March 18, 2019

Interview: Freelancing and Coworking

Recently, I was interviewed about my experiences and perspectives around freelancing and coworking for a French project.

My thanks to Samuel Durand and Thuy Khanh-Nguyen for a wonderful conversation...and for the opportunity to share this video. Enjoy!

March 7, 2019

Pulp Factory Award Nomination - "Knights of the Silver Cross"

Yes, last year's "Knights of the Silver Cross" for ProSe Productions' 1950s Western Roundup has been nominated for a Pulp Factory Award!

You'll find the full press release via this Patreon post).

The public can vote for nominees until March 15th via this link. 

You'll find my "writer's commentary" via this link.


February 24, 2019

Where Stories Come From: "Publish or Perish" - MARTY QUADE

(If you enjoy essays like this, and would like to check out exclusive content, please consider becoming a Patreon sponsor!)

I've always believed that most young men (or, more specifically, most young white men) tend to gravitate and get their philosophies from one of two authors: Ayn Rand or Raymond Chandler.

I'm grateful that I chose the latter: my college and graduate school years were spent poring over hard-boiled detective novels. It started with Robert B.Parker's Spenser, with his unconventional morality (see Early Autumn, Ceremony, A Savage Place, and Taming a Sea Horse for details). That led to Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, Jim Thompson, Sara Paretsky...yes, I was a moody young man, wasn't I?

But all of them wrote about men with their own codes of honor, who could aim wisecracks as well as their guns...and I was hooked.

So when Ron Fortier of Airship 27 asked me to contribute to this anthology shortly after the publication of "The Magnificent Anderson" in Black Bat Mystery - Volume 3  it was the easiest writing decision I made at that time. That, plus a recent reading of The Pulp Jungle by Frank Gruber (motivated by one of my mother's coworkers who claimed to be the writer's daughter-in-law) not only helped me develop my writing/work ethic...but also spurred me to write a tale set in the pulp-writing industry.

(No, I didn't know about William Bogart's Hell on Friday at the time. It's now in my to-read pile).

Shortly after being commissioned, I served on a panel for the DePaul Pop Culture Conference Celebration of Joss Whedon. Much of the "fuel" for the story came from a conversation with a fellow Chicago Nerd Social Club board member (who I thought was full of themselves at the time; we've since reconciled) and meeting a fellow CNSC member (who subconsciously served as the model for one of the lead characters).

As I explain in the essay that accompanies "Publish or Perish" in Marty Quade, Volume One, writing the story was not easy...but once I got the hang of it, prose came out almost lightning fast. It also helped that I was able to download and read various Quade stories that were discovered (although there are various sites through the Internet, I've collected and linked to them in this sponsor-only Patreon update).

But it's one of the first stories where I "hit my stride" in terms of writing; there was a comfort level there (I had invented my own "hardboiled" character - a social worker who was a cop's son - in college), and I felt like I was "in my territory".

And quite honestly, I want to return to the world of Marty Quade...and I have a corker of an idea. The title alone tells the story...but one step at a time.

So please buy Marty Quade, Volume One...if only to justify Airship 27 commissioning Volume Two.