Not gonna let them catch me, no

A couple years ago, I ran across a writing prompt to construct a pulp story inspired by the lyrics of a popular song. I’d like to say the challenge struck a chord, but that level of punnery is nigh-unforgivable. Still, there are a few songs which have always stayed with me because of a combination of musical badassery and evocative imagery, and pretty high on that playlist is the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider.” So I set myself to turning the ideas of running and hiding, silver dollars and endless roads, into a worthy tale.

I made a good amount of headway on the story but felt like it was missing something, a piece which fell into place when I heard about an open call for a dieselpunk anthology. Dieselpunk (in case you’re not up to speed on your genres and subgenres) concerns stylized alternate history in which the aesthetics of early-mid 20th century technology mingles with science fiction. I had, if I said so myself, a decent noirish story about loners, mobsters, and highway-bound cars, but burnishing all of that with retro-futuristic weapons and accessories helped me get “The Dying Desert Moon” across the proverbial finish line.

Of course, as so often happens with me, I finished the story, sent it off to the anthology in question, and received a polite rejection. But I was undeterred and continued sending it around, until it was accepted by the fine folks at Crimson Streets.

And as part of the upside of this arrangement, you’ll be able to read the story online for free starting in one week! Click here to visit this week’s addition to the virtual pulp library of Crimson Streets, and at the end of the tale you’ll see the teaser for “The Dying Desert Moon” under the Next Week section. You can check out lots of other great stories while you’re there, and don’t forget to return to Crimson Streets in one week when my story is released!

UPDATE: It’s up! Click here to read “THE DYING DESERT MOON”!


Re-animated matter


They said it couldn’t be done, but they’ve done it again! Following up on last year’s premiere excursion into unholy pulp terror, the PulpWork Press 2017 Halloween Special is now available!

As usual, you can locate this year’s offering at Amazon. If you can restrain yourself, the Kindle edition will be available for FREE download for everyone between October 27th and October 31st. I am dead certain, however, that you will want to get your very own hard copy at your earliest opportunity – which is right now!

Once again I’ve stirred into the cauldron a brand new adventure of Kellan Oakes, this time in a throwback adventure from his pre-P.I. days. I’m stitched together in this exquisite corpse with Tom Deja, Josh Reynolds, and Joel Jenkins! Whether you’re in the mood for tricks or treats, the PulpWork Halloween Special is coming for you!

Creeping up

The most glorious time of the year is here, and that means we are drawing ever nearer to Halloween, and another PulpWork Press Halloween Special! The finishing touches are being put on the 2017 edition of the spooktacular as we speak, so it’s not quite time to reveal the availability details or the full cover … but I can provide a sneak-peek:

And since I’m not fully into hype mode for the anthology yet, allow me to indulge in some Real Talk: as you no doubt are aware, my druid private eye Kellan Oakes made his literary debut in the pages of a PulpWork Press Christmas Special. This will mark his fourth appearance in a holiday special from PulpWork, in addition to stories in CheapJack Pulp and other forthcoming projects to be announced soon. I have been posting recently about one of those on-deck projects recently, and my efforts to craft a Kellan Oakes tale which came in under a specified word limit and followed a classic pulp formula (see this entry and this one for details), all of which I think were worthwhile efforts. But I confess that one of the things I really enjoy about writing for the PulpWork holiday specials is that there are very few constraints in terms of either word count or style or subject matter beyond the obvious themes of pulp and whichever season is being celebrated. As a result, my PulpWork stories about Kellan tend to be a bit looser and shaggier, and this year’s is no exception. Sometimes it’s rewarding to follow the rules, and sometimes it’s gratifying to let it all hang out. Words to live by, I reckon.