5 Questions With… (season two)

Every week (ish) New Pulp Heroes sits down with an artist or author creating new heroic fiction works in order to pull back the curtain and give you, our faithful readers, a look into the mind of New Pulp Fiction’s best and brightest creators.

If you missed Season One, here’s the link so you can binge read interviews with some of the best and brightest minds in New Pulp Fiction.

5 Questions With… (season one)

Charles F. Millhouse

It’s really hard to find any commentary on the new pulp movement that doesn’t at least mention accomplished author, Charles F. Millhouse. With that, you can imagine it’s an honor to feature him in our newest interrogation.

Question One: Thinking of the first pulp story that grabbed you, what was it and what about it hooked you? 

CM: It was somewhere around 1975 I was 10 or 11 years old and my brother introduced me to Conan the Barbarian the old paperback books with Frazetta art. That was the hook, and after that he took me to this old bookstore in Columbus, Ohio… this hole in the wall place stocked full of old magazines, and books… and I cut my teeth on crime dramas, old horror, but it was the adventure stuff that kept my interest. 

Question Two: When did you first hear about the resurgence of pulp storytelling and why did you feel compelled to contribute to it? 

CM: The funny thing is I didn’t hear about a resurgence of pulp storytelling. I had been independently publishing for about 13 years, writing straight-line Sci-fi before I decided to write the first Captain Hawklin Adventure, in 2011, because I wanted other people to experience what I did as a kid and hoped young readers might get interested in the Hawklin stories. It wasn’t until after I published the first book that I learned of the “New Pulp” Movement. I was glad I wasn’t the only one still interested in writing this type of story.

Question Three: Recommend 3 new pulp properties (from other creators) you really dig and why you think other people would enjoy them also.

CM: The Lazarus Gray stuff from Barry Rees is some top-notch storytelling. I’m a little envious that I didn’t create it.
Anything from Stephen Jared… “Jack and the Jungle Lion” “The Chameleon Thief of Cairo” it’s good stuff. 
Brother Bones by Ron Fortier. Man… anything by Ron, but I do love Brother Bones. 

Question Four: Here’s the cheesy question: If you could spend 24 hours with any old or new pulp character, who would it be and what would you do? 

CM: The Shadow… lol. Fight crime, though he’d be doing the fighting and I’d be staying safe and taking notes. 

Question Five: Which of your upcoming projects excites you the most and why should people get excited about it with you? 

CM: I have a couple Pulp related things coming out this year. But I’m most excited about Pulp Reality #2. I want to see if we can catch lightning in a bottle a second time. We have writers and artists leading (and some new) in the new pulp genre, including Bobby Nash, Brian K Morris, Ron Fortier, Clayton Murwin and many many others. 

There you have it, Charles F. Millhouse right on your screen. Make sure to check out his work by clicking here.

Al Bohl

If you’re like us, you love a good space opera. Well, thanks to our next guest, the world of new pulp space operas is bigger and better than ever!

Question One: Thinking of the first pulp story that grabbed you, what was it and what about it hooked you? 

AB: While I don’t really know what the word “pulp” means exactly I would say that my real introduction into pulps was through the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. I’ve read many of his books from the Mars stories, to Tarzan and westerns.

Question Two: When did you first hear about the resurgence of pulp storytelling and why did you feel compelled to contribute to it? 

AB: I became interested because I was producing a feature length documentary about the first Tarzan film called “Tarzan of the Apes.” The name of the documentary is “Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle.” Here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G_XINKa2EI 

Question Three: Recommend 3 new pulp properties (from other creators) you really dig and why you think other people would enjoy them also.

AB: Bobby Nash, Tommy Hancock and Stephen Jared. Their books are exciting and well written.

Question Four: Here’s the cheesy question: If you could spend 24 hours with any old or new pulp character, who would it be and what would you do? 

AB: Beyond a doubt, I’d say Tarzan. I’d like to know what he thought of Burroughs and talk to him about how he would have liked to have been portrayed on the silver screen. Also, how did he learn Latin in just three weeks?

Question Five: Which of your upcoming projects excites you the most and why should people get excited about it with you? 

AB: I’m excited about the new Zaanan book I’m working on at this time. It will be called “Dark Vengeance-Pure Light.” The Zaanan books are all “to be continued” books. Set 500 years into the future, the hero finds himself exiled to a trash island in the Pacific Ocean. He is considered infected with alien-thought by the global government and is hunted by the very Talgent Warriors who once revered him as the greatest warrior ever. Climate change has become a political football where the argument is staged as where or not one believes it is true or not. However, we are and will be drowning in trash. People are willing to pay to create it but not to get rid of it. Zaanan falls in with a group who believes litter can only be dealt with by burning it in the magma of the earth’s core. I feel readers will find this story fascinating as to how this could be accomplished and how it might go very wrong. Murphy’s Law will be in full force.

***

There you have it folks, all the answers that are fit to print from Al Bohl. Click here to check out his work.

Mark Allen Vann

For Season Two, Week Two, New Pulp Heroes sat down with none other than the infamous Mark Allen Vann. If you don’t know who Mark is yet, you will.

In the meantime, let’s dive right in.

Question One: Thinking of the first pulp story that grabbed you, what was it and what about it hooked you? 

MAV: My first taste of pulp of any sort was when I was reading my dad’s Conan books. I don’t recall the first specific story that really caught my imagination, but if I was to guess it would either by The Tower Of The Elephant or The Frost Giant’s Daughter. I was instantly enamored with the colorful descriptions, the exciting action and adventure, the larger-than-life characters. It all spoke to my adolescent mind and imagination. I was soon hooked. After that came Tarzan and from there, I explored further and began reading science fiction, adventure and a bunch of Zane Grey’s. The genie had been released from the bottle and there was no going back.

Question Two: When did you first hear about the resurgence of pulp storytelling and why did you feel compelled to contribute to it? 

MAV: It was not until the last couple of years that I had heard of the phrase ‘New Pulp’, but I have always been a voracious reader and my interests have always been in the directions of pulp. As a writer I had been toiling away trying to write one novel or another and hitting a variety of roadblocks, primarily from my own lack of focus, but also from barking up the wrong tree as it were. I would do various writing clinics and I think I was just working in the wrong circles. Then in 2019 I began to hear about New Pulp and all the great writers, characters and stories that companies like Airship 27 and Pro Se Press were putting out and immediately everything seemed to click. I went to Pulpfest that year as a fan and immersed myself in the mixture with some of the top writers of New Pulp, meeting a few like minded folks and in no time, I was able to finally finish my first book.

Question Three: Recommend 3 new pulp properties (from other creators) you really dig and why you think other people would enjoy them also.

MAV: This is really a challenging question for me as there are so many talented writers who are sailing the New Pulp waters and I would be loath to overlook or short-change any of them.

But since you did mention three, I would have to first mention Ron Fortier’s Brother Bones, who is personally my favorite New Pulp character. Besides being a fantastic character in his own right, the setting of Cape Noire is rife with a ton of colorful characters such as Sister Blood and Harry Beest. The setting is the epitome of what pulp is to me.

I would also have to include Charles Millhouse’s Captain Hawklin as another great addition to the crowded New Pulp scene. He is a pastiche of sorts of that there is no question, but like Ron Fortier’s, the writing is straight forward with a focus on the characters and action and not on how many fifty-cent descriptives can be tossed into the mix.

Finally, I would have to give a shout to Frank Dirscherl’s Wraith character. Eight books and counting (plus a book put out by Airship 27), there is plenty of magic to be found on this character. I think these would all serve well as a great introduction into just what New Pulp is all about.

Question Four: Here’s the cheesy question: If you could spend 24 hours with any old or new pulp character, who would it be and what would you do? 

MAV: I would love to spend a full day watching Hercule Poirot’s ‘little gray cells’ do their magic. I think it would be fun to play the little Belgian’s sidekick for a day as he unwraps the layers of some twisted murder mystery, particularly in some exotic setting. Heck, it would be nice to have a short vacation anyway.


Question Five: Which of your upcoming projects excites you the most and why should people get excited about it with you? 

MAV: This is another challenging question as I am working on two books that will be coming out (hopefully) by the end of 2021 as well as beginning to dabble in writing for other publishers as well. Still in the infancy of my writing career, I do have a pretty full plate ahead of me. I guess at this point I would say since my sequel to my first book is going to be my next major release, this would be my biggest focus and cause for excitement. Titled The Fateful Eight, it follows the same protagonists as my debut, Eight Against The Darkness. While my first book was 35 years in the making, this one will be following behind by only a year, which would, I feel, be a significant accomplishment for myself. It would build on the momentum I am finally building for my writing career. I hope for those that have read the first book, that it would allow them to see the story arc progress and hopefully draw them further into the setting as a whole.

Thank you again for allowing me this opportunity to share a few moments inside the insanity of my mind.

***

You’re very welcome, Mark! Thank you for participating and bringing even more great escapism to the New Pulp market.

Click here to grab your copy of Eight Against the Darkness!

***

Sean Taylor

This week, we dive in with author Sean Taylor, a fixture in the New Pulp Fiction world for many years.

Question One: Thinking of the first pulp story that grabbed you, what was it and what about it hooked you? 


ST: It was the action, plan and simple. For me, it actually wasn’t the pulp mags or even the reprints, it was the pulpish sci-fi like John Carter and the short novels in the paperback racks when I was younger. Those things hit me right where my imagination lived. And they were just so out there. 


Question Two: When did you first hear about the resurgence of pulp storytelling and why did you feel compelled to contribute to it? 


ST: I learned that I had internalized that style of storytelling and kind of blended it with my literary thinking thanks to my English degree (with a focus in American Lit). I had been writing super hero stories for Cyber Age Adventures (later iHero Entertainment) and my friend Bobby Nash recommended that I get in touch with Ron Fortier at Airship 27, which then led to me getting to know Tommy Hancock over at Pro Se Press, and the rest, as the cliche goes is history. 


I was drawn to the opportunity to tell some fun stories with some new pulp characters like Lance Star and later Rick Ruby, and also to play in some of the old playgrounds like Armless O’Neill and Black Bat and Golden Amazon later at Moonstone. 


Question Three: Recommend 3 new pulp properties (from other creators) you really dig and why you think other people would enjoy them also. 


ST: Easy. Dillon from Derrick Ferguson. This guy gets it. He knows character and pulp action and he blends them in a way I love. 


Snow from Bobby Nash. Bobby flexes his pulp action muscles but in a way that recreates the 70s and 80s cop and detective TV shows. Big wins all around. 


Tommy Hancock’s brilliant concepts for anthologies over at Pro Se. Black Pulp. Asian Pulp. Fairy Tale inspired pulp. Genius. He encourages writers to put new spins on already known concepts to forge anew the future of new pulp fiction. 


Question Four: Here’s the cheesy question: If you could spend 24 hours with any old or new pulp character, who would it be and what would you do? 


ST: Easy. Old pulp would be Golden Amazon. We’d talk politics and address her penchant toward authoritarianism. New pulp? That would be my own Rick Ruby. Rick’s the guy I’d just love to sit in a bar (most likely Belle’s) and share a few shots of whiskey with while we both admire the way Evelyn’s dress hangs off her hips. 


Question Five: Which of your upcoming projects excites you the most and why should people get excited about it with you? 


ST: I’ve got two this year in particular I’m really excited about. 


The first is A Crowd in Babylon, a horror collection I’ve been writing for years. I love horror short stories, and I love to mix the pulp style with some pretty far out concepts like string theory, time travel, haunted houses, and selling your soul to the devil. 


The second is Giddy and Euphoric. It’s a collection of nonfiction essays about writing and reading with a great preoccupation with pulp storytelling. 


I’m really looking forward to both of these because thus far I’ve been mainly in anthologies with other writers, and I’m really looking forward to charting my other path with some collections that are all mine. 

New Pulp Heroes wants to thank Sean for all his contributions to the New Pulp Fiction movement over the years. Without amazing creators like Sean, the future wouldn’t be as bright. You can grab some of Sean’s great work by clicking here.