If you came here looking for "Blood & Ink" you might have noticed it's no longer here and the name of this blog is now FERGUSON, INC.
Why the name change? you ask. No real reason. But I've been making some changes lately in my writing career and I felt that along with those changes, a change in the name of this blog should go along with it. That's all. Nothing dramatic or earth-shaking. I've been using the "Blood & Ink" name for about seven or eight years now and I simply felt that one of the ways to illustrate my shift in my attitude toward my writing was to change the name of the blog as well.
The content isn't going to change, tho. I'm still going to be updating you on my latest projects. I'd like to get into the direction of New Pulp a little more...where it's been, where I think it's going...where I think it should go so look for a few more think pieces from me along those lines. You'll still be getting the "Kickin' The Willy Bobo" interviews as they're always a lot of fun to do. I'm trying to interview more women writers of Speculative Fiction and New Pulp so if you have any suggestions as to who I should be interviewing, please let me know, okay?
What else? I think that's it. As always you can contact me via email: DerrickFerguson@gmail.com. I've got a Facebook group Usimi Dero where I spend a lot of my online time hanging out with a really cool and classy buncha creative folks.
If you like movies then you can bounce on over to The Ferguson Theater and check out my movie reviews. I've been a little lax in reviewing lately but only because I've been working overtime on a couple of Dillon projects; the DILLON ANNUAL VOLUME 1 and THE RETURN OF THE SPECIALISTS. And speaking of the global instigator be sure and keep your eye on his own blog to keep up with what's going on with him.
And over at my Patreon page you can get monthly installments of the two serials currently running; "Dillon and The Prophecy of Fire" and "Diamondback: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time." And beginning in September there will be a third serial; "The Mask of Cimeries" which is going to be my attempt at telling a Shakespearean horror/crime story set in Denbrook.
That enough for you? It'll have to be. I have to get back to work. Thanks for your time and kind attention. Laters!
Monday, June 19, 2017
Sunday, June 18, 2017
So after stirring up more than enough trouble with my “50 New Pulp Books To Get You Started” why then would I go ahead and go ahead and dive into making up a list of New Pulp movies? And how can there be New Pulp movies in the first place when New Pulp has been barely recognized as a genre in the first place?
Simple: I think there should be a way for people unfamiliar with what I and a whole bunch of other writers/editors/like-minded creative folks term “The New Pulp Movement” should be able to get into the genre and movies are a terrific way of doing that. First of all, what is New Pulp? Broken down to the simplest of elements it is fiction written in the mold and sensibilities of the style of Classic Pulp of the 1930s and 40s. Linear storytelling, creative use of words and phrasing, larger than life characters but with the added layer of modern perceptiveness and sensitivity.
Take CONGO, for instance. One of the movies on my list. It's a movie that has a lost city in Africa containing a fortune in diamonds guarded by killer gorillas, a Great White Hunter (played by a black man) a gorilla who can talk to human using sign language and enough cliifhangers to give Indiana Jones the vapors. Many of the elements of that movie wouldn't have been out of place in an adventure movie of the 1930s but it's told in modern times, using modern technology and with modern characters but still evokes that sense of adventure and wonderment all of us who love Pulp so much hunger for.
For a long time now I've been noticing that there are movies that I feel would fit into the category of New Pulp. These are movies that usually straddle genres. Take into account that Pulp both Classic and New can encompass many other genres such as science fiction, horror, western, crime, romance, martial arts and thriller. Take BUCKAROO BANZAI for instance. Is it science fiction, action adventure, satire? Yes. It's all of those things and for my money because it has all of those elements and so many more as well, to me it qualifies as a New Pulp Movie.
But I've run off at the mouth more than enough. You came to read the list, not to hear me pontificate. So here it is for better or for worse 50 NEW PULP MOVIES TO GET YOU STARTED:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, VAMPIRE HUNTER
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
DISTRICT 13/BRICK MANSIONS
FORCE 10 FROM NAVARONE
HELL OR HIGH WATER
IN LIKE FLINT & OUR MAN FLINT
INTO THE NIGHT
JOHN WICK I & II
KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
LONE WOLF MCQUADE
QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER
REMO WILLIAMS: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
SERENITY (and the parent TV show "Firefly")
SHOOT 'EM UP
SKY CAPTAIN & THE WORLD OF TOMORROW
THE A-TEAM (both movie and televison series. And yes, I'm cheating a bit here. Shut up. It's my list.)
THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI IN THE EIGHTH DIMENSION
THE ASSASSINATION BUREAU (LTD)
THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK (especially the second one)
THE EXPENDABLES (Don't argue with me on this one. You'll lose.)
THE FAST & THE FURIOUS (the whole franchise in general but the last five movies definitely)
THE FIFTH ELEMENT
THE LAST DRAGON
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
THE MUMMY (1999...the Brendan Fraser one. The good one)
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
THE WRATH OF GOD
THE ZERO EFFECT
VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Derrick Ferguson: Who Is Barbara Doran?
Barbara Doran: I'm a New Pulp writer, currently published by Airship 27. My work includes "Claws of the Golden Dragon" two years ago, a Sinbad short - "Sinbad and the Island of the Puppet Master", "Wings of the Golden Dragon" (due out soon, we hope) and a Sherlock Holmes/Van Dusen crossover that I hope will be appearing someday in Ron's Sherlock Holmes anthology. (Not soon, however; he's got quite a queue there.)
DF: Where do you live and what do you do to keep the bill collectors away?
BD: I'm currently living somewhere in the general vicinity of the birthplace of powered flight. (That's Dayton, Ohio, where the Wright Brothers designed and built their aircraft.) As for keeping the bill collectors away, I'm a very lucky writer in that my Long Suffering Husband handles that side of things. I just keep my own personal Tiger and Dragon from immolating themselves. Mostly. Err...back in a moment. Time to put out another fire.
DF: Tell us a little something about your background, if you please.
BD: I was an army brat who moved around a lot as a kid. Chicago, Carbondale, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri and finally Ohio. My father is a Western Beast bred and born and my mom was a native born Chinese, born in Nanjing just around the time of the invasion. She came to America for college and met my dad at his mother's cafeteria in Carbondale, IL. (Amusingly, genetic tests show that I have more than 50% Asian ancestry, thanks to my Dad having Northern European ancestors. He always has claimed to have a Chinese stomach.)
I studied as a software engineer at the University of Dayton, but my first love was always writing and I spent most of my spare time with fanfic. It took a while but I finally realized I really preferred writing and that's where I put most of my focus. Truly dedicated readers might be able to find some of my old work still out there. They may even recognize a character or so.
DF: How long have you been writing?
BD: Pretty much from the day I learned to read. Bits and pieces, mostly unfinished, but my brain was constantly creating fanfiction universes based on my comics and TV shows.
DF: What's your philosophy of writing?
BD: The words go on the screen. Keep typing until they're done. Then edit. And edit. And edit. Respect your characters' personalities. Respect your readers' intelligence. Make sure the plot doesn't wander around and get lost in the scenery. Keep things moving, even when there are plot points that need to be talked about.
Don't stop. Just. Don't. Stop.
DF: You a plotter or a pantser?
BD: I'd say I'm mostly a pantser, but I use research as my guide. I like to think of writing as creating a clay sculpture. I know the general shape I want, but sometimes I have to add some material here, remove some there. And every so often, take the whole blessed head off and redo it.
DF: Do you enjoy writing?
BD: I love writing. I realized, years back, that it really was the thing I should have been doing with myself. Even when I'm not at my computer and putting words down, they're working their way around inside my head. So one could say that I'm creating stories all the time.
Too, I've discovered that I simply don't know what to do all day if I'm not writing. So, when I'm not persuading my children to do the dishes and/or their homework, I'm tap, tap, tapping away.
DF: What writers have influenced you?
BD: P.C. Hodgell, Diana Wynne Jones, GNU Terry Pratchett, Dick Francis, Walter Gibson, Arthur Conan Doyle, just to name a few. I've also become quite fond of N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth series. It's amazing and devastating and I'm really looking forward to seeing where she takes it.
DF: Do you write for yourself or for the reader?
BD: Really, both. I try to make sure the work can appeal to more than just a narrow audience, of course. However, if I don't enjoy what I'm writing, I'm not going to be able to do a good job with it. So I write for readers who like the sort of things I like to write and hope that's a wide enough appeal to draw in readers.
DF: Are you interested in critics or criticism?
BD: I don't go out of my way looking for them. I do get beta readers, but that's to make sure what I wrote works and doesn't leave questions. I'd be glad to get more reviews, though, to get an idea where I might improve.
DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? is there an audience for Barbara Doran?
BD: As far as my original pulp work goes, I think the audience would be fans of shows like the Green Hornet. Sinbad and Sherlock Holmes both have a fandom and I'm overjoyed to write for them.
I hope there's an audience for the sort of work I do. I'm not a hard-boiled detective type writer, but I think there's room in New Pulp for the type of over the top, weird science/magic crossover stories I like to write.
DF: Do you crave recognition?
BD: I'd like my work to be known. I'm a fairly shy and retiring person, so I don't mind letting it do the talking for me.
DF: Do you think that New Pulp will ever have respectability?
BD: I think it already does, really. There might never be a big New Pulp publishing house along the lines of DAW or Baen or Tor, but I think it's getting more and more wide spread.
DF: What's the best advice that you can give someone who wants to write New Pulp?
BD: Don't talk about it. Do it. Also, research is always your friend. Even if you never put a word of what you've found directly in the work, it'll act as a foundation for the piece and help your world feel more lived in.
DF: How important is it to follow your instincts while writing?
BD: As a pantser, pretty important. I've learned that when I find myself blocked and uncertain about what I'm doing, it's usually because I'm headed in an unworkable direction. So I trust my subconscious to be looking ahead of me and saying, "Eh, Barbara, what the heck are you doing?"
DF: What is the one book or story you’ve written that you would recommend to somebody to read who doesn’t know anything about you?
BD: Right now I only have the one original New Pulp out, so I'd have to recommend "Claws of the Golden Dragon". However, when it does come out, "Wings" is a much tighter, better written piece. It's set in Shanghai a little before things got bad and features mobsters, spies, monsters, magic and Gods. Oh, yes and a bit of romance, just for spice.
DF: What are you working on now?
BD: A rather large, probably not for Pulp, novel about a colony of humans stuck on a water world and dependent on Artificial Intelligences for survival. They live on floating islands (AI'lands) and are on the run from an insane and homicidal AI named Varos, with only their own AIs to help stop him. It's sort of a space opera, as the SF is quite loose.
Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know about you?
Barbara Doran: Along with my love of Green Hornet, I'm a big anime and Shaw Brothers' fan. My work is peppered with references and I will gladly award a great big know-it-all-prize to anyone who recognizes where one of my characters got their name, personality and/or appearance.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS
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.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
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.
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