Saturday, June 30, 2012



Airship 27 Productions, a leader in the New Pulp Fiction movement, is thrilled to announce the released of their latest title, JUNGLE TALES Vol.One.

One of the most popular sub-genres of the classic pulp magazines were those with jungle settings. With the success and popularity of Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan stories, editors began clamoring for similar tales featuring jungle heroes. Soon dozens of cheap loin-cloth wearing imitators were popping up everywhere, including a few jungle queens to add spice to the mix.  By far the most successful of these Tarzan clones was the blond-haired Ki-Gor, the Jungle Lord whose adventures appeared regularly in the pages of Jungle Stories magazine.

Now Airship 27 Productions offers up this new collection with three brand new adventures of Ki-Gor and his lovely, red-headed mate, Helene, as they travel into the mysterious, uncharted jungles of Africa.  Penned by Aaron Smith, Duane Spurlock and Peter Miller, here are a trio of fast paced tales that have the Jungle Lord discovering a hidden village of Vikings, crossing paths with dinosaurs in a lost valley and battling cannibals to save the life of a benevolent jungle princess.  This is the pulse-pounding action and thrill-a-minute adventure fans have come to expect from the classic jungle pulps. 

“It’s hoped,” said Managing Editor, Ron Fortier, “that each new volume of this title will shine the spotlight on a different classic pulp jungle hero.  Maybe even a jungle queen or two.”  This premier features a stunning cover by painter Bryan Fowler with magnificent interior illustrations by Kelly Everaert.  JUNGLE TALES Vol.One kicks off another new series pulp fans are sure to appreciate and enjoy. 

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – Pulp Fiction For A New Generation!

$3 PDF digital copy available at –

From Amazon at –

And coming soon from –

FandomFest Con Update

Wow. This one's like a family reunion. Seriously. With a party attached to it for the grown-ups. (No, not THAT kind of party.)

Andrea Judy, Charis Taylor, and I arrived Thursday night a little after 10 pm, and got lost both in road construction that had blocked off our exit and in a dungeon of a parking lot at the Galt House in Louisville, KY, but thankfully, it all went up from there.

When I say it's like a family reunion, I meant if you have crazy folks in your family like John Hartness, Allan Gilbreath, Kimberly Richardson, H. David Blalock, Jen Mulvihill, Stephen Zimmer, Michelle Weston, Alex Adams, James Tuck, Georgia Jones, Alan Lewis, Sean Patrick Fannon, Carinn Seabolt, and Stephanie Osborne. So take that all with a grain of salt at the Galt, folks.

Regardless, the opening day of the con was a lot of fun, books found homes, and money changed hands (in a good way, ie, into MY hands as new readers bought my books), so that's always a good start for a con. On top of that, the hotel is incredibly nice, the air conditioning in the building works efficiently (in and of itself a huge plus over last year's con), and the staff has been very, very helpful and friendly. Kudos to all involved for a wonderful time thus far.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Art Imitates Death

And here's a teaser from my very first published zombie tale, a story called "Art Imitated Death" from Pro Se Presents #1.

Available vis Smashwords:

Available via Amazon:


“NO REALLY. I’M FINE,” Mark said, putting the cell phone in the empty passenger seat. “You don’t have to come up. I’ll be perfectly fine.”

    “I worry about you.” Melinda’s warmth was evident even over the lousy connection. “You’re all alone up there. It was one thing to be on the mountain when you and my sister…” Her voice fell away, then grew warm and strong again. “Well, when there were two of you… But now that you’re all by yourself, it’s got to be a little creepy.”

    The road twisted ahead of him with only the lights from his BMW to help him follow the serpentine mess of roughly paved gravel paths. Like something from his past, growing up in southern Georgia, only with gravel instead of red clay. Drive for miles and see nothing but woods and fields, and then—boom—suddenly a bed and breakfast or a fishing lodge jumps out at you from around the next tight curve. Any minute now, his home away from home, his two-story art studio would do the same, where she would be waiting for him.

    “I’m a sculptor, Melinda.” He grinned at the phone even though he knew she couldn’t see it. “I’m supposed to like solitude. Remember? Besides, I’ve got a new project to keep me occupied for several weeks.”

    There was a long silence.

    “Okay, but you call me at least once a week, and if you get lonely, just know that I can be up there in about an hour and a half. We could grab some dinner at that mom and pop seafood buffet.”

    “Bill and Vera’s Seafood Shack.”

    “That’s the one.”

    “Yeah. That was one of your sister’s favorites.”

    Melinda coughed and cleared her throat. “Well, we don’t have to eat there.”

    “No,” he said, picking up the phone from the seat. “It’s fine, really. But not for a few weeks. I really want to finish this new project and then I’ll call you up for a weekend and show her off to you. I think you’re going to love it. It’s my most personal work so far. I’m really putting a lot of love into it.”

    “Okay, if you’re sure.”

    “I’m sure. Don’t worry about me.”

    A deer ran in front of him and he hit the brakes, dropping the phone and sending it careening into the floor. “Hold on,” he shouted.

    Melinda’s voice suddenly sounded like a fairy stuffed under a pillow. The phone had probably been jostled under the seat. He could hear her but couldn’t make sense of the muffled squeals and squawks.

    “Just a minute,” he yelled, and spun the car to a stop.

    He leaned over and dug under the seat until he found the phone and held it up to his ear. “Got it. Sorry about that.”

    “What happened?”

    “A deer.”

    “You okay?”

    He laughed. “After what we’ve been through the past year, you’re worried about a deer crossing in front of my car? Talk about a loss of perspective.”

    He heard his sister-in-law laugh too. “But you are okay, right?”

    “Yeah. Wasn’t even close.”

    Something rustled loudly in the bushes a few feet away, and Mark jerked his head sideways to get a look. But it was too dark and the headlights were facing the wrong direction. “Damn,” he said and leaned over to open the dashboard pocket. Groping blindly, his fingers searched for the flashlight he kept there. When they didn’t find it, he remembered leaving it in the trunk after using it down at the cemetery when he had visited the gravesite a few days earlier.


    “Hang on. There’s something in the bushes.”

    “One of them?”

Meet Armless O'Neil! (Special teaser post)

Here's a teaser for my Armless O'Neil story, "There's Always a Woman Involved," featuring in Blood-Price of the Missionary's Gold: The New Adventures of Armless O'Neil.

Get your copy today!

Available at Smashwords:

Available in print at Amazon:

Available for Kindle:


“To hell with you, Tommy!” Armless O’Neil shouted across the table, slamming down his fist in matching rhythm with that of the hook that made up the visible portion of his left arm. “If God in his infinite wisdom had seen fit to have you born the lame runt of a Bedouin’s mangiest goat, you’d have been at least twice as smart and four times as useful as you are now.”

“That’s unfair, and you know it, O’Neil.” Tommy stood tall and as handsome a specimen as O’Neil was ugly and squat—well, not exactly ugly, but at the very least undesirable in any modern romantic fashion. “And it’s certainly no way to speak of the man who is offering a quick way to make two thousand German Reichsmarks for little more than babysitting wooden boxes.”

“What’s her name?” O’Neil locked his eyes on those of the younger man and took a swig of cognac from a bottle with an Italian label. He tried his best to ignore that fact and pretend the lackluster liquor was the good stuff. “Well?”

“What makes you think there’s a girl involved?”

“Because if I was as young and as stupid as you, there’d be a girl involved.” O’Neil set the bottle down on the table with a loud clank. “And every time I bump into you, there’s a girl involved. If I were to venture a guess, I’d say you’ve left a girl aboard every ship I’ve paid for you to return home on.”

“Now that’s just not fair.”


Tommy huffed and coughed. “That’s different.”

“Kathy Van Heest?”

Tommy’s pale, youthful whiteness turned pink. “Her family had—”


Tommy stood up, slamming his open palm on the table top so hard that O’Neil had to steady the bottle of cognac. “I never messed around with anyone named Cleopatra.”

“And only because she’s a few thousand years too old for you, but God help Caesar and Mark Antony if you had taken a shine to her.”

Tommy started to say something, but O’Neil shushed him, and he sat down again.

“You’re a louse of a friend. You know that?”

“And you’re a bad investment, m’boy.” O’Neil offered the bottle to Tommy, but the younger man refused. “Don’t look so hurt. And don’t try to deny the times I’ve more than covered your return trip to the United States.”

Tommy looked at the floor.

O’Neil drained the bottle of the last third of liquor. When he finished, he put the bottle on the floor beside him and called out for another.

“You’re drunk,” Tommy said. “That’s why I’m not mad at you about all this mean-spirited nonsense you’re saying.”

O’Neil grinned. “I’m not drunk. You are a louse. And you do fall in love too easily.”

A dark-skinned man in a white coat and trousers brought a fresh bottle to the table.

“But enough of your shortcomings, my friend. “Tell me about the twenty-five hundred Reichsmarks.”


Jim Beard's superb cover (for his story "The Thing Under the House")
Have you ever wondered what Presidents do in their spare time? As it turns out, a good chunk of them went on amazing adventures!
Pulp Empire proudly presents Presidential Pulp! Thrill at the adventures of Dick Nixon and the Swingers of the Unknown! Experience the supernatural adventures of James K. Polk and Ulysses S. Grant! Experience the secret missions of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt!
With five great new stories fo adventure by Jim Beard, Travis Hiltz, Robin Reed, Caine Dorr and Robbie Lizhini, Presidential Pulp may be the most fun you will read in a New Pulp book this year!
Print copies are now available through Createspace (with Amazon editions out shortly). To sweeten the pot we are giving everyone that buys the book this weekend a $2.00 discount (only $10 a book). Just enter discount code DNPCAWQA to get the reduced rate!
Ebook fans can also get Kindle and Smashwords editions of the book for the low, low price of $2.99!
Grab your copies today!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Read a chapter of Bobby Nash's DEADLY GAMES for free!

Writing Humor -- Chuck Dixon and Erik Burnham Sound Off

Writing humor.  Personally, I don't get it. I can't do it. But, as the writers behind comic books like The Simpsons and Ghostbusters, Chuck Dixon and Erik Burnham (respectively) have penned some of the funniest comics around. So when I wanted to learn more about writing humor, they were the first people I thought to ask.

What is the "silver bullet" that helps you be funny when you write?

CD: Rewriting.

EB: I don’t have one. I just sit down and write what occurs to me.

This will be the most boring Q&A ever unless I start lying. I recommend getting a prescription for something crazy. Then load up and trying to write some profound. I can’t say this is how Mark Twain did it, but I bet that’s how Dostoyevsky rolled. You should see the original draft of the Brothers Karamazov. It could’ve been the basis for the American Pie films if he hadn’t sobered up and revised.

Like I said, whatever occurs to me. And yes, sometimes rewriting, which can bring you perspective and more funny bits, but it can also make you second-guess yourself and weaken the joke. (I shoulda gone with Chekhov!)

What's the most important element for writing humor into your work? Timing? Relevence? Jokes? What?

CD: If it makes me laugh. I'm not much for The Rules Of Comedy. That's the road to the kind of "insert joke here" kind of humor on display in bad sit-coms and Dreamworks movies.

EB: Timing is everything . Getting it right can make an okay joke better, getting it wrong can deflate a sure thing.

I've heard that when a writer "tries" to be funny, he is on a quick trip to failure. Can you try, or does it have to be something that "just comes naturally"?

CD: I think that's when an ACTOR tries to be funny. If you're writing comedy you better damned sure TRY HARD to be funny.

EB: Like Chuck said, when you’re writing it, you’re trying, but not overplaying is helpful in making humor work. LOOK AT ME BE FUNNY NOW can blow up in your face.

Like the Karamazov thing.

What advice would you give the writer who is wanting to inject more humor into her work?

CD: Think of those "we'll laugh about this later" moments in their own lives. Remember that comedy is other people's pain. But we should never see them bleed.

EB: Just write what you think is funny. The jokes will go over some folks’ heads. Some will find it the exact opposite of funny. Some will get it and chuckle. And then, there’s that magical fourth group who won’t get it right away, but it will dawn on them at some later point, at which time you’ll seem like a genius.

For more info about these two talented creators, visit them online at and

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#184) -- Favorite Collaborators

Who are some of your favorite collaborators you've worked with on projects?

The easy answer is "all of them."

But if I have to pick favorites, I'll come up with three, two from comics and one from prose.

JP Dupras and I worked together on several Fishnet Angel comic book projects, including the Jane Doe miniseries from Shooting Star Comics. He had a knack for taking my descriptions and making the pages look exactly as I saw them in my head.

Bobby Nash and I worked together to create the story bible and characters for Rick Ruby and his cast of friends and enemies from The Ruby Files published by Airship 27. We've also been published together in several other books, from Lance Star Vol. 3 to All Star Pulp Comics. He's so easy to work with and we think enough alike that it almost fills like we share one brain when we're co-creating.
And finally, Martheus Wade and I worked together on IDW's The Bad Girls Club: And Illustrated Adventure, and we're currently working on a new project for the publisher based on the works of H.G. Wells, called A Stitch in Time: The Return of the Invisible Man. In addition to that, we're also visiting the world of Jetta with a new series featuring Turra: Gun Angel next year. He's a master of drawing the pretty girls that make the boys cry.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Pro Se Productions continues its tradition of Puttin’ The Monthly Back Into Pulp with the latest issue of its award winning monthly magazine, PRO SE PRESENTS!  Featuring the debut of a new mystery series- The Keener Eye- by Pro Se best selling author Nancy Hansen as well as an edge of your seat tale of violent suspense- Tomahawk Mountain- by Pro Se author Kevin Rodgers, this eleventh issue of PRO SE PRESENTS is a one two punch of pulpy goodness!  With stunning cover and interior design by Sean Ali, Pro Se Presents #11 delivers action and adventure!

Get your copy today on Amazon at and at 
(NOTE- For some reason that cannot be changed according to Createspace, this issue is listed as PRO SE PRESENTS NUMBER TWELVE, but is actually #11)  Only $6.00!  And coming soon as an ebook!

Pro Se Productions is a leading publisher in the New Pulp Movement.  Find out more at and!

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#183) -- Action vs. Dialog

Action vs. Dialogue: which do you prefer to write? Why?
(Thanks to Rachel Hunter for today's question.)

Use 'em all. Don't play favorites.
That's a lot like asking which tool do you prefer to use, a hammer or a screwdriver. The fact is, they both do different things for a story and they both have their place.

As to which is more fun to write, I have to admit that dialog flows easier for me than writing an action scene. I hear the people in my head and they speak through me to the page. On the other hand, an action scene is a dance and must be choreographed or it won't make sense. It'll seem disjointed, out of sequence, and a slip-up like that can get readers a jarring jolt to send them right out of the tale and back into reality.

The simple truth is that one does come easier for me, but neither is my favorite. I can't effectively drive nails with a screwdriver, so I have to learn how to use a hammer too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Remembering Ray

I only met Ray Bradbury once, but that's the kind of memory that sticks with a guy, especially a guy who writes and speculates about people doing crazy, not quite scientifically possible things and trying to make the world a better place.

I only met Ray Bradbury once, but once was, well, not exactly enough because honestly, could a fellow sci-fi writer ever have enough of a fount of inspiration like Ol' Mr. Bradbury? If it wasn't enough, it was certainly more than sufficient to fill the coffers of motivation for a young writer (yes, I was young at the time, in my twenties).

The line was long, and the "guards" kept us moving in a hurry, but in spite of that, somehow, Ray and I managed to have a moment about Mr. Electrico. I won't go into that in detail now, but if you want to see it, I posted about that meeting here.

That moment still inspires me. That moment still stands vividly in the visual memories stored in my brain, right down to the colored beads Ray wore as if Dragon*Con were another instance of Mardi Gras. That moment lingers as I recall the wrinkled, wry smile of an old man remembering one of his own inspirations and sharing it with a stranger who merely had the good fortune to bring it up.

Ray Bradbury died June 5, 2012, and I only met him once. Well, I only met him once in person, but I feel like I met him over and over and over again in the words he spoke to me. (And yes, it felt like it was just to me on so many occasions.) I felt like I met him when the settlers on Mars faced the same fears and foibles as they had when they had made the earth all but a desolate hole to live on. I felt like I met him when the people of Small Town, USA sold their souls to a wicked man who came this way. I felt like I knew him when Craig Bennett Stiles failed to step into the future from his Toynbee Convector.

No, I didn't just feel like I met him. I really think I did.

Why? Because all of Ray's hopes for the future and all of his respect and condemnation of the human animal was there with every word. All of his dreams of people becoming better creatures and all of his fears that we might not ever change for the better. And in learning and knowing and understanding those things, I met Ray Bradbury every time I cracked open a hardcover or mass market paperback he had written.

A few weeks ago, Bradbury stepped into the future that Craig Bennett Stiles never could, and even though I only met him once, I miss him. I miss all those words that will never be written, all that hope that will never be expressed, all that fear that will never be put to page to warn us. I miss him already.

When he was young, Mr. Electrico challenged Ray Bradbury to "Live forever," and in some way, he has accomplished that, not just through his words he leaves behind, but through the many writers and scientists and dreamers of the future he has influenced.

If I could, I would tell Ray that in many ways, he was my own Mr. Electrico, that he challenged me to do the same, but I can't because he died this month.

And I only met him once.

And once may not have been all I wanted, but it may be all I needed. And it was certainly far more than I deserved.

Thank you, Ray Bradbury. I look forward to seeing you again in the world where dreams make reality the kind of place we can all look forward to visiting, where nothing wicked can come this way again, and where we can watch the future unfold in all its grace, without fear.

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#182) -- Plotter or Pantser?

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I guess before I answer that question, I should first define both terms.

PLOTTER: one who creates plots and plot documents and writes according to them.

PANTSER: one who lets the plot develop naturally and flies by the proverbial seat of his or her pants as he or she writes

No, not THAT kind of plot.
To be fair and honest, I'm pretty sure I'm a "both-er." In other words, I work from a plot outline (a fairly elaborate one when I'm writing a comic book script, for example) but allow the story to flow naturally to alter or add to or strengthen the plot that has previously been written as a guideline.

I used to be a strict pantser, not really plotting anything but a rough kernel of the story ahead of time and them hanging on for dear life as I left the story to empty itself onto the page. However, as I began to pick up writing gigs in which I had to write for space or fit a pre-arranged page count, I learned all too quickly the benefits of being able to write a full plot outline (or even document of paragraphs and such).

These fleshed-out plots allowed me to divide scenes into word counts to fit my goal. They allowed me to jump ahead is a section bogged me down. And they helped me communicate with my editor to make sure we both understood the direction and distance a story was going to run -- either a marathon or a sprint.

Having admitted all this, I feel I must add that if I'm just writing for myself, to try to pitch a completed story to a market and I don't have a preexisting contract to deliver within a certain word count, I still prefer to pants the writing process. But the professional writer inside me has had to learn to work in both realms in order to make the paychecks happen more frequently.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Plotting in the Context of a Series

By Stephen Zimmer

(Editor's Note: We're pleased to have author Stephen Zimmer here to discuss plotting with us as part of his Spirit of Fire blog tour. For more info about Stephen and his book series, visit his blog and website.)

The never-ending debate of plotters and pantsers is undoubtedly fueled by the fact that there are authors who have been very successful from both ends of the spectrum.  I am not here to try to state which camp has the “right approach” in regards to this debate, but merely how plotting does come in more than a little handy in the context of writing an epic-scale series. 

I have often described myself as a sort of hybrid of the two camps, in that I must have a solid degree of structure while simultaneously leaving myself very flexible and open to new characters, threads, and subplots.  Yet the plotting aspects of my work is indispensable for my own particular approach.

For those who have not read my work, I write the novels of my two main series, the Fires in Eden series (Epic Fantasy) and the Rising Dawn Saga (dystopian/apocalyptic, epic-scale urban fantasy) in a multi-threaded style, in third person from the POV’s of various characters.   If you have not read my work yet, this style is not too dissimilar from George R.R. Martin’s structure in his Song of Ice and Fire series, where each thread segment is titled by the character name.

My series must have a clear destination before I get underway writing them.   This entails what I call the “core story”, the part that eventually results in the culmination of all the threads at the end of the series when the grand finale arrives.   It is the storyline of the series as a whole, the undercurrent that flows underneath all the threads, in a sense, even when taking into account all the subplots and other facets of each novel. 

Every novel in the series must advance this central core.  In a basic sense, using the Fires in Eden series as an example, there is a major conflict taking place in a fantastical world called Ave as an enigmatic figure called the Unifier is in the process of bringing a comprehensive order about.  There is resistance to the Unifier’s aims, and an ensemble of modern day characters have been brought into Ave, with definite parts to play in regards to this greater conflict. 

 What part they will play, and whether it will help or harm the Unifier’s efforts, is not so clear.  The course of this struggle, including the paths of the otherworlders and others involved on both sides of the conflict, flow along this core storyline.    Every new installment of the series needs to advance this core farther, and move it towards the destination that I had envisioned before I wrote page one.  

This is the most important focal point of my plotting activity, and it heavily determines who will be the voices within a given novel.  Every time I write a new novel in the series, I must carefully decide what characters I will use to serve as the perspectives for the readers, as it is through the various characters, like using different camera angles in a movie, that the core storyline will be viewed.  In one novel, a particular thread may be emphasized heavily that does not necessarily have a big presence in the next book , and vice-versa.  In later novels of the series,  the emergence of entirely new threads is significantly affected by this area of plotting, as the needs for the next novel come to light.   

In Crown of Vengeance, the ensemble of modern day characters, introduced at the beginning in our world, are an obvious source for several of the primary story threads in that novel.  But once the story progresses into in Ave, and I can begin having threads for those native to Ave, the choices become a little tougher.   As new characters emerge, this can demand quite a bit of attention in the second and third books, as I experienced when writing Dream of Legends and Spirit of Fire. 

 Some examples of choices I made in Crown of Vengeance are as follows.  In the realm of Saxany I chose the leader of the King Alcuin’s army, Aelfric, a powerful thane named Aethelstan, and a young warrior named Wulfstan.  In the Five Realms the reader follows the perspectives of a war sachem named Ayenwatha and an older, much-revered tribal sachem named Deganawida.  

As a war is about to unfold, and as individuals from another planet and time are thrust into the center of the two lands that are about to be caught up within the maelstrom, figures like the aforementioned tribal leaders and Saxans are very effective perspectives for viewing the story.   They are the ones in the path of the coming struggle, and as such they can give a clear view of the unfolding conflict, even enabling a broader vantage.  In cases like Ayenwatha’s and Deganawida’s (as tribal leaders) they are brought into direct contact with the otherworlders without much delay and full plausibility (as unusual foreigners found in the woodlands with an invasion looming would be brought swiftly to the attention of the tribal leaders).

The choice of threads also gives me the ability to let the reader see the story from the other side as well.  In Crown of Vengeance a warrior from a brawny race with pitbull-like visages called Trogens is introduced named Dragol.  Through Dragol’s eyes the reader gets to learn a great deal about what is happening on the other side, right in the center of the forces that are moving on Saxany and the Five Realms.

In addition to what threads I decide to employ in a given novel, there is also the matter of the order of the thread segments in the novel.  Putting a certain order to the threads can have a profound effect on pacing and building anticipation.  I know that if I am reading a book and a section comes to an end without something important resolved, I am very tempted to keep reading, even if I’m tired and it is later at night.  I also want to have some balance as a reader, where faster-paced segments are interspersed with ones that are a little slower.   It is not desirable to have the overall pacing bog down for an extended period of time, nor do I want to see the story remain on a breakneck pace that sheds layers, foreshadowing, exposition, and some other things that can be very rich components of an epic-scale story.  

In light of these concerns, I pay very close attention to how I order the thread segments.  For one thing, I try not to put two thread segments back to back that are too similar in tone, unless I am shifting views in the heat of a fiercely-contested battle.  I always think it is good to mix things up a little, such as having a thread segment involving a Trogen warrior such as Dragol, with a scene in the aftermath of a skirmish in Saxany, followed by a scene with one of the modern day characters like Logan, acclimating to life within Ave inside a tribal village in the Five Realms.  The scenes are distinctly different, in terms of characters and pacing, and I feel the contrast makes it more interesting for the reader.  I apply this kind of approach as much as I can over the course of the full novel.     

I also strive to put a thread that resumes action (when its earlier segment ended on a cliffhanger) in the right spot, one where I’m not leaving the reader in the lurch for too long.  The order of the thread segments matters a great deal, and can make all the difference in the world in terms of the impact of the book upon the reader.
As you can see, for me plotting is very integral to writing novels in my style.  It gives me the structure to advance the main storyline, entails the selection of what characters will have threads in a particular installment, and even goes to far as to involve the final ordering of the threads.  The result is a book that accomplishes its aim within the series, and is one that, I hope, delivers a very pleasant reading experience, with good pacing and a flow that keeps the reader interested and anticipating what comes next!

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Pro Se Productions, a leading Publisher in New Pulp, proudly announces the release of three of its latest titles in Ebook format! ONLY $2.99!

BLOOD-THE PRICE OF MISSIONARY’S GOLD- THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ARMLESS O’NEIL- In the Heart of the Dark Continent, the Man Known as Armless O'Neil Hunts for Legendary Treasures, but Discovers a World of Shadowy Secrets, Wild Danger, and Sensational Adventure! Thrill to Five Fantastic Stories of Savage Mystery, Amazing Action, and Incredible Excitement from Sean Taylor, Nick Ahlhelm, R. P. Steeves, I. A. Watson, and Chuck Miller! Follow Armless O'Neil as he makes his way in bold new stories from the finest in New Pulp today! Featuring a stunning cover by Mike Fyles and wonderful cover design by Sean Ali as well as excellent interior design by Matt Moring (Print) and Russ Anderson (Ebook), Pulp Obscura Proudly Presents Blood-Price of the Missionary's Gold: The New Adventures of Armless O'Neil! From Pro Se Productions in conjunction with Altus Press!

PROJECT ALPHA- PROJECT ALPHA from Lee Houston, Jr. is a prose love letter to the wonder, magic, awe, and power of Silver Age Comics! The once peaceful planet of Shambala is on the verge of extinction. A menace of their own creation now considers himself the high and mighty ruler of all, determined to have the realm of his dreams regardless of the cost to others. Now the scientist responsible for the danger seeks to perform the experiment again on another world. But this planet is home to a far more primitive culture than his own. Even if he is successful, can ALPHA save Shambala before it's too late? Lee Houston, Jr. presents an incredible new hero embarking on an amazing adventure that will push him to the limits of his newfound abilities and beyond! ONLY $2.99!

THE PULPTRESS- She appears, an enigma, a guardian angel in a mask and fedora, her past shrouded in mystery. Where did she come from? What secrets in her past drove her to become a crusader for justice? Who is The Pulptress? This masked woman of mystery, makes her debut on the New Pulp scene in a collection of stories sure to thrill and amaze you. Leading off with an introduction by The Pulptress' creator, Tommy Hancock, this collection features stories by Terry Alexander, Ron Fortier, Erwin K. Roberts, Andrea Judy, and Tommy Hancock! With a fantastic cover by Mitch Foust and beautiful design work by Sean Ali, this collection is a must have! It's time You met The First Lady of New Pulp! The Pulptress! From Pro Se Productions! ONLY $1.99!

Each E-book, wonderfully designed by Pro Se’s own Russ Anderson, is available for the Kindle at, for the Nook at, and in multiple formats at!

Pro Se Productions- Puttin’ the Monthly Back Into Pulp!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Top 10 Things You Must Know to Write Full Time

Last week, on the verge of his big launch, and with the press begging him for interviews from every corner, I called Shane Moore and I asked him to bang out something that would help the average hobbyist break out and start to make their living from their writing. With more on his plate than I have space to tell you, Moore delivered in his own inimitable style.

There’s some profanity below (also part of Moore’s style), but no one can deny the man know what he’s talking about. We here at NBB hope you find this insightful post as entertaining as it is useful.

Frank Fradella // publisher

The Top 10 Things You Must Know to Write Full Time

By Shane Moore

Yes, that’s right. You thought this was “art.” The shit your kid brings home from school and you tack on your fridge with a magnet is art. Writing full time is about producing a product—not art. If you want to produce something perfect, spend thirty years writing it and then put it in a drawer. The moment you seek publishing, you are entering a professional arena driven by dollars and cents. As soon as you get that truth through your head the sooner you will be able to divorce yourself from your work and create a sellable product for other people.

Continue reading:

Friday, June 22, 2012



BEN Books is proud to announce the release of EARTHSTRIKE AGENDA, the new novel by celebrated author Bobby Nash.

Earthstrike Agenda is currently available as an ebook for Kindle, Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, and Adobe Digital Editions, as well as in PDF, RTF, and Plain Text formats for easy reading on any PC.

Print and Amazon editions will be available soon.

You can purchase the Earthstrike Agenda ebook at the following:

Barnes & Noble (Nook):

DriveThru Fiction:

About Earthstrike Agenda:


Earth, once barren and decimated by war and the depletion of natural resources has been reborn.

Today, Scavengers prey on small mining towns and colonies. The United Planetary Alliance Marshal's Service seems unable to stop these raids. They are outmanned and outgunned, but is the only law on many colonies.

Newly promoted Captain, Virgina Harmon takes command of her first starship, the Pegasus, the latest ship built to solve the Scavenger problem. Plagued by nervousness over her first command Captain Harmon is rocked by the news of her mentor’s murder.  Just days before he was to report to her aboard the Pegasus as chief of engineering.

In Earth orbit, a science station becomes a target.  An enemy has a plan to use the Space Lab facility as a means to claiming Earth.

In deep space, the United Planetary Alliance city-ship Ulysis welcomes aboard a high-ranking officer with a special mission for the crew.  Those plotting against the Alliance are preparing to make their move and their first target is the Ulysis.

Meanwhile, in the deepest regions of space an enemy has returned.  An enemy seeking vengeance.

Whoever controls Earth ...Wins.

Visit Earthstrike Agenda author, Bobby Nash at

Thursday, June 21, 2012

D. All of the Above -- The Multi-Medium Talents of Stephen Antczak

Novelist. Comic book writer. Publisher. Filmmaker. Screenwriter. All these words describe Stephen Antczak. (And I have to fess up here: After meeting him, it still took me three years to learn to spell his last name correctly.)

But that doesn't detract from his talent. No matter what medium he uses to tell a story, he tells it skillfully. And that's why you should get to know him.

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

I finished a YA science fiction novel in March called A GATHERING OF AENGELS that's book one of a fairly extensive series concept. I started work on the second book. I may publish the YA stuff under a pseudonym, though, to differentiate it from my obviously for-grown-ups stuff that's already been published.

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

I tend to revisit the concept of "the price of power," as in the price a hero pays for having great powers, or the price for getting what one has always wanted. I also tend to look a lot at whether or not humanity has what it takes to become a star-faring civilization, and if we even deserve that. I mean, if I were an advanced alien race with the power to grant humanity a way to expand beyond the earth and join a so-called "Galactic community," I'm not too sure I would just yet.

What would be your dream project?

The AENGELS book series is one. I'd love to write a big budget science fiction or fantasy movie...well, actually, I have written several, but I'd love to see one of them actually made. Also, nonfiction has really captured my imagination lately, with books like GARBOLOGY and THE EERIE SILENCE or A BEAUTIFUL MIND. I have ideas for books that could explore the intersection of science & economics or science & history.

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

The beauty of being a writer in the computer era is that we can do that all the time, and I have. My novel THE ORACLE PARADOX, a techno-thriller for grown-ups, is in line to come out as an ebook after my short story collection, EDGEWISE, which is currently a project. The ORACLE novel took me a total of fifteen years, on and off, to finally get to where I was happy with it, and I am quite happy with the final version.

What inspires you to write?

A desire to express myself: my ideas about good and evil, right and wrong, etc. It's also a good way to "get involved" in one's varied interests, allowing a person explore ideas that intrigue them, like whether or not there's intelligent life on other world's and what it might be like, why people make the decisions they make, what our deepest belief systems say about us, etc. You feel like you're contributing to the discussion in some way, even if it's a small way through a short story or a comic book or a poem.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

Hard to say. I know that Harlan Ellison's work certainly influenced my writing when I was younger, but only in certain stories is it apparent. Same with the Heinlein juveniles. I read hundreds of science fiction books growing up, all the usual suspects, so obviously as a field I'd say science fiction had the largest influence on me in many ways. Comic books definitely influenced me in a big way, too, as did the Tolkein books and the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Movies and TV shows like Star Trek and Star Wars, Logan's Run, Aliens, Rollerball, 2001: A Space Odyssey and such influenced me. A lot of stuff that didn't have anything to do with sci-fi and fantasy, at least on the surface, influenced me, as well, like The Warriors, Woody Allen movies, and Steve Martin's comedy.

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

Mostly art, I guess. I don't know. Started out as mostly art and moving towards science continuum, perhaps.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug? 

My second short story collection, EDGEWISE, is currently on as a project to fund the cover. Once I have a cover I like I'll self-publish it as an ebook and then move on to THE ORACLE PARADOX as an ebook. I may self-publish the AENGELS book as an ebook after that. We'll see. I've also posted three screenplays to Amazon Studios in the hopes something happens with them there.


For more information, visit Stephen's blog, IMDB page, or Amazon author page.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Submission Call for Teen Suicide Prevention Benefit Book from Flying Island Press

For original post and more information visit:

All authors must be 13 to 18 years old on September 30, 2012.

Issue is open for submissions from May 25, 2012 to midnight on September 30, 2012.

All stories must be fiction. No personal experiences with the names changed to protect the innocent. The stories should NOT be about the subject of suicide, but should be uplifting, encouraging and positive.

Stories must be between 2000 and 7000 words. Less than or more than that amount will be returned for revision without being read.

PG-13. Stories may be from any genre that could fit a PG-13 rating, though forms of speculative fiction are preferred. Romance is great, but keep sex to a minimum and discrete. You’re teenagers, for crying out loud. You’re not supposed to know a lot about that anyway. (grin)

This is a benefit issue. Typically, authors aren’t paid on benefit issues, you donate your work for that cause. However, I thought it would be great for a teenage writer to be able to say they’ve sold a short story and been published. So, we will pay our normal rate of $25 for each selected story.

In keeping with the title we will only accept the eight best stories. If there are more than eight excellent stories, some may be passed along to the slush readers of our Flagship magazine.

Submit stories by email only. Attach them to the email as either .rtf or Windows .doc file.

Use standard manuscript format.

In the top left corner of your title page please have, in this order, your name, email address, title of story and the word count.

Start all SUBMISSION’s and QUERY’s with that in the subject line and send to

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


My newest book is finally available!

A stranger with a glittering hook for a left hand. He came to the untamed wilderness of Africa to escape from a dark, troubled past to make his fortune. Yet his new life comes at an unexpected price. Wherever he goes adventure, danger, and death seems to follow... From Pulp Obscura comes five brand new adventures of one of the most unique heroes of Classic Pulp!

Armless O'Neil, explorer, adventurer, and soldier of fortune with his own unique view on life and a thirst for action like no other lives once more in the pages of Pulp Obscura, an imprint from Pro Se Productions in conjunction with Altus Press!

In the Heart of the Dark Continent, the Man Known as Armless O'Neil Hunts for Legendary Treasures, but Discovers a World of Shadowy Secrets, Wild Danger, and Sensational Adventure! Thrill to Five Fantastic Stories of Savage Mystery, Amazing Action, and Incredible Excitement from Sean Taylor, Nick Ahlhelm, R. P. Steeves, I. A. Watson, and Chuck Miller! Follow Armless O'Neil as he makes his way in bold new stories from the finest in New Pulp today! Featuring a stunning cover by Mike Fyles and wonderful cover design by Sean Ali as well as excellent interior design by Matt Moring (Print) and Russ Anderson(Ebook), Pulp Obscura Proudly Presents Blood-Price of the Missionary's Gold: The New Adventures of Armless O'Neil! From Pro Se Productions in conjunction with Altus Press! Pro Se Productions- Puttin' The Monthly Back into Pulp!

Get BLOOD-THE PRICE OF THE MISSIONARY’S GOLD: THE NEW ADVENTURES OF ARMLESS O’NEIL in print today for $12.00 from Amazon at as well as and!  

Also available in Ebook format for the Kindle at and in multiple formats at for only $2.99!

For the classic adventures of Armless O’Neil, check out Altus Press’ latest release – SWAMP FETISH: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF ARMLESS O’NEIL VOLUME 2 by Dan Cushman featuring an all new introduction by James Reasoner!  Get yours today at Amazon or at !

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#181) -- Memorable Characters

What makes characters memorable?

I've found that there are two tools in your writers kit to help you write memorable characters, regardless of the genre in which you're writing.

1. You character MUST be driven by a yearning for something specific. 

Inigo Montoya wants the six-fingered man. The Prisoner wants to escape. The Fugitive wants to prove his innocence.

This must be specific, not abstract. A "peaceful life" just won't cut it, but a "peaceful retirement from a life of killing to enjoy with his new wife" is more to the point and worth fighting for.

2. You character needs to have incidental traits. 

Kojak sucked a lollipop. Sheldon cries out "Bazingo." Indiana Jones hates snakes.

You get the point.

These incidentals can become plot points, but they don't have to. They primarily make your characters more real. I store these kind of details in my head when I notice them in real people I encounter, but I know other writers who actually keep a journal of these observations.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Powerful Press of Lance Stahlberg

I first met Lance Stahlberg when I was a partner in Shooting Star Comics back in the early days of this century (that makes it sound so long ago, I know, but it's true). He's not only a former publisher, but also a current writer trying to make his mark in the prose world.

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

I hesitate to call it "latest" work because that would imply there are people in the general public who already know my work.  Prior to the new short stories I'm writing now, I self published a tiny handful of comics a few years back and wrote a bunch of fanfics.  This is essentially a fresh start.  My first published prose work.

Thanks, by the way, because my first story will appear in a few months in The New Deal by New Babel Books.  It's a 1930's superhero pulp featuring three crime fighting dames.  I had enough fun with it that I found myself pitching more ideas around.  Now I have a heaping plateful of short stories to finish.

There's a super-spy action story I just finished.  There's a supernatural western about a demon hunting drifter in the 1800's.  Then there'll be my Hermes tale in Modern Gods Volume 2.  Those are all for Pulp Empire/Metahuman Press.  Then Airship 27 has me going back to the 30's with an occult investigator named Ravenwood.

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

Well my favorites stories have shades of noir to one degree or another.  I love crime dramas.  I love mobsters.  I like to explore characters who are trying to be good people but find themselves stuck doing things they don't want in a world they'd just as soon leave, whether driven by some need or forced by circumstance, or just because no one else is doing the right thing and they can.  I like my heroes grounded, even the ones with mutant powers and magic.  Action is a must.

What would be your dream project?

The Shadow. Dresden Files or The Hollows. Mack Bolan. Star Wars.

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

I learned a lot from my mistakes on Nocturnal Essence (like what makes for a crappy title).  The setting and plot were both too dense, and we threw too much of it at the reader in the first issue.  My sense of pacing was way too rushed.  Metadawn suffered in the same way. I was so eager that I ended up just dumping every idea out on the paper at once without really understanding story structure.

What inspires you to write?

The way that's worded, it's really kind of like asking me what inspires me to eat and breathe.  It's just something I need to do.  I'm not so much a writer in the Literati sense as I am a storyteller.  I don't really have a motivation or a message.  I happen to like the stories in my head and I want to share them because I think other people will like them, too.  For me it's just about entertaining.

A favorite quote of mine is from Edgar Rice Burroughs: "I have no illusion of the literary value of my books, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I gave my readers the best that my ability permitted."

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

In terms of style, the earliest writers who made an impression on me are outside the genres I'm doing now.  Anyone who has read much Timothy Zahn will recognize his influence pretty quick.  I also loved the way that R.A. Salvatore wrote fight scenes, very fluid and fast paced.  I think my martial arts fight scenes especially have that Salvatore flavor, even though it's been many years since I've read a Drizzt book.

I admire Jim Butcher's writing so much that I can't imagine I hide it very well.  James Luceno is someone else I can't help but emulate a little.

In terms of technique, pretty much everything I know about plot structure, characterization, and pacing I learned from Chuck Dixon.  I take a lot of notes from Ed Brubaker, too.

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

Once upon a time, I would have said all art.  Then I found myself studying up craft, but so much so that it took away from the enjoyment and resulted in me not actually putting anything down on paper for a long time.  I have since landed firmly in the middle of the spectrum.  It's both.

It needs to be both.  If it's too much science, it comes out stiff and formulaic. If it's too much art, it comes out incomprehensible.  Neither are much fun to read.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

Well if I ever clear my plate I've had a novel sitting on the shelf for a little while now.  It is a bit less pulp and a little more drama, but that's because it's more personal.  Still an action thriller, definitely.

It's about a hitman who tried to get out of the life but is dragged back in (if you can't read that line without doing an Al Pacino impression, then this book is for you)... and how he deals with being pulled in so many directions, by his old boss, a new boss, his family, old rivals, new rivals, his ex, the feds, and the-- oh wait, that'd be a spoiler.  It'll be worth the wait.


For more info about Lance and his work, visit his blog