Showing posts with label Tommy Hancock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tommy Hancock. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With...JAMES HOPWOOD

Derrick Ferguson: Who is James Hopwood?
James Hopwood: James Hopwood is my pen name. I have also been Jack Tunney three times. But in the real world I am David James Foster.



I assumed a pen name to separate myself from three successful artists, albeit in different disciplines, who have published under the name David Foster. Firstly there is an excellent award winning Australian author; then a world champion woodchopper; and finally a successful musician and music producer. Then there's David Foster Wallace, of course. Adding another ‘David Foster’ to the marketplace, would not only detract from their achievements – as well as my own – but would also create confusion for the reading public.

DF: Where do you live and what do you do to keep the bill collectors, away?
JH: I live in Melbourne, Australia, in a little seaside suburb called Seaford. Near the pier that featured in the original Mad Max with Mel Gibson.


Yeah, those bill collectors, can't outrun those guys. I mainly work in graphic design and typesetting – small scale stuff, my illustration skills aren't too crash hot these days. But I get by, no complaints.

DF: Tell us something about your background.
JH: I grew up in rural Australia, about 2.5 hours north of Melbourne on the Murray River. It was a small town called Echuca. They filmed a TV mini-series there in the early 80s called All The Rivers Run, which starred Sigrid Thornton and John Waters. I only mention it, because those who've seen it will have a pretty good idea about my old home town. I got out of there pretty early though, in my late teens, to study art and design. Finally made my way to the big smoke, and have lived here ever since.

DF: How long have you been writing?
JH: I guess I've toyed around with writing since I was in my twenties, but I was one of those guys who kept it all hidden away in a bottom drawer. But the internet changed all that. I corresponded with like minded people from all around the globe, people who were into the same kind of books and stories as I was, and I thought if they're giving it a go, then I should too. Five years ago, I broke the shackles when I penned a novella for the Fight Card series, called KING OF THE OUTBACK. The reaction to it was pretty positive, which gave me the confidence to keep going.


DF: What's your philosophy of writing?
JH: I'm pretty loose with my approach, and I keep changing to suit my circumstances. I write pretty much every day because I enjoy it, but I am not too concerned if I miss a day or even a week. The thing for me is to be at least thinking about my work, and how I will use the time when I do get in front of a computer. I hate sitting in front of a blank screen waiting for inspiration to strike.

I am also a big believer in research. Like any writer, I hit road-blocks and snags along the way. But I have found the harder I work researching, the more likely I am to find that nugget that will get the story back on course. That's not to say my stories are based on fact, or some kind of concrete truth, but it's from there I find ideas spring forth.

DF: How did you get involved with HOLLYWOOD MYSTERY? Whose idea was it?
JH: Pro Se Productions put out an open call a couple of years ago for the anthology, and at the time I was tied up with a few other projects, so I reluctantly let it slide. However, when my schedule opened up, I was surprised to find there were still a spot open and decided to pounce. My idea was for a THIN MAN type of story, featuring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

I presented a proposal for a 10,000 word story that featured Myrna Loy being stalked by a taxi driver at the premiere of her latest movie. However, corresponding with Tommy Hancock, Pro Se's Editor-in-chief, I lamented that with such few words, I couldn't really do a traditional 'cozy' ending – you know the type, where all the suspects are gathered in one room, and the detective announces who the killer is. To create that kind of ending, I suggested I'd need more words to define each of the individual suspects. Much to my surprise and delight, Tommy got back to me and said, if I needed more words, take them. So I did, and a new story arose.

The idea for the anthology was Tommy's – he appears to be as much of a fan of classic mystery movies as I am. The other authors on board the project are Mark Squirek, Christofer Nigro, Wayne Carey and Gordon Dymowski. Admittedly, I am biased, but I think we've put together a damn good package.



DF: Judging by the story you wrote for HOLLYWOOD MYSTERY; “The Poison Pen” You're quite the fan of William Powell and Myrna Loy and the work they did in the classic THIN MAN series. What was the first THIN MAN movie you saw and how old were you when he saw it?
JH:I was in my early 20s (about 25+ years ago) when I first caught THE THIN MAN on late night television, and I loved it. I don't think it was ever released on VHS or DVD in Australia (but am happy to be proven wrong). It was many years later once online shopping became available that I was able to pick up the series from England, and they have remained a regular part of my movie diet ever since (along with the Michael Shayne movies, with Lloyd Nolan).



DF: What's your favorite THIN MAN movie and why?
JH: Undoubtedly the first one. While all the movies are good, as the series progressed a little bit of what we'd now call 'political correctness' seeped in. When Nick and Nora Charles had a son, the boozy comedic antics were toned back, and they were gently transformed into more respectable role models – albeit with their flaws and nuances.

DF: I was impressed by how you captured the style and elegance that was the hallmark of both William Powell and Myrna Loy. How much research into the background of their relationship did you do?
JH: Thanks, Derrick. Of course, I watched all the films in the series repeatedly – and a documentary or two, about Powell and Loy. But I did stay away from Dashiell Hammett's original story. I wanted 'The Poison Pen' to reflect the breezy style of the movies, rather than the source material.

DF: You planning on writing any more stories about Powell & Loy?
JH: I have no plans at the moment, but if there's demand for more, sure, I'd be happy to oblige.


DF: Do you have any dreams of writing a THIN MAN story and/or novel for Pro Se?
JH: That would be fantastic, but I am sure the Estate of Dashiell Hammett would have a thing or two to say. Into that mix throw whoever holds the rights to the film series, and I'm guessing it would be a potential minefield. But it is a nice dream. Hey, if a deal can be arranged, sign me up!

DF: You and Paul Bishop collaborated on creating a character: Mace Bullard of the Foreign Legion. How did that work out? How'd you guys come up with the character?
JH: Paul Bishop actually came up with the idea for Mace Bullard for a project he was putting together with Tommy Hancock, called Bishop & Hancock's Pulse Fiction. Pulse Fiction featured a whole swag of new characters, and when I first heard about the project I was interested in an American Indian character who'd washed up on a shore in Africa. But Paul pulled me aside, and said that he wanted me to take a look at Bullard. I hadn't really read any Foreign Legion pulps at that time, but he hooked me up with some Robert Carse Legion tales, which I devoured, and realized it was a genre I could sink my teeth into. Paul had Bullard's backstory all mapped out. All I had to do was plonk him in the middle of an adventure. Paul loved what I came up with, and basically said, 'Kid, the character's all yours now. Do with him what you will.' Of course, I run all my Bullard stories past Paul for approval. So far, it's been a blast.


DF: Where has he appeared so far and what future plans do you have for him?
JH: As hinted at above, he first appeared in Bishop & Hancock's Pulse Fiction: Volume 1, in a tale called Honor of the Legion. He returned in The Pirate King for Airship 27's mammoth Legends of New Pulp Fiction. Hopefully Bullard will re-appear before the end of the year in Sahara Six, a novella length tale, which sees our intrepid hero transferred to the most remote outpost in Morocco. Then, ssshhhh, this is a little secret, I have plans for a novel length story, called Dead Man's Key. It's a little way off at the moment, but it's coming.

DF: What's a typical Day In The Life of James Hopwood like?
JH: Ah, I'm an early riser, so I'll usually have the computer on around 6:00am, and start working on a few projects before breakfast. Then I head to the beach for a spot of snorkling, then return home for my first martini of the day. Sorry, that last sentence is a bare-faced lie – just pretending to live out an Ian Fleming fantasy life. After breakfast I squeeze whatever tasks the day has in store for me, the usual working-stiff drudgery. But it gets me out of the house. However, I carry multiple notepads around with me at all times, and I'm always scribbling notes. At night, if I'm not drawn to the 'idiot box', I'll try to convert some of those scrawled notes into something cohesive.

These days, I hate to admit I don't read as much as I used to. My work consists of sitting in front of computers for most of the day, and it can strain my eyes. The sad offshoot is I read less. However, I have really taken to audio books, and find they are a great way to close the day. I have been listening to some of the Robert Stark (Donald Westlake) Parker novels lately, and they are fantastic. Currently I am on The Rare Coin Score.

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know?
James Hopwood: For anyone who's interested in my work, I can be found at:

And on occasion I shoot my mouth off about films and books at my blog:

Cheers, Derrick, thanks for your time, and continued support for your fellow writers in the New Pulp community.




Thursday, April 27, 2017

I Saw The Future At Windy City Pulp Con by Len Levinson

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Len Levinson served on active duty in the U.S. Army from 1954-1957, and graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Social Science. He relocated to NYC that year and worked as an advertising copywriter and public relations executive before becoming a full-time novelist. 

Len created and wrote a number of series, including the Apache Wars Saga, The Pecos Kid, and The Rat Bastards. He has had over 80 titles published.

After many years in NYC, he moved to a small town (pop. 3100) in rural Illinois, surrounded by corn and soybean fields, a peaceful, ideal location for a writer.



I live in a small town (population 3000) way out here on the great American prairie. Therefore I have little contact with the wider world of publishing although I’ve written 83 published novels to date.
Last Sunday (4/23) I attended the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention in a Chicago suburb called Lombard, and became aware of the future of fiction publishing. Many of you probably have come to this awareness already, but it was a major revelation for me.
I realized that there is a huge, growing indie publishing movement fully underway, and has come into being because traditional publishing has narrowly focused on conventional “safe” fiction, and tends to reject anything new, weird, crazy or bizarre.
This policy has left a huge vacuum now being filled by the new indie press which operates under a different business model. They don’t have offices in Rockefeller Centre in NYC like Simon and Shuster. They operate out of home offices, barns, or other low-cost spaces. Everything is handled over the internet. And they don’t pay advanced. Authors receive royalties only, as in the early days of publishing. And they produce GREAT eye-catching covers that are works of art on their own.
During the convention I spoke with Ron Fortier, publisher and editor-in-chief of one of the larger indie publishers, Airship 27. He said that famous authors sometimes call him about books of theirs that were rejected by their usual publishers, because those books were considered too far out. But nothing is too far out for today’s indie publishers who market, among other items, novels about vampire cowboys, lesbian werewolves from Mars, hard boiled crime-fiction, other action-adventure novels including traditional Westerns, and all kinds of sci-fi, fantasy and sword and sandal fiction. They also publish new novels about characters in the public domain such as Sherlock Holmes. It’s called “the New Pulp Movement.”
I also spoke with Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, which is also a major indie publisher marketing hundreds of titles. He told me that the big five publishers are buying up some indie publishers, because they can see where the business is going. But Tommy isn’t interested in selling out. His main interest is exciting new fiction.
Evidently there’s a whole new publishing world out there of which I was unaware, although some of my old books have been republished by indie publishers such as Piccadilly, Destroyer and Blackstone. But I never realized how important this New Pulp Movement is becoming. It is wildly creative, fully energized and intensely ambitious, the new kid on the block fighting for a bigger slice of the pie. The welcome result is more choices for readers and hopefully more income for writers.


50 New Pulp Books To Get You Started

I get asked a lot of questions due to my affiliation with New Pulp and I'd have to say that the #2 question I get asked about it is: “Where do I get started? What should I read first just to see what it's all about? What writers should I be reading?”

I can understand the confusion. More than you know. There is a whole lot of New Pulp out there. Some of it is excellent. Some of it is downright astonishing. Some of it is good, some of it okay and a seriously depressing amount of it just plain flat out no good at all. And those of us who write/read and/or review New Pulp feel the crush of recommending books and writers to those of you unfamiliar with the genre but are desperately eager to know more.

That's why back in June of 2014 I put together a list of “25 New Pulp Books To Get You Started.” The purpose and intention of the list was simply to give New Pulp virgins a place to start getting their brains wet and see if they liked these waters.

Since then, a lot more New Pulp books have been written and I saw the need to add more books to the list and so I did, continuing to add to the list each succeeding year, with assistance from my Advisory Board consisting of Lucas Garrett, Barry Reese and Andrew Salmon. My intention is to keep adding to the list until I get up to 100 and then call it quits. After all, if you can't find something worth reading in a pack of 100 books then maybe you just don't like to read.

Again I feel compelled to remind one and all that this list is not intended to slight anybody as many of you have egos as fragile as spider webs (you know who you are) and are more than capable of taking it as a personal insult that your book isn't on the list. Such is not my purpose or pursuit. This list is intended only to be a helpful starting point for those who have no idea where to start reading New Pulp. And if there is a New Pulp book that you feel should be on the list feel free to contact me at DerrickFerguson@gmail.com and what I'll do is hold onto your suggestion until this time of year in 2018 when it is once again time for me to add to the list.

Okay? We clear on that? Good. Then let's get on with it. If you've never read any New Pulp and are anxious to find out for yourself what it's all about then here are 50 NEW PULP BOOKS TO GET YOU STARTED:





HELMET HEAD by Mike Baron
SGT JANUS, SPIRIT BREAKER by Jim Beard
FIGHT CARD: FELONY FISTS by Paul Bishop (writing as Jack Tunney)
LIE CATCHERS by Paul Bishop
THE REVENGE OF THE MASKED GHOST by Kevin Paul Shaw Broden
ADONIS MORGAN (NOBODY SPECIAL) by Frank Byrnes
NICK NOMAD AND THE HAMMER OF LEMURIA by Myles Campbell
THE MYTH HUNTER: THE LOST CONTINENT by Percival Constantine
DOC ARDAN: CITY OF GOLD AND LEPERS by Guy d'Armen. Adapted by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier
DILLON AND THE VOICE OF ODIN by Derrick Ferguson
BROTHER BONES by Ron Fortier
TAURUS MOON by Keith Gaston
GREEN LAMA UNBOUND by Adam Garcia
THE GREEN LAMA: CRIMSON CIRCLE by Adam Garcia
YESTERYEAR by Tommy Hancock
TALES OF THE VAGABOND BARDS by Nancy Hansen
TO BATTLE BEYOND by C. J. Henderson
HUGH MONN-PRIVATE DETECTIVE by Lee Houston, Jr.
DIRE PLANET by Joel Jenkins
THE BONE QUEEN by Andrea Judy
SILENCED by Nicole Kurtz
SIX DAYS OF THE DRAGON by Roman Leary
GHOSTS OF MANHATTAN by George Mann
MYTHICAL: HEART OF STONE by C.E. Martin
PROHIBITION by Terrence McCauley
CREEPING DAWN: THE RISE OF THE BLACK CENTIPEDE by Chuck Miller
SNOW FALLS by Bobby Nash
FIGHT CARD: THE CUTMAN by Mel Odom (writing as Jack Tunney)
ONCE UPON A TIME IN AFRICA by Balogun Ojetade
THE STEIN AND CANDLE DETECTIVE AGENCY Vol. I by Michael Panush
HAWK: HAND OF THE MACHINE by Van Allen Plexico
SENTINELS I: WHEN STRIKES THE WARLORD by Van Allen Plexico
THE OLD MAN Series by William Preston
THE PEREGRINE OMNIBUS VOL. I by Barry Reese
RABBIT HEART by Barry Reese
PULP HEROES: MORE THAN MORTAL by Wayne Reinagle
THE VRIL AGENDA by Joshua Reynolds and Derrick Ferguson
THE WHITECHAPEL DEMON by Joshua Reynolds
THE LIGHT OF MEN by Andrew Salmon
DAMBALLAH by Charles Saunders
IMARO by Charles Saunders
SUN-KOH, HEIR OF ATLANTIS by Arthur Sippo
THE AUSLANDER FILES by Michael Patrick Sullivan
BASS REEVES, FRONTIER MARSHAL VOL. I by Various Authors
BLACK PULP by Various Authors
DOCTOR OMEGA AND THE SHADOWMEN by Various Authors
HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD by Various Authors
LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION by Various Authors
ROCOCOA by Various Authors
THE RUBY FILES by Various Authors



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

In Which I Get Smacked Around

Tommy Hancock interviewed me for his online magazine BIBLIORATI and I think it's a pretty good one that you can read and enjoy HERE.






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)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

12 Months Later With...Tommy Hancock

It’s been a while since the original Kickin’ The Willy Bobo Interview with Tommy Hancock. In that time, the flamboyant and outspoken Mr. Hancock has been hard at work doing what he does best: being the spokesman of Pro Se and the public face of New Pulp. So I thought it about time we caught up with him on the anniversary of that first interview and here he is 12 MONTHS LATER…

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

Tommy Hancock: Nothing major, other than dealing with a few health issues that seemed to get in the way of creativity and spreading the word of Pro Se some.  But overall things have remained much the same.  Still have a great wife, three kids I totally do not deserve, and enjoying every day - and this has been happening daily for a while- hearing from a writer, artist, or fan about their interest in Pro Se and the work that everyone involved is doing.



DF: How do you feel Pro Se has grown in the past 12 months?

TH: Pro Se won’t stop growing.  Not only are we adding titles and creators right and left, but our numbers on all levels are on an upswing.  More importantly, though, I think Pro Se’s greatest growth has been in its appeal to more readers and different audiences. We spent 2014 laying a lot of groundwork for expanding our readership and, although much of that won’t see fruition until this year, we’re already finding that what we do appeals to an extremely broad base.  Being identified both as a Genre Fiction and a New Pulp Publisher has helped open up several titles that have sat dormant for months, even years to readers, that we always knew were there. And now we are finding them or, in a lot of cases, they are following all the bread crumbs Pro Se’s left in various ways and finding us.

DF: How do you feel that you personally as an editor and publisher have grown in the past year?

TH: As a publisher, I have gained a tremendous amount of focus on just what Pro Se Productions is capable of.  When I started out, I was like a wide eyed kid at a candy store, not only wanting to taste every little thing I could, but working up ideas on how to make it all even better.  I’m still that kid, but I understand what I have the privilege of managing now isn’t candy, but little bits of magic.  Not my magic, I’m not the wizard, I’m just the guy who gets to pull them out of his hat.  And that’s not only a blast, but it’s a responsibility. One that I feel like I understand better than I ever have before. 

It’s also one that all publishers approach in different ways.  Some aren’t big fans of how I do what I do, others have said they think it’s the best way to go.  Me, it’s what works for me.  Pro Se Productions is a publishing company, but we’re a company with intentions, with various plans that all boil down to one mission- getting the best stories out to as many readers as possible.

As an editor, I think I’ve matured as well.  And a lot of that I owe not only to having so much wonderful work that I get to help edit, but to one man.  Joe Gentile, the mad genius behind Moonstone Books, has taught me more in five or six sentences over the last few years concerning editing than any course, seminar or book ever could.

DF: Is the direction Pro Se heading in now the same as it was a year ago?

TH: Yes, most definitely. I think we’ve discussed before that I sort of had a five-year plan for Pro Se from 2011 forward.  It is moving exactly the direction I wanted it to when we started publishing novels and anthologies in 2011.  Could things be better? Well, sure, every book could sell thousands and millions of copies.  But we are heading in what I consider the right direction for what we want to do long term. And that, simply put, is to be around for many years to come and to be a defining voice in New Pulp and Genre Fiction.


DF: Where do you see Pro Se in five years?

TH: Well into the next phase of our plan to be around awhile.   We are building a catalog now and have done quite well at that.  Five years from now, I hope to see us still adding to that catalog, but also to have several properties that readers are just seeing debut now or in the last few years, to have a collection of flagship titles to rival any company out there.  We’ve grown at an amazing speed intentionally and that may level off beginning in the next two to three years, but growth won’t stop.  We’ve been building the house from the ground up so to speak, hopefully in five years we’ll be expanding, adding on bells and whistles to our many rooms.

DF: What’s the best thing about dealing with writers? The worst?

TH: This can be answered with the same answer.  Their excitement about their work.  It is thrilling and invigorating to bask in and be a part of the fire that burns in a writer, or any creator for that matter.  It is one of the major reasons I do this.  

And as for that being the worst thing, let me explain.  Sometimes writers, and being one myself I have been guilty of this, believe that what they have is the best possible work ever and nothing can make it better and the world has to have it now.  And all of those are wonderful emotions and feelings and attachments to have.  But when a work comes to a publisher and the writer cannot let go of those feelings, then it becomes somewhat problematic at times.  I’m proud to say that issues arising because of this have been few and far between at Pro Se. And also, I believe every writer should commit to that passion should stand up for their works.  But there has to be a willingness to compromise when working with a publisher and although most every writer we have understands that, not all do and find their way to self-publishing or other avenues that are just as valid as what we would provide them.

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

TH: I am told on a regular basis that I’m one of the organizers of the New Pulp Movement, and I suppose I am. Not that I invented New Pulp, as I didn’t, or that I was the first to envision the concept, because again I was not. But I did have a hand in organizing several publishers and creators under a unifying ‘New Pulp Movement’ banner of sorts. 

So there’s my answer.  No, I don’t think New Pulp is a community and I really haven’t ever seen it that way.  A community denotes a group of people all existing together and working in concert to better the group as a whole on a consistent, regular basis.  And although New Pulp publishers and creators have done that and continue to do that every day – if one of us succeeds, then all of us float a little bit closer to the top is a concept I believe in – I do not see New Pulp as cohesive conceptual village all having the same goal.   There’s a reason why I suggested calling it ‘The New Pulp Movement.’

Movements move, and hopefully forward.  And not only that, but Movements grow and change and rise and fall…and the people, the movers, they change also.  Sometimes the faces change, other times the place the movers have in the Movement shift for better or worse, but everything in a successful movement continues evolving, expanding, becoming something different.  And just about the time you think it’s matured into one thing, it pushes even harder and is on its way to being something else. That’s what New Pulp is to me.



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

TH: It sort of depends on what you mean by that.  I think New Pulp is very highly respected within a particular niche, that being that cadre of fans that identify themselves as New Pulp fans.  Now, there’s at least one other niche that hasn’t always had the highest regard for what we do, but even that has changed in the last few years.  If you mean do I think we’ll ever have the respectability of being considered ‘proper’ literature and completely mainstream, God, I hope not.    

One of the great things about New Pulp, and in a larger sense specific Genre Fiction, is that there’s a roughness to it, a rawness that allows each writer to come at it individually, to put in appropriate elements shared by others, but also to leave a mark on a story, on a genre, on a reader that is uniquely the creator’s own.  I would argue that being mainstream and literary, that that sort of respectability requires creators to give up that edge, that individuality to a large degree.  So, no, in that sense, I hope New Pulp is never respectable.

DF: Are you working on any writing projects of your own?

TH: I have several things that are due, some a long time now, for Pro Se and others.  Thankfully, I have patient publishers and can only hope the readers are as patient.  Running a publishing company, especially one as aggressive as Pro Se has become, takes a lot of time.  Writing has taken a back seat and will have to for a bit longer, probably through March.  But, yes, there’s several things on the burners…and, of course, new ideas brewing as well.

Derrick Ferguson: What is the one thing above all others we should be eagerly looking for from Pro Se in 2015?

Tommy Hancock: The best damn Genre Fiction and New Pulp on the market between the covers of every single book bearing the Pro Se logo.








Tuesday, February 18, 2014

You Liked It Before...

‘BLACK PULP’ A PHENOMEMON, PUBLISHER ANNOUNCES SECOND VOLUME

In April 2013, Pro Se Productions, a Publisher known for balancing tales harkening back to classic Pulp Fiction with stories pushing the boundaries of modern Genre Fiction, released a title that caused a ripple in the Genre Fiction and Pulp communities.  BLACK PULP is a collection that takes the wonderful style of Pulp Fiction, established in the early 20th Century, and wraps it around fully realized black heroes and heroines, something that was not done in Pulp’s classic era.  This bestselling collection features work from a variety of authors, including bestselling authors Walter Mosley and Joe Lansdale as well as notable authors such as well-known crime author Gary Phillips, Imaro creator Charles Saunders, Mel Odom, Christopher Chambers, Gar Anthony Haywood, Ron Fortier, Kimberly Richardson, Michael Gonzales, D. Alan Lewis, Derrick Ferguson, and Tommy Hancock.



Co-editor of BLACK PULP, crime novelist Gary Phillips observed, “While revisionism is not history, as the films “Django Unchained” and “42” attest, nonetheless historical matters find their way into popular fiction. This is certainly the case with New Pulp as it handles such issues as race with a modern take, even though stories can be set in a retro context.”

Pulp fiction of the early 20th century rarely, if ever, focused on characters of color and the handful of black characters in these stories were typically portrayed stereotypically. BLACK PULP brings some of today’s best authors together with up and coming writers to craft stories of adventure, mystery, and more -- all with black characters in the forefront.



BLACK PULP offers exciting tales of derring-do from larger-than-life heroes and heroines; aviators in sky battles, lords of the jungle, pirates battling slavers and the walking dead, gadget-wielding soldiers-of-fortune saving the world to mystics fighting for justice in other worlds.

Various outlets, including the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Huffington Post, covered the release of BLACK PULP and positive reviews continue to stack up.

“BLACK PULP,” Pro Se Productions publisher and Black Pulp co-editor Tommy Hancock, "has been a phenomenon for Pro Se.  Not simply because sales have been spectacular for the resources available to us, but also because this title has brought awareness of the company to many writers, whole communities that we’re happy to be associated with.  And it’s not simply because it’s a great book with fantastic talent telling unbelievably good stories. It’s more about discussion, about bringing new stories into this classic style, individuals and entire groups getting a voice in a way they didn’t because of society in the early 20th Century.  New Pulp is what we call this type of fiction because of the chance to blend the best of the past with the sensibilities of today. You really see that with BLACK PULP and the impact it’s had.  And we want that to continue. It’s why there will be a BLACK PULP II and other similar volumes as well.”



Currently, ASIAN PULP is in development from Pro Se and will, like its predecessor, feature Pulp stories, this time with Asian protagonists.  ASIAN PULP is slated for a mid 2014 release.
BLACK PULP II is currently being developed as well. Many of the authors in the original volume are returning, as well as new names.   BLACK PULP II is scheduled for late 2014/early 2015 release.

The collection that started it all, BLACK PULP features a new essay on the nature of Pulp, both classic and modern, by award winning bestselling author Walter Mosley.



The other writers contributing original works to the anthology are: two-time Shamus award winner Gar Anthony Haywood, two time Award finalist Kimberly Richardson, Dixon Medal winner Christopher Chambers, critically acclaimed novelist Mel Odom, hip-hop chronicler Michael Gonzales, and award winning leading New Pulp writers Ron Fortier, D. Alan Lewis, Derrick Ferguson, Charles Saunders, Tommy Hancock, and Chester Himes award winner Phillips. This collection also features a classic story by Joe R. Lansdale, winner of the Edgar Allan Poe award, and multiple Bram Stoker awards.

BLACK PULP is available now from Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/d8wjtph
and via Pro Se's own store at https://www.createspace.com/4248056!

It is also available via Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords as an Ebook, with format and design by Russ Anderson.

With a pulse pounding original cover by artist Adam Shaw and stunning cover design by Sean Ali, BLACK PULP delivers hair raising action and two fisted adventure out of both barrels!

For more information concerning BLACK PULP, BLACK PULP II, or ASIAN PULP, including interviews and review copies when available, email Morgan Minor, Director of Corporate Operations at Pro Se at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. 

Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.


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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