G’day friends. Happy New Year to you all.
As we say good bye to 2015, I thought I’d take a look back at the last twelve months and all that I acheived. On the surface, it didn’t seem like a very good year. There were some personal hurdles to climb – which I won’t bore you with here – suffice to say sometimes life can kick you in the guts when you least expect it. And on the writing front only three shorts stories were released. When I realized this, for a brief moment I was pretty down (Oh, shut up you whinger!) Then I sat down with pen and paper and jotted down everything I had achieved. It wasn’t so bad.
January saw the release of CUTTER’S LAW – the first story in the Vengeance trilogy – and a part of the Pro Se Single Shot Signature line. The follow-up stories, GET CUTTER! and CUTTER AND THE KINGSNAKE unfortunately got held up when the Signature series went off the rails. But I have been told the project should be back on track early this year – so hopefully those of you who have been waiting for the next installments will be rewarded very soon. The reviews for CUTTER’S LAW were great – most people seemed to get exactly what I was trying to do. Here’s a couple of snippets.
For readers mourning the demise of the famed Executioner series and the whole Men’s Action sub-genre subsequently spawned and reaching a fever-pitch peak in the ’70s and ’80s … take heart. In the capable hands of James Hopwood, a new kick-ass hero for the new century is at hand. His name is Nathan Cutter. He’s an ex Aussie soldier returned home for revenge and retribution and the Devil help anybody who gets in his way.
Wayne D. Dundee
This is all the men’s action stories I read in the 70’s & 80’s boiled down to their lean, bloody core. I enjoyed this story immensely. I miss action stories that don’t take 600 pages to get to the point.
J. L. Stubblefield
While I could not–and still can’t–decide whether this was supposed to be a throwback, homage, or parody of ’80s men’s adventure fiction, one thing that was never in doubt was how much fun I was having while reading it. It took all the vital elements of the genre–tough hero, tragic loss, big guns, high body count, etc.–and boiled them down to their bare bones essence in a brisk 25-page short story. Again, not sure how serious we’re supposed to take this stuff, but anyone who enjoys the genre cannot help but grin like an idiot when the hero emerges from a vehicle brandishing a Skorpion machine pistol in each hand and begins to simultaneously gun down the bad guys. Or even better, when the villain, on the cusp of his comeuppance, yells at Cutter, “Who are you?” and the only answer our hero gives is, “I am Vengeance!”
In early April, the graphic novel, BULLET GAL: IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME, written by Andrez Bergen hit the shelves. Hidden in its pages,was a rather 80’s retro pin-up poster of the heroine cobbled together by me. My contribution won’t shake up the art world – or the comic book world either – but it was a fun project, and it’s nice to see it out there in the wild and to do something a little different. It is available from Underbelly Commix.
In May, UNDER THE RADAR, written by Aaron Smith, was released by Pro Se Productions. The novel, which is a rapid fire spy thriller, featuring globe trotting agent Richard Monroe, was edited by me. Despite fantastic cover art by Jeffery Hayes, the novel hasn’t received the recognition it deserves – so if you enjoy a good old fashioned spy story, check it out and give it some love. Monroe previously appeared in NOBODY DIES FOR FREE.
September saw the release on the 2015 WRITER’S BLOCK Anthology, which featured my short story SHERMAN’S SECRET. By nature I am a pretty shy guy, so getting out there and talking about my writing is difficult, but in early 2015, I started attending Writer’s Block. They are a truly a great support network – never judgmental – always encouraging, which has helped me more than I can say.
Through Writer’s Block I also wrote my first radio play. Entitled SONG BIRD, the piece was a tight little beat-the-clock thriller, set on the Mornington Peninsula. Unfortunately, the project seems to have stalled. Hopefully the wheels may begin to turn this year. It would be great to hear it on air sometime.
In October, THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF AWESOME ADVENTURE TALES was announced by Clan Destine Press. My contribution, THE LOST LOOT OF LIMA introduces two new heroes, Mark and Sarah Page – dubbed The Pages of History. This promises to be a fantastic collection of Antipodean adventure stories, and I can’t wait to see it hit the shelves in mid 2016.
Just before Christmas, LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION was released by the crew at Airship 27. The anthology is a benefit for friend, publisher, editor and mentor, Tommy Hancock. My contribution was a rollicking action-adventure tale entitled THE PIRATE KING.
So that brings up up to date. But what’s in store for 2016, I hear you ask? Of course, things may move about a little – and some things I can’t talk about – but here’s a few highlights for the coming year.
As I mentioned above, the VENGEANCE series should start up again very soon, so look out for GET CUTTER! and CUTTER AND THE KINGSNAKE. Also THE GREAT BIG BOOK OF AWESOME ADVENTURE TALES should be out mid year.
I am pleased to announce the next Jarvis Love novel, THE AMBROSIA KILL is just around the corner. I don’t have an exact release date, but start preparing now for the greatest thrill ride ever committed to the written page. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration – but believe me, I have pulled out all stops on this one. If you liked THE DANAKIL DECEPTION, then AMBROSIA is going to blow your mind. I kid you not!
In May, Beat Girls, Love Tribes, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950-1980 will be released by Verse Chorus Press. Put together by Andrew Nette and Iain McIntyre, this promises to be an amazing book that every student of Pulp Fiction will need on their shelf. I have contributed a couple of articles and an interview with George Snyder – who wrote the OPERATION HANG TEN books. Here’s the spiel.
The first comprehensive account of the rise of youth culture and mass-market paperback fiction in the postwar period, Beat Girls is a must-read for anyone interested in retro and subcultural style and popular fiction.
As the young created new styles in music, fashion and culture, pulp fiction followed their every step, hyping and exploiting their behavior and language for mass consumption. From the juvenile delinquent gangs of the early fifties, through the beats and hippies, on to bikers, skinheads and punks, pulp fiction left no trend untouched. Boasting wild covers and action-packed plots, these books reveal as much about society’s desires and fears as they do about the subcultures themselves.
Featuring over 300 pulp covers, many never before reprinted, as well 70 in-depth author interviews and biographies, articles and reviews, Beat Girls offers the most extensive survey of the era’s mass market pulp fiction. Novels by well-known authors like Harlan Ellison, Lawrence Block, Evan Hunter/Ed McBain, and by filmmakers Samuel Fuller and Ed Wood Jr., are discussed alongside neglected obscurities and contemporary bestsellers ripe for rediscovery. More than 20 critics and scholars of popular culture contributed to this celebration of a fascinating body of work.
The western series I have teased on a few occasions has hit a few snags of late – and may be looking for new publisher. I hope it finds a new home and finally sees the light of day. There are also a few short adventure stories scheduled to appear in anthologies over the year, so keep your eyes peeled.
2016 promises to be a pretty exciting year for me, and I hope yours is too.
All the best, D.