Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bring Me Thrilling Pulp Art


Researching art work and illustrators for my next ebook—due out by Christmas. And while the pulp style might not gel with a non-fiction work on cancer, I've both horror and fantasy detective tales cutting air in the on-deck circle. Both could don pulp covers with gleeful pride. Starting a Pulp Pinterest page, lets me collect interesting compositions, tone, color, subject matter. But there's more to the style than hot babes, gun-toting detectives, and leering Nazis.

We Heart promoted Mexican pulp art a few years back. What's the difference with our home-grown pulpists? Well, We Heart felt "the Mexican market had an appetite for weirdness that outdid the Americans on nearly every level. The violence was ratcheted up, but it was the incongruous elements such as sci-fi, psychedelia, the supernatural, dinosaurs and robots into the mix that set the plots apart."

They weren't kidding. Monster Brains gathered together a wealth of Mexican pulp cover art. Here's a few samples:

Monster Brains

Gunfire against retro robots gone berserk seems futile, but we often reach for the familiar in times of crisis.


Monster Brains

Here is death writ large with grave robbers, a corpse who apparently died hard, and great eyes hovering over the landscape for reasons obscure.

Monster Brains

Trouble heading your way, bud, with human-faced birds flying out of the windmill and over the leafless tree. What gruesome fate awaits you, cowering man?

In addition, We Heart added that "the heroes of the Mexican books were not hard-bitten detectives or all-action paragons, but rather common men who found themselves right up against it in a struggle for survival . . . ." I guess the Yanks were a little more aspirational.

No matter. I want pulp covers for my next two books. Mexican, Yankee, any old artist, but I'm having pulp. The search commences for an artist who can deliver. Don't be shy. Offer recommendations. Should your artist be selected, I'll credit you in the Forward of a book guaranteed to be read by dozens.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Caustic, Funny Supernatural Tales

Dreadful Outcomes: The Wickesborough ChroniclesDreadful Outcomes: The Wickesborough Chronicles by D. G. Heckman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Consider this "Our Town" if written by Dante.

With apologies to Thornton Wilder, D.G. Heckman has penned a hilarious sardonic, 21st century version of small town life. In this supernatural anthology centered around fictional Wickesborough, Pennsylvania, we encounter characters most greedy, evil, self-centered, and unwary who run afoul of zombies, psychopaths, and demonic furniture in a region marinating in dangerous legends that still pack a punch.

Driven by strong ironic narration, the offerings include a band of sensitive cannibals who hate being confused with zombies; police attempting to deal with a wendigo outbreak; and weekend wiccans who discover themselves in deep with a cat-worshipping cult.

But not all outcomes are dreadful as a funeral whisperer learns the consequences of his calling, and a young man pursues his crush on a melancholy spirit.

An indie gem, this Wickesborough collection reminds one of Stephen King's Castle Rock, only with a mordant sense of humor. A dark, funny, absurdist read.

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Thursday, October 05, 2017

Blogging History Repeats Itself Again

December deadline approaches.          Image: All HD Wallpaper

Great broiling head chaos.

Let me explain: excellent progress on my Viking detective novel since early September, despite an eventful journey to Seattle. As the story accelerates, I've ridden the changes, chasing the narrative, but guiding the process away from the guardrails so as not to crash into a rewrite canyon, research gulch, or dull character canal. However, time is not my amigo.

I want to publish an ebook by Christmas. (The viking ebook will not be ready.) In 2013, I blogged about a similar publishing dilemma. A few weeks later, I blogged again. Finally, I stopped blogging about this particular conundrum . . . temporarily, you understand.

Four years have passed and I'm blogging about it once more. In order to meet my self-imposed deadline, I must postpone one project and return to the very project I abandoned in 2013. (As a side note, 2013 was the last full year of my life with a prostate.) Now the clock is ticking, the sands are diminishing, the digital read-out approaches zero. I've got around two months to polish a crude manuscript, score some cover art, and launch it on Amazon.

Who needs NaNoWriMo?

Crazy world out there. Mind yourselves and those close to you.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Zombie Novel with a Bite

A Place Outside The WildA Place Outside The Wild by Daniel Humphreys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are more zombie novels out there than the shambling dead they contain.

However Humphreys' take on a popular genre held my attention for its focus on survivors, their psychological strain, PTSD and myriad other woes besetting a handful of humans and the simple life they've built in a small compound, eight years after the rise of zombies.

Like circling sharks, the undead wander the compound's perimeter, hungering for human flesh, patient, omnipresent. At the same time, interior conflicts such as murder and drug addiction combine to erode the community's survival odds.

Good action and plenty of it keep this tale moving along.

Definitely worth a read.

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