Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Walter Bosley: Living' the Pulp Life

Walter Bosley isn't just a writer of pulp mystery. He's someone who actually lives a life of pulp mystery. He's worked with the FBI and currently works as a private investigator -- when he's not writing, that is. In short, Walter Bosley knows his stuff.

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

The Devil's Mill is a novelization of a screenplay I wrote about ten years ago. It's a pulpy tale of two young women who are running off together. The story is set in 1954 so their lesbian relationship and society at that time force their hand. A classic dark and stormy night finds them wrecking their car and holing up for the night in an abandoned mill. Unfortunately, there is a police manhunt for the killer of a local woman earlier that evening and the girls are not alone in the mill.

The story was originally a contemporary tale but my buddy Mickey Williamson, with whom I've written and made films with since college and who is credited with me on this novel for other contributions he made to the screenplay as well, suggested I set the novel in a more conservative era and that really was the trick in turning the modern noir into a 50s pulp novel. Setting it in 1954 was the perfect touch. I had a lot of fun with this one.

The Devil's Mill has been made into a film in Canada, though it's based on the original script story and is more of an adaptation. It's due for release on cable there and then DVD some time this year.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

There are a few the recur in my work.

Man and The Gods. Not so much Man against God as the enlightenment of man through his own exploration of the supernatural as forced by a situation. I like protagonists who use alchemy and hermetic sciences like a tool to "Git her done"

Man vs Woman. My favorite protagonists tend to be jaded and cynical about women. They're pretty much misogynistic men of action who are attracted to women sexually but have no other need nor use for them in their lives. It's important to know that these characters have been driven to this by bad experiences with women in their pasts so naturally that particular woman who caused the rift pops up in the story to show how rotten she actually is yet I'll very often have one of these guys going through hell and high water to save a female character to whom he feels sympathy or compassion.

Esoteric Transhumanism or the Alchemical Hermaphrodite. I have written published six novels so far and four of them feature transgender women in prominent roles. Authors Scott D DeHart and Joseph Farrell were the first to recognize that I'm doing something alchemical with these stories and characters. They are devices but they are not fetishes in my stories. Their dual nature represents a doorway into another realm. Ancient cultures view them this way, also. In my stories, the tansgender male to female character usually causes the protagonist to discover and journey to other dimensions to solve a personal issue. It's a perfect device for mystical pulp thrillers.

What would be your dream project?

Usually for me it's to see my works turned into films. An anthology TV series would be even better.

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?

I would revise my novel I Will See You In Time, which is based upon my nonfiction work, to reflect a discovery I made after I wrote it. Actually, as I wrote that, the idea on how I could do it just came to me,

I'm actually pretty satisfied with the others I've done as they are. Wouldn't change a thing.

What inspires you to write?

What inspires me to write:  Fame and riches, right? After that, the admiration of readers. Seriously. I love good reviews and especially when readers contact me personally to tell me how much they loved my novel.

What inspires what I write: I'm usually alone, probably driving somewhere, definitely listening to music, and a visual scenario or image comes to me. The story pours into my head after that and most often because of whatever music I'm listening to. So I guess you'd call that a trance state. Other than that, I'm motivated by a desire to immerse myself into a particular genre or style, as in the case of my pulps. The desire to make some readers uncomfortable is a big motivation for me, also. That's often where the transgender characters come into play, too. I must admit, I am also motivated by the degree to which I think I might be pissing off some people. My favorite targets are religious obsessives, American women, so called 'alpha' males (I'm a former federal agent and a military veteran myself), to name a few. All this factors into what moves me to write.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

Not in any order: Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Irving, Ray Bradbury, early Stephen King, Talbot Mundy, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Louis Lamour, Ben Hecht, Quentin Tarantino, Herman Mankiewicz, Robert E Howard, Lovecraft, Poe, and I'm sure I'm leaving someone out but those are the big ones off hand.

Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why?

Writing is an art that uses science, mostly psychology. It comes from the mind, it is crafted in the mind before it reaches the page, it is processed in the mind by the reader, it deals with what's happening in the mind of the characters and any touchstones between the story and the reader are nestled in the mind. Any lingering effect is on the mind of the reader. Writing can work out a problem the writer is having, thus serving as psychoanalyst. So, it's psychology, if any science is involved in the process and experience of reading it.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

My next pulp is You Will Be Mine, another of my mystical pulp thrillers featuring a man of esoteric science and a transgender character in peril. It's different enough from House of Ka and Green Ghost yet I consider these an unofficial trilogy or series. Also, I'm bringing back my e-mag Lost Continent Library for an issue in May of this year and I'm real excited about that. It will feature some short fiction as well as other good stuff for fans of classic and pulp adventure. The first run was in 2008-2009 and people have asked me to do it again.