Showing posts with label Pro Se. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pro Se. Show all posts

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.




Thursday, October 1, 2015

23 Months Later With CHUCK MILLER

It’s been awhile since the original Kickin’ The Willy Bobo Interview with Chuck so I thought it way past time we caught up with what he’s all about and what he’s doing 23 MONTHS LATER…


Derrick Ferguson: Have there been any major changes in your life personally and professionally since we last talked?

Chuck Miller: Nothing major, though I have been a little busier in both areas. I've been branching out and doing some different things, like Sherlock Holmes, and a character called Zero that I've done some stories about for Moonstone. I had a few health issues recently that slowed me down a little, but I'm getting back on track now.



DF: How do you feel your writing has developed since we last talked?

CM: I think it's gotten a little smoother. I'm starting to develop a better sense of what should be left in and what should be cut out. I'm slightly less neurotic about it. Usually. If I'm having a good day.

DF: The universe of The Black Centipede has certainly expanded and grown larger since CREEPING DAWN: RISE OF THE BLACK CENTIPEDE. Was this by design or has the character’s popularity added fuel to your creative fires?

CM: Most of the characters I've been introducing have been around (in my head and notebooks) as long as The Black Centipede has. I came up with them for a comic book I wanted to do back in the 80s and 90s that never got off the ground. Vionna Valis comes from that, as do Jack Christian and Dana Unknown. Jack, Dana and Vionna are the main characters in "The Optimist," a novel I wrote five or six years ago. Nothing much happened with that either, but I decided to use some of the supporting cast in solo short stories, and thus The Black Centipede developed into whatever he is now. I've been planning to rewrite "The Optimist" to bring it in line with the continuity changes I've made. I need to do that because the events in that story are constantly being referred back to in my new stuff. Jack was originally supposed to be the central character in my little universe, but The Centipede has stolen his spot. Still, he is going to be more of a presence in future stories. He is the narrator and central character in The Return of Little Precious, and that story leads into other things.

Aside from that, I knew that The Centipede would need a supporting cast. I came up with Percival Doiley and Stan Bartowski. I have also made William Randolph Hearst and Amelia Earhart into regulars, though that wasn't my original intention. But the character needs to be grounded a little bit, and the supporting characters do that, and they also give him different personalities to play off of. He has a particular kind of relationship with Percy, another kind with Hearst, yet another with Stanley, and so on. There is a lot of potential for humor in all of these interactions, and humor is an essential component. Really, the inspirations for the way most of my characters interact are old sitcoms and comics like Little Lulu. You have characters with well-defined personality quirks, and they play off of one another in ways that are predictable in a good way.

DF: Didn’t I read some time ago that Hollywood was interested in The Black Centipede? Or is that just an unfounded rumor?

CM: I hope it isn't unfounded, but it's difficult to know who is serious about what. I think The Centipede would make a great TV series, something along the lines of "Boardwalk Empire," a period piece with lots of real people showing up.

DF: Tell us about THE BAY PHANTOM

CM: He started out as the subject of a humorous short story I wrote a while back called "The Return of Doctor Piranha." Set in the present day, in my old hometown of Mobile, Alabama, it was about a down-and-out pulp adventure hero from the 1930s. The magazine I wrote it for ended up never being published, so I just posted it online for free and forgot about it for a while. Later on, I started thinking about doing a new series, something totally separate from the world of The Black Centipede, and I remembered The Bay Phantom. So I took him back to the 30s, came up with some backstory, and introduced a cast of supporting characters.


He's a different kind of character from any of my others, and I use him to tell different kinds of stories. He's actually a rather complex character. He is competent and can be ruthless when he has to, but he is also rather naive, and even innocent in a strange way. He has inner conflicts, but he doesn't let them get in the way of what he's doing, though he goes to great lengths to understand or resolve them. We'll see more of him grappling with his "dark side" in the second book, The Feast of the Cannibal Guild. That is still a work in progress, but I'm hoping to finish it up before the end of October, or at least by Thanksgiving, if not Christmas or Groundhog Day. In it, he will be separated from Mirabelle for a while; she is off on a "secret mission" of her own, which is basically the other half of the story. I like the way they work together, but I wanted to see how they would fare as solo acts. Mirabelle is also a complex character, and we'll get into more about her past and what motivates her.

DF: Tell us about VIONNA AND THE VAMPIRES

CM: It started out as a simple little novella in which Vionna Valis and Mary Jane Kelly encounter Professor James Moriarty, who has for many years now been Lord of the Vampires. It seems he was "rescued" by Dracula after he took his plunge off the Reichenbach Falls and turned into a vampire. Vionna and Mary encounter him when he starts bedeviling a young man named Scudder Moran, a descendant of Moriarty's old lieutenant, Colonel Sebastian Moran. With a little help from the ghost of Sherlock Holmes, the girls deal with him. When I decided to make an official novel out of it, I needed a lot more material to fill it out.


Since the main story was complete, I decided to do some background stuff, showing how Moriarty got mixed up with Dracula in the first place. What I came up with was a middle section in which Vionna finds herself transported to London in the year 1888-- a sort of telepathic time-travel dream thing of an uncertain nature, induced by the ghost of Holmes, who has been trapped in Vionna's head. She takes the place of Watson as Holmes is engaged by the still-human Moriarty to track down Jack the Ripper. The Ripper being one of the main villains in The Black Centipede saga, I took the opportunity to fill out a little bit of history there, and it builds on some of the events in Blood of the Centipede.

DF: Do you think you have found an audience or has your audience found you?

CM: A little of both, I guess. But I'm hearing more and more from people I don't know and don't have any connection to, which is good. I do a lot of self-publicizing on social media, and I sometimes sell books one at a time to people I come into contact with. I really need to start getting out to conventions and things.

DF: Where do you see Chuck Miller in five years?

CM: Wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, more popular than the Beatles, able to bend steel in my bare hands. Either that, or the same place I was five years ago, which is basically right here. But five years older than now.

DF: How do you see the New Pulp community these days? Is it a community?

CM: I think it is. Maybe not as much of one as it seemed to be for a while. Whatever the definition of New Pulp is, it is nebulous enough to accommodate all manner of things, and certain writers and certain kinds of stories which could fit within those boundaries are not identified as such. There are lots of gray areas around the edges, and any number of things could fit in.

That being the case, it isn't as much of a community as, say, Star Wars fans or Batman fans or anything that has a very clear-cut definition. I don't hear the term New Pulp used as often as I used to. But there are still these core people who identify with it, so it is a community, albeit a rather small one. Maybe some sort of big event is needed to draw more people in and generate more interest. I don't know what form it would take, though.

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

CM: It might! I mean, it's respectable already, but in terms of gaining a wider audience-- which we'd all like to see-- I think the potential is there. The popularity of the superhero genre is ongoing, and may hold out for a few more years. Since that is closely related to what we're doing, a little door is standing open. The question is, how do we get through it? I don't have an answer for that. I don't know a lot about marketing. It may come down to dumb luck on somebody's part. The right book making its way into the right hands at the right time. I don't know of any way to force that to happen. 

We're not really tapping into even the comic book/sci-fi community the way we ought to be, but I don't know what the solution is. That would certainly be the first step, before trying to break into any kind of mainstream recognition. But there are a lot of talented people working in the New Pulp field, and if their work could find its way into the hands of enough people, I think it would really take off. After all, the most popular book series in recent memory is Harry Potter, and those stories could easily fit under the pulp umbrella.

DF: What are you working on now?

CM: I've got several things coming out over the next few months. As I mentioned earlier, the next installment of The Black Centipede and his pals' adventures, The Return of Little Precious, is coming from Pro Se Press. This one stars Doctor Unknown Junior, and it wraps up the Moriarty trilogy. There's also the return of a villain from one of the early Centipede books. That's already done, and it's in the editing stage now. I'm currently working on the second Bay Phantom novel, Feast of the Cannibal Guild, the next Vionna and Mary, Into the Void, and sort of tentatively sketching out the next Black Centipede. I'm also doing things for Pro Se's Single Shot line, including new Centipede and Vionna short stories, and a new character called the Red Dagger. He is a sort of spinoff from Blood of the Centipede. Lancelot Cromwell, the hedonistic actor who played The Black Centipede in the movie decides to become a masked crime-fighter for real. It does not go smoothly.


Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know?

Chuck Miller: Well, a couple of "bucket list" projects have been done and are working their way toward publication. One of them is a Sherlock Holmes novel I've done for Airship 27. Sherlock Holmes: The Picture of Innocence is a reworking of The Sign of the Four and A Scandal in Bohemia. It guest stars Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde, and was also inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray.


The other one is something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. My absolute favorite TV show ever is Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I recently had the opportunity to do two Kolchak novelettes for Moonstone Books, and those are set to be released in February of 2016. Penny Dreadful and The Time Stalker are going to be published in a single volume. I don't want to give too much away, but I'll tell you that one of them features the return of a monster from the small screen, while the other deals with Carl Kolchak's encounter with one of the most notorious real-life psychopaths of all time.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Progress Report #16

Y’know, I really have to stop promising that I’m going to do these Progress Reports on a more timely basis because everytime I do, up jumps The Devil and puts more work in my way. Then I feel guilty about goofing off here at BLOOD & INK instead of doing the writing I’m supposed to be doing. But then, when I don’t update the daggone thing I feel I’m slighting those of you who do read it. The Eternal Dilemma.

But it hasn’t been as if I’ve totally neglected it. I hope you’ve been enjoying the book reviews and “Kickin’ The Willy Bobo” interviews. And I have been busy with a few things that I’m sure you know about but just in case you don’t, allow me to catch you up as well as inform you about a few things coming your way in the months ahead:

We haven’t even hit the halfway point of the year yet and you’ve got three Dillon adventures to keep you busy. “Dillon and The Last Rail To Khusra” Young DillonIn The Halls of Shamballah” and “The Vril Agenda.” There’s three more new Dillon adventures planned for the rest of the year but for more information on those you’ll have to go over to the DILLON blog. Ain’t I a stinker?

The major project that is taking up most of my time is one that I can’t say much about yet as it’s a special project I’m working on for Pro Se. If I say too much about it, Tommy Hancock will cut out my tongue. You know how he is about his announcements and teases. But I think I’m safe enough in telling you this much: Tommy came to me with an idea for me to novelize a movie. Not just any movie mind you. But one of the worst movies ever made. I’ve seen the thing more than once in the course of taking notes for the novel and trust me on this. This movie makes “Plan 9 From Outer Space” look like “Citizen Kane.” Yes, it’s that bad.

But I had a challenge from not only Tommy but the star/director of the movie himself; write the novel and make it better than the movie. If it’s one thing I can’t resist, it’s a challenge. And after writing two Dillon adventures back-to-back I thought it would be a nice change of pace. And so far it has been. I should be done with it by the end of this month and no doubt Tommy will be telling you all the grisly details about it then.

What else? There’s a new Sebastian Red story; “Sorrowful Are The Souls That Sleep With Gold” that will be appearing in HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD Vol. III sooner than you think. Last I heard the plan was to drop the ebook first with the paperback to follow soon after. So keep your eyes open for that. I get a lot of inquiries about a Sebastian Red anthology and I’m not ignoring you, I promise. There’s one story I have to finish; “The Bloodstained Trail” and then I can see about putting the thing together with the existing stories. The next time you see Sebastian Red after that will be in a novel that for now I’m calling THE SEVEN GUNS OF SEBASTIAN RED.

I’ve also got to finish the third episode of A MAN CALLED MONGREL before Ron Fortier disowns me completely. The man has the patience of a Kansas City accountant, I tell ya. But in the last month or so I’ve actually been contemplating going ahead and writing a 30K story to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion. It’s a decision I’ve been wrestling with for quite a while and didn’t want to make but the hard truth is that Mongrel Henderson, much as I love him is a character that nobody seems much interested in reading about. And it’s mostly my fault because I don’t publicize Mongrel as much as I do Dillon or Fortune McCall or Sebastian Red. I suppose he’s that little brother who simply can’t get out of the shadows of his bigger, more successful brothers. And I’d rather devote my time and energy to writing stories about characters people do want to read. Maybe it’s just not Mongrel’s time or maybe I should go back to my original plan I had for him: find a helluva good artist and do a Mongrel graphic novel. We’ll see. In any case, I’ll keep you posted.

What else? I guess that’s it. Thank you for stopping by to chat and let’s get together real soon to do this again. In the meantime, read some good books, watch some good movies and say hello to everyone you meet.





Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With: TOMMY HANCOCK




Derrick Ferguson: Who is Tommy Hancock?

Tommy Hancock: It might be easier to answer with who I’m not, but we’ll leave that for another interview.  I am a father of three kids I dearly love (Braeden, Alex, and Kailee), husband to Lisa, who is overdue for her mental evaluation because she is still putting up with me, and an avid idea guy.  By that I mean I have ideas for stories and projects and events and…and…well, stuff all the time.   I’ve always been that way and it’s driven me into a whole lot of interesting directions.  Probably defined me more than anything else has, that urge to create, to get ideas out. It’s definitely shown me my strengths and weaknesses.





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

TH: I live in Melbourne, Arkansas, a little town north of Batesville, Arkansas, which is a slightly bigger town about 90 miles north of Little Rock.

I am currently an investigator for an Attorney.  Not necessarily Pulp material, but sometimes it gets really interesting. And definitely inspires stories.

DF: Tell us something about your background.

TH: Grew up that kid who wrote his first story in third grade and used his friends as the heroes.  Never stopped writing after that.  By eighth grade, turned the stories into a script that we used to talk our English Teacher, Mrs. Sifford, into letting us act out.  Moved into theater that way, into audio drama from there, and somewhere along the way I collected comics, old time radio, books, and Pulps.  My parents and little sister didn’t really understand how I was a part of the foursome they called a family because my interests didn’t fit any of theirs.  So, I sort of got on a kick of searching out similar minds.  Took a while, but found a whole passle of ‘em in 1997 in the world of Fan Fiction.  From there, while I built a pretty neat family of my own, worked on my own original stuff until Pro Se happened.

DF: What are your influences?

TH: As eclectic as my interests. I am a huge Mystery/Detective fan and a writing influence is most definitely Robert B. Parker.  But I draw a lot from Hammett, from L’amour, Stuart Kaminsky, Steven J. Cannell (his television work), and a handful of Pulp types as well. 

Also, my writing is heavily influenced by my love of old TV and radio shows.  There’s something about the economy of 23 minute shows that I love and has given me the ability to tell a story in short form tightly and succinctly.

I also have three major influences, believe it or not, that are musical in nature.  The body of works of Jimmy Buffett, Johnny Cash, and Meatloaf hugely impact my storytelling.  All three have different ways to tell a story, but they share one things-the almost cinematic way the stories they tell unfold.

DF: Which do you like better: writing, editing or publishing?

TH: That’s a hard question to ask simply because, to be honest, they’re the same for me.  Not that that they are the same activity, but what I derive from each is the same.  The concept of contributing to new stories, to being part of a creative process, to putting even just a little bit of me into a tale…I can do that as an author, editor, and publisher.  So, really, they’re all equal with me.

I’ve got a huge focus now on all aspects of creating, not just putting words on the page.  I am a major part of the storytelling process in publishing and even as an editor.  Also, my creativity has taken on a life of its own, evolving through conventions, events, and such.  I’ve learned that I am as much a part of the story as the stories we publish and I write.  So, being in panels, joining in discussions about writing and such, and coming up with special events is a new thing creatively for me in the writing sense.  Although, to be honest, I’ve always made room for the creative stuff I wanted to do.

DF: What is your philosophy of writing?

TH: It’s pretty simple.  Have the idea first.  Don’t write until You have the idea.  And even then, don’t write until the idea has You.  I am not a believer in the concept that stories go where they want to once the writing process starts.  The writer is the driver at that point.  But I firmly feel like while the idea is still just that, an abstract construct teasing one’s mind, then that is the moment where anything can happen.  And when it does, when the idea has you enough, then You write.  And You write until it’s done, even if that takes five years and you do other stories in between.  I have several ideas in progress and some that are just pieces…that I will write, that will end up in something I do.  Because the ideas had me before I started writing them down.

DF: What writing projects are you working on now?

TH: A lot that I’m really behind on.  One of the curses of doing a ton of things is that other things get left behind.  But that’s part of growing and I’ve tackled the ‘No, this can wait’ philosophy that anyone who is overwhelmed sort of slides into.   I’m working at this moment on a few things, including The Rook Volume 7, ‘Nomorrow (the follow up to my first novel, Yesteryear), The Adventures of Nicholas Saint, all for Pro Se.  Then I’m working on a Fight Card novella as well as a comic book and a couple of other things I can’t reveal for Moonstone.  I also have a two book deal with Dark Oak Press, one being a hard-boiled detective novel, which I am working on currently. 







DF: What’s the best thing you’ve written so far?

TH: Either “Lucky”, a story based on the Nightbeat radio show for a collection this past year from Radio Archives or my first published story, “Crossing Contention”, a western short featuring Virgil Earp, a story published by Airship 27.

DF: Where did your love affair with Pulp begin?

TH: Standing in an Kmart looking up at a spinner rack that had books on it and pulling a Doc Savage omnibus off of it.   Started like blazes right then and didn’t stop.

DF: What’s the best advice you can give an aspiring writer who wants to venture into the wild and wooly world of New Pulp?

TH: Read. Read what it is You think You want to write.  Then, when You decide to write for a Publisher, read what they publish.  That is a must, as far as I’m concerned.  A question I always ask new writers who approach Pro Se is ‘What of ours have You read?’

DF: How has New Pulp grown from where it was to where it is now?

TH: I think the readership has grown, although not where any of us want it to be.  I also think, and this may irritate a few people, that New Pulp has sort of reached its capacity in the way most companies have approached it.  We feed a niche and that niche has plenty to eat with Pro Se and other companies out there, not to mention what is out that really is New Pulp even though it doesn’t call itself such.  If Pro Se and others want to continue on, want to leave a mark outside our little circle, then we have to consider different ways of doing that without compromising what we want to produce.

Part of that means, at least for Pro Se, using the wide brush that I’ve always painted what Pulp is with.  To appeal to readers who wouldn’t think to pick up a book that someone says is a super hero book or a mystery book, to find writers, artists, and stories that fit what we do, but also to widen the reach of our work, New Pulp has to push beyond itself.







DF: What is the fascination that we as writers and readers have for the Classic Pulp Heroes?

TH: I can tell you what it is for me.  It’s to make sure their stories go on.  When I love a character, the two words I hate the most are ‘The End’.  So I enjoy reading new stories of established characters, even bad ones, because at least I know the story goes on. They keep on living.

DF: Tell us The Secret Origin of Pro Se.

TH: Well, one secret that isn’t really is I didn’t start Pro Se.  I have a partner, Fuller Bumpers, who worked as a writer and actor in LA for several years, who came back to Arkansas to be a lawyer and have a family, but couldn’t beat the bug of wanting to create.  Fuller brought me on board as we got to know each other in our regular jobs and he found out I was a creative like him.  We started out looking at audio drama and that was fun, but not where either of our hearts really were.  So, with my learning about the New Pulp Movement (not yet named such at that point), we decided to push in that direction and resurrected the Pulp magazine, then moved on to books and the rest is what Pro Se is today.






DF: Why have your own publishing house?

TH: That’s a question that probably should be harder to answer than it is.  Because I wanted to.  I wanted to have books I’d want to read and although some companies were doing what I liked, I knew the only way I’d really get books that I’d love to have on my shelf was to have a hand in producing them.

DF: What can we expect from Pro Se in 2014?

TH: A lot. I’m pretty well known for teases, you know, hinting at what’s coming…so that’s what I’ll do in response to this. A new imprint that takes a rather unique look at Genre Fiction... Women of Fantasy (and that's all I’m allowed to say at this point)... a Crossover that will shake one Universe at home in Pro Se to its foundations...a New Pulp Novel by a Classic Pulp Author...Another new imprint that will definitely pull back the steamy underbelly of Pulp and show how raw it can be…and the launch of something that no one else in our corner of publishing is doing that we think it is high time for. And that isn’t all…have to leave people wanting more.

DF: Where do you see Pro Se five years from now?

TH: I don’t really have a clear concept of where Pro Se will be in five years.  I have a plan, one that I’ve sort of kept close to the vest.  In five years, we’ll be in the third phase of it and all I can say is, if it goes anywhere near like I plan, then Pro Se will be a little bit of everywhere.

DF: What’s a Typical Day In The Life of Tommy Hancock like?
TH: Very busy.  Literally a juggling act.  I get up, I pulp, I take care of the family, go to work, Pulp when I can get the time there, come home, do the family thing, then Pulp more.  

Although that is pretty much a day in day out sort of thing, I’ve been fortunate.  I’ve had people say, “wow, to be so focused on Pro Se and Pulp, that’s gotta be a lot of work and lonely.” It is a lot of work, but the instant it feels like work to me, I’ll walk away.  And as far as being alone, not in the least.  I’ve got a great staff at Pro Se.  Morgan Minor is the best wingwoman ever.  And then I have a circle of friends, sort of my own little Algonquin Round Table, that figuratively and at least digitally literally surround me and keep me going.  So, I’m good with a Pulp filled daily routine.

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we need to know?

www.prose-press.com
www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions
www.prosepodcast.libsyn.com
www.pulped.libsyn.com
www.ideaslikebullets.blogspot.com


Tommy Hancock: That’s about it. Thanks for the opportunity




Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With: ANDREA JUDY



Derrick Ferguson: Who is Andrea Judy?

Andrea Judy: Someone recently called me a pulp pixie and I like the sound of that. I’m fresh out of grad school and obsessed with pop culture.



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

AJ: I work for a large university in Atlanta, GA where I manage social media accounts, pay the bills, and generally keep the office running smoothly. My coworkers are pretty much the most awesome people ever, and we nerd out on a regular basis.

DF: How long have you been writing?

AJ: Forever? I’ve been writing since I learned how to put the pencil to paper and form coherent sentences, but I’ve been telling stories since I could talk.


DF: What writers have influenced you?

AJ: Peter S. Beagle and “The Last Unicorn” was one of my favorite things as a child, and I think that has helped keep a sense of fantasy and wonder in me even as an adult. I also loved the  Jim Hensen movies “The Dark Crystal” and “Labyrinth” played on repeat at all times through my childhood.

Other writers that influence me are Neil Gaiman, Kelly Sue Deconnick, and Lisa Mannetti.


DF: What do you think about New Pulp? Is it here to stay?

AJ: I think it’s absolutely here to stay. Fast-paced, fun adventurous stories are something that world needs and that people want. Whether the name of New Pulp will stick with the genre or not, I’m not sure. I’m of the belief that pulp is the style of the writing and story, not the name of the genre or movement as a whole.

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

AJ: The same advice I’d give any upcoming writer. FINISH WHAT YOU START. You can’t sell a story until it’s done, and you can’t rewrite something until it’s been written. It’s so easy to get caught up in talking about writing, in plotting, researching, planning, etc. Butt in char and fingers on keyboard (or writing by pen and pencil if that’s your thing) are the most important things that a new writer can learn.


DF: How did you develop the character of The Bone Queen?

AJ: I’ve always had a morbid obsession with graveyards and things that go bump in the night, so when I was tasked with creating a story for The Pulptress, I knew that I wanted something dark.

A few years ago, I studied in Paris, and visited the catacombs several times. I stayed fascinated by them, and by Paris, long after my return home, and The Pulptress seemed a perfect fit. I also wanted to put her in a place where guns weren’t the norm, and the world was a little bit different than here in America.

The Bone Queen came about because I needed someone equal to The Pulptress, someone that could be her shadow. I love spooky, supernatural things so I dove right in to giving The Bone Queen the ability to rise the dead by eating their bones and never looked back.


DF: When she made her first appearance in “The Pulptress” did you know you were going to write a novel about her?

AJ: I had no idea there would ever be a stand-alone work about her! In fact I wasn’t even sure there’d be a story in “The Pulptress!”



A little known fact is that my story in “The Pulptress” was written from scratch at the eleventh hour. My computer corrupted and I lost everything I had from the story and had to start over right at the deadline. I was so focused on making sure the story was sharp (and done!) that I never entertained the possibility of doing more with her. Luckily, the new version worked much better than the lost drafts (and was much better for Paulette and Pascal) and as soon as it was turned in and off for edits, I took a nice long nap before I even entertained the possibility of doing anything else.

After “The Pulptress” released, there was a lot of interest in her, and the story was really popular. Eventually I was approached about doing an origin story for her. I jumped at the chance. I adore villains and I think there’s a distinct lack of lady villains so getting the chance to explore where she came from was an incredible opportunity.


DF: Tell us about the novel itself. What is THE BONE QUEEN about?

AJ: The Bone Queen is about where this villain came from and how she gained her powers. It follows Renata, a devotee of the goddess of death, and her band of survivors as they struggle through Black Plague ravaged France. The dead are rising and going to war, and the living are barely scraping by. Renata vows to find the person responsible for this abomination against death and sets onto a path that explores just how much she’s willing to give up to achieve that goal.




DF: Tell us about your future plans for The Bone Queen.

AJ: The Bone Queen will be making another appearance in my second digest novel with Pro Se which will throw The Pulptress and The Bone Queen into battle once again. I’m very excited about this story and can’t wait for everyone to see it!


DF: Anything else you’re working on that we should know about?

AJ: I have a superhero story coming out in “Capes and Clockwork”, a steampunk superhero anthology that will be out soon. It’s about a female detective whose left arm can turn into anything she’s touched, and her hunt for a killer who freezes people from the inside out.


DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? Is there an audience out there for Andrea Judy?

AJ: I think my audience is anyone who enjoys a good, fast-paced story with a bit of darkness to it. I rarely write with a specific audience in mind. I write to tell an awesome story!


DF: What’s a typical Day In The Life of Andrea Judy like?

AJ: Hm... typical… Usually I’m up by 5:30. I work out, and then goof around on the Internet, schedule posts on social media, and read my favorite webcomics before going to work.

I’m lucky that I get to read during my commute so I usually am reading some new book. It’s awesome because this way I can go through 2-3 books a week just by reading on the train.

During lunch I try to write or work on something but it doesn’t always pan out that way. When I get home, I sit down and write at least 750 words before I eat. After that I write, edit, read, watch a movie or play video games.


Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know about Andrea Judy?

Andrea Judy: A fun fact is that I’m very short. I’m under five feet tall and I think a lot of my friends are convinced I am actually a pixie and not a human at all.