concept of CHARLTON ARROW, the comic, to coalesce. I thought it was marvelous because it could contain all the genres of comics that aren't being treated so much by other companies...westerns, war, funny stuff, etc. Charlton had a zillion horror hosts for their books, and I've always wondered what happens to such characters after their books die. Thanks to Mort Todd, who did a great job on the story, we got a chance to find out!



The second ARROW story, "Day of Decision" stems from an idea I explored in an old fanfic:  what happens when kid comics characters find out they can't stay kids anymore? Jack Snider did an exemplary job with the art. It's still one of my favorite stories and seems to have gone over okay with the readers.

I have another story slated for a future ARROW and I'm pushing another at them as we speak.

DF: Any other projects we should know about?

LM: In prose, at Pro Se, I have the two superhero books, plus short stories in three upcoming anthologies. In comics, I have two stories in CEMETARY PLOTS, one of which, "Red Need", will be in a Free Comic Book Day version. Andy Shaggy Korty drew that one and Eric Bowen's drawing another. They're also doing a magician hero of mine who should be in an action hero anthology. For another publisher, I've got an anti-ISIS story that I'm pretty proud of. For yet another, I've scripted a retro style story of a team of 1950's heroes, which should be fun. Got more stuff coming out at Heroic, of course.

Also, I have what should be a three-volume history of Golden Age superheroes in the editing stage. Haven't heard much on that lately, but hoping to.

Derrick Ferguson: What’s a typical Day In The Life of Lou Mougin like?

Lou Mougin: If it's a work day, I get out of bed, turn on my work computer, and do my job for about 8 hours. Then I turn it off, turn on my home computer, and get busy writing and doing other stuff I like. Weekends are for more writing and catching up with stuff that needs to be done. Jaune Tom, my cat, serves as my batman.




Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Sinbad: The New Voyages Vol. I is Now An Audiobook!


The greatest seafaring adventurer of all times returns to the high seas, Sinbad the Sailor!

Born of countless legends and myths, this fearless rogue sets sail across the seven seas aboard his ship, the Blue Nymph, accompanied by an international crew of colorful, larger-than-life characters. Chief among these are the irascible Omar, a veteran seamen and trusted first mate, the blond Viking giant, Ralf Gunarson, the sophisticated archer from Gaul, Henri Delacrois and the mysterious, lovely and deadly female samurai, Tishimi Osara.  All of them banded together to follow their famous captain on perilous new voyages across the world’s oceans!

And now you can hear the adventures of Sinbad as Airship 27 is proud to present the audiobook version of SINBAD: THE NEW VOYAGES Vol. I as read by Jem Matzan!

Inspired by the classic Ray Harryhausen Sinbad trilogy but re-envisioning Sinbad himself as the son of a Moorish prince and a Nubian princess, this is a Sinbad at once refreshingly new and yet as familiar as an old friend.

SINBAD: THE NEW VOYAGES Vol. I contains the following stories:

“Sinbad and The Island of The Simurgh” by Nancy Hansen
“Sinbad and The Sapphire of The Djinn” by I. A. Watson
“Sinbad and The Voyage to The Land of The Frozen Sun” by Derrick Ferguson

So what are you waiting for? Get over to AUDIBLE right NOW and get yours!






Tuesday, December 22, 2015

LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION



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 PRODUCTIONS – 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)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With: DON GATES

Derrick Ferguson: Who is Don Gates?

Don Gates: Don Gates is a 40 year-old guy who has spent way too much time in his own little world and now it’s finally spilling out of his head onto paper.  I’m married to the sweetest and gutsiest girl I’ve ever known and we have some crazy pets and a fairly quiet, happy life together.  I’m a geek from the old-school who grew up in the 80’s and has a head full of movie quotes and useless trivia.  I’m a casual gamer and former casual musician (I once played the bass, although probably not that good).



DF: Where do you live and what do you do to keep the bill collectors away?

DG: In 2012 we relocated from Florida, where I was born and lived all my life, to Canada to be near my Mom after my Dad passed away.  I am a dual-citizen of both the US and Canada.  My day job is doing network tech-support for a Canadian cell-phone provider: I’m lucky enough to work from home, so I usually spend my workday in my pajamas.  It’s not always as nice as it sounds though: cabin fever can be a bitch sometimes, and sitting at home around all of my distractions can make the workday feel like it’s dragging on.  The job isn’t the most creatively-rewarding but I usually end my day feeling good that I’ve been able to help somebody fix their problems, so that’s something.

DF: Tell us something about your background

DG: Born in 1974.  Dad was a cop who got injured on the job and retired early, Mom was a stay-at-home housewife.  I was an only child, so I was probably spoiled.  I was (and am) an introvert so I spent lots of time reading or drawing or daydreaming.

DF: How long have you been writing?

DG: I had been creating for years – superheroes and sci-fi tales – but was always limited to my own headspace for that stuff.  I’d be pushing carts at Pic N Save or working in the electronics department at Toys R Us or whatever menial job I had at the time but I’d constantly be coming up with stuff in my head.  I never thought any of those ideas could be turned into anything worth writing, so I’d never develop them to the point of committing them to paper.

In 2007 I began to come up with my own pulp characters, ones that I felt I actually could expand upon and maybe even start writing and maybe – just maybe – get published.  I tossed my ideas around with a few online friends who gave me some invaluable feedback, and I went from there.

DF: What's your philosophy of writing?

DG: I don’t know if I really have one.  I try to entertain but to also make the characters human and believable, if not relatable.  The best reading experiences to me are always the ones where you can see the main characters as whole people, and so I try to do that a little bit without making them so complex that it bogs the story down.  This is pulp, after all, so it’s gotta move fast.

I also don’t have an exact plan of attack when I write: I try to outline everything but I usually end up with a beginning, an end, and a few points between and then flesh it out and connect the dots.  I have yet to write a rough draft or a second draft or whatever.  I usually write and edit as I go, and let the story evolve while making sure to hit those specific points along the way.  I guess I’m a plotter and a pantser… a pants-plotter?

DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? Is there an audience for Don Gates?

DG: I want to reach anybody that wants to read an adventure.  I’m sure that when it comes to my Challenger Storm stuff, part of me wants to reach the Doc Savage pastiche fans, although I really don’t think of Storm as a pastiche.  He’s influenced by Doc Savage a bit, yes, but I’m certainly not trying to write Doc stories with the names of the cast changed or anything.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with pastiches, mind you, they just aren’t what I want to do.)

Is there an audience for Don Gates?  I hope so.  So far I haven’t gotten fan comments from strangers who say “I love your stuff!” or anything, but I can tell there’s a few people out there who do like what I’m doing.  I kinda hope there will be an audience one day, actual “Don Gates fans”.  That’d be cool.

DF: Why New Pulp?

DG: because it’s so damned fun!  Ever since I was introduced to The Shadow when I was twelve years-old or so I’ve had pulp on the brain, because it’s just pure excitement.  Adventure in far off lands, devious villains, heroes of action, beautiful dames… there’s such a feeling of glamour and romance to it (not the “lovey dovey” kind of romance but that great “lost golden era” kind).  It’s nice that in this day and age there’s a place to escape to where dreams could come true, where there were still places on the map that were blank and unexplored.

And New Pulp as a concept is terrific because it throws in “post-pulp” influences and sensibilities and opens up new grounds for pulp to tread.  It keeps it from getting stale but also keeps the familiar and comfortable tropes.  Before “New Pulp” became a phrase, I liked to think of it as “pulp remixed."

DF: What writers have influenced you?

DG: I’m pretty sure that anyone that I’ve ever read and enjoyed has influenced me in one way or the other.  My first big reading experience was Jules Verne’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, I’m pretty sure that stayed with me.  William Gibson in his prime (the “Sprawl Trilogy” that began with NEUROMANCER) was very important to me, and I loved his prose: “J.G. Ballard meets Raymond Chandler in cyberspace”.  I love Lovecraft and periodically go on Lovecraft reading-binges.  And I love the greats from the hero pulps: Walter Gibson for his genius, Lester Dent for his inventiveness, and Norvell Page for his visceral energy.

Probably the biggest influence on my writing has probably been Dave Stevens’ THE ROCKETEER.  That comic changed my life and showed me that you can create “new old adventures”.  I read a magazine article about the series when I was thirteen and before I was finished reading it I knew that I couldn’t rest until I’d tracked down every Rocketeer appearance I could find.  It even influenced me in ways I didn’t realize until after I’d been writing a while: the similarity of the name Clifton Storm to Cliff Secord was entirely subconscious, for example.  That’d be a crossover I’d love to write, though.  A dream project.


DF: What's your career plan as a writer?

DG: There’s supposed to be a plan?!

Seriously, I don’t know if I have one.  I want to write stuff that I’ll enjoy writing and to write as much as I can crank out… which isn’t really that much.  I’m a pretty slow writer which is something I need to work on.  And should my path somehow take me to “the big leagues” then I’d be cool with that. (REALLY cool, actually)

DF: Do you think it's desirable for us as New Pulp Writers to chase Mainstream audiences or is that just a dream always out of reach?

DG: No, I don’t think it’s out of reach.  The other day Annie and I were at Wal-Mart and we came across a display stand filled with those “Hard Case Crime” novels.  She hadn’t seen them before and was kinda surprised to see all these books with pulpy covers and big name writers.  She said something like “I can see this as a sign; maybe pulp is coming back into mainstream popularity.”  This was only a day or so before the news of the Bradley Cooper EXECUTIONER movie and the Shane Black DESTROYER movie news, so maybe she’s right.  And that’d be fine with all of us, I’m sure.

DF: Who is Challenger Storm?

DG: Clifton “Challenger” Storm is a guy of incredible potential, a hero who does what he does not only because it’s the right thing to do but because of a burning need for redemption.  He was brought up wealthy (because all pulp heroes like him need a big bank account), but while his parents were philanthropic with their wealth he was arrogant, cruel and cold and extremely self-centered and spoiled.  At around age nineteen his parents died in a car accident, and while he was returning home to take over their fortunes the passenger plane he was travelling in crashed in the mountains during a freak blizzard.  Although the accident left him with three long scars on the left side of his face, he was otherwise unharmed while everyone else aboard the plane was killed.  He was left alone to survive in the mountains and he experienced an epiphany, the same kind of soul-searching I imagine a lot of sole survivors go through: “Why was I left alive?  Why me?” etc.

The answer comes to him that he’s still around to become the opposite of who he was, to help build the world instead of bleeding it.  He throws away his old ways and leaps into a rabid self-improvement regimen to try and become as skilled as he can both mentally and physically.  After graduating college at the top of his class and with numerous extracurricular activity achievements, he disappears and travels the world, learning as much martial and esoteric skills as he can manage.  When he returns home to the US, he sets up the Miami Aerodrome Research and Development Laboratories (MARDL for short), a collective think-tank of designers, scientists, engineers…  All are like-minded individuals who want to make the world a better place through science and technology. 

MARDL also has a “troubleshooting” arm, a ragtag group of adventurers and thrill-seekers who join Storm on his missions against the human predators of the world.  If someone needs aid and they can’t get it elsewhere, Storm and his troubleshooters will help.

Storm is not as infallible as guys like The Shadow or Doc Savage.  When creating him, I always used the mantra “He’s not Doc Savage, but he’s trying to be.”  Storm screws up, he gets emotional, he feels guilt or second guesses himself, he has self-doubt.  He may know arcane martial arts, can design and build revolutionary aircraft & equipment, and runs a gigantic utopian-minded organization, but he’s also messy and has no idea how many people are on his payroll.  His secretary, Marie, is indispensable to him and MARDL because she helps keep everything in check.

DF: Tell us about THE ISLE OF BLOOD.

DG: THE ISLE OF BLOOD is the first Challenger Storm novel and winner of the 2012 Pulp Factory Awards for Best Cover Art and Best Interior Art, both of which were handled by the legendary comic artist and illustrator Michael Wm. Kaluta.
In the novel Storm and his team are asked for help by an aviation tycoon whose daughter, a teacher on the tiny impoverished island-nation of La Isla de Sangre, has been kidnapped by a vicious group of guerilla warlords known as the Villalobos Brothers.  They’re holding his daughter ransom, but soon after the team begins the rescue mission they discover there’s more to the story than they thought.  Meanwhile, the Villalobos Brothers begin to unleash a mysterious super-weapon called “the Goddess of Death” upon their enemies and start to set their sights on taking over the island itself.


There’s also a framing device in the book in the form of a mysterious secret agent on his way to Florida to meet Storm to offer him the chance to work for his agency, the Eye, in exchange for government sanctioning of MARDL’s vigilante activities.  During the “intermission” chapters we see the agent learning about Storm’s past, and through these scenes the reader also experiences Storm’s “origin”.

The print edition of the book is out of print right now, but there are plans for a newly edited and tweaked edition: while I fix some bugs inside the book, Michael Kaluta is doing some cover touch ups that have been bugging him (what exactly they are, I couldn’t say because that cover is terrific).

DF: Tell us about THE CURSE OF POSEIDON.

DG: THE CURSE OF POSEIDON is the second Storm novel.  Ships and their crews are mysteriously disappearing without a trace in the Aegean Sea near Greece, the victims of a rumored “curse” of the ancient sea-god Poseidon.  Meanwhile, freak tsunamis are striking coastal villages and weird black-armored beings are spotted at the scene afterward.  Storm becomes embroiled in these events through one of his troubleshooters, Diana St. Clair (who Storm has an unrequited crush on).  Diana’s ex-lover – a former MARDL scientist – is among those missing aboard the disappearing ships.  Storm and his team join the hunt and eventually confront a villain who can use water itself as a weapon and can make mindless slaves out of free men.

The cover and interiors are again supplied by Michael Kaluta, who has done some astounding artwork once more.  The response to the art – especially the cover – has been extraordinary.

DF: Okay, so let's get to the question that I'm sure you get asked many times and here's your chance to have it in print so that when you're asked in the future you can just refer them to this interview: How did you get Michael Kaluta do to the covers and interior illustrations for your Challenger Storm novels?

DG: By reading aloud from the Necronomicon while standing in an ancient and powerful magic circle of stones, pledging my eternal soul to the Outer Gods in exchange for Kaluta’s participation.

Actually, what happened was this:

I’ve been a huge fanboy of Kaluta’s art since I discovered his work on The Shadow (through the very same issue of COMICS SCENE magazine that introduced me to the Rocketeer and Doc Savage, I may add… it was a landmark moment for me, and I still have the issue).  For years my wife heard me go on and on about his artwork, and eventually she did what I didn’t have the balls to do: she sent him an email to tell him how much of a fan I was, etc.  Michael is a very personable guy and he and Annie struck up a friendly email acquaintanceship.  She eventually mentioned to him that I had written a New Pulp novel and jokingly asked if he wanted to do the artwork for it.  To our surprise, he said something to the effect of “let me see what I can do”.  Next thing you know, he signed on and soon he and I were trading emails and shooting the breeze about classic warplanes and art nouveau illustrators.

I’m still not sure exactly what made Michael agree to do the artwork.  Perhaps it’s because he has an affinity for the subject matter, or maybe it gave him an excuse to draw classic airplanes (an interest that I didn’t know we shared until he started working on THE ISLE OF BLOOD).  One thing’s for certain: he has never “phoned the artwork in”.  He has approached every illustration and cover with a thorough, professional attitude and has never settled for anything that he feels is sub-par.  Mike is a true craftsman.  It may sound biased, but some of his work on Challenger Storm is some of my favorite Kaluta art ever.

And it’s also very cool that one of my idols is now someone I can call a friend.  I owe it all to my wife, who I’m sure has voodoo powers now because she was able to somehow bring this all to pass.

DF: You've got prestigious names such as Ron Fortier and Michael Kaluta attached to your books. How does that make you feel?

DG: Bluntly, I’m living the dream.  I grew up reading Ron’s terrific work in THE GREEN HORNET and looking at Michael’s awesome and intricate artwork, so to have these guys participating in my project is an incredible feeling.  I’m honored to be working with them, and I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.

DF: How many Challenger Storm novels do you have planned?

DG: Approximately 14.  Now, it sounds like I’ve got an awesome lineup in the works, but some of these are fleshed out into plot germs while others are just a line or two in a notepad file that I want to expand upon further.

After THE CURSE OF POSEIDON comes WHITE HELL, currently “in production”.  Anyone who has read the epilogue in CURSE… can probably tell where WHITE HELL will be going.  After that I definitely know the next 2 books I want to do but beyond those I’ll need to do more expanding of my plot ideas.  I also have some ideas of where the world of Challenger Storm will be headed into the modern era.  There’s a heroic legacy brewing slowly here…

Keep in mind too that I’m a super-slow writer and have other projects going at the same time, so whether I ever hit my goals or not depends on how well I can beat my procrastination and laziness.

DF: What's a Day in the Life of Don Gates like?

DG: I get up about an hour before my workday starts and begin drinking my requisite dosage of coffee.  I work my shift, the length of which can vary, and when I’m done I usually relax with the Missus and the dogs & cats and watch something on TV.  If any writing is gonna get done, I either need to force myself to do it during this time or wait until I have no distractions whatsoever.  I usually end my night watching Japanese tokusatsu shows for a while in bed before going to sleep and probably getting less shut-eye than I should be.

DF: Recommend a movie, a book and a TV show.

DG: Oh damn… see, I suck at this kind of thing because I’m really behind and I’m constantly catching up.  We started watching BREAKING BAD a night or two after the series finale.  Okay, I’ll try to recommend stuff that isn’t the norm and that folks might’ve missed.

For a movie, I’d recommend BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW.  It’s a very oddly-paced sci fi film from Canada involving an esoteric clinic and institute gone wrong.  There are psychics, sinister New Age stuff gone awry, and a weird ALTERED STATES-esque sequence in which something comes back from the “other side” with an acid tripper who took it too far.  It looks and feels like it was made in the 80’s, and not the fun-time 80’s either but a weird technophobic underbelly of the era instead.  I’d probably throw it in the same loony bin that VIDEODROME came from.

For a recommended book, I’d say to check out THE ARCANUM by Thomas Wheeler.  It brings together Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, HP Lovecraft, and Marie Laveau in an epic fictional crossover.  Folk who enjoyed Paul Malmont’s fictionalized pulp writers’ adventures will probably dig this.  It was a lot of fun.

And for a TV show, folks who’ve never seen THE PRISONER should watch it (and stay away from the AMC remake).  Hell, folks who’ve already seen it a million times should watch it again.  It’s not just entertainment, it’s thought-provoking televisual art.

Derrick Ferguson: What can we look forward to from you in 2015?

DG: Hopefully a lot more than what I’ve been able to crank out so far.  I’ve got a short story in Airship 27’s upcoming 2nd volume of TALES OF THE HANGING MONKEY, which was a blast to write and led me to creating a heroine who’ll probably show up again elsewhere.  I’ve also just completed a short story for another publisher that’s unlike anything I’ve written yet.  Not only is it a modern-day story, it’s also in a genre that doesn’t really have a lot of prose material out there.  Beyond that I’ve got another short story slot in one of Airship 27’s future volumes of MYSTERY MEN & WOMEN, a tale featuring a character I’ve wanted to do for a long time and only recently was able to flesh out.  And another short story slot in an anthology I can’t talk about yet: very top secret right now.

Apart from all this short story stuff (which is proving to be really fun and liberating), I’d also like to get around to finishing the Challenger Storm web serial I started on my blog a long time ago: that’s been really neglected.  I’m still cooking up Storm #3, WHITE HELL while making sure it hits the right notes it needs to hit.  There’s also a dream novel I’m working on that focuses on a favorite public domain superhero of mine.  And I’d love to go ahead with plans of the “Storm legacy” novel, where we catch up with his grandchildren as they find their own way into adventure.

Yikes, that’s a lot.  As long as I can kick myself in the butt hard enough, I can deliver on all of that.  Wish me luck: I’ll need it!  And thanks for this interview: it’s been fun!