Tuesday, August 14, 2018

[Link] MASTER LIST of Gestures and Body Language!

by Bryn Donovan   

Hey there! Lots of writers liked my list of facial expressions, so I thought I would do a companion post about gestures and body language. Describing these can help readers visualize a scene and get a feel for the characters, and again, they can set up lines of dialogue so you don’t have a string of he said, she said, he asked, she exclaimed, etc., running down the page.

You might want to consider which gestures or what body language is typical for each of your characters. For instance, one of my characters in the novel I just finished tends to hug herself when she’s nervous, while another has a habit of rubbing at his shoulder when he’s uncomfortable. They only do it a few times each throughout the book, but I think details like that make characters feel more solid.

For a great guide to what body language means, I recommend What Every BODY Is Saying, by former FBI counterintelligence offer Joe Navarro and body language expert Marvin Karlins.

Some of the things in my list are not exactly body language or gestures, but are useful for dialogue tags. As with the last list, I’ve included some different ways to say the same thing. There are some longer phrases and sentences, which you can obviously rewrite and adjust as you like, although you don’t have to. Nothing here is proprietary.

Read the full article: http://www.bryndonovan.com/2015/04/10/master-list-of-gestures-and-body-language-for-writers/

Monday, August 13, 2018

#MotivationalMonday -- Read a lot


Thursday, August 9, 2018

[Link] 'Elitist': angry book pirates hit back after author campaign sinks website

by  Alison Flood

OceanofPDF was shut down last week after publishers issued hundreds of takedown notices – but authors have been left dealing with angry users

Authors have been called elitist by book pirates, after they successfully campaigned to shut down a website that offered free PDFs of thousands of in-copyright books.

OceanofPDF was closed last week after publishers including Penguin Random House and HarperCollins issued hundreds of takedown notices, with several high-profile authors including Philip Pullman and Malorie Blackman raising the issue online. Featuring free downloads of thousands of books, OceanofPDF had stated on its site that it sought to make information “free and accessible to everyone around the globe”, and that it wanted to make books available to people in “many developing countries where … they are literally out of reach to many people”.

Before the site was taken down, one of its founders told the Bookseller that it was run by a team of four who worked based on user requests: “Once we get an email from a user requesting a book that he/she cannot afford/find in the library or if he has lost it, we try to find it on their behalf and upload on our site so that someone in future might also get it.”

Michelle Harrison, who won the Waterstones children’s book prize for her debut novel The Thirteen Treasures, drew attention to OceanofPDF after receiving a Google alert about a free download of her book Unrest. She then downloaded it “in a matter of seconds”.

“I was gobsmacked when I read a statement on the site admitting that reading pirated material wasn’t good because it doesn’t earn authors any money,” Harrison said on Wednesday. “Users of the site were encouraged to ‘leave reviews’ so that the author at least got some benefit!” After she received no reply to an email request to have her books removed, she tried Twitter. “I received a brazen response along the lines of, ‘What if someone already bought the books and lost them, or is travelling and doesn’t want to carry extra weight?’” she said.

After the site was closed down, Harrison shared an email she received from one OceanofPDF user, who called her “unworthy of being an author” and “grossly elitist.”


Read the full article: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/aug/08/elitist-angry-book-pirates-ocean-of-pdf-author-campaign-website

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Nugget #144 -- Skirting Magical Realism

I think somewhere deep inside me is a magical realism 
writer who likes to paint the edges of my work 
with extraordinary stuff from time to time.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

[Link] Writing books won't make you rich and other findings...

Editor note: File this one under "Duh."

==============================

by L'atelier des écrivains (The Writers' Workshop, France)

  • Lack of confidence and time hinders writers’ ability
  • Writing books won’t make you rich
  • Lots of people want to write a book but few actually get round to doing so

These were just a few of the findings from our recent survey into writers' ambitions, barriers and opportunities (if you contributed to the survey, thank you!)

Headline statistics include:

  • Almost half (48%) of respondents wanted to write a book but haven’t yet got around to it, while 31% have started but not finished their book. Less than a fifth (19%) have actually started and completed their book.
  • Over half (55%) of those people who hadn’t yet fulfilled their ambition to write a book had been dreaming of writing for “as long as I can remember”.  With 66 per cent of these people being over the age of 35, this equates to a lot of years of wasted time.

Read the full article: https://www.latelierdesecrivains.com/blog/2018/8/6/writing-books-wont-make-you-rich-and-other-findings

Friday, August 3, 2018

SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR FIRST IN NEW ANNUAL ANTHOLOGY TO DEBUT IN 2019 -- ‘NEW PULP UNITED VOLUME ONE’ TO BENEFIT CREATORS IN NEED

Pro Se Productions, a publisher of Genre Fiction, is also a publisher and a leading figure in one aspect of what is considered The New Pulp Movement. This movement focuses on fiction that is inspired and in the style of Pulp Fiction published in the early 20th Century, influenced by Pulp of the past, but written by modern writers with an eye toward the future. New Pulp exists outside this movement, obviously, and many recognize all aspects of this style of fiction as a community. This feeling has been so prevalent in the past that it has led to creators coming together to produce benefit books in memory of other creators or, in the case of Pro Se’s Editor in Chief, Tommy Hancock, to assist during hard times.

“LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION,” says Hancock, “was a project put together by Jaime Ramos and Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 Productions. Over 100 creators threw their talents into the mix to put together the biggest volume of modern Pulp ever to help me after I was diagnosed with a rare form of Congestive Heart Failure. It was the single biggest outpouring of support I have seen in a long time in publishing, especially within New Pulp. And I will personally be forever grateful for it.”

New Pulp Author Sean Taylor noted this very thing recently in a post on social media, expressing concern about growing divides between writers today, due to politics and different world views. In this post, Taylor made a call to return to the sense of community that existed when collections were done for Hancock or when Pro Se produced WHEN THE SHADOW SEES THE SUN, a collection of essays about creatives and depression in honor of Logan Masterson, a writer who lost his battle with depression. Taylor’s post caused many creators to think, including Hancock.

“We don’t expect,” says Hancock, “to replicate LEGENDS or any other collections with what Pro Se plans to do, but the course of discussion Sean started this past week demands that we do something, at least it demands it of me. That’s why Pro Se Productions is now taking submissions for what will hopefully be the first of a yearly collection entitled NEW PULP UNITED!. All proceeds from this collection will go into a fund that is aimed at supporting New Pulp creators when there are medical issues or emergency situations beyond normal limitations. A committee will be formed that will oversee the distribution of funds. A website and Facebook page will be established prior to the release of the first volume with more details concerning how a creator may request funds.

“Any creator, that be writer, artist, or editor that wants to contribute can submit a story,” explains Hancock, “to NEW PULP UNITED!. With all money made going into the NPU fund, no royalties will be paid and Pro Se will absorb costs that we usually cover with royalties as well. Length of individual stories does not matter, only that the tales are some sort of largely unpublished Genre Fiction with an aim at adventure, action, thrills, and/or suspense. Previously published tales will be considered, but the collection should be more new material than anything else. Also, artists wishing to contribute can provide spot illustrations for stories. Editors wanting to help can also participate. All anyone who wants to be a part of this has to do is email me at editorinchief@prose-press.com. Writers need to send me a few lines about what they intend to write and/or submit, and if the story is good and meets Pro Se’s standards, it’s in.”

NEW PULP UNITED! is currently slated for publication in March 2019, and if subsequent volumes occur, they will be published in March of each year. This collection WILL ONLY go to print if the number of stories reaches a minimum of 30,000 words. There is no maximum limit. For a story to appear in the first collection, writers MUST email Hancock to show intent to participate and the final work needs to be emailed to submissions@prose-press.com no later than November 1, 2018.

Hancock says, “I know people will immediately have questions about how the money will be distributed, how it will be determined who is considered a New Pulp creator, and such things. To that end, all sales figures and earnings on this collection and subsequent volumes will be made public. As to who qualifies as a New Pulp writer, that will in part be up to the Committee to determine and guidelines will be set up to oversee that, although the intent here is to help, not to create a bureaucratic, complicated process. Right now, the focus has to be on seeing if the first collection even makes. If it doesn’t, it does not necessarily mean that there is a divide in the community. It may also indicate, though, that maybe there isn’t a community at all. Either way, Pro Se wants to help its creators and those outside our company who are why New Pulp exists today. This is a small way, but it is our way.”

For more information on this submissions call, please contact Hancock at editorinchief@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions

New Summer Reading from Airship 27!

SHERLOCK HOLMES CONSULTING DETECTIVE VOL. 12

Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to announce the release of the 12th volume in their internationally recognized bestselling series, “Sherlock Holmes – Consulting Detective.” 

Why do people cheat, rob and murder?  Why are people tempted to commit dark deeds?  These are the questions that have always plagued the great detective, Sherlock Holmes. In this, the 12th Volume of the best selling series, Consulting Detective, he and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson take on five new cases that will challenge their intellect and lead them through the twisted minds of nefarious souls.

“The demand for our new Holmes mysterious has never waned since we began the series almost ten years ago,” says Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor, Ron Fortier. “And in that time, those devoted Holmes fans have recognized the consistent quality of both our stories and art featuring Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous characters.”

All the art for this volume was provided solely by Airship 27 Productions own, award winning Art Director, Rob Davis. For the first time in the series, Davis delivered detailed pencils only for each illustration and also produced the stunning color cover. “This one is clearly a collector’s item,” Fortier smiles. “Fans of the series are not going to be disappointed.”

From chasing after a notorious confidence man to solving the death of a twin; a stolen tattoo or a murder of a bride before her wedding day, writers I.A. Waston, Barbara Doran, Fred Adams Jr. and Brad Mengel have produced truly remarkable mysteries  guaranteed to keep Holmes and Watson fans up late night.

As ever, the game is afoot!!

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!

Available now from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

===========================

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS RETURN OF THE BAY PHANTOM

Airship 27 Productions, a leader in the New Pulp publishing community, is excited to present the second book in writer Chuck Miller’s series; “The Bay Phantom – Feast of the Cannibal Guild.”

When a shadowy group of criminals start shaking down restaurants in Mobile, Joe Perrone once again dons the cloak and goggles of the Bay Phantom. Shortly thereafter, wealthy young men begin dropping dead without warning. What do these things have in common with a mysterious psychic, a sinister funeral home, and a nationalist movement known as the Transatlantic Patriots Guild?

That is what the Bay Phantom must learn, and he must do it without his trusted aide, Mirabelle Darcy. She is away on a mission of her own; one that necessitates her breaking into the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Thus left to his own devices, can the Phantom thwart the Cannibal Guild and their deadly assassin, the Mummifier? Or will he become their next victim?

“Chuck Miller is one of the most original writers in New Pulp today,” states Airship 27 Productions’ Managing Editor, Ron Fortier. “His storytelling is truly unique and he envisions the most startling characters, both good and bad, ever to grace a pulp thriller. When Miller puts a spin on a tale, you’d best hang for a truly wild ride.”

Once again Chuck Miller offers up a thrilling new adventure set in the Deep South and starring his original pulp hero; The Bay Phantom. This is pulp action with an added spicy kick. Along for the adventure are cover artist Adam Shaw and, debuting for the first time with Airship 27, interior illustrator, Kevin Paul Shaw Broden.

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!

Available from Amazon and on Kindle.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Nugget #143 -- Calling or Career?

 
Writing and editing is one of those comes and goes industries, 
and in an economy as volatile as the U.S. one has been during 
the years I’ve been a writer and editor, it’s bounced up and 
down several time. But what I learned from all that is that 
writing is something I make time to do whether or not it’s 
paying the bills. It’s more a calling than a career choice.
 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

[Link] Queen of noir: The mysteries of Dorothy B. Hughes

by Molly Boyle

Fiesta. The time of celebration, of release from gloom, from the specter of evil. But under celebration was evil; the feast was rooted in blood, in the Spanish conquering of the Indian. It was a memory of death and destruction. ... A memory of peace, but before peace, death and destruction. Indian, Spaniard, Gringo; the outsider, the paler face. One in Fiesta.”
     — Dorothy B. Hughes, Ride the Pink Horse


Mystery writer and Santa Fe resident Dorothy B. Hughes, whose 1946 novel Ride the Pink Horse is among a handful of books she set here, seems to have harbored complicated feelings about the city. Ride the Pink Horse, which is rife with details about Santa Fe’s complex history, centers on a Chicago hoodlum named Sailor who tracks a vacationing Illinois senator to the Plaza during Fiesta. Sailor initially sneers at the small town (which he repeatedly calls a “dump”), its diverse citizenry, and especially its strange rituals — the burning of Zozobra, Fiesta’s garish carnival ambience — even as he enlists the guidance of a Hispano-Indian carousel operator and an enigmatic San Ildefonso Pueblo teenager. Through the course of the novel, as the capital city’s traditions make an impression on Sailor’s callous modernity, Santa Fe itself becomes a kind of phantom character. One wonders what, exactly, the book’s author may have felt about the annual celebration of Fiesta — or even about the town as a whole.

“She hated Santa Fe. She was from Kansas City, which was a bigger place,” said Suzy Sarna, Hughes’ youngest daughter. “I think she thought Santa Fe was beneath her. She didn’t like that it snowed, it was hot in the summer, it was dry. But she lived there for a long time.”

In addition to her cult-hero status among fans of dark midcentury crime fiction, Hughes’ name may ring bells for cinephiles — two notable films are adapted from her books: Ride the Pink Horse (1947), directed by and starring Robert Montgomery, and In a Lonely Place (1950), directed by Nicholas Ray and featuring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. “It seems like she’s perennially ripe for rediscovery,” says film historian Imogen Sara Smith in the commentary for the Criterion Collection’s 2015 DVD of Ride the Pink Horse. “Periodically some of her books are reprinted, and people write about them and say, ‘Why is she not better known?’ She’s very interested in the relationship between characters and their environments. She’s very interested in class and race and what things like class envy and intolerance do to people’s inner lives and their moral development.”

Read the full article: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/pasatiempo/books/queen-of-noir-the-mysteries-of-dorothy-b-hughes/article_e017a402-5d08-5a02-ab50-ab5b61bd1ab0.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=user-share

Sunday, July 29, 2018

More Shorts for Summer: Pirates and Victorian Super Heroes

A Tall Ship, A Star, And Plunder
Edited by Robert Krog


Piracy has been around as long as there have been ships plying the seas with anything that might be valuable enough to take by force. Piracy will still be around when merchant vessels are traveling the galaxy with cargoes of potential plunder. Explore the past, present, and future of our favorite scallywags in these 24 amazing tales of bravado, daring, and dastardly deeds committed by the legendary pirates.

Good luck, and may the wind be in your favor, blowing you toward good pickings, and a safe harbor.

https://www.darkoakpress.com/pirates.html

The Tales:
Yo Ho by Melinda LaFevers
Rumble the Dragon by Cindy Vallar
The Princess and the Sea by Sydney Blackburn
Ghost of a Chance by Paula Gail Benson
The Making of a Privateer by Melinda LaFevers
Not I by Jerri Hardesty
Fireflies on the Water by Michael Krog
The Celeste Affair by D. Alan Lewis
The Tale of Tizur the Red by Tom Sheehan
Bottom of the Mug by S. P. Dorning
The Captain's Woman, the Dagger, and the Serpent by Robert Krog
The Gods Must Clearly Smile by A. Christopher Drown
Corey of Steel by Jerri Hardesty
The Jamaican Dragon by D. G. Driver
Rosa and the Pirate by Laura Nelson
The Ghost of Queen Anne's Revenge by M. R. Williamson
Of Wing and Song by Kirk Hardesty
One Way by Herika R. Raymer
Puffystuff the Pirate by Jerri Hardesty
Theft of the Royal Jewels by Kathryn Sullivan
Eighty-Six Pitrell Becomes Dread Admiral by Paul Calhoun
Rasputin's Whimsey by T.A. Riddell
Pirates of Happenstance by HC Playa
Blood is Thicker than Pirate's Gold by Kent Swarts

 ===========================

Capes and Clockwork
Superheroes in the Age of Steam
Edited by D. Alan Lewis


During a forgotten time when the world was powered by steam and clockwork, heroes arose to do battle against the forces of evil. Some were outfitted with the latest technology. Others were changed by the mysteries of science and magic, while a few came from the skies. Capes and Clockwork fuses the fantasy and beauty of steampunk with the action and adventure of the superhero genre. Tease your imagination with sixteen stories of good versus evil, monster versus hero, and steam versus muscle!

https://www.darkoakpress.com/capes.html

The Tales:
Roger Dawkins and the Steam Daemons by Adam Millard
Keely by D. Alan Lewis
Catching Steam by Andrea Judy
Clockwork Demons by Logan L. Masterson
At the Quiet Limit of the World by David J. Fielding
Indestructible by Alexander S. Brown
Ectoplasmic Eradicators Wanted: Professional Inquiries only - A Timothy Flood Adventure by Nikki Nelson-Hicks
Captain Amy and the Steam-Driven Kittens of Doom by Azrael Wolf
Thursday Morrow by Robert J. Krog
Lost Child's Little Protector by Herika R. Raymer
The Gears Of Justice by Brent Nichols
Aeolus, Chiron, and Medusa by John A. McColley
Blastbucket by Christopher J. Valin
Beneath Familiar Suns by Konstantine Paradias
Deep Diving Death Defying Dwarves of the Deep: A Tale from the Cycle of Ages Saga by Jeremy Hicks
White Lightning by John G. Hartness

https://www.darkoakpress.com/

Friday, July 27, 2018

New Releases from Pro Se!

NEW PULP’S MOST EXCITING HERO FINDS A NEW HOME -- DERRICK FERGUSON’S ‘DILLON’ MAKES PRO SE DEBUT WITH 2018 ANNUAL!

When fans of modern Pulp Fiction discuss characters that have made their mark, Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon tops the list. While hitting all the expectations a hero should, Dillon also stands out as a unique character, thanks largely to Ferguson’s skill as a writer. And now, in a showcase of great stories, Pro Se marks Dillon’s first appearance under its banner with DILLON ANNUAL COLLECTION 2018, now available in trade paperback, hardcover, and digital formats.

A soldier of fortune gifted with an astonishing range of remarkable talents and skills that make him respected and feared in the secret world of mercenaries, spies and adventurers. A world inhabited by amazing men and women of fabulous abilities that most of us are unaware even exists. Fueled by a taste for excitement, driven by an overpowering desire to protect the innocent, see that wrongs are righted and assisted by a worldwide network of extraordinary men and women, all experts in their fields, DILLON spans the globe in a never-ending quest for the wildest and most breathtaking adventures of all.

In this oversized omnibus of past adventures, Dillon faces new enemies, battles a phantom buccaneer on the shores of Xonira, runs a deadly jungle race against a criminal overlord, battles dangerous agents on a speeding train in an attempt to prevent a kidnapping and spends an unexpected wild night out with celebrity rocker SLY GANTLET, whose life offstage holds some surprising secrets. Pro Se proudly presents its debut of Derrick Ferguson's International Instigator in some of his wildest adventures in the first ever DILLON ANNUAL COLLECTION!

With an exciting cover, logo design, and print formatting by Sean Ali, DILLON ANNUAL COLLECTION 2018 is available now at Amazon for 18.00.

This book is also available for $35.99 in hardcover.

Dillon’s Pro Se debut is also available as an Ebook, designed and formatted by Antonino Lo Iacono and Marzia Marina for only $3.99 for the Kindle. Kindle Unlimited Members can read for free.

===========================

I. A. WATSON’S ‘BYZANTIUM’ SINGLE SHOT SIGNATURE SERIES CONCLUDES WITH ‘SHATTERED BONDS’ -- ONLY 99 CENTS!

Award Winning Author I. A. Watson, one of the most prolific voices in New Pulp, takes readers one final time to a world of history of fantasy, one marred with magic, monsters, and mystery in the fifth and final chapter his exclusive original Pro Se Single Shot Signatures Series BYZANTIUM.

In a world where Christianity never arose to sweep away the old magics, where sorcerer-guilds and necromancer-kings rule amidst the Roman ruins, Kirkgrim the Wanderer joins a caravan train across war-torn wasteland to the world's most corrupt city. The reluctant hero finds himself trapped with travelers, refugee orphans, deserter soldiers, a beautiful hunted sorceress, and one mad Viking, amidst civil war, religious zealots, brutal reavers, and a growing zombie army -- guarding a secret that could bring the last vestiges of civilization crashing down in flames.

In Byzantium Book Five: SHATTERED BONDS, we learn the fates of the travelers beset by civil war, undead hordes, mage mysteries, treasure-driven treacheries and violent siege, and review the exploits of Kirkgrim the Wanderer, Lady Mirabelle de Castile, Sigroth Sigrothson, Fitz the Guide, and Fred the fighting truffle-pig, those who survived... and those who did not.

BYZANTIUM by I. A. Watson. From Pro Se Productions

With a haunting cover and logo design by Jeffrey Hayes and logo design and digital formatting by Antonino lo Iacono and Marzia Marina, BYZANTIUM BOOK FIVE: SHATTERED BONDS is available now at Amazon for only 99 cents. Kindle Unlimited Members can read for free.

For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies to review this book, contact Pro Se Productions’ Director of Corporate Operations, Kristi King-Morgan at directorofcorporateoperations@prose-press.com.

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Nugget #142 -- How to Read a Short Story Collection

Step one -- open to the table of contents.
Step two -- read the list of titles.
Step three -- pick one that sounds interesting.
Step four -- if you're not enjoying the stories you've read, 
close the book and pick up a different collection.

By Atomicdragon136 - Own work, CC BY 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67470250
 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

#ShareYourRejectionLetters

I share these in the hopes that my rejection letters might help inspire other writers to keep at it and not give up. Rejection is just a step in the process, not a failure.













Saturday, July 21, 2018

New Submission Calls from Pro Se Press!


OPEN ANTHOLOGY CALL: A MYSTERIOUS KEEPER OF CREATURES OF IMAGINATION -- CALL OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS TO ‘MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE’ ANTHOLOGY

Known for its unique anthologies, Pro Se Productions ups its game as a cutting edge genre fiction publisher with its latest submissions call. Based on a concept created by Pro Se’s Editor in Chief, Tommy Hancock, proposals are now being accepted for ‘MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE VOLUME ONE.’

“Perhaps the greatest part of my job, ” says Hancock, “is getting to be a part of the creative process at Pro Se. To not only make sure great writers and artists work for the company, but to also build concepts that challenge creators and draw in readers is one of the major reasons I do what I do. MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE is a concept I’ve toyed with for a while, looking for a way to combine aspects of my favorite concepts from different genres and stories. I think this is it and one that will definitely excite both readers and writers.”

The world is not simply a blue and brown ball called Earth. It is a wondrous mix of magic, mystery, and madness. And from this tangle of wonder and wild come beasts, beings, and monsters thought to be fantasy…or fears alone. Yet, the truth is that humans and the animals we know to exist are not alone, never have been. And those things, those living things that belong to legend and nightmare, to dream and story…they need a place to be as well. A way to live, many of them the last of their kind. And someone to take care of them.

“Matagordia,” explains Hancock, “is a person that has what some would call a circus, a freak show, a traveling extravaganza…it all sort of depends on which time period you’re talking about. Be it a circus tent in the middle of a Midwestern field in the 19th Century or a small auditorium that somehow suddenly appears in Chicago in the 1930s…or any other such thing…Matagordia’s Mythical Menagerie is a place where not only can regular folks see creatures they thought to be made up…but those very beasts aren’t on display as much as they live in a world all their own, one that is more than tent flaps or doors. Where outsiders see a warehouse actually may exist entire landscapes…and then there’s Matagordia him…or herself.”

Stories for this anthology must be set in between the years 1800 to the present day. Writers interested in submitting proposals must request the bible for the concept by emailing submissions@prose-press.com. Stories will focus either on Matagordia’s work/hunt/rescue of creatures considered mythical from multiple beliefs, stories, and cryptozology or on adventures that take place within Matagordia’s unique mobile world. A list of creatures will be available and listed in the concept bible. No submissions will be considered for this anthology without the writer having reviewed the bible.

Stories must be 8-10,000 words in length. A proposal of 100-500 words must be submitted to submissions@prose-press.com. Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals.

Final deadline for completed stories is 90 days following acceptance of proposals. Payment will be in the form of royalties, the percentage determined by number of accepted submissions. These are considered works for hire as the properties are based on concepts created by Tommy Hancock and Pro Se Productions.

MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE is a part of the Pro Se Open, the company's anthology project, and is scheduled to be published in the 2019-2021 calendar years, depending on submissions and other factors.

================================


OPEN ANTHOLOGY CALL REPOSTED: LIBRARIANS ON HORSEBACK IN THE WILDS OF APPALACHIA! SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR NEW ANTHOLOGY -- ‘BOOKRIDERS’!

Oftentimes some of the best ideas for fiction come from fact. Pro Se Productions announces an anthology that has its roots in 1930s Kentucky, the WPA, and some of the most amazing women ever to carry a book. Submissions are now open for BOOKRIDERS, an anthology of fiction tales based on the Pack Horse Library initiative.

“The old concept,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “about someone not being able to write a fiction story as good as the truth sometimes rings true more often than not. It definitely does where the Pack Horse Library initiative comes into play. Getting books out to the people who lived across eastern Kentucky in the 1930s was not only hard, but nearly impossible. In an attempt to employ women and to make sure books were accessible, the WPA started a program that actually, in its nine year history, employed 274 women as librarians riding horses or mules, literally spreading knowledge a book at a time to people that had no access otherwise. Who could make that up? And what better basis for a collection of great stories focused on fantastic women and the danger, adventure, and success they had to encounter on those backwoods trails? That is why BOOKRIDERS will be a collection, one we will dedicate to every single woman who rode hard with saddlebags loaded down with books. ”

Stories for BOOKRIDERS must be set in eastern Kentucky within the years of 1934 to 1943, the year the WPA ended. The central character of each story must be a woman employed by the Pack Horse initiative as a librarian. If writers find women who were actually a part of the program and they wish to base their stories on them, that is allowed. Fictional librarians are also appropriate as well. These stories must be true to the period, must contain some semblance of action or danger, adding to the pacing of the tale, and must be set firmly in reality and history. No supernatural, science fiction, or otherworldly elements allowed.

Although authors may submit their own creations as librarians, Pro Se will provide a bible on this concept, which will include five characters created by Pro Se that writers may also use. Writers interested in proposing for this anthology should request the bible.

Stories must be 5-8,000 words in length. A proposal of 100-500 words must be submitted to submissions@prose-press.com. Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals.

Final deadline for completed stories is 90 days following acceptance of proposals. Payment will be in the form of royalties, the percentage determined by number of accepted submissions.

BOOKRIDERS is a part of the Pro Se Open, the company's anthology project, and is scheduled to be published in the 2019-2021 calendar years, depending on submissions and other factors.

================================


SUBMISSIONS CALL OPEN FOR FOUR MONTHLY PRO SE SINGLE SHOT SIGNATURE SERIES!

In 2014, Pro Se Productions announced and launched The Pro Se Single Shot Signature Series, an innovative line of digital only fiction series, most of them episodic in nature and centering around a series regular or cast. Though the first incarnation of the line came to an end in 2016, Pro Se Productions announces the return of The Pro Se Single Shot Signature series by opening a submissions call for four new monthly series for release in 2018-2019.

Proposals for submissions are now being accepted for four new series as a part of the Pro Se Single Shot Signature line. Any genre is acceptable and word length must be 3 to 10 thousand words per month for a twelve month series. The series may either be episodic, ‘chapters’ in one continual story OR 12 individual stories featuring the same character or cast, like stand alone episodes. A mix of both can also be used, some stand alone episodes, some multi ‘chapter’ arcs.

Proposals for a series MUST outline 12 episodes/chapters/stories. This is non negotiable. Stories each month must be a MINIMUM of 3 thousand words and a MAXIMUM of 10,000 words and authors can determine themselves how long each story will be within these parameters. Once a proposal is accepted, a series will not debut until the first three installments are submitted to Pro Se Productions. Depending on sales, each series may be collected at the end of its digital run as a single novel/collection.

As previously stated, any genre is acceptable for submission. Preference will be given to stories that move quickly and keep a reader engaged. Authors with skill in writing serialized tales and/or recurring episodic work are encouraged to submit. Please do not propose serializing works that were originally completed as a novel. Newly written works aimed at being a 12 chapter/episode series are preferred.

This is a royalty only project, with the author of each accepted series receiving 50% royalties for the entire run of the series and, if collected, the resulting book/collection. If a writer submitting a proposal has not previously submitted to Pro Se before, proposals must include a four page writing sample.

All proposals must be sent to submissions@prose-press.com.

Examples of series from the Pro Se Signature Series’ first incarnation can be found at:


================================


FROM APOCALYPTIC PROMPT TO ANTHOLOGY -- SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR ‘BLIND MAN BLUFF’

Pro Se Productions, a home for imaginative concepts, announces an open call for a unique anthology where authors take a few written lines and allow the story to carry them wherever it may. BLIND MAN BLUFF is now open for submissions.

“Providing a prompt,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “is a standard way for writers to practice or get ideas, usually used in writing groups or online. BLIND MAN BLUFF is an anthology that adapts the prompt to give authors an opportunity to create a world based on just a few sentences, giving them the seed to see what they allow to grow with it. And the lines we provide are where each story starts. I am excited to see who takes a chance on this idea and what sort of tales get told.”

The prompt that each proposed story should use as its starting point is as follows-

"My name is Daniel Bluff. The year doesn’t matter. I am 34 years old, just shy of 35, but age is really just a useless number now, too. I stand six foot, three inches tall, weigh about 285, what most would consider athletic, maybe muscular. Short cropped black hair, peppered with some gray. Deep green eyes, like forest leaves Mariah once told me. I earned the scar that divides my left eyebrow in a fight I should have died in. I have skills most only ever see in movies or read in old paperbacks. How I learned what I know doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing from that life does. Not since the Occurrence. I may even be the last human being left alive or unchanged on the planet. So, I don’t write this for anyone to read. I write it so I remember the words, so I remember what I look like. I write it because I am alone and without much in the way of supplies. No one will be left to tell me what I don’t see.

I write it because… the world as I know it has ended and I am quickly going blind."

Stories must be 5,000-8,000 words in length and must be based on the above prompt. Authors can take the story in any direction they want as long as they are true to the prompt AND Bluff remains blind. Proposals should be 1-3 paragraphs and sent to submissions@prose-press.com. If an author submitting a proposal has never submitted to Pro Se before, a four page writing sample must be included.

This is a royalty only project, with the final royalties being determined by the number of accepted stories. Deadline will be 90 days after a proposal is accepted.

================================

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

New Submission Calls from Pro Se Press!


OPEN ANTHOLOGY CALL: A MYSTERIOUS KEEPER OF CREATURES OF IMAGINATION -- CALL OPEN FOR SUBMISSIONS TO ‘MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE’ ANTHOLOGY

Known for its unique anthologies, Pro Se Productions ups its game as a cutting edge genre fiction publisher with its latest submissions call. Based on a concept created by Pro Se’s Editor in Chief, Tommy Hancock, proposals are now being accepted for ‘MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE VOLUME ONE.’

“Perhaps the greatest part of my job, ” says Hancock, “is getting to be a part of the creative process at Pro Se. To not only make sure great writers and artists work for the company, but to also build concepts that challenge creators and draw in readers is one of the major reasons I do what I do. MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE is a concept I’ve toyed with for a while, looking for a way to combine aspects of my favorite concepts from different genres and stories. I think this is it and one that will definitely excite both readers and writers.”

The world is not simply a blue and brown ball called Earth. It is a wondrous mix of magic, mystery, and madness. And from this tangle of wonder and wild come beasts, beings, and monsters thought to be fantasy…or fears alone. Yet, the truth is that humans and the animals we know to exist are not alone, never have been. And those things, those living things that belong to legend and nightmare, to dream and story…they need a place to be as well. A way to live, many of them the last of their kind. And someone to take care of them.

“Matagordia,” explains Hancock, “is a person that has what some would call a circus, a freak show, a traveling extravaganza…it all sort of depends on which time period you’re talking about. Be it a circus tent in the middle of a Midwestern field in the 19th Century or a small auditorium that somehow suddenly appears in Chicago in the 1930s…or any other such thing…Matagordia’s Mythical Menagerie is a place where not only can regular folks see creatures they thought to be made up…but those very beasts aren’t on display as much as they live in a world all their own, one that is more than tent flaps or doors. Where outsiders see a warehouse actually may exist entire landscapes…and then there’s Matagordia him…or herself.”

Stories for this anthology must be set in between the years 1800 to the present day. Writers interested in submitting proposals must request the bible for the concept by emailing submissions@prose-press.com. Stories will focus either on Matagordia’s work/hunt/rescue of creatures considered mythical from multiple beliefs, stories, and cryptozology or on adventures that take place within Matagordia’s unique mobile world. A list of creatures will be available and listed in the concept bible. No submissions will be considered for this anthology without the writer having reviewed the bible.

Stories must be 8-10,000 words in length. A proposal of 100-500 words must be submitted to submissions@prose-press.com. Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals.

Final deadline for completed stories is 90 days following acceptance of proposals. Payment will be in the form of royalties, the percentage determined by number of accepted submissions. These are considered works for hire as the properties are based on concepts created by Tommy Hancock and Pro Se Productions.

MATAGORDIA’S MYTHICAL MENAGERIE is a part of the Pro Se Open, the company's anthology project, and is scheduled to be published in the 2019-2021 calendar years, depending on submissions and other factors.

================================


 OPEN ANTHOLOGY CALL REPOSTED: LIBRARIANS ON HORSEBACK IN THE WILDS OF APPALACHIA! SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR NEW ANTHOLOGY -- ‘BOOKRIDERS’!

Oftentimes some of the best ideas for fiction come from fact. Pro Se Productions announces an anthology that has its roots in 1930s Kentucky, the WPA, and some of the most amazing women ever to carry a book. Submissions are now open for BOOKRIDERS, an anthology of fiction tales based on the Pack Horse Library initiative.

“The old concept,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “about someone not being able to write a fiction story as good as the truth sometimes rings true more often than not. It definitely does where the Pack Horse Library initiative comes into play. Getting books out to the people who lived across eastern Kentucky in the 1930s was not only hard, but nearly impossible. In an attempt to employ women and to make sure books were accessible, the WPA started a program that actually, in its nine year history, employed 274 women as librarians riding horses or mules, literally spreading knowledge a book at a time to people that had no access otherwise. Who could make that up? And what better basis for a collection of great stories focused on fantastic women and the danger, adventure, and success they had to encounter on those backwoods trails? That is why BOOKRIDERS will be a collection, one we will dedicate to every single woman who rode hard with saddlebags loaded down with books. ”

Stories for BOOKRIDERS must be set in eastern Kentucky within the years of 1934 to 1943, the year the WPA ended. The central character of each story must be a woman employed by the Pack Horse initiative as a librarian. If writers find women who were actually a part of the program and they wish to base their stories on them, that is allowed. Fictional librarians are also appropriate as well. These stories must be true to the period, must contain some semblance of action or danger, adding to the pacing of the tale, and must be set firmly in reality and history. No supernatural, science fiction, or otherworldly elements allowed.

Although authors may submit their own creations as librarians, Pro Se will provide a bible on this concept, which will include five characters created by Pro Se that writers may also use. Writers interested in proposing for this anthology should request the bible.

Stories must be 5-8,000 words in length. A proposal of 100-500 words must be submitted to submissions@prose-press.com. Authors not previously published by Pro Se Productions must submit a writing sample of at least two pages with their proposals.

Final deadline for completed stories is 90 days following acceptance of proposals. Payment will be in the form of royalties, the percentage determined by number of accepted submissions.

BOOKRIDERS is a part of the Pro Se Open, the company's anthology project, and is scheduled to be published in the 2019-2021 calendar years, depending on submissions and other factors.

================================


SUBMISSIONS CALL OPEN FOR FOUR MONTHLY PRO SE SINGLE SHOT SIGNATURE SERIES!

In 2014, Pro Se Productions announced and launched The Pro Se Single Shot Signature Series, an innovative line of digital only fiction series, most of them episodic in nature and centering around a series regular or cast. Though the first incarnation of the line came to an end in 2016, Pro Se Productions announces the return of The Pro Se Single Shot Signature series by opening a submissions call for four new monthly series for release in 2018-2019.

Proposals for submissions are now being accepted for four new series as a part of the Pro Se Single Shot Signature line. Any genre is acceptable and word length must be 3 to 10 thousand words per month for a twelve month series. The series may either be episodic, ‘chapters’ in one continual story OR 12 individual stories featuring the same character or cast, like stand alone episodes. A mix of both can also be used, some stand alone episodes, some multi ‘chapter’ arcs.

Proposals for a series MUST outline 12 episodes/chapters/stories. This is non negotiable. Stories each month must be a MINIMUM of 3 thousand words and a MAXIMUM of 10,000 words and authors can determine themselves how long each story will be within these parameters. Once a proposal is accepted, a series will not debut until the first three installments are submitted to Pro Se Productions. Depending on sales, each series may be collected at the end of its digital run as a single novel/collection.

As previously stated, any genre is acceptable for submission. Preference will be given to stories that move quickly and keep a reader engaged. Authors with skill in writing serialized tales and/or recurring episodic work are encouraged to submit. Please do not propose serializing works that were originally completed as a novel. Newly written works aimed at being a 12 chapter/episode series are preferred.

This is a royalty only project, with the author of each accepted series receiving 50% royalties for the entire run of the series and, if collected, the resulting book/collection. If a writer submitting a proposal has not previously submitted to Pro Se before, proposals must include a four page writing sample.

All proposals must be sent to submissions@prose-press.com.

Examples of series from the Pro Se Signature Series’ first incarnation can be found at:


================================


FROM APOCALYPTIC PROMPT TO ANTHOLOGY -- SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR ‘BLIND MAN BLUFF’

Pro Se Productions, a home for imaginative concepts, announces an open call for a unique anthology where authors take a few written lines and allow the story to carry them wherever it may. BLIND MAN BLUFF is now open for submissions.

“Providing a prompt,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “is a standard way for writers to practice or get ideas, usually used in writing groups or online. BLIND MAN BLUFF is an anthology that adapts the prompt to give authors an opportunity to create a world based on just a few sentences, giving them the seed to see what they allow to grow with it. And the lines we provide are where each story starts. I am excited to see who takes a chance on this idea and what sort of tales get told.”

The prompt that each proposed story should use as its starting point is as follows-

"My name is Daniel Bluff. The year doesn’t matter. I am 34 years old, just shy of 35, but age is really just a useless number now, too. I stand six foot, three inches tall, weigh about 285, what most would consider athletic, maybe muscular. Short cropped black hair, peppered with some gray. Deep green eyes, like forest leaves Mariah once told me. I earned the scar that divides my left eyebrow in a fight I should have died in. I have skills most only ever see in movies or read in old paperbacks. How I learned what I know doesn’t matter anymore. Nothing from that life does. Not since the Occurrence. I may even be the last human being left alive or unchanged on the planet. So, I don’t write this for anyone to read. I write it so I remember the words, so I remember what I look like. I write it because I am alone and without much in the way of supplies. No one will be left to tell me what I don’t see.

I write it because… the world as I know it has ended and I am quickly going blind."

Stories must be 5,000-8,000 words in length and must be based on the above prompt. Authors can take the story in any direction they want as long as they are true to the prompt AND Bluff remains blind. Proposals should be 1-3 paragraphs and sent to submissions@prose-press.com. If an author submitting a proposal has never submitted to Pro Se before, a four page writing sample must be included.

This is a royalty only project, with the final royalties being determined by the number of accepted stories. Deadline will be 90 days after a proposal is accepted.

================================


PATRIOTISM AND TWO FISTED PULP -- SUBMISSIONS OPEN FOR ‘RED, WHITE AND HERO!’ ANTHOLOGY

Pro Se Productions announces a submissions call for an anthology giving the Good Ol’ U S of A new heroes to stand for what’s right and good in America. Proposals are now being accepted for RED, WHITE AND HERO!

“It’s an interesting world,” says Tommy Hancock, Pro Se Productions Editor in Chief, “to be in today, especially in the United States. So much division and disagreement. Yet, even with that, there are basic concepts that people seem to rally around, the keynotes of what it means to be American I really hope resound strongly with enough people. RED, WHITE AND HERO is a book focused on original heroes created by the authors that embody the true American spirit. Sure, this ground has been plowed before by Captain America and countless others, but if you watch the news and feel the tumult in our country, who could argue that we don’t need a few more flag waving, freedom loving, Statue of liberty type heroes around? This anthology isn’t about elephants and donkeys and those who ride them, but it’s about America and a dream that I truly believe is still alive.”

The stories for this anthology must focus on a lead character considered a hero whose motif, powers, background, and/or abilities are based on/related to The United States of America. This character can be what would be considered a super hero with powers, or more of a street level Pulp type hero, but this anthology is for stories featuring masks, secret identities, and larger than life exploits.

Although stories like this can and should be used, if authors choose, to make political statements, no submissions will be accepted which attack ANY actual person or which contain thinly veiled replacements for actual people. Pro Se is seeking authors for this collection that can make their views known without attacking existing individuals.

Stories must be 5,000-8,000 words in length. Proposals should be 1-3 paragraphs and sent to submissions@prose-press.com. If an author submitting a proposal has never submitted to Pro Se before, a four page writing sample must be included.

This is a royalty only project, with the final royalties being determined by the number of accepted stories. Deadline will be 90 days after a proposal is accepted.

================================

To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.

Friday, July 20, 2018

2018 Ringo Awards Final Ballot Nominees Announced


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - June 25, 2018 - The 2018 Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards Nominees have been announced with the release of the final ballot. The awards are to be presented at the Ringo Awards Banquet and Ceremony in conjunction with the 2018 Baltimore Comic-Con on the evening of Saturday, September 29, 2018.

Voting on the 2018 Ringo Awards Final Ballot is now open, and is restricted to the comic book industry creative community -- anyone involved in and credited with creating comics professionally. Thank you to all pros who have already participated in our nomination process. Final ballots can be submitted directly or via our website, and voting will close on August 31, 2018. We now present the inaugural Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards Final Ballot.

Fan and Pro Nomination Categories

Best Cartoonist (Writer/Artist)

  • Guy Delisle
  • Emil Ferris
  • Monica Gallagher
  • Joelle Jones
  • Quimchee
  • Jillian Tamaki

Best Writer

  • Jason Aaron
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Matt Kindt
  • Tom King
  • Jeff Lemire
  • Aline Brosh McKenna
  • David Pepose

Best Artist or Penciller

  • Gary Frank
  • Mitch Gerards
  • Chris Samnee
  • Stjepan Sejic
  • Lee Weeks

Best Inker

  • Jonathan Glapion
  • Mark McKenna
  • Danny Miki
  • Mark Morales
  • Scott Williams

Best Letterer

  • Colin Bell
  • Justin Birch
  • Todd Klein
  • David Rubin
  • John Workman

Best Colorist

  • Dijjo Lima
  • Laura Martin
  • Dave McCaig
  • Jasen Smith
  • Dave Stewart

Best Cover Artist

  • Michael Cho
  • Fay Dalton
  • Simon Fraser
  • Joelle Jones
  • David Mack
  • Jorge Santiago Jr.

Best Series

  • Batman, DC Comics
  • Lady Killer, Dark Horse Comics
  • Mister Miracle, DC Comics
  • Spencer & Locke, Action Lab Entertainment
  • Sunstone, Image Comics

Best Single Issue or Story

  • Batman Annual #2, DC Comics
  • Batman/Elmer Fudd Special, DC Comics
  • Doomsday Clock #1, DC Comics
  • I Am Groot, Marvel Comics
  • Mister Miracle #5, DC Comics

Best Original Graphic Novel

  1. The Aggregate, Split Decision Comics
  2. The Best We Could Do, Abrams ComicArts
  3. Hostage, Drawn & Quarterly
  4. My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Fantagraphics
  5. Spinning, First Second

Best Anthology

  • Magic Bullet, D.C. Conspiracy
  • Mine! A Celebration of Liberty and Freedom for All Benefiting Planned Parenthood, ComicMix
  • Mirror, Mirror II, 2dcloud
  • Overwatch: Anthology Volume 1, Dark Horse Comics
  • SpongeBob Comics: Treasure Chest, Harry N. Abrams

Best Humor Comic


Best Comic Strip or Panel

  • Bloom County, Berkeley Breathed, Andrews McMeel Universal
  • Mutts, Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
  • Peanizles, http://www.peanizles.com/
  • Pearls Before Swine, Stephan Pastis, Andrews McMeel Universal
  • Sarah's Scribbles, Andrews McMeel Universal

Best Webcomic


Best Non-fiction Comic Work

  • The Best We Could Do, Abrams ComicArts
  • Everything is Flammable, Uncivilized Books
  • Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Fantagraphics
  • Poppies of Iraq, Drawn & Quarterly
  • ReDistricted, redistrictedcomics.com
  • Spinning, First Second

Best Kids Comic or Graphic Novel

  • Bolivar, Archaia/BOOM! Studios
  • Cyko KO: A Comic Book Adventure You Can Color, Alterna Comics
  • DC SuperHero Girls, DC Comics
  • Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties, Graphix
  • Home Time (Book One), Top Shelf Productions
  • If Found...Please Return To Elise Gravel, Drawn & Quarterly
  • Jem and the Holograms, IDW Publishing
  • Pizza Tree, Arcana Comics
  • Red's Planet: Friends and Foes, Harry N. Abrams

Best Presentation in Design

  • Jane, BOOM! Studios
  • Monograph by Chris Ware, Rizzoli
  • Monsters Vol. 1: The Marvel Monsterbus, Valiant Entertainment
  • My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Fantagraphics
  • Saga, Image Comics
  • Skybourne, BOOM! Studios
  • X-Men: Grand Design Marvel Comics

The final ballot represents an aggregate of jury and fan top nominations. Congratulations to all of the nominees. Comic pros can click the button below to submit their votes.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Writing for the New Pulp Fiction Market

by Fred Adams, Jr.

Ever hear of The Purple Scar? Lady Domino? The Black Bat? How about the Shadow? Doc Savage? Conan the Barbarian? Ah, I see recognition lighting up a few faces.

The aforementioned heroes and heroine are members of the pantheon of pulp fiction characters popular in the magazines of the 1930s and 40s. Literary types are fond of tagging Pulp Fiction as "escapist literature named after the cheap pulp paper on which the magazines were printed." I prefer to think that Pulp Fiction is named after the state in which the villains are left after the hero is finished beating the living snot out of them.

Hundreds of pulp magazines graced the newsstands and magazine racks of America, some monthly and some weekly in the 1930s and 40s. And they kept authors like H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Kenneth Robeson, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and a host of others from starving to death in the hard times of the Great Depression. As a matter of fact, during the Depression, the prolific Robert E. Howard had a greater income than the President of the bank in his hometown of Cross Plains, Texas.

The magazines had titles like Spicy Detective Stories, Weird Tales, Astounding Science Fiction, THRILLING ADVENTURE, THRILLING DETECTIVE, THRILLING MYSTERY, THRILLING RANCH, THRILLING SPORTS, THRILLING WESTERN, and THRILLING WONDER STORIES.

It's no coincidence that so many of these magazines had the word Thrilling as the lead adjective in their titles. That's what their audience wanted - thrills; escape, adventure, romance, to take their minds away from the grinding sadness of the Depression or the horrors of war.

Much of the writing was poor at best, in many cases because it was cranked out so quickly for magazines that came out on a weekly schedule. But the Pulps included gems of very high quality: Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon first appeared in Black Mask. H.P. Lovecraft, Fritz Leiber, and Robert E. Howard saw much of their best work appear in Weird Tales for a half-cent a word (one reason why their stories are often so long and detailed). Even the young Tennessee Williams had a story. "The Vengeance of Nitocris" published in Weird Tales.

In principle, the circumstance is illustrated by an anecdote involving Science Fiction grand master Theodore Sturgeon. The story has it that an interviewer once said to Sturgeon, "Mister Sturgeon, you know that 90 percent of science fiction is crap." Sturgeon replied, "Young man, 90 percent of everything is crap." This was true of Pulp Fiction in the '30s and '40s and is still true of the Pulp Fiction written today. It's that other ten percent that pulp fans look for in new fiction.

In the fifties, the pulps faded away and disappeared from the newsstands, but the best stories and their characters came back in the 1960s in the form of Ace Paperback doubles featuring Conan stories by Howard, and Ballantine paperback reprints of the hundred thirty-odd Doc Savage novels by Lester Dent, aka Kenneth Robeson, Western authors Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour.

What possessed editors and imprints to bring these stories back? It was the nature of the iction.

Pulp writers had one rule that good and bad writers alike followed: adherence to the art of storytelling. Every story had a beginning and an end, sharply etched economical , almost archetypal characterization, loads of action, high emotions, and plenty going on. The mission was to keep the reader hooked while you transported him or her into a more exciting and interesting world of fantasy and make-believe, to spirit the reader away from the drab, everyday world. Its mission was to entertain with a capital E.

My generation, largely born after the pulps disappeared from the newsstand, bought and read these adventurous stories in anthologies with lurid paperback covers and found they were, simply put, fun to read. Pulp fiction has experienced the first stirrings of a new wave of interest in recent years as another generation discovers that reading pulp fiction can be at least as entertaining as video games, television, and social media.

Over the past eight to ten years, vendors began showing up at Sci-Fi cons and then at cons devoted to pulp fiction, cons like the Pulp Fest in Columbus (this year the last weekend of July in Cranberry, PA) and The Windy City Pulp and Paper Con in Chicago with crumbling pulp magazines in plastic sleeves and reprints of entire pulp magazines. The old vintage magazines, because of their cheap paper are hard to find in good condition, so people who wanted to read the adventures of The Shadow or Secret Agent X bought these facsimile editions (complete with the ads for X-ray glasses, sneeze powder and joy buzzers from Johnson-Smith Company) in big numbers.

A common sentiment was the lament that having read the entire canon of a specific author, the fun was over; many wished that the adventures would continue. And they have. Built on the popularity of Conan the Barbarian, Lin Carter and L. Sprague de Camp, among others, began writing new Conan adventures with the blessing of the Howard Estate's literary executor the late Glenn Lord. Today, I've lost track of the number of authors writing new Conan novels and stories. But they sell. How do we know? Because the publishers keep cranking them out. They will stop when people stop buying them.

As more fans discovered lesser known heroes like some of the ones I mentioned earlier, a demand arose for new stories involving these characters as well. When publishers went looking for literary rights, they learned that a large number of these characters had never been copyrighted, or that their copyrights had never been renewed under law, and they were public domain - free for the taking.

A whole new subgenre of fiction has arisen around the revival of these characters in new stories.

As I said earlier, new wine in old wineskins.

In addition to Conan, new stories featuring Doc Savage, Alan Quatermain, and other characters began to appear, even new Sherlock Holmes stories written by different authors. Alongside the traditional pulp heroes, new characters also emerged and the pulp fans embraced them.

While many of you may not particularly like the kind of rock ’em sock ‘em fiction that the pulp milieu presents, ask yourself this question: what am I? The answer is: a writer. What do writers do? They write for publication. Writing New Pulp is a road to your name on the cover of a book from a legitimate publisher.

Go to the websites of the publishers that I’ll discuss later and download their submission requirements. Those who publish new stories based on established characters provide a character “bible” ranging from a paragraph to a page of information; back story, regular associates, and other details peculiar to the character. Some of these publishers post anthology projects and request submissions. Others send out regular e-mails to writers who work with them or who request the information.

Check them out. If a publisher wants novellas for a Purple Scar anthology, give it a shot. Because these folks are not Knopf or Simon & Shuster, they are a little more down-to-earth and will work with you within reason. Bottom line, they’ll give your work a fair read, and if you write a good piece, they’ll likely use it. The checks may not be huge, but they cash.

And don’t think that this is all you pitch to the New Pulpers. You can submit characters of your own. I’ll use myself as an example.

My entry into Airship 27 was my novel Hitwolf  (what would the Mob do with a werewolf?). It was accepted immediately, as was Six Gun Terrors, vol.1 (cowboys and Cthulhu) that I wrote and submitted four months later.

These two paved the way for my supernatural detective C.O. Jones, Mobsters and Monsters and my first novel and Dead Man's Melody (rejected by one agent who shall remain nameless – he told me the only thing that sells these days is troubled female investigator fiction). Dead Man's Melody coincidentally was nominated by the2017 Pulp Factory Awards as Pulp Novel of the Year.

Other characters of my own accepted and published by Airship 27 include conjoined Chinese twins, the Smith brothers (The Eye of Quang-Chi, nominated as pulp novel of the year this year), and Thirties private eye Ike Mars (Bloody Key).

In addition, I’ve written original character novellas for anthologies for Airship 27: All-American Sports Stories and Aviation Aces, Vol. 1. I’ve also written established character stories for Pulp Mythology vol. 1 (a Beowulf story) Secret Agent X vol. 5 and vol. 6, a Conrad von Hoenig story for Flinch Books' Quest for the Space Gods, and a pair of original Sherlock Holmes stories for Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective vol. 9, as well as stories for volumes 12 and 13.

All were accepted and all are paid publications. Six have already been made into audio books with the others to follow as Airship converts its entire catalog.

I would also point out that the publishers are now looking for female heroes, super powers or not because of the success of last year’s Wonder Woman movie. Robert E. Howard’s Red Sonja is coming back with re-issues of novels by David C. Smith and Dick Tierney. Domino Lady is back under the Airship 27 imprint. Female pulp heroes are going to be a big seller in the near future.

You may not get rich writing new pulp this year, or maybe next year, but your name will be out there, and when an agent or editor asks “what have you published lately?” you have a legitimate answer. Also, when you do a book signing or an author sale like tomorrow's, you have hard copy books to offer. This week I have fifteen titles to put out for sale, all from the past four years.

Things are looking better all the time for the new Pulp Market. Currently, an Airship character named Brother Bones was recently optioned for a movie, and if that succeeds, the producers will be looking for more titles.

So, the market is out there. Now how do you write a New Pulp Fiction story?

Pulp fiction, to my thinking is a logical extension of Gothic fiction from the 18th century. Lurid, sensational novels were popular reading then, and those two adjectives certainly apply to pulp, but the similarities run deeper.

In my doctoral dissertation, Edith Wharton's American Gothic: Gods, Ghosts, and Vampires I defined Gothic fiction as "Literature that portrays society's inability to protect the individual in extreme circumstances."

A favorite example of this extension in the modern world is the classic B movie alien invasion flick of the fifties. A spacecraft lands. The first thing police and/or the army do is surround the craft and point weapons at it, in military parlance, all by the book. The aliens soon prove to be beyond human control. Standard protocols are ineffective, and the outsider, in many cases a curmudgeonly scientist dismissed by the establishment as a crank, comes up with a solution that saves humanity.

Pulp fiction carries this a step further. In extreme circumstances, beyond the reach of law enforcement, government, military force, religious authority, or science, where can a person turn? I.E., who ya gonna call? The private detective who operates outside the proscribing rules of a police officer, the hired gunslinger whose fast draw settles things marshals and posses can't, the anti-hero who breaks every rule to set things right.

Pulp Fiction has absolutely no literary pretensions. It is written to entertain. As Ron Fortier, Airship 27’s editor in chief says, “if you want to develop character, do it between the gunshots."

The advice editor Marcel Duhammel gave to author Chester Himes, who went on to write the successful Grave Digger Jones series (ever see the movie Cotton Comes to Harlem?) is as valid today as it was sixty years ago: Make pictures. We don't give a damn who's thinking what, only what they're doing.

I’ve always enjoyed Pulp because when I read it, I don’t have to psychoanalyze the characters, or go to the library and find a book on organic chemistry or marine biology (are you listening, Randy Wayne White?) to make sense of the plot. I don’t need to reference some deep literary allegory or have to know minutiae about some historical period.

Pulp fiction is action, action, action. Fist fights, gun fights, sword fights; conflict and mortal peril underlie everything in the story, narrative tension should run high throughout. August Lenniger, in a 1929 Writer's Digest article about the infamous Black Mask magazine wrote of its stories, "There is never a moment in [its stories] where there is not something happening. There is constant action; a continual series of surprises, and it holds its suspense through the threatening [of] death..."

As I am fond of saying, the fundamental question at the heart of fiction is "what if?" The fundamental question at the heart of pulp fiction is "what next?"

As in Gothic fiction, pulp fiction achieves this by either placing an extraordinary individual into ordinary circumstances, or an ordinary individual into extraordinary circumstances. The result is what literary snobs call escapist fiction, but that is pulp fiction's greatest appeal: its ability to push an uncomfortable reality to the back of your mind for the duration of the story. Herein lies the source of nostalgia for something today's readers may have never experienced before. A gateway "to those thrilling days of yesteryear."

But where does pulp fiction originate? I am fond of saying that most pulp fiction stems from two of the great classics of western literature: The Iliad and The Odyssey.

I have recently added a third root to the tree: the Knight and his Squire, Don Quixote and the faithful Sancho Panza as a leading example. Buddy fiction, if you will, the hero and a second banana sidekick like Tonto to Fran Stryker's Lone Ranger.

The Iliad: a team of characters, each with a specialty; strength, wisdom, cleverness, etc. who join forces to fight an enemy. You’ve seen it since in Doc Savage’s team, the Blackhawk comics from the 40s and 50s, Mission Impossible, the A-Team, the first Star Wars film, and the Justice League and Marvel Avengers. Each member of the team contributes to the victory in his or her unique way.

The Odyssey: Homer was very shrewd to choose Odysseus, "the man of many schemes" as his stand alone hero. He is the prototypical loner against all comers, natural and supernatural. He is human, not even a demigod, and though he gets help from a few deities, he faces opposition from others in his quest to return home from the Trojan War. He is the archetypal trickster found in every mythology: Hermes, Loki, Coyote, Anansi, Popocatapetl, and he uses his many schemes to thwart his powerful enemies and to succeed in his efforts.

The fact that Odysseus is human and not supernatural opens the door for strong reader identification with the hero, an element crucial to successful pulp fiction. H. Bedford-Jones writes: "Never forget that the reader, in general, identifies himself with the chief character of a story. He desires to see things through the eyes of that character." Herein lies the escapist appeal of Pulp Fiction, the Walter Mitty-ism of the reader seeing himself as a two-fisted Alpha hero.

A main staple of traditional Pulp has always been the private detective, a figure George Will recently wrote was an extension of the American Cowboy (another staple of Pulp Fiction), the gun-toting loner who has substituted a car for a horse, and an automatic for a six-shooter, but who embodies the same tough-guy ethic and sense of right and wrong that motivates him to protect the vulnerable (as did another action figure, the Knight Errant of an earlier era). I.e. people the system cannot protect.

Ron Fortier of Airship 27 writes on Airship’s website, “People love mysteries, and they love private eyes.” If mystery is your forte, write one and submit it to Airship 27. I purposely write detective novels set in the 30s (Ike Mars), the 40s (C.O. Jones), and the 1890s (The Smith Brothers) so that I can write about detecting skills and physical confrontation, not the Internet, cell phones, digital surveillance cameras, The NCIS database, and a host of other modern conveniences that allow investigators to solve crimes and catch criminals in fifteen minutes while sipping a latte in their swivel chairs.

My detectives get their info the old way, by paying snitches, trading on old friendships with cops still on the force, peering through keyholes and over transoms, and beating it out of recalcitrant people. Action, action, action. As Raymond Chandler once wrote, “When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.”

Sam Dunne, my protagonist in Dead Man’s melody is my sole protagonist who operates in the present. Sam manages to navigate modern technology well enough, but when all else fails, he has the reassuring knowledge that when all else fails, he can always climb over the table and punch the s. o. b. in the teeth.

Your loner hero can be a detective (private or otherwise), a cowboy, a closet crime fighter, a pirate, someone with supernatural ability, or the character I’m developing now, an 18th century insurance investigator for Lloyd’s of London who offers me the potential to pit him against crooked customs officers, pirates, sea monsters, the antagonistic French and Spanish governments, spies, and dockside ruffians. Good ripping fun with a sword, a belaying pin, and a musket; no iPads allowed.

Lester Dent, pen name Kenneth Robeson -- remember him? He created Doc Savage and wrote hundreds of novels, sometimes one a week. He published "the Lester Dent Pulp Paper Master Fiction Plot" in 1936. It still works. You can Google it at: http://www.paper-dragon.com/1939/dent.html. And for those of you who like to use Scrivener software, an enterprising author has created a Scrivener template for Pulp Fiction found at: http://byzantineroads.info/pulptemplate

Dent pretty much nails it. I’ll read an excerpt from his four-phase formula.

First 1,500 words: 1 -- First line, or as near thereto as possible, introduce the hero and swat him with a fistful of trouble. Hint at a mystery, a menace, or a problem to be solved--something the hero has to cope with.

Yep. That's how pulp works, and that's why the readers love it. Joseph T. Shaw says, "... it is not necessary to stage a gun battle from start to finish, with a murder or a killing in every paragraph. You can keep it alive and moving, when sympathy is once aroused, by tension and suspense, through dialogue or other form of plot development, when action is absent. Action in one form or another, is, however, pretty much in demand."

So you’ve got an idea about plotting and characters. Run with it. Be as outlandish as you like, because Pulp Fiction (new or old) demands internal logic, but not external logic. Within the bounds of the story, you can be as outlandish as you like.

My first Six-Gun Terrors novel, subtitled "Six Guns and Old Ones" featured not only cowboys and Indians and the Cavalry; it included a wagon train with forty Dayak headhunters from Borneo, a boatload of Chinese Pirates, the Vatican, a one-eyed tribal chief who reads Aristotle, and of course, H. P. Lovecraft’s Old Ones. I just said what the hell and threw everything I could think of into the plot.

It sold. So can your work.

I mentioned earlier the prospect of writing pulp stories and novels with previously established public domain characters. Dozens exist. The magic era seems to be the mid-1930s. Anything copyrighted before then, if not appropriately renewed, has become public domain. This frees the presses to publish new fiction featuring these characters and it frees you to write it. My recommendation is that you not only look over the character bible on any of these you might want to try but that you read some of the older fiction involving these characters to acquaint yourself with the character(s) and the style of the original works.

Certain characters are still protected by copyright: Tarzan is still owned by the Burroughs estate. Doc Savage, and Robert E. Howard's characters Conan, Bran Mak Morn, Solomon Kane, et al. If you want to try a character that's not on the list I gave you, I'd vet it with the publisher before going to the trouble of writing a novel you can't legally sell.

Of course, you could write a Conan novel, and simply change the name of the hero and the name of the land or the milieu as did Gardner Fox, (Kothar the Barbarian) or Lin Carter (Ka-Zar), or a host of other sword and sorcery scriveners. The risk you run with that strategy is the likelihood that an editor will read the first three pages and dismiss it as faux Conan.

The temptation exists to put a personal spin on an established character. Be careful about that. Readers cherish their favorites, and don't always take kindly to a new face on an old favorite. I'd liken it to Hollywood directors remaking classic movies with the attitude, "It was great, but it will be perfect if I just make this one change to the plot." The road to bad reviews, gang, and the waste of a hefty Hollywood budget.

There's a reason these characters are still popular seventy or eighty years after they first saw print: they were engaging. Readers liked them and knew what to expect issue to issue of a given magazine. A long series can be repetitive, but with the good ones, readers don't mind so much. As Walter Gibson tells us, it's like chatting with an old friend.

One way to handle individualizing your take on a character is what I did with Secret Agent X. My Agent X story "The Devil in the Deep Blue Sea" is set immediately after World War I, earlier in X's career than the original canon. That gave me leeway to work X to my satisfaction without distressing fans of the original. My second foray into Agent X's adventures, "Island in the Sky" is set in 1939 on the verge of World War II and allowed me the same freedom.

Some publishers frown on changes. Airship 27 has published eleven anthologies of new Sherlock Holmes fiction with two more awaiting publication. Despite the popularity of the mega-star anthology Shadows Over Baker Street, Airship 27 refuses to take Holmes stories that involve the supernatural or science fiction elements. I wrote a pair of Holmes novellas without knowing this fact, and at the Windy City Pulp Con two years ago, Ron Fortier told he couldn't use them for the aforementioned reason.

I was lucky that day. Tommy Hancock from Pro Se Press was standing beside me and as soon as Ron said he couldn't use the stories, Tommy said, "I'll take 'em." And they are now in print in Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Chronic Argonaut.

Writing Sherlock Holmes stories is one of the most demanding and daunting tasks a writer can tackle. The readers are unforgiving of errors and/or misrepresentations and largely intolerant of plot twists like revealing that Holmes is a woman in disguise, is Watson's secret lover, or is from outer space or another dimension. Amazon reviews, fan blogs, and social media can be devastating to sales, and remember, barring nuclear war or collision with an asteroid, few things have a longer life than postings on the Internet. They'll haunt you for years to come.

The pulp characters on Airship 27's "fair game" list are a little bit easier to manage. You don't need to throw a reference to the character bible every other paragraph just to let the reader know you've done your homework. The result of that can often be the appearance of simply trying too hard to be another author. Those of you who have read any of the newer Spenser novels by Ace Atkins, who took over the series after Robert Parker's death will understand completely.

It is worthwhile to read newer fiction featuring an established character to get a feel of what a new pulp publisher wants to see, but that is no substitute for reading the original author's work to understand how he or she saw the character. A mistake some authors make is referring to or spinning off from an incident portrayed in a story that never occurred in the original canon. This is an immediate red flag that you are not familiar with the original author's treatment.

If you write a series of character revival stories, you can get away with referring to incidents, characters, etc. unique to your work, but keep everyone else's newer tales in a separate compartment. A few more caveats: most editors shy away from origin stories. There is a compelling reason.

Walter Gibson, who wrote over a hundred novels featuring The Shadow, wrote in his essay "A Million Words a Year for Ten Straight Years" (that's double NANOWRIMO all year 'round) the following wisdom about the Pulp hero:

You must treat the character as a discovery, rather than your own creation. Treat him, not just seriously, but profoundly. Picture him as real, and beyond you, in mind as well as prowess. Feel that however much you have learned about him, you can never uncover all. This mental attitude gives you deeper knowledge of the character than the story does.

Gibson is correct. When you think about fictional characters you have enjoyed, ask yourself, would I enjoy that character more or less if I were told every detail of the character's origin? That sense of mystery that Gibson's approach provides helps that character remain larger than life in the reader's mind, and enables what Samuel Taylor Coleridge called the "teleological suspension of disbelief" in the character that permits the most outlandish (and often the most entertaining) events to be presented.

Another red flag is a story that presents the death of the hero. Publishers want return engagements. If you kill off a popular hero, or one of your own creation, you've killed a golden goose.

If you create a new pulp character, keep in mind the words of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason, but also the author of hundreds of pulp magazine stories:

An editor, usually with a strong individuality, cultivates writers who have strong individualities. They create characters that stand out. As writers, editors, and readers become more familiar with these characters, they develop, round out, and become flesh and blood beings to the readers.

Another aspect: in the current publishing game, many of the New Pulp Houses utilize Amazon's Create Space in tandem with Kindle for their releases. This has made a significant change in the market; instead of a publishing house printing a thousand copies or fifty thousand copies of a book and distributing them to sellers, then remaindering those copies that don't sell, effectively taking the book off the shelf, a title's life is open-ended, being available so long as Amazon is in business. Your books are never out of print. People will eventually read your stuff, like it, and go looking for more. They'll find it all on Amazon. A slow ride, perhaps, but you will arrive.

The strategy I pursue is to continue writing and publishing, building a catalog, and having it ready if and when my work enjoys its fifteen minutes of fame. In the meantime, I'm having fun.

A simple Google search of New Pulp Fiction will uncover a number of possible markets. Download their submission requirements, and study their publications. To learn what others are doing in the field, you might also join the Pulp Factory discussion group found at: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/thepulpfactory/conversations/messages

My advice to every author is: be your own demographic. Write what you'd like to read. If you don't like what you're writing, how can you expect a reader to like it any better? If you are excited what  you write, the excitement will be contagious. Writing will be less like work, and more like the adventure it ought to be.


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NOTE: The following is a transcript of a presentation Fred Adams, Jr., made at the In Your Write Mind Conference at Seton Hill University on 22 June 2018. The audience comprised largely graduates of the University's MFA program for novelists.