Wednesday, October 31, 2012

[Link] So Why Pulp: Pulp’s New Frontiers

Yep folks, pulp is here to stay. But that said, it doesn’t mean pulp can’t expand its horizons, grow up, stretch and move forward a bit. In fact it has to, because if we keep doing the same stories the same old timeworn way, we’re only going to serve the nostalgia market, which through attrition, is going to contract a little more every year. If you ask me, it’s time to pack up the old trusty knapsack, put on the hiking boots, and go out and blaze some new trails. In that grand old pulpy tradition, let’s see how far off the undiscovered territory lies, and what kind of secrets those haze covered hills and mist shrouded valleys hold. Along the way, we might even learn something about ourselves.

I believe it’s vitally important that we pulp purveyors not only understand what we’re writing but why we’re doing it, and balance those lofty ideals of what we expect to get out of this with a big dollop of reality. Being clear with yourself is only going to make it easier to get down to work. It’s no big secret that our little corner of publishing exists deep in the murky bottom of the literary world, where only the occasional ray of sunlight from above penetrates to illuminate a particular flashing body, before the roiling waters close in overhead and we’re back to business as usual.

Continue reading:

Happy Halloween!

No Question of the Day today. Go out and enjoy yourselves, Ghouls and Boils.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Gloves Are... On!


San Francisco 1951.

Conall O’Quinn grew up at St. Vincent’s Asylum For Boys, a Chicago orphanage where he learned the sweet science of boxing from Father Tim, the battling priest. After a stint in the Army, Conall finds work on the docks of San Francisco – a place where his fists make him the dock champion. Soon, however, he gets on the bad side of a union boss and is set up for a dock side brawl designed to knockout his fighting career. When Conall comes out on top, things go from bad to worse when he is framed for the docks going up in flames.

Along with Benson, his best friend and trainer, Conall heads for the hills in search of a lost treasure in the vicinity of a mine controlled by the union boss. However, where Conall goes trouble follows and he is quickly embroiled in a heated grudge match between fist-happy miners and lumberjacks.

Championing the miners in an all out slugfest, Conall is about to find out there is more to fighting than just swinging fists… giant, hammer-fisted lumberjacks, the mine owner’s beautiful daughter, union flunkies, and mob thugs all want a piece of him… and when the opening bell rings, the entire world appears to be against him…

You can learn more about The Fight Card series at
Listen to Earth Station One’s interview with Paul Bishop here.

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#255) -- White Men Can't Jump?

Can a white author write black characters?
(Even Michael Chabon gets this question)  

I sure hope so, or some of my upcoming stories are really gonna suck.

Actually, I've covered this topic before, and my opinions haven't changed.

As a writer, if I'm going to succeed, I want to -- no, NEED to -- be able to write from the POV of white folks, black folks, hispanic folks, women, men, old people, children, retirees, divorcees, gays, straights, pencil pushers, drug dealers, construction workers, strippers, dogs, lions, and even polka-dotted Sprigtzleglitzs from the planet Murdock VI if the case arises. Period.

Monday, October 29, 2012

[Link] Kickin' The Willy Bobo With: LUCAS GARRETT (part two)

Derrick Ferguson: Do you ever feel uncomfortable with the rampant racism, sexism and stereotypes in Classic Pulp? Do you ever get questioned by your friends and acquaintances on your choice of reading material?

Lucas Garrett: To be honest, I would rather read fiction of that period because it was so honest in their sentiments about race, sex, and class. There was no “political correctness,” and there was nowhere to run and hide. Granted, I don’t care for the blatant racism in books such as Tarzan, Tom Swift, Hugo Drummond, and Fu Manchu. Moreover, the Spicy Pulps of that period were generally horrible towards women. However, the stories were part of that time period. Right or wrong. And those times were very harsh. That’s why characters such as Dillon, Fortune McCall, Mongrel, Diamondback, Damballa, Changa, and Imaro are very important for New Pulp. I feel that one of the greatest literary tragedies of the 1890’s, all the way into the 1940’s, is that black communities throughout the United States did not have their own dime novel and pulp writers to give opposing viewpoints to what was being published at that time. Try to search “black pulp writers” or “African-American pulp writers” in Google and see what you get. Nothing. Nothing at all. And that is a shame.

And the best time for it to have happened would have been the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s. That’s why having writers such as Charles Saunders, Milton Davis, and you, Derrick, is very important. We are playing catch up for over a century of racial bigotry and prejudice. Better late, than never. As far as anyone knowing about my interest for pulp literature, they equate it with early adventure/action fiction. It’s nice, but it’s not interesting enough to due proper research. If my father were alive, he would understand the history of pulp literature. Moreover, I think he would realize that I was adding my perspective to that genre, and “redeeming” it to some extent. If that’s possible.

DF: Do you feel New Pulp is addressing and correcting the racism, sexism and stereotypes of Classic Pulp?

LG: Yes. I do. In my opinion, New Pulp represents a multicultural melting pot of characters, and civilizations, that approach perils and situations on a realistic and non-biased perspective. Furthermore, New Pulp use issues such as racism, sexism, and other bigotries and prejudices to reveal layered reasons behind them better than Classic Pulp did during the 1920’s. 1930’s, and 1940’s.

Continue reading:

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#254) -- Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Why do you feel as if a GOOD story HAS to involve the character changing?

I think the issue comes into play when people assume the change must be a major one or a changing of personality. Many times, the change is simply that of having gone through the experience and it shaping some growth or pain or refusal to grow in the character. It doesn't mean he or she becomes a different person in a core character sense.

A case in point, my story for The Ruby Files (follow the store link at the top to purchase your copy) has Rick's case affect the way he sees his relationships with the three key women in his life.

Does it change his behavior with them? 


But it does give him the opportunity to do so. 

In that sense, he changes a bit, if simply because he faced an opportunity to be a slightly different person, and refused to let it change him, instead burying himself in the old life to lament that (although he doesn't see it that way) lack of courage.

That's one of my big issues with series books. You can't have the characters make significant changes because readers expect the characters to remain essentially the same. However, in a series book, the peripheral characters CAN and usually ARE the ones who have the most change.

A caveat: Change added (like a seasoning) simply for the sake of having a change isn't what we're talking about here. That is pointless and unfair to readers. The change should be somewhere at the heart of the story. Changing the "change" should in essence change the story, just like changing the plot or character's personality would. Or so I believe. 

As always, your mileage may vary. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Preach It, Sister Flannery!

"The writer can choose what he writes about, but he cannot choose what he is able to make live." 
~ Flannery O'Connor

Part of my "Sean shelf"
A Facebook friend sent this as a comment on a recent discussion ( and I have to admit that the truth of this quote really hit me. It's completely beside the point that I'm a huge fan of Flannery O'Connor however. No, really, it has no bearing on it. (Okay, methinks I doth protest too much.)

Anyway, it hit me again as a strong reminder that as writers, we have no control over what actually sticks with readers and what falls by the wayside. Will it be our Holy the Firm or our Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, our As I Lay Dying or our "Rose for Emily"? Will it be the work that makes us look like the best of all saints or the one that makes us look like the worst of all possible sinners?

We simply can't make that decision for our readers. They make it for us. 

As I look back on my own work,is there anything I'm not proud of in the sense that I regret what it says about me? No. Not even the Dominatrix book for Gene Simmons. I'd do it all over again. That book speaks truth. It does. It tells of the emptiness of a person who is driven like the preacher of Ecclesiastes to pursue a path that ultimately ends in vanity and nothing. It doesn't hold back, but it speaks truth.

My pulp work? Nope. Nothing there either. Those tales are filled with sacrificial action and folks risking their lives for others, trying to do the better thing, even when such a course of action is unclear.

So regardless of what sticks, if any of my work even does, I stand ready.

As such, it's important to me that I write what I believe I'm called to write. That I follow the dictates of Scripture to the best of my understanding and the teaching of the spirit of God. That I listen to the still small voice prompting me toward this and away from that. That I remain a true example of being not just who I am in Christ, but who I am period, not putting on airs or writing for a pre-fab submarket so I can be a best-seller by preaching to the choir and not ruffling pharisaic feathers, neither hiding my light under a bushel nor trying to sneak in "spiritual stuff" to fool "the lost" into reading it and suddenly saying the magic prayer.

In short, I have keep walking that straight, narrow line that gets hard to see sometimes and be a fallen man saved by grace through faith telling stories that I hope come from the kind of heart that says something that causes people to pick up some truth to ponder as they read. And if they can get even a little bit of truth from me and my stories, then hopefully, they'll keep reading and find out that old saying about the truth is actually, well, true... the Truth will set you free.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

[Link] Ideas- Blessings... or Locusts?

One of the things I often struggle with as I wander through the myriad alleys and highrises of my rampant (and that is being kind) imagination is the plethora of ideas that I encounter, meet, stumble over, run from, and even sometimes cower in abject fear of.  It has been said by some in the past and indeed the very name of this blog and the All Pulp column of yore that inspired it supports the fact that I very well may be some sort of joke the Cosmos has played on....someone....and might be a veritable two legged idea factory.

This thought both inspires and frightens me.  All at the same time.

Do not get me wrong.  Having these explosions of inspiration in my head that demand to be released in some form to get the life giving attention that ideas and thoughts must have to grow and breathe and develop is truly a hoot.   I have come up with entire novel ideas based on how I see someone hold a fork or the misuse of the word 'affect' as opposed to 'effect'.  I'm not kidding, really I have.  Bits and pieces of useless information pour into my head in disjointed tirades and rambles and blossom and bloom out as somewhat realized storylines and 'What if the guy did this' scenarios.    It is truly wonderful, especially as a creator, to never be bereft of things to dream about and work on.

But then there's the other side.

Continue reading:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sword and Mythos Guidelines

Sword and Mythos is an anthology paying professional rates (5 cents per word) looking for short fiction of up to 5,000 words which combines the pulp genres of Cthulhu Mythos and sword and sorcery.

What we want

Sword and Mythos. This includes any element of the Cthulhu Mythos (creatures such as shoggoths, characters like the King in Yellow, locations like Leng) combined with sword and sorcery (heroic fantasy). Stories can be told from the viewpoint of sorcerers or other non-traditional heroic characters, although fighters with brawn and brains will also be accepted.

We are looking for a variety of settings and characters (Yes, we are GLBT-friendly). Although much sword and sorcery has utilized a proto-European setting, we’d like to see stories that take place in settings inspired by Middle Eastern, African, Asian, Prehispanic, and other cultures. We will accept secondary world stories and stories set in historical settings with magical elements. For example, Robert E. Howard set his Mythos-inspired “Worms of the Earth” in real-life Great Britain.

We might also consider some sword and planet stories. But no copyrighted characters, please. We can’t afford the lawsuits.

There are many famous sword and sorcery male characters, but we’d also like to see women hacking tentacles. Or summoning Mythos creatures.

Overall, we want to be surprised and inspired to read beyond the first page.

Scenarios which might be fun:

  • A Mayan warrior faces Cthulhu’s own daughter, Cthylla.
  • A crafty thief steals more than she bargained for when she takes a statuette from a Tamil temple.
  • A Kurdish mercenary is hired to rescue the son of a rich merchant from the clutches of a sorcerer in medieval Cairo.
  • An acolyte of Dagon grows tired of his job and seeks new thrills.
  • The sacrificial virgin procured for a certain ceremony proves to be adept at survival.
  • A Maori warrior in the South Pacific fights thawed-out shoggoths from sunken R’lyeh.
  • A Wampanoag builds a stone circle to unspeakable entities, in order to beat back European settlers.
  • A Malian warrior teams up with a shaman in Timbuktu to fight a Black Pharoah from Egypt.
  • In the late Parthian Empire, a pahlavan warrior and a Zoroastrian priestess investigate an alchemist who is raising the dead.
  • Pearl divers hire samurai to fight an undersea race of carnivorous creatures.


Sword and Mythos pays 5 cents per word. We are asking for First English Anthology Rights. Because we are a very small press, we don’t pay royalties. We do, however, offer to buy the stories on a non-exclusive basis.

Each contributor will receive two physical copies of the anthology and an e-book copy. More copies can be purchased at a discounted rate.

Story length is up to 5,000 words.


  • E-mail us at innsmouthfp AT Subject line: Sword, [Title of your Story, Author's Name].
  • Do not send more than one short story.
  • Include a cover letter with the story word count, salient writing credits and any reprint information (if applicable). Yes, we do read cover letters, so include the information.
  • Attach story as an RTF or Word document. Use standard manuscript format. Italics as italics, bold as bold. No fancy fonts.
  • Stories can be sent in English, French, or Spanish.
  • Submissions are accepted from January 15 to February 15, 2013. Do not send anything before or after that date. If you do, we will ignore it.
  • Final story selection will take place in the spring of 2013. Check back for updates.

Additional Information

If you want to learn more about sword and sorcery, you can read the Jirel of Joiry stories, some of Clark Ashton Smith’s short fiction, Charles Saunders’ Imaro and Dossouye compilations, some of the Elric books, Leigh Brackett’s Mars stories, Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and Mouser stories, Tanith Lee’s White Witch series, Jennifer Roberson’s Tiger and Del series, Joanna Russ’ Alyx stories, the anthologies Heroic Visions, Sword and Sorceress, Amazons!, Liavek, and Thieves’ World, as well as the magazine, Black Gate. You can also check out Robert E. Howard and Lovecraft’s multitude of stories, in addition to Harold Lamb and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Keep in mind that pulp sensibilities do not mean pulp stereotypes. We want new takes on the genre, not pastiches or unquestioning homages. Hoary tropes like one-dimensionally exotic savages and rape&revenge will be a hard sell. And we like the original smart and ferocious version of Conan a whole lot better than the later dumb and musclebound comics version.

For more information, visit:

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#253) -- Epilogues

Are epilogues that tie up all your loose ends a bit of a cop out? I'm working on something now, it's basically about a young woman who beats people up for fun and profit but I've got a sub-plot with her mum and dad having a domestic that will need some sort of resolution.

I'd avoid it, personally, and find some way to hint at the subplot's outcome within the main story. Then again, it's all on the strength of the storytelling. If you can do an info epilogue and keep it compelling, readers won't mind, even if fancy writers peg you for it. If it becomes an info-dump though, then it's gonna turn off readers.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fear and Fantasy Reign in Pro Se Presents #14!

Pro Se Productions, a leading Publisher of New Pulp, Heroic Fiction, and Genre Adventure continues its excellent tradition of terrific short stories with the latest issue of its award winning magazine - PRO SE PRESENTS #14!

Fear and Fantasy reign in PRO SE PRESENTS #14! First, an exclusive excerpt of James Palmer's Occult Mystery novel - SLOW DJINN! Then Kevin Rodgers explores what fear really means in CLAUSTROPHOBIA! Finally, Pro Se introduces the world to Kristy Zebell and her debut tale WARMTH OF THE ICY SOUL!

Featuring Stunning Cover Art as well as Interior Art by Sean E. Ali, this issue is a sight to see!

PRO SE PRESENTS #14 available at Pro Se's store HERE! And at Amazon HERE! for $6.00!  Coming soon as an e-book!

Guns, Terror, Swords, and more in this month's PRO SE PRESENTS from PRO SE PRODUCTIONS- Puttin' The Monthly Back into Pulp!

Tales to Keep You In... Suspense!

We're back with authors Bill Craig and Lee Houston Jr. this week to talk about writing.This week in keeping with the creepy mood of October and Halloween, we're going to be looking at writing suspense.

What's makes a story suspenseful to you?

Bill Craig: That's easy there has to be an impending sense of danger to the characters as they race through the story towards its conclusion.

Lee Houston Jr.: Suspense is important to every story. Regardless of genre.
In romance: will they or won't they?
In mystery: who did it?
In action/adventure tales: how does the hero get out of this dilemma?

It is just a question of how this story element is applied, let alone if it's applied properly. You don't want to reveal too much too soon.

What's your main "silver bullet" for writing suspenseful fiction?

Bill Craig: There is no real silver bullet, you just have to keep up the sense of impending danger to make it work. An example:

Her brown face looked almost gray in the low light, the only sound the ever-present beep of the devices monitoring her heart beat and respiration.  Bandages covered parts of her face and her arms looked like thin sticks.  “Dat you Sam Decker,” a wavering voice issues from lips that barely seemed to move, causing Decker to jump because they were so unexpected.

Decker moved over to the bed where he hoped she could see him better.  “It’s me, Mama Celeste,” Decker replied.

“You bes’ find dat little girl quick.  Very bad man has her, gonna do terrible t’ings to her ‘lessen you stop him.  He has an army gonna come after you Sam.  After you and Rafe.  Dey gonna be hard to stop.  He caught me by surprise Sam, but now, de loa knows and dey come to protect me whiles I heal.  Look for the White Orchid Man, Sam.  He be de one dat has her.  Just like he did before,” Mama Celeste closed her eyes and began to snore softly, leaving Sam Decker with a lot to think about!

Something that Mama Celeste said stuck in his mind.  She said that the White Orchid Man had her, just like he had before.  Had the White Orchid man been the one that had kidnapped her as a child?  Sam took a sip of his coffee and pulled out his cell phone and called Rafael…

How much does foreshadowing and veiled symbolism play into your foreboding when you are trying to build suspense in a story?

Bill Craig:  It is usually not something I consciously think about but sometimes it happens.

Give us an example from you work, please.

Bill Craig: Here is an example from my upcoming Decker P.I. title Running the Voodoo Down:

The day had been a long one with autographs and CD signings at a local record store before coming in to do a two set show at the club.  Carly leaned back in her chair, finally getting to relax as she took a second gulp of her drink.  Then she saw it and her glass froze halfway to her lips.  Her heart began to beat faster, her chest felt suddenly tight as she looked at it.

She hadn’t noticed it when she first came in.  But she saw it now with crystal clarity.

A single white orchid on her dressing table.  Not the first one either.  This one made a dozen since she had performed in New Orleans.  Each of them appearing in her dressing room after a show.  Dressing rooms that were supposed to be locked and secured.  “No,” Carly gasped loudly, sucking in a long, loud breath and then letting it out slowly.  She concentrated on her breathing, forcing it back to normal.  She gulped her drink and sat the glass down as she stood up.

Lee Houston, Jr.: An example, from the forthcoming "Catch A Rising Star" (aka HUGH MONN, PRIVATE DETECTIVE: BOOK 2)

I was just at the office door, unlocking it from the inside for the day, when these two goons pushed their way in and grabbed me. Each took an arm and pinned it behind my back, preventing me from taking any immediate action.

I wasn't sure if either man was armed, but as I contemplated my next move, a third one walked in. He took one look at his partners, who both nodded in unison, and then proceeded to frisk me.

As you can see, the suspense in this case is:
*Who are these characters?
*What do they want with Hugh?
*And of course, what happens next?

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#252) -- Halloween Horror Goodness

Since you're a huge horror movie buff, what are 
the horror flicks that absolutely shouldn't be missed?

I'm glad you asked. I'll even break 'em down by categories to make it easy for you. Some old, some new, some family friend, some not so family friendly, some for newbies, and some for seasoned horror fans.

It's a big list, so you may want to take notes.

Ghost Stories/Haunted House Stories
The Haunting (1963) -- Still the greatest haunted house movie ever
Ghost Story
The Maid
The Ghost of Mae Nak
The Devil's Backbone
El Orphanato
The Others
Thir13en Ghosts (remake)
The Baby's Room
The Dark
The Innocents
Lake Mungo
Session 9
The Fog (original)
The Messengers
Dead Silence
The Legend of Hell House
The Pit and the Pendulum

Night of the Living Dead
Make-Out With Violence
Dead Girl
Dance of the Dead (2008)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
28 Days Later
Dead Snow
Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
White Zombie
Plague of the Zombies
Shaun of the Dead
Zombi II

The Mummy (1932)
The Mummy's Hand
The Mummy's Tomb 
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb
Tombs of the Blind Dead
Night of the Seagulls
Bubba Ho-Tep

Slashers/Serial Killers
Tucker and Dale Versus Evil
Twitch of the Death Nerve
Friday the 13th Part II
Baron Blood
The Burning
Trick or Treat
The Devil's Rejects
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Il Fantasma dell'Opera
Halloween (John Carpenter)
Deep Red
Stage Fright (1987)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (original)
The Shining
And Soon the Darkness
The Strangers
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original) 

Rosemary's Baby
The Ring
A Tale of Two Sisters
Silent Hill
The Evil Dead
The Corpse Bride
From Beyond
The House of the Devil
Satan's Little Helper
The Wicker Man (original)
The Dunwich Horror
The Terror
Lisa and the Devil
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch II
Let's Scare Jessica to Death
Black Sunday
Black Sabbath

From Dusk Till Dawn
Dracula (Spanish Version)
30 Days of Night
Let the Right One In
Shadow of the Vampire
Salem's Lot (TV version)
The Night Stalker
Near Dark

An American Werewolf in London
Howling 5: The Rebirth
Howling 1
The Wolf Man (remake)
The Wolf Man (original)
Ginger Snaps Back
Dog Soldiers
Blood and Chocolate 
Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory
Werewolf of London

Frankenstein Stories
Deadly Friend
The Bride of Frankenstein
The Bride
Frankenstein Created Woman
Lady Frankenstein
Edward Scissorhands
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Monster Squad
Black Sheep
Eight-Legged Freaks
The Cottage
Young Frankenstein
Trailer Park of Terror
Transylvania 6-5000
Saturday the 14th
Mad Monster Party
Little Shop of Horrors (musical)

Creature Features
The Host
The Thing (John Carpenter)
Pitch Black
Deep Blue Sea
Day of the Triffids
Cat People (original)
Cat People (remake)
The Descent
The Burrowers
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Troll Hunter
The Island of Lost Souls
Pan's Labyrinth
Night of the Creeps

The Birds
The Reptile
Piranha (remake)
Shark Night
Humanoids from the Deep

Jeckyll & Hyde
Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
Dr. Jeckyll and Sister Hyde
Altered States

Weird Flicks
Tourist Trap
Bad Taste
Jacob's Ladder
Trilogy of Terror
Attack of the Puppet People
Donnie Darko
The Phantom of the Paradise

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flying Fists and Frying Pans - The Martial Art of Writing

Shanghai Steam is an anthology of stories that mixes the genres of Steampunk and Wuxia. Wuxia translates literally to “martial hero” and comes from a genre of Chinese fiction that has its roots in Chinese culture for more than two thousand years. Modern Wuxia’s popularity has seen it expanding from fiction on a page into films, opera, video games and more. In Shanghai Steam, an anthology of nineteen stories, the authors have melded the genres of Wuxia with Steampunk and the term ‘martial hero’ is an apt label for a number of the protagonists in their stories.

Action can be an important part of a Wuxia story and a challenge for authors. Conveying movement, speed, the rush of adrenaline, and sometimes the desperation of defending a life can require some finesse with detail in a story.

We asked a number of the authors from Shanghai Steam to explain their process and challenges in writing action in their stories. Here’s what they had to say -

Steampunk and Wuxia have a few key similarities, in my mind.  They both exist in a fun place that's just a little bit beyond what's real.  One of the appealing things about nineteenth-century technology is that you can get your head around it, see the moving parts, and imagine being able to repair or even improve it.  Similarly, most of us can kick and punch, if not as well as Bruce Lee.  The key to writing wuxia action scenes for me was the same as the key to creating steampunk technology.  I went looking for that sweet spot, not so far beyond reality that it feels preposterous, but not so mundane that it's dull.  My Kung-Fu heroes, like my steam-powered machines, need to do things that are *almost* possible, fairly plausible but sufficiently far out that they're cool.

This isn't science fiction, the stuffy and rigorous literature of ideas, bolstered and constrained by meticulous research.  This isn't fantasy, the absurd and impossible literature of things that could never be.  This is steampunk and wuxia, the endlessly fascinating literature of the world that almost was, a world just a tiny step beyond our own.

~Brent Nichols, author of "Ming Jie and the Coffee Maker of Doom" in Shanghai Steam.

One of the most fun aspects of kung fu, whether you're watching it on screen or reading it on paper (analog or digital), is the wide range of in-genre tricks you get to use. Your fighters aren't just fighting; they're fighting while standing on a wall at a 90-degree angle to the ground. They fight ghosts. They have haunted swords. When they're drunk their fighting gets even better. You don't even need to explain it with special technology or magic. It's kung fu. 'Nuff said.

Where does Steampunk fit into this picture? The original call for stories for the Shanghai Steam anthology mentioned terra cotta warriors powered by steam -- a perfect example of kung fu augmented by Steampunk technology. When I mentioned the anthology concept to a friend, she thought immediately of women in long Victorian-style skirts and corsets aiming roundhouse karate kicks at each other's heads, ideally while on top of a steam-powered train seconds away from diving into the darkness of a mountainside railroad tunnel. (This was a few days after I'd made my submission. I remember thinking: "Damn. That's better than what I wrote.")

I don't have extensive firsthand experience with martial arts, so my instinct as a writer was to stay away from long, technical descriptions of kicks and jabs between characters in one-on-one kung fu combat. Instead, I was attracted to the idea of a kung fu hero drawing on forces that come from within, such as a master's training or deep spiritual strength. As my hero evolved as a character, he struck me as being from a cultural age that was pre-steampunk in spite of his times (Shanghai in the late 1870s). I couldn't see him using Steampunk-style weapons and remaining true to his ideals. Steam technology deserved a central place in the story, though. It became the enemy. That contrast ended up defining the kind of kung fu action
I could write.

I can't think of a better way to prepare to write kung fu action than to watch it done well in film. It gets mentioned so often that it's almost a cliche, but you could do a lot worse than to watch the fight scenes in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and come up with some good, vivid descriptions. Drunken fighting, the kind you see in films like “Come Drink with Me” and the “Drunken Master” series, is also a visual lesson in grace and skill. (Trust me; it just looks easy and sloppy. It's genius.) Study it. Find the surprising metaphors that show it in words. Watch where the cameras are positioned at the key moments of the fight, and let us as readers see the fight from a similar angle and speed. On the page, we don't need every move of a fight scene spelled out, but we want time to digest the most vivid and surprising moments.

~Julia A. Rosenthal, author of "A Hero Faces the Celestial Empire; A Death by Fire is Avenged by Water" in Shanghai Steam.

Action sequences are primarily visual, kung fu fights especially so (particularly compared to the Schwarzenegger-style punch-and-throw style of the 80s). My attempts to give a literal blow-by-blow of a kung fu battle have always resulted in sensory overload and confusion to the reader (and sometimes myself). To get around this problem, I've tried to focus on what's crucial in each fight. In a movie, they'd be the strikes that inspire the combatants to shake their heads, stare meaningfully, and re-evaluate the situation and their place in it. It means rather than describing each movement and motion, I gloss over the mad flurry of activity with only a few sentences and give more detail to the dramatic moments.

~Shen Braun, author of "Mistress of the Pearl Dragon" in Shanghai Steam.

The martial scene of my story, “Fire in the Sky” was a lesson in and of itself. I wanted to encompass the two things that I enjoy most about kung fu films within my story. One of my favorite kung fu movies is Wing Chun starring Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. Both actors know how to deliver exciting fight scenes with humor mixed in. When the plot lead us to the inevitable confrontation between my protagonist and the men standing between him and his goal I wanted to find a place that would offer the most opportunity for action and fun.

In Wing Chun, the title character works in a tofu shop and she’s equally adept fighting with swords and spears as she is using a tray of tofu or a sack of soybeans. For my protagonist, Feng, he takes advantage of anything he can get his hands on and it was my main concern to make sure that the choreography of the fight made sense. So armed with a picture collage of a number of items from the scene it was a matter of writing and then clarifying the movement on the page.

The scene was both the most fun and the most nerve fraying to write and still makes me smile.

~Ray Dean, author of "Fire in the Sky" in Shanghai Steam.

To be honest, the fight scene I wrote in the story isn't exactly kung-fu (and I certainly didn't intend it to be) and isn't particularly action-y either. It was a pretty simple scene where it's intended that readers would be able to guess the outcome. I wanted it to have, as a baseline, the slow, exaggerated motions of a Chinese opera fight scene. It's really more tai chi than kung fu, and the emotions that inform that scene have the same rhythm as well. I live in Hong Kong and there are people practicing tai chi everywhere so it really wasn't difficult seeing the scene in my head.

~Crystal Koo, author of “The Master and the Guest” in Shanghai Steam.

My story, "The Ability of Lightness", really doesn't contain kung fu. It has a little t'ai chi, a little steam, and the big dreams of two little boys. I have written other stories which contain martial arts in one form or another, but I have some martial arts & weapons training, and some dance/choreography training, so it's a matter of keeping it quick, simple, and deadly. All fight/action scenes should contain short sentences, strong verbs, and very few adverbs. (Wang's ramrod punch caught tiny Cho in the chest. Ribs snapped and Cho flew back into the railing. The pain was unbelievable. He felt like he'd been run through with a spear. He couldn't breath, he couldn't even see past the tears. Even as Wang's killing kick came at his head, all Cho could do was roll back over the railing and pray he landed in deep water.) Even the paragraphs should be short and punchy, like the action itself.

I suppose the first step to writing any fight scene is understanding what the weapons can do in reality, whether the weapon is a sword, a crossbow, a gun, or the human body. Once the limitations are known, work within those limitations or find a way to break them (using magic, steam, etc.) and go in a different direction. The best advice I can give to any writer working on fight scenes is to actually handle the weapons involved. Never shot a hand gun? Go to a gun range and feel the kick, do the reloading process, try to hit the target. Writing about swords? Try holding a real, heavy, steel sword in front of you for three minutes. Feel the weight drag your arm down. It's not like the movies. Shoot a bow, fire a crossbow, throw a stick/spear and see what kind of distance you can get. And play video games, especially Wii. Try Wii Resort's sword fighting game and see how exhausted you are after swinging just a remote for three hard minutes. I know one writer who played laser tag with her friends in order to understand the mindset of stalking, hiding, and shooting another person. Wii Boxing & Tai Chi are good exercise and a way to understand blocks, punches, motions, etc. If you're a pacifist and can't imagine doing hands-on research, then your fight scenes (kung fu, gunfights, sword-on-sword battles) won't ring true. Do the research. And have some fun.

~Tim Reynolds, author of "The Ability of Lightness" in Shanghai Steam.

Kung Fu is more than fighting skill. It also encompasses mental discipline and the cultivation of inner peace. I've dabbled in a few martial arts, and read about the philosophy that goes along with it. Of course I also love a good action flick, but when writing about Kung Fu, I enjoy incorporating thoughts of the martial artist's feelings and how she maintains control of both her body and the world around her. A good place to start is Tai Chi, which focuses on the calmness, discipline and physical form needed to achieve higher levels in martial art.

~Jennifer Rahn, author of "Song of My Heart" in Shanghai Steam.

Here’s my advice on how to start a fight and finish one--at least on the page.  First of all, the physical confrontation a writer depicts should advance the plot and/or display character.  Short complete action sentences give the impression of things happening fast.  Show only the most critical movements, unless the fight is brief.

When my mind first conceived "Moon-Flame Woman," my knowledge about Chinese martial arts was slimmer than a top fashion model’s waistline.  I'd observed a Tai Chi class.  That was it.  I had taken ballet classes for ten years, however, and understood the concentration necessary to perfect body movement and balance.  I found some YouTube videos about beginning and advanced Baguachang.  “Walking the circle” reminded me of performing a warm-up dance exercise.

I've always liked to stay close to my point-of-view characters.  Surely in combat, my moon-flame woman would remain aware of her most critical steps and those of her opponent.  If I stayed inside her head as I wrote, the reader would picture her--and understand her motives and fears--even as I did.  Thus I let my main character, Cho Ting-Lam, impart the action scene she experienced.

~Laurel Anne Hill, author of "Moon-Flame Woman" in Shanghai Steam.

We’d like to know what action related challenges other writers have faced in crafting their stories. How did they make it work?

For more information and to order from the online catalog:

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#251) -- Voices In My Head

What do writers mean when they talk about their characters
taking over or "listening to the voices" in their heads?

I can't speak (or type) for all writers, but when I use those phrases, I'm obviously (or perhaps not so obviously, if you know me well enough) speaking metaphorically. I don't actually have multiple personalities, so you're stuck with this one, win or lose, like it or lump it.

What I mean is that I feel my characters are so fully fleshed out in my mind that I know them well enough to know how they would think, what they would say, what they would do -- if they were real and not just imaginary people in my head.

And often, they become so fully fleshed out that I reach an impasse where I can't move further along a pre-established plot because I've gotten to "know" the characters so well that I know they wouldn't do the thing I originally planned for them to do. So my options at that point are to force them to do something that goes against their characterization, try to redo their characterization and make them different people (this is the literary equivalent of trying to change a spouse after marriage, and rarely works), or let the plot change based on what I've learned about that character(s). I tend to choose the latter, and I tend to get much stronger stories because of that.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coming soon: The Old Weird South!

The American South is a haunted place — full of ghost stories, native legends, persistent devils & angels, souls sold at the crossroads, and moon-eyed maidens living in the Okefenokee. The South’s best writers — Faulkner, O’Connor, McCullers — all keep this sense of the otherworldly in their fiction.

Featuring my story "To Gnaw the Bones of Wolf-Mother."

From Q&W Publishers.

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#250) -- Why Do I Write?

What drives you to write? Why do you do it?

Ask that question in a group of writers, and you'll often hear this answer: "I write because I have to." Or some writers may put it this way: "I write because the stories and/or the characters make me."

Of course, we all (as writers) understand that either of these responses mean absolutely nothing to a non-writer. Those are not reasons for writing, for putting effort into something that may or may not pay off in any sensible way. Those are reasons instead for breathing, you know, because you have to, and some writers may even make that connection: "Writing is like breathing to me, just something that I have to do."

This too is metaphorical hogwash. Don't let us fool you.

We write for various sundry reasons that range from utter selfishness to a genuine desire to change the world with our words, but let's be honest -- most of us probably fall somewhere between those two extremes. And trust me on this, rarely will you hear one of us be completely honest with you about why we actually do the work of writing (and make no mistake, it IS work, unlike breathing).

But enough stalling... Why do I write?

To some degree I write because I enjoy the writing itself. I love the play of words against and with other words. I love the sounds clicking or "smoothing" together to give my sentences a certain feeling or mood.

I also write to some degree because I enjoy the act of getting the stories out of my head and onto the paper, loving the time spent with my characters, and giving them a sort of live where there was nothing there previously.

But if I'm honest, I write to have written. If you're a fellow writer, that will make perfect sense. If you're not, you may think I just screwed up my grammar. I write because I'm proud of having a body of finished work that I can look back on. It's not about bragging (although sometimes I do brag about it). It's not about the money (Lord knows it's not about the money.) Nor is it about proving I'm a "real" writer.

For me, I write to have published a body of work that stays behind me and that I can look back on and feel proud of and know that in some small way to some readers, I mattered. My time here wasn't just wrapped up in a microcosm of one small life. It affected someone else. I may never know who and I may never know how, but the work was there, and the work was read, and someone had a reaction to it -- good or bad.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Submissions: The PRO SE Open is... well... open!

A leader in New Pulp Fiction, Pro Se Productions announced today openings in several upcoming anthologies and a new way that the company would be soliciting writers to participate in  upcoming collections.

"One of the thrills," stated Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se,  "of being a New Pulp writer and publisher is the need to write and offer opportunities for others to write all the cool ideas that could possibly fit between the covers of a book. This fact is something that publishers, small and large alike, recognize.  As Pro Se's presence increases at Conventions/Conferences, one question more than any other comes up constantly. And it's the question a Publisher wants to hear, one that, fortunately for Pro Se, has been unsolicited. That is, writers and artists seeking out Pro Se and asking this most favorite of questions- "You got anything open for submissions?" or the very similar "What anthologies can I submit to?"

"After giving this some thought and looking at how not only the New Pulp crew does it, but also at how larger presses and even the largest of the Publishers handle such things, Pro Se has decided to change up its anthology process a bit. This will not affect how PULP OBSCURA or future 'invite only' anthologies are done at all. There will still be special projects, of course. But there will also be the PRO SE OPEN."

"Essentially," explained Hancock, "The Pro Se Open will be a list of anthologies that Pro Se plans to do in the future. This is an open call on all the books listed in the Open, that is anyone can submit a story for any of the books in the list. There is no deadline essentially, that is until all the slots open in any given book are filled."

The process will be as follows-
  1. An upcoming Anthology is listed in the Pro Se Open.
  2. Submissions are accepted (a 2-3 paragraph proposal for the story and at least a two page writing sample if you are a new writer submitting to Pro Se)
  3. When the slots for the collection are all filled, a deadline will be set of approximately ninety days from the closing of the anthology. This will give writers time to complete their tales, artists time to do covers, etc.
  4. The book will be published within approximately 30 days following the passing of the deadline.

Even though the deadline will be 2-3 months out once a book is closed, Editors assigned to these projects will follow up, monitor, and make sure work is being done. Steps will be taken to move the anthology along as planned if work is not being done in a timely manner.  This means, however, that until all the slots are filled on an anthology in The Pro Se Open, it will remain open, but it is Pro Se's commitment that once all the works are in for a particular collection, that that collection move into high gear toward publication, regardless of current publishing schedule.

The Pro Se Open will be updated periodically as to adding new collections and removing ones that have been filled.

Anthologies currently listed in the Pro Se Open are as follows:

PULPOLOGY- It has been said often that Pulp has its origins in ancient tales, legends, the mythologies of many lands. Taking this to heart, this anthology will feature stories starring characters from mythologies around the world! Actual mythological characters in new adventures set in their own era, the ancient world of heroes and monsters, or updated takes on classic myths (Jason and The Argonauts in the Old West, for example). Either way, these stories will spotlight the characters and strengths of mythologies world wide and put a two fisted, high octane Pulp spin on the legends themselves! 6 Stories, 10,000 words each.

THE ADVENTURES OF MOOSE AND SKWIRL, TROUBLETAKERS- Trouble happens everywhere in the universe. Any time. Any place. And to make sure whatever cockeyed balance there is is kept, the universe takes care of itself, assigning special individuals to the unpredictable, unrewarding, and usually life threatening task of just being in the completely wrong places at the totally right times to hopefully keep everyone...or most everyone from dying. But the universe doesn't trust just one person to do this, no it works in groups of two. Moose-Stocky, barrel chested, two fisted, sarcastic, and ready to deliver a soliloquy over the bodies of whoever stands in his way... And Skwirl-Seductive, sexy, and with a sense of humor that could kill....literally. These two 'Trouble Takers' travel space and time very much at random, figuring out whatever issue they are thrown into and then fixing it. In their own unique, usually very destructive, bloody way. Five slots, 12,500 word stories ( If interested, request short bible for this one).

SIX GUNS AND SPACESHIPS- This is a wide open, do it as you want Space Western Anthology. The requirements- It's got to be a mash up between classic westerns and space opera (Firefly, Outland, Bravestarr, just a few examples). It doesn't take place on Earth at all, has to be off planet, but time period and location beyond that are up to the writer! 5 open slots, 12,500 word stories.

TO LOVE AND DIE- Pulp Romance is back! And its deadlier than ever! These stories will be set in any time period up until modern day and must feature two things-Romance...and Treachery. These stories may be mysteries, horror tales, adventure yarns, whatever, but there must be a strong core of romance mixed with danger throughout. Six Open Slots, 10,000 word stories.

NEWSHOUNDS! - Dogged reporters, crusty editors, copyboys and cub photographers with dreams of grandeur, Pressmen who know the city lives and breathes by what they print! One of the most fertile grounds for action packed pulp has always been the newspaper office. And all those wonderful character types and more all work for The Partisan, a 1950s paper partial to the common man, to righting the wrongs done against the innocent and the weak! And this gaggle of hard bitten, hard fighitng men and women are known near and far to those who love them and those who wish to see them dead! Do No Wrong in Their City unless you want it covered by the Newshounds! 5 open slots, 12,500 word stories (If interested, request short bible for this one)

THE NINTH CIRCLE-VOLUME ONE, This collection centers around a crime ridden precinct and borough in a city that shuffles its misbegotten and forgotten to THE NINTH CIRCLE. Six Slots-10,000 word stories (If interested, request short bible for this one)

DEAD MAN WALKEN- This western adventure has enough intrigue and mystery to choke a horse! A town is savagely attacked by a ruthless band of outlaws and most of the citizens killed, including the promising sheriff elect, Fitch Walken. A month after the massacre and all the bodies are buried, Fitch Walken stumbles into town, the last three months of his life gone from his memory! The mystery deepens when Walken's grave is exhumed...and he's IN THE COFFIN! What follows is the classic struggle of a man to find out who he is, what happened to him, and just which side of good and evil he will stand on! Five Slots Open-12,500 word stories (If interested, request short bible for this one)

THE BLACK FEDORA-A BOOK OF VILLAINS- This is just what it says it is, an anthology dedicated to stories about the bad guys we love to hate. These stories will focus on original villains and of course the heroes they face, these tales similar in style to the FU MANCHU stories of the past. But this isn't only for yellow perils!! Any type of villain that populates pulp is welcome to try on THE BLACK FEDORA! Two slots open, 15,000 word stories.

HIGH ADVENTURE HISTORY-Ever wanted a chance to write a masked man enforcing justice in ancient Egypt? Or a larger than life genius and his team of heroes righting wrongs in renaissance Italy? Or mad scientists terrorizing the Arizona desert towns of the Old West? Then here's your chance! HIGH ADVENTURE HISTORY will include stories of traditional pulp concepts and tropes plopped into our very own past, pre 1900! Take your favorite pulp stereotype and wrap it up in ancient or not so ancient places and people and join us in HIGH ADVENTURE HISTORY! Five Slots open, 12,500 words stories.

THE SHAMUS DIRECTIVE is a project actually founded in historical context. Just prior to and all during World War Two, The United States government via the FBI as well as members of the Armed Forces, developed dossiers on all licensed Private Investigators in the country. A list was then comprised of the ones deemed appropriate and 'good' and they were then considered to be 'cleared' to be used in espionage missions, mostly on the homefront, or missions that regular forces just could not deal with for various reasons. THE SHAMUS DIRECTIVE poses the theory that not only was this list compiled, but the people on it were truly the world's greatest detectives and they were formed into sort of a team to handle major issues in conjunction, even maybe saving major parcels of land and people in the process. Three Slots Open, 10,000 word stories (If interested, request short bible for this one)

If you're a writer or artist and are interested in these anthologies or have questions, email Hancock at! And check out Pro Se at and

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#249) -- The Best Passive Voice Lesson EVER!

What's one of the easiest edits a writer can make to his or
her work to improve his or her chances of getting published?

Changing most of your passive voice sentences to active voice will strengthen your writing immeasurably. What do I mean by that? The screen-cap below sums it up better than any grammar book ever.

For example:
The dog was groomed (by Zombies) yesterday. -- insertion works, therefore passive
Zombies groomed (by Zombies) the dog yesterday. -- active, there insertion doesn't work

Sunday, October 21, 2012


APRIL 26-28TH, 2013

Pulp Ark 2013, the Official New Pulp Creators' Conference/Convention in its third year announced today its Three Guests of Honor for the Third year of the convention to be held in Springdale, AR.

"Pulp," Tommy Hancock, Pulp Ark Organizer and Partner in Pro Se Productions, the company sponsoring Pulp Ark, "is a marvelous, massively diverse field...a style that has transcended its origins in the early 20th Century in cheaply printed magazines and found its way into every medium available to modern fans.  Classic characters and stories are finding new life with readers and enthusiasts today and new tales centered around original characters are exploding onto the scene as well.  This year, Pulp Ark 2013 will celebrate the variety that is Pulp in many ways.   Our Three Guests of Honor most definitely reflect both the differences and the common denominators in Pulp, both classic and new, both originals of today and inspirations of yesteryear.   I am extremely proud to announce that Joe Devito, Martin Powell, and Paul Bishop will be the Guests of Honor for Pulp Ark 2013 this year!"

Martin Powell has been a professional writer since 1986. He received early critical praise with the Eisner Award nominated Sherlock Holmes/Count Dracula graphic novel, Scarlet in Gaslight, which has remained in print for more than twenty-five years.

Powell has since written hundreds of stories in numerous genres, including mystery, science fiction, horror, and humor, and has been published by Disney, Marvel, DC, Moonstone, Wild Cat Books, and Sequential Pulp/Dark Horse Comics, among others, working with such popular characters as Superman, Batman, Tarzan, Lee Falk’s The Phantom, Frankenstein, The Spider, Kolchak the Night Stalker, The Avenger, and more. He also a prolific author of many acclaimed children’s books, and is the creator of The Halloween Legion. His The Tall Tale of Paul Bunyan won the coveted Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Best Graphic Novel of 2010.

Martin lives in Saint Paul, MN.

Joe DeVito was born on March 16, 1957 in New York City. He graduated with honors from Parsons School of Design in 1981 and studied at the Art Students League in New York City.

Over the years DeVito has painted many of the most recognizable Pop Culture and Pulp icons, including King Kong, Tarzan, Doc Savage, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, MAD magazine’s Alfred E. Newman and various characters in World of Warcraft, with a decided emphasis in his illustration on dinosaurs, Action Adventure, SF and Fantasy. He has illustrated hundreds of book and magazine covers, painted several notable posters and numerous trading cards for the major comic book and gaming houses, and created concept and character design for the film and television industries.

In 3D, DeVito sculpted the official 100th Anniversary statue of Tarzan of the Apes for the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate, The Cooper Kong for the Merian C. Cooper Estate, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman for Chronicle Book’s Masterpiece Editions, several other notable Pop and Pulp characters. Additional sculpting work ranges from scientifically accurate dinosaurs, a multitude of collectibles for the Bradford Exchange in a variety of genres, to larger-than-life statues and the award trophy for the influential art annual SPECTRUM.

An avid writer, Joe is also the co-author (with Brad Strickland) of two novels, which he illustrated as well. The first, KONG: King of Skull Island (DH Press) was published in  2004. The second book, Merian C. Cooper’s KING KONG, was published by St. Martin’s Griffin, in 2005. He has also contributed many essays and articles to such collected works as Kong Unbound: The Cultural Impact, Pop Mythos, and Scientific Plausibility of a Cinematic Legend and Do Androids Artists Paint In Oils When They Dream? in Pixel or Paint: The Digital Divide In Illustration Art.

2012 saw the release of Kindle and iBook versions of KONG: King of Skull Island that were accompanied by Part 1 of a cutting edge app version of the book. With the property in full development as a motion picture, other plans include the release of Part 2 of the interactive Kong book app, the beginning of a KONG: King of Skull Island YA series and Kong collectibles for the Cooper Estate.

Presently DeVito is painting covers for The All New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage (written by Will Murray), while also finishing the screenplay and developing imagery for his newest creation, a faction world of truly epic proportions tentatively titled The Primordials.

FB: Joe DeVito-DeVito Artworks

Paul Bishop is a thirty-five year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department whose career included a three year tour as an interrogator with his department's Anti-Terrorist Division and over twenty-five years’ experience in the investigation of sex crimes. For the past eight years, his various Special Assaults Units have consistently produced the highest number of detective initiated arrests and highest crime clearance rate in the city. Twice honored as Detective of the Year, Paul also received the Quality and Productivity Commission Award from the City of Los Angeles.

As a nationally recognized interrogator, Paul co-starred with his professional partner, bestselling author and prosecutor, Mary Hanlon Stone, as the regular interrogators and driving force behind the ABC reality show Take The Money And Run from producer Jerry Bruckheimer.  Based on his expertise in the area of deception detection, Paul continues to work privately conducting interview and interrogation seminars for law enforcement agencies, military entities, and human resource organizations.
Paul has had twelve novels published, including Hot PursuitDeep WaterPenalty ShotSuspicious Minds, the short story collection Running Wylde, and five novels in his L.A.P.D. Detective Fey Croaker series – Croaker: Kill Me AgainCroaker: Grave SinsCroaker: Tequila MockingbirdCroaker: Chalk Whispers, and Croaker: Pattern of Behavior.  All his novels have recently been released in e-book format. 

Paul has also written feature film scripts and numerous episodic scripts for television, including such shows as Diagnosis: MurderLA DragnetThe New Detectives, and Navy Seals: The Untold Stories

Paul is currently writing and editing the monthly Fight Card series, 25,000 word e-novels, designed to be read in one or two sittings, inspired by the fight pulps of the '30s and '40s – such as Fight Stories Magazine – and Robert E. Howard’s two-fisted boxing tales featuring Sailor Steve Costigan.  His latest entry, Fight Card: Swamp Walloper (written as Jack Tunney) will premiere at the 2013 Pulp Ark convention.   He can be found blogging at  and followed via twitter@bishsbeat.  A full list of his novels  is available at

"These three," Hancock stated, "represent a huge variety within Pulp today, but they all also show the commonalities of what Pulp is.  And as far as mediums, everything from books to comics to television to sculpture to painting and more is represented by these fantastic Guests.   It's a privilege for Pulp Ark to have them as its centerpiece in 2013."

Pulp Ark is a Writer's Conference/Convention focused on 'Pulp' fiction.  Although defined narrowly by many, Pulp Ark promotes Pulp Fiction as multi genre multi medium storytelling that typically involves action, adventure, larger than life heroes and villains, and a strong focus on both plot and characterization.  "Pulp," Hancock said, "began as a medium in which many great writers told a lot of wonderful stories and readers could pick 'em up a 100 or more pages at a time for a dime.  Although it's no longer that necessarily, the sensibilities of Pulp storytelling, the style, the methodology, all the stuff fans have remembered and enjoyed for over 80 years about those kinds of tales, all of that is still around and available from all sorts of authors, artists, performers and companies.  That is what Pulp Ark is all about."

Pulp Ark 2013 will be held in Springdale, Arkansas April 26-28, 2013 at the Holiday Inn Springdale Hotel and Convention Center in Springdale, Arkansas, 1500 South 48th Street, phone number- 1-479-751-8300.  For a peek at the venue, click HERE!

SPECIAL PRICES UNTIL JANUARY 1ST, 2013!  Any and all who plan to attend Pulp Ark 2013 and want to get the Discounted Room Rate MUST reserve a room or rooms by January 1st, 2013 to take advantage of the Special Pulp Ark rate of $84.00 a night.  To reserver your room online, please click HERE!  

PULP ARK 2013-Springdale, Arkansas!  For further information, go to or contact Hancock at 870-834-4022 and/or  Expect more Pulp Ark Announcements VERY SOON!