Showing posts with label Joshua Reynolds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Joshua Reynolds. Show all posts

Monday, December 23, 2013

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With: JOSHUA REYNOLDS

Derrick Ferguson: Who is Joshua Reynolds?

Joshua Reynolds: I'm a literary mercenary with a modest level of talent and more-than-modest level of self-confidence. I'm a hack, a penmonkey, an ink-stained wretch, a word-dribbler.

I am, in other words, a freelance writer.



DF: Where do you currently reside and what do you do for a living?

JR: I currently reside in the city of Sheffield, which is in the north of England and, as oh-so subtly hinted at by my previous answer, I write for a living. 

DF: Share some of your personal background with us.

JR: I was once bitten by a rattlesnake.

It died.

DF: Access the memories of the 12 year old Josh Reynolds. Are you right now doing what the 12 year old Josh Reynolds dreamed of doing?

JR: Insomuch as it doesn't involve reigning over my own country like a power-mad dictator, I would say no. This was like three, maybe four down the list from that particular dream.

Definitely in the top fifteen, though.

DF: What is your philosophy of writing?

JR: I dunno...quantity has a quality all its own? No, but seriously, my philosophy is hard to put into words. Polite words, I mean. It mostly involves cursing and throwing papers up in the air, and having men with guns come through doors every two thousand words or so.

DF: How would you describe your style?

JR: Gratuitous? I don't know really. I think that's one of those questions you have to ask somebody who's not me to get a good answer.
The thing is, I don't think about it much. Writing is a job, and it's one I've gotten mostly adept at. But beyond that, I don't think about it in terms of style or philosophies or anything like that. I sit down, I write, I submit, I move on to the next thing. If something works, I repeat it until it stops working. If it doesn't work, I discard it and come up with something new.

Hey, maybe that's my answer to both this question and the previous one! My philosophy and my style is 'whatever works'.

DF: You’ve written an hellacious amount of short stories. Obviously you like the short story. Why?

JR: It is, in my opinion, one of the most efficient and effective ways of delivering an entertaining story. A short story forces you to pare and tweak and chisel at everything that isn't story. Books and novellas can take their time, they can have flabby bits and tangents and bits of business that add to characterization and the setting. But short stories have to get to the point--whatever that point might be--very quickly. You have to establish characters, plot and setting right from page one, paragraph one, sentence one.

DF: Exactly how many short stories have you written and if you had to pick three as your best, which ones would they be?

JR: Written, or had published? If it's the latter, almost two hundred. If it's the former...three, maybe three-hundred and fifty? I write between sixteen and twenty five a year, on average, these days.

As far as three of the best...the first is maybe "Just an Old Fashioned Love Song", which was published in 2007 in a magazine called Not One of Us. It's got a weird, funky rhythm to it that I've only managed to replicate once or twice since.

Second would be "Corn Wolf", which appeared in a 2010 issue of Necrotic Tissue. It's a straight-edge horror story, with Jamesian wallop to the rural horror twist. It's got one of my usual tricks--something horrible moving through something innocuous in a disturbing fashion--and a fairly nasty climax, which make it one of my more effective stories.

Third would have to be "Bultungin", which was published in 2013 in the anthology Shapeshifters. I think this is one of my better ones because I went outside of my comfort zone with it. Not necessarily in terms of plot, but in terms of setting and characters. Plus...were-hyenas. Hard to top that.   

DF: Some of my favorite stories of yours are an insane mash-up of horror, steampunk, pulp action adventure and historical fiction. Do you ever worry that your work cannot be easily classified or labeled?

JR: Nah. If it sells, it doesn't matter to me how it's labeled and if it doesn't sell...well it's moot, ain't it?

DF: I’m a big fan of your Mr. Brass stories. How did you give birth to the character?

JR: I wanted to write something steampunk-y, so I decided to go all in from the get-go. A brass robot-man punching out characters from Victorian literature seemed fairly steampunk.

Granted, what I considered steampunk at that point was 'like that Alan Moore thing, only less subtle'.

DF: Do you plan on writing a Mr. Brass novel or do you feel the character is more suited to short stories?

JR: If someone offered me the right terms, I'd whip up a novel in a heartbeat. But as that has yet to occur, I think I'll be sticking with short stories for the time being.

DF: In the New Pulp community whenever Jim Anthony, Super Detective is mentioned, your name is sure to be mentioned as well. How did you come to write Jim Anthony and why do you think you understand the character and his world so well?

JR: When I was first invited to submit something to Airship 27 several years ago, Ron Fortier was kind enough to send me a list of public domain pulp characters. The write-up of Jim Anthony on that list began, I think, with the phrase 'second-rate Doc Savage clone', and that immediately caught my attention. More for the Doc part than the second-rate bit.



Thing is, I've always wanted to write Doc Savage. It's on my bucket-list. And, frankly, I think Jim Anthony is as close as I'll get. Which is no bad thing. The Super-Detective is a fun character, with as much going for him as Doc, at least from the point of view of a writer. Jim Anthony is a very human character. He's passionate, opinionated, arrogant and lusty. He gets angry and depressed and frightened. And he can punch supervillains. What's not to like?

DF: Can we expect more Jim Anthony adventures?

JR: I'm actually in the process of writing a sequel to my last novel with the character, Death's Head Cloud, right now. The working title is Red Shambhala, and it sees Jim and co. face off against a murderous Russian aristocrat as they hunt for a treasure hidden in the wilds of Mongolia.

So the short answer would be 'yes'.



DF: You’ve written several novels for the prestigious Black Library. How did you get a contract to write for them and what advice can you offer to those who would like to write for them?

JR: I got the first contract the old fashioned way. I submitted a proposal, the commissioning editor liked it and I got offered a contract. As to advice, the best I can think of is, quite simply, write something else. Black Library rarely hire first-time writers, and my resume played a large part in getting me that first offer.

DF: I really enjoyed KNIGHT OF THE BLAZING SUN. Where’d you come up with that story?

JR: It evolved naturally out of my interest in real-world knightly orders like the Templars, and how they functioned. It was really just a matter of taking that interest and figuring out how to explore it through the lens of the Warhammer Fantasy universe.



DF: For those who don’t know, tell us who Gotrex & Felix are.

JR: Gotrek & Felix are Black Library's oldest and, perhaps, best-loved franchise. Created almost twenty years ago by veteran fantasy writer Bill King, Gotrek is a dwarf warrior determined to find a fitting doom, in order to expunge some heretofore unrevealed sin. Felix is a human poet who, after a being rescued by Gotrek, is honour-bound to follow him on his adventures and record his eventual demise.

I've written two novels about the duo--Road of Skulls in 2013 and The Serpent Queen which will be released in 2014--as well as a novella and a number of short stories.




DF: Can you tell us about any future novels you’ll be writing for Black Library?

JR: Unfortunately, I can't. They'd send somebody by my house to break my thumbs if I mentioned anything. Suffice to say, I'm writing at least two more novels for them. After that...who can say?

DF: A particular type of fictional hero that you have demonstrated a huge love for is that of The Occult Investigator or Psychic Detective. Where does that come from?

JR: Mostly it comes from a love of the central concept behind such a character--someone who fights monsters. A person who faces off against every nightmarish horror the Outer Dark can produce as a matter of professional and personal responsibility. Like the detectives of Conan Doyle, Chandler and Christie, the occult detective seeks to bring the monsters to justice, only in the latter's case, the monster isn't a poisoner or a blackmailer, but a werewolf or a vampire or a gibbering horror. And that's something I just plain dig.

DF: Who is The Royal Occultist and what is his job?

JR: The Royal Occultist is the man--or woman--who stands between the British Empire and its occult enemies, be they foreign, domestic, human, demonic or some form of worm of unusual size. If there are satyrs running amok in Somerset or werewolves in Wolverhampton, the Royal Occultist will be there to see them off.

The current Royal Occultist is Charles St. Cyprian, who's best described as Rudolph Valentino by way of Bertie Wooster. In the same vein, his assistant, Ebe Gallowglass, is Louise Brooks by way of Emma Peel. St. Cyprian is the brains and Gallowglass is the muscle; he likes to talk things out, and she likes to shoot things until they die.



Together, they defend the British Empire of the 1920s against a variety of gribbly monsters, secret societies and eldritch occurrences.

DF: Tell us about THE WHITECHAPEL DEMON.

JR: The Whitechapel Demon is the first book in Emby Press' 'The Adventures of the Royal Occultist' series. It sees Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass go up against a secret society of murderists and an otherdimensional doppelganger of one of history's most notorious killers. The book serves as an introduction to the world of the Royal Occultist as well as delivering an exciting adventure for new readers and old fans alike to enjoy.





DF: Can we expect to see future adventures of Charles St. Cyprian and Ebe Gallowglass? Please say yes.

JR: Definitely. Next year will see the release of The Jade Suit of Death, the follow up to The Whitechapel Demon. There are also a half dozen short stories waiting to appear in the pages of forthcoming anthologies and magazines, and two more audio productions in the works. Too, there may be a collection of short stories forthcoming from a well-known New Pulp publisher.

DF: What’s a Day In The Life of Joshua Reynolds like?

JR: Very boring, actually. I get up, I eat breakfast, drink some coffee, and get to work around eight, eight-thirty in the morning. I work on whatever project has the closest deadline until twelve, break for lunch and a coffee until one, and then work on a second project, or answer emails, mail contracts and invoices, run errands and/or update my blog until five or six. I generally try and get some more writing in between seven and midnight most nights.
Like I said, not very interesting.

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we need to know?

Joshua Reynolds: The best present you can get an author, besides buying one of their books, is taking the time to leave a review somewhere. So, if you've read something, please consider taking a few minutes to review it on Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords or wherever. I, and most every other author out there, would appreciate it immensely. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Favorite New Pulp Heroes




Daggone that Barry Reese. You may recall that awhile back Barry posted over at his blog a list of his 10 Favorite Classic Pulp Heroes. Me being a blatant copycat I quickly followed suit with my own list.

Well, now he's done it again but this time it's a list of his 10 Favorite New Pulp Heroes. And quite naturally I again have followed in his illustrious footsteps and done the same.

Some of you might nitpick about my placing Captain Hazzard on this list as he was created back in 1937. My argument for that is this: there was only one story published and with his four Captain Hazzard novels, I consider Ron Fortier to have sufficiently re-imagined the character enough for him to qualify as a New Pulp hero. If you think I'm wrong, feel free to let me know and we'll jaw about it. Okay? Okay.

And I also have a special shout out of my own to Joel Jenkins who made my list twice. So without further delay here's my list of my Favorite New Pulp Heroes:


10: The Imposter (Created by Richard Lee Byers)
9: The Merkabah Rider (Created by Ed Erdelac)
8: Captain Hazzard (Re-Imagined by Ron Fortier)
7: The Pulptress (Created by Tommy Hancock)
6: Damage, Inc. (Created by Joel Jenkins)
5: The Gantlet Brothers (Created by Joel Jenkins)
4: Elisa Hill (Created by Percival Constantine)
3: The Black Centipede (Created by Chuck Miller)
2: Lazarus Gray (Created by Barry Reese)
1: Mr. Brass (Created by Joshua Reynolds)

More information about Mr. Brass can be found here and if you haven't yet read any of his adventures, I heartily suggest you do so.




Monday, September 23, 2013

Keepin' Stuff Straight

Hey, there!  Welcome back and thank you for stopping by once again to see what’s going on in my precious little corner of the world. This time I hope to clarify the purpose of the collection of blogs and Facebook pages I have or am affiliated with as some people have emailed me or contacted me via Skype or IM to ask me exactly how many blogs/FB pages I have and why I have ‘em. So without any more delay...

First there’s my Personal Facebook Page. I used to just dump everything here but I found that after a while even I was getting confused as to what was posted on there and when and why and important stuff like new book releases and movie reviews was getting mixed up with personal stuff and whatnot and it just got to be an unholy mess (is there such a thing a holy mess?)  So gradually I’ve been steering my personal FB page back to what it should be: a personal page. Oh, you’ll see announcements about new books I’ve got coming out and new movie reviews and such as those spheres of interest tend to overlap but I’m going to try and keep my FB personal page personal.  At least that’s the idea.  Moving on…

Usimi Dero.  This Facebook page is named after the birthplace of my most popular character, Dillon.  This is where I’m going to steer most of of my writing business/interests to.  Slowly but surely, but yonder lies The Promised Land and we’ll all get there eventually, I promise. The emphasis here is not only promotion about my work but that of others. So if you’ve got something you’d like to promote, (within reason of course) feel free to sign up. Discussions about anything and everything to do with writing is also encouraged. Digressions into other topics are not only welcome but encouraged.

The Better In The Dark Facebook page is one I administrate/maintain along with Thomas Deja, my On Air Partner, Our Musical Director Kelen Conley and Our Webmaster Kelly Logue. It’s the main method of communication by which Tom and I stay in contact with those with those who listen to and enjoy our podcast, Better In The Dark.  Here’s where I dump all my movie reviews, old and new and where we discuss movies, TV shows, animation, pop culture and a whole buncha other stuff along with our 193 members. If you like movies then this is the place to be.  We’ve got a wonderful and knowledgeable crew of movie fans and I can guarantee you’ll not only be entertained but educated as well.  

And finally the Dillon Facebook page page is alive and well. I actually began that because it was suggested to me by some pretty influential people whose opinion I trust and value me that Dillon should have his own FB. Hey, it doesn’t cost me a thing to maintain and so far it’s been fun interacting with folks who have read the books.

That covers the Facebook pages. Now mind you, I’m not that much of an egomaniac that I expect you to be interested in or join with up with all of ‘em. But if you’re interested in what I do, now you know which ones cover which particular aspect of my career.  Okay? Okay.  We continue onto the blogs…

BLOOD & INK is where you are now. Here is where I cover everything that isn’t Dillon or movie related.  Here’s where I  do the essay thing when I'm in the mood, throw in book reviews now and then, provide you with updates on what I’m working on or what I’ve got coming up.  I also do a series of interviews with writers, artists and various creative types I call “Kickin’ The Willy Bobo With…” mainly I do ‘em as a sneaky way of getting to know more about people I’m interested in.  And there are a lot of folks I know who are doing some serious cool stuff I want to share with you and others.

The DILLON blog has in-depth information on Dillon and his universe.  There are essays written by talented writers such as Percival Constantine and Brent Lambert, reviews of the various books and stories, behind the scenes stuff.  In short, if you’re at all interested in Dillon, this is where you should be. I regularly add to pages such as the Casting Call where I indulge in casting actors as the various characters and pretty soon I’ll be putting up a comprehensive chronology of the order in which the stories and novels should be read.

THE FERGUSON THEATER is where I house all my movies reviews.  I think I’m up to around 400 now.  Or pretty close to that in any rate.  Why movie reviews? Well, people constantly ask me my opinions of movies so I figured if I started writing reviews I could just simply point them to the review. It’s also good for me as a writer, I think. Writing reviews of movies (and books) are an exercise in taking apart a story and finding out what makes it click for me. Taking apart the stories of others helps me take apart my own stories and figure out what works and what doesn’t work.  It’s also just a lot of fun to write about movies.  And if you do drop by to check out my reviews and find them fun and informative there’s a handy dandy Paypal link (“Tip Jar”) by which you can demonstrate your appreciation with filthy lucre.

And PULPWORK PRESS is the imprint under which most of my work has appeared in print. So it's someplace you need to bookmark and stop by there for information on where to purchase not only my books but those written by my extraordinarily talented partners, Joel JenkinsJoshua Reynolds, the aforementioned Percival Constantine and Russ Anderson,


And I leave you with my second favorite quote from my twenty-first favorite book just because it’s my blog and I can. Until we get together again, read some good books, watch some good movies and get plenty of rest.  Peace!


Friday, July 27, 2012

TALES FROM THE HANGING MONKEY Reviewed!

William Patrick Maynard, currently the talented writer who is bringing a new audience into the world of Sax Rohmer thanks to The Terror of Fu Manchu and The Destiny of Fu Manchu had some really nice things to say about Airship 27's Tales From The Hanging Monkey which contains stories by Bill Craig, Joshua Reynolds, Tommy Hancock and myself. Bounce on over to the Black Gate blog to read for yourself what he had to say.


Friday, December 2, 2011

How The West Was Weird: Campfire Tales

Originally only available as a giveaway with purchase of How the West Was Weird, Vol. 2, the e-book CAMPFIRE TALES is now available at Amazon.com (for those of you with Kindles) and Smashwords.com (for those of you with any other kind of e-reader. This book includes 4 weird western short stories by Russ Anderson, Derrick Ferguson, Joel Jenkins, and Joshua M. Reynolds. For 99 cents, it's a steal!

Four astounding novellas combining the western with sci-fi and horror.  This new addition to Pulpwork Press's best-selling HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD series includes:

MR. BRASS AND THE CRIMSON SKIES OF KANSAS by Josh Reynolds. The robot Pinkerton is all that stands between President Teddy Roosevelt and an attack by sky pirates and Mr. Hyde.

HELL'S OWN by Russ Anderson. Zombies overrun a small western town, and the town's lone sheriff is the only one that's armed. Will anyone survive?

THE TALE OF THE BARON'S TRIBUTE by Derrick Ferguson. When a foe from Sebastian Red's past attacks him through his friends, Sebastian must undo the damage done to his loved ones and do battle with a foe who is, for once, in every way his equal.

GUNMEN OF THE HOLLOW EARTH by Joel Jenkins. Lone Crow, Doc Holliday, and Morgan Earp lead the surviving members of the Wild Bunch into a lost world at the center of the Earth, running afoul of dinosaurs, a tribe of barbarian women, and a posse of silver-hungry banditos who have followed them from the surface world.

So what are you waiting for?  Get on over to Amazon.com and get yourself a copy!