Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘pulp novels’

Who wants to wait until Black Friday? And who wants a sale that only lasts one day? (Hint: the answer to both these questions is, “Not me.”)

Therefore, on the theory that it’s no good selling something if you can’t give your friends a good deal, starting tomorrow, November 23, and running all the way to December 31, all novels in my electronic catalog are being reduced by 25%!*

You want time-traveling adventure on a far-future Earth where aliens rule mankind and recreated dinosaurs roam deserted cities? We got that.

You want to go back to the 1930s, where mysterious dangers hide behind every door and globe-trotting heroes fight the forces of evil and tyranny? We got that.

You want to visit a fantastical (and hysterical) medieval land where an exiled samurai and an untrustworthy card shark turn out to be long-lost brothers, battling fashion-obsessed Valkyries and the Pirate Brother’ood while arguing over whose fault it was they got kicked out of another tavern? We got that, too!

Act now, because prices like this do not come along every day!**

 

*Except for The Invisible City, because it’s already free!

**Every year, yes. Every day, no.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The Scent of Death, the second in the Adventures of Captain Swashbuckle, is live today here and here. Fresh from their deadly trip to the Amazon, the crew find themselves trapped in a web of intrigue and murder that stretches from the halls of Washington, D.C. to the steppes of Mongolia! Hot on the trail of a missing diplomat, hounded by spies from the Japanese Imperial Army, and dodging assassins on two continents, they must solve not only the mystery of the kidnapped ambassador, but of an ancient weapon that kills without a trace–and may claim them as its next victims!

Plus, the first book in the series, The Choking Rain, is on sale in September at the bargain price of $1.99. When an invisible killer terrorizes the streets of Los Angeles, an ex-fighter pilot tries to get to the bottom of the plot, only to end up its latest victim! Can four ordinary people, following in his murdered footsteps, stop an international conspiracy to bring the United States to its knees as a prelude to war?

 

Read Full Post »

Well, thank you for your interest! Somehow (and I honestly don’t know how), I pushed along at a respectable clip this week. I am now at 46,510, almost 6700 words ahead of last week. I should come in at 60,000 words by August 12, right on schedule. Woohoo! Right?

Well, yes and no. You never thought it would be that easy. I can see now that this book is not going to come in at 60,000 words. It’s probably going to run around 65,000 words. (Don’t you love how we authors can so blithely throw around estimates in the thousands of words? Don’t you wonder how we do that? So do we.) Fortunately, that only means about a week’s extra work (even including fixing a major problem I recently discovered), so if I edit quickly, I can stick to my publishing schedule. It also means, though, that I have to put some thought into a cover… I’m thinking of doing something classic, like the less lurid of the old Black Mask and Dime Detective covers. We’ll see.

In the meantime, by the time you read this, there will be only 24 hours left in the Smashwords July sale, which means you have hardly any time left to pick up The Invisible City for free, and all of my other books at a steep discount. This is your last chance to save some money on quality fiction, and time is running out…

#SFWApro

Read Full Post »

As you are aware, by this point in the proceedings, the plan was to have reached 40,000 words, the putative 2/3 mark of this monument to one man’s ambition. However, as you are also aware, from having read the title of this post, things this week did not go entirely as planned.

Through a combination of events largely out of my control, I couldn’t keep up the pace this week. Apparently, 32,000 words per month is my limit. (Already the experiment is yielding valuable data.) Even before Life took precedence, I had decided that 2000 words per day, even working only four days a week, was just too much. It was eating up all of my “free time,” and this gig doesn’t pay well enough for that. (Doubtful that it ever could.) So I ratcheted my goal back to 1500 words per night, which will extend the time it takes to finish, but not as much as you might think, since I’m so far into it already. I’m thinking ten weeks instead of eight. This should still leave enough time to make my September 15 deadline. (And if it doesn’t, I-the-publisher can fight me-the-writer over it.)

For the record, I am at 37,418 words. Since I already gave myself permission to slack off, however, this means I am only about 1100 words behind schedule on the sequel to The Choking Rain, which will now with 90% certainty be called The Scent of Death. Our Heroes, having hied themselves to an Asian kingdom where they don’t know anyone, don’t speak the language, and which is threatened by both revolution from within and invasion from without, have been attacked by a mob in the market square, resulting in becoming separated from their guide, the princess they’re protecting, and one of their own gang. Add to this a mysterious method of assassination, a gallery of untrustworthy high officials, and a couple of “allies” with their own secret agendas, and it’s all pretty much business as usual.*

And that’s all I can tell you. Fortunately, as part of the outlining process, I know who’s who and who’s not. Unless you count this character, who just kind of showed up and introduced himself, and that guy who’s not what I thought he was, and the other fellow who’s now…

I’m telling you, this would all be a lot easier if the characters would just read the outline first.

*And that’s not including the fact that their fearless leader has taken on a new identity so secret he won’t even tell them.

#SFWApro

Read Full Post »

I’ve never really tried writing to an outline before, but now I’ve outlined the sequel to The Choking Rain, provisionally titled Something in the Air (but very much subject to change), and I’ve spent the last two evenings writing the first 4300 words. The idea is to write 2000 words a night, which would bring in the first draft before Labor Day.

I hadn’t planned to write another novel so soon; the idea was to concentrate on short fiction this year. But after a couple of tries (and one completion), the Muse wasn’t hanging around. “Well,” I thought, “no plan to do something is good if it keeps you from doing anything,” so I allowed myself to think about writing another book–but only if I could get it done quickly. None of this “twelve months and a bit” this time. None of this foundering in the middle trying to figure out how the plot was going to get from A to Z. (A and Z are easy. It’s L, M, and N that will kill you.)

So I tried outlining, and surprisingly, it wasn’t tough. (I’ve had this idea for a long time, so that helped.) I had the outline done in half the time I had allotted, including details for the first dozen chapters, so I started even sooner than I thought I would. So far, I’m 300 words ahead of schedule. We’ll see how tonight goes.

I’ll keep you all updated every week or so, unless I fall completely behind, in which case I will close this page and start writing under an assumed name, something with fewer expectations. I’m leaning toward “Will Shakespeare,” since no one thinks he ever wrote anything anyway…

#SFWApro

Read Full Post »

We went to a presentation the other day featuring cast members and show runners from the CW‘s four superhero shows: Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. We had a fine time; all of the panelists were entertaining and the whole thing was moderated by Kevin Smith, who had the audience in stitches. Kevin’s introduction described how as a kid, he had read comic books to be transported, and how they always made him feel like a better person because they were all about the good guys and their triumphs.

This made me think: Literature is virtually always about the good guys winning. There are, of course, exceptions to the rule, for example George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman (no relation to The Flash), but you’d really be hard-pressed to find a book or comic where in the end you weren’t supposed to root for the good guys. Oftimes, the good guys are bad guys, but those are anti-heroes, bad guys you root for because their adversaries are even worse. Are with you with me so far? Of course you are, this isn’t controversial.

So why is it, then, that comic books are blamed for the decline of Western Civilization?* These are highly moralistic stories. The good guys virtually always win. They put their lives on the line, without pay, issue after issue for decades, sometimes (in the case of Marvel heroes) in the face of public ridicule, scorn, and even persecution. Who doesn’t want to live in a society where everyone is ready and willing to take on evil and stand up to oppression? How can a medium which produced Superman be bad?

I know a lot of the knocks against comic books are the same as are leveled against science fiction: it’s juvenile, it’s poorly written, it’s unbelievable. And I ask each of those the same thing: Have you read this stuff lately? Have you ever read this stuff?

Granted, comic books have a tendency to make you believe that violence (no matter how reluctantly practiced) solves every problem. But I would argue that being a “force” is less important than being a “force for good,” or at least it was when I was reading.

When I was a kid, reading comic books was not viewed by my parents as an optimal use of my time. I would argue though, that comic books (and later pulp novels) did as much to form my moral outlook as religious education, or upbringing. I’m not saying I’m going to stand in front of a runaway truck or face down bank robbers–but I am saying that if I had a little influx of cosmic energy, you might hear…

“Who is that masked man, anyway? He’s straight out of a comic book!”

 

*Yes, there were the EC comics of the 1950s. But really, it was the 1950s!

#SFWApro

Read Full Post »

Smashwords is sponsoring “Read an Ebook Week” in an attempt to promote ebooks to readers with discount coupons, and my Depression-era pulp thriller The Choking Rain is participating with a 50% coupon.

Los Angeles, 1932. Six months before the Olympic Games are to bring relief to a Depression-battered city, men are falling dead in the rain-swept streets, their necks broken as if by an invisible noose. Pulled into a shadowy, rain-slick storm of murder and kidnapping, an ex-fighter pilot, a cop, a couple of football players-turned scientist, and a Kewpie-doll blonde with a black belt join forces to track down the terror plotters and stop their deadly spree. But when tragedy strikes the group, the survivors must brave one of the last untamed places on Earth to learn the secret of the Invisible Death–a secret designed to destroy America’s greatest cities, one by one…

The promotion ends on March 11.

shelfscreen

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »