Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrapping up 2012

Happy new year’s eve!

I hope you’ve had a good year.
I’ve had an interesting one, writing-wise. My 30 thousand word Ki-Gor story, “The Devil’s Nest,” appeared in print in Jungle Tales Volume1, with stories by Peter Miller and Aaron Smith. This was published by Airship27 just in time for PulpFest 2012. I’d written my first Ki-Gor story for Airship 27 several years ago. For one reason and another, that story--“The Moon of the Demon Men”--was eventually published by WildCat books in Ki-Gor: JungleLord in 2007. So, five years later, I finally have my first story in print with Airship 27. And the anthology performed well sales-wise, remaining in the Top 10 of the New Pulp Best Sellers list for several weeks, as compiled and reported each Monday by Barry Reese.

Speaking of PulpFest, I had a wonderful time. I renewed some acquaintances and met a lot more folks for the first time this year. I sat on a panel of adventure writers working in the New Pulp realm, and enjoyed the discussion and the audience's questions thoroughly. The pulp community is a warm and friendly place, and I encourage any pulp fan who hasn’t yet attended a pulp magazine convention to do so. The convention organizers--for PulpFest, Windy City, AdventureCon, DocCon and others--work hard to make sure the attendees have a great time, and the programming is always a lot of fun and informative.
The focus of this year’s PulpFest was particularly delightful: the centennial for two of Edgar Rice Burroughs' most famous creations, John Carter of Barsoom and Tarzan, and the 80th anniversary for the first appearance of Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

After PulpFest, I published two more eBooks. The first was Three Witches: An Adventure of El Tigre Azul. This gave me the opportunity to play in a world of humor and horror featuring a luchador enmascarado, a masked Mexican wrestler of the type seen in the films of El Santo and The Blue Demon. Filmed in the 1950s, ‘60s, and early ’70s, these movies pitted their masked heroes against witches, vampires, mummies--you name it--all between defending their titles in wrestling matches. I had a lot of fun writing this story, and the readers I’ve heard from have said they were entertained by it. It has sold more copies this year than any of my other releases, and it was published just in November.

The second eBook is a short story, The Dream Stalker. This mystery features a consulting investigator, Shalimar Bang, who operates in a slightly different reality than our own -- much as Spider-Man, Superman, and other heroes operate in a slightly different universe than the one in which we live. Shalimar's headquarters is on Alcatraz Island, and she takes on cases the regular authorities aren't quite able to tackle.vThis story first appeared in one of Tom Johnson’s neo-pulps in the 1990s. I’ve updated and expanded the story, and it’s intended to kick off a series of adventures about Shalimar.
I’d had two stories available exclusively at Amazon through its Kindle Select program, “Pretty Polly” and “A Quiet Night in the Dark inLaPlata, Missouri, 1942.” Although they had sold at least one or two copies each month of the year, I’d not seen any particular benefit to having these two stories remain limited to Kindle sales only. So I opened up a Smashwords account, and in December released them both there. I experimented with releasing “The Dream Stalker” separately through Kobo and Barnes & Noble, but Smashwords appeared to distribute the stories as quickly to those sites as Kobo and the Nook released the versions I published through those two sites. So I may just stick with Smashwords in the future for all non-Kindle releases. (By the way, the links to my books above go to Amazon for Kindle editions. You can find my work for all other eReaders at Smashwords by clicking here.)

I will say that compared to Amazon’s Kindle publishing site, B&N’s Nook publishing site, and Smashwords multi-platform site, Kobo’s site is about the easiest and user-friendliest when it comes to uploading and publishing an eBook.

I expanded my marketing position by adding a page to InterroBang that lists all my books and links to them at various sites; building an author page at Amazon and at Smashwords and at GoodReads.

Finally, I wrapped up the year by joining the gang of writers who will be contributing to Amazing Stories, the 21st Century incarnation of the first magazine that was dedicated solely to science fiction. I’m looking forward quite a bit to participating in this adventure.
This has been a year of building. I have a variety of stuff out there. While I had published a straightforward pulp-hero story (Ki-Gor) in a traditional print format, I also experimented with eBook publishing and played with pulp magazine history a bit (in “A Quiet Night,” wherein actual fictioneer Lester Dent met his house name doppelganger, Kenneth Robeson), launched an adventure heroine (Shalimar Bang), and delivered an action hero of a type no one else had yet developed in a prose narrative (El Tigre Azul in Three Witches).

Overall, I’m pleased with how 2012 turned out. What will 2013 bring? Stay tuned.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Amazing Stories to return

Amazing Stories, the world's first science fiction magazine, opens for Beta Testing of Phase 1 on Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Fifty+ Writers Sign On to provide genre-related content!

And I'm pleased to say I’ll be one of them.

On Wednesday, January 2, 2013, I will be joined by more than 50 other writers from around the blogosphere to help launch the Beta Test of Phase 1 of the return of Amazing Stories.

Amazing Stories was the world's first science fiction magazine.  Published by Hugo Gernsback, the Father of Science Fiction, the magazine created the genre's first home and was instrumental in helping to establish science fiction fandom – the fandom from which all other fandoms have evolved.

The magazine itself ceased publication in 2005; in 2008 the new publisher, Steve Davidson, discovered that the trademarks had lapsed and applied for them.  The marks were finally granted in 2011.

For me, this is all one of those Six Degrees of Separation experiences. Once upon a time I worked for a technical publishing start up, The Cobb Group, which was eventually purchased by William Ziff, Jr., heir to the Ziff-Davis publishing empire. Ziff-Davis had been the owner of Amazing Stories from 1938 to 1965.

Fellows I’d once worked with at The Cobb Group later started an internet-based publishing business,, where I worked as Content Director. And now, here I am, a blogger about pulps soon to be blogging for that first science fiction pulp magazine in its new incarnation: Amazing Stories. It might not be an exact circle, but I see the path as a sort of wobbly ellipse. Seen from the ecliptic.

Back to Amazing Stories:

Phase 1 introduces the social networking aspects of the site and the Blog Team: more than 50 authors, artists, collectors, editors, pod casters, designers and bloggers who will address 14 different subjects on a regular basis – SF, Fantasy & Horror literature, anime, gaming, film, television, the visual arts, audio works, the pulps, comics, fandom, science and publishing.

Those wishing to participate in the Beta Test should request an invite by emailing the publisher, Steve Davidson.

Steve’s launching the new Amazing Stories from the appropriately named Experimenter Publishing Company in Hillsboro, New Hampshire.
Visit the site! You'll find it here:



Friday, December 7, 2012

Price change to Three Witches

I don't know if anyone has yet figured out the "sweet spot" for eBook prices.

If there's an algebraic formula for this stuff that someone knows about, plese share. You know, the quadratic equation for ebook pricing.

Three Witches is the longest ebook I've released: it is 22K+ words. Short stories usually go for 99 cents -- and I've seen those be anywhere from 2000 words to 8000. I've seen a lot of novels for $3.99 -- stuff that is 30K words or more.

But -- to repeat myself -- it’s hard to find the sweet spot on pricing. After talking to some folks, and letting the particulars percolate in my head, I’ve decided to drop the price of Three Witches from $2.99 to $1.99.

But I don’t want to penalize readers who have bought Three Witches at the higher price.

So, I'm currently formatting my next ebook, a short story I hope to release in electronic form in the next week or so. It will be priced at 99 cents, and it features a different character, a consulting investigator, Shalimar Bang. In appreciation of the patronage of those folks who purchase my work, I'd like to send a free copy of this upcoming story to the readers who purchased Three Witches at the original price of $2.99.

If you have purchased Three Witches for $2.99, please email me a photo of your reading device with Three Witches open on it. And in return, I’ll send you a free copy of the new story, The Dream Stalker. To qualify to receive the free ebook, please send me the photo by Wednesday, December 12. You can send it to pulprack at gmail dot com. (Be sure to translate the email address appropriately so your photo will make it to me.) Be sure to let me know what format you want the story for: Kindle, Nook, PDF, whatever.

Again, thanks so much for purchasing Three Witches. I appreciate it, and I hope you'll be willing to post a review at whatever site you purchased the story from, or on GoodReads, or somewhere. I work hard to be professional in my writing -- I want my readers to feel they have gotten full value from what they've purchased. I see that as part of my goal as a narrative entertainer. Certainly, that's what I want when I purchase a book. That's why, if I like one book by an author, I'll seek out another one by the same writer.
I look forward to getting your photo!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bibliography page

I hope you each had a great Thanksgiving, that you were able to share some time with someone you love, that your team(s) wom, and that you had the opportunity to think about what you may be thankful for.

I got to enjoy some quality time with family, walk around in some great weather, read a bit, watch some football, watch some basketball, and do some writing.

I also read Volume 1 of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman. Wow. I think that's the most enjoyable Superman stories I've read since Jack Kirby got to play around with the Jimmy Olsen universe. It was fun to read. You can read my post about it over at The PulpRack.

Meanwhile . . . Did I mention that I built a Bibliography page for InterroBang?

It lists my work that's available from the usual and other online sources--stories and articles in books, magazines, ebooks, and all that other et cetera stuff.

I'm sure there's a way to put a standing link on this page. I just have to figger it out.

Until then, you can find it here:

Bibliography page.

I update it as new links come up for existing items or as new items become available.

Thanks for your patronage!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Three Witches now available on Kobo

Three Witches: An Adventure of El Tigre Azul is now also available for the Kobo eReader.

Actually, it was available for the Kobo before, from SmashWords, but now you can find it at the Kobo site for download there.

That means you can now find Three Witches here . . .

Amazon Kindle: click here
SmashWords: click here
Kobo: click here

My first two stories in eBook form, Pretty Polly and A Quiet Night in the Dark in LaPlata, Missouri, 1942, are still available only from Amazon for the Kindle. I had signed them up for the Kindle Select program, but I haven't seen any economic advantage in doing so for the past several months. To make Three Witches more widely available (because the Kindle Select program requires a book to be available only for Kindle), I decided to publish Three Witches directly to Kindle and through Smashwords, which provides a single point for distributing to a wide range of eReaders: Kobo, Apple, Blio, Barnes & Noble's Nook, Diesel, and Sony's eReader, among others.

Although Smashwords made the story available very quickly -- a day earlier, in fact, than Kindle -- the wait for Three Witches' appearance on other sites has been a slow one. For example, I uploaded the file to Smashwords on November 4. I've been checking every other day or so since then, and only today (November 16) have I found Three Witches on the KoboBooks site.

No sign of it yet on Barnes & Noble's site, or on the other eReader sites I mentioned.

While uploading to a single clearing house (Smashwords) is convenient, I may upload any subsequent books directly to the Nook and Kobo sites, as well as to the Kindle and Smashwords sites, to see if going live on those directly published sites occurs any more quickly.

Meanwhile, I'm in the process of formatting the next story I'll be publishing in eBook format: The Dream Stalker. I'm also writing new chapters for Space Detective, the novel I'm creating with Marvel Comics artist Mike Fyles.

I'll continue to post updates about Three Witches being released on more eReader sites.

Your continued patronage is greatly appreciated!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Three Witches: new eBook now available

My newest story, Three Witches: An Adventure of El Tigre Azul, is now available as an eBook and ready to download. The cover scan, which accompanies this post, was designed by the very talented Anthony Schiavino, former designer for Tor Books and all-around nice guy.

El Tigre Azul -- The Blue Tiger -- is a luchador, a masked Mexican wrestler (Mexican Luchador enmascarado) in the mold of El Santo (The Saint) and Blue Demon, famous actual wrestlers who starred in a series of films in which they battled a variety of monsters.

Written in a hard-boiled style that combines humor and horror, Three Witches pits El Tigre against a variety of human and supernatural monsters. Of course, there is one person El Tigre cannot defeat: his aunt.

Three Witches includes an interview with me. I've decided to include extras beyond just the story in the eBooks I produce, so readers get a little something extra.

Currently Three Witches is available from Amazon, which you can reach by clicking here . . .

. . . and at Smashwords, which you can reach by clicking here . . .

It hasn't yet rolled out at Barnes & Noble for the Nook, nor for Kobo at When it appears at those venues, I'll be sure to spread the word.

Now, back to work . . .

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Something new is on the way.

Which is as it should be.

I've been tied up with lots of obligations the past two months. Work and other duties for which I volunteer lots of time. I haven't updated activities here in several weeks. Writing has taken a back seat.

That can be exasperating, but sometimes that's just the way it has to be.

However, that's about to change in the near future.

I'll soon be announcing the release of a new eBook. I sincerely hope the announcement is ready to post in the next two or three days.

I also have some other gigs in the works that I can't yet discuss in public. But as soon as I can let the words slip, I'll let you know here.

Meanwhile, I'll let you in on a little clue about the new eBook that's on the way:

We recently celebrated Halloween, All Souls Day, and Dia de los Muertos. I'll just say that it all fits in with the subject matter of the story.

More to come . . .

Friday, August 31, 2012

Moving slowly in the fast lane

There are a number of things I wanted to wrap up before August flew into September. But looking over the past 30 days, I think I've been on the road more days than I've been home.

Still, quite a bit happened: I attended PulpFest, the family and I had a short vacation, I traveled for work, and just during the past week, I've accomplished a number of things.

The boys and I took in the Samurai exhibit at the Frazier History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. This was really an excellent exhibit on arms and armor and Samuari culture. All that info will be very helpful for a story I'm working on.

I also wrapped up a 3000+ word essay for The Big Book of Bronze # 5. Jay Ryan compiles this Doc Savage-focused fanzine annually, publishing it to coincide with the Arizona Doc Con.

Plus, I submited a contribution to the 100th mailing of PEAPS, the Pulp Era Amateur Press Society. For 25 years PEAPS mailings have gone out quarterly, with contributions covering scholarly reviews of pulp magazine authors or works, or bibliographic topics, reviews of recently read pulp-related books, reports on pulp conventions, and on and on. A sample of a PEAPS contribution from 2003, Warren Harris' Back Numbers Can Be Easily Procured, can be viewed at by clicking here. My contributions, when I was an official PEAPS member, were titled T'rilling Action, conflating Doc Savage's idiosyncratic response to a mystery (trilling); the word Thrilling from the titles of a series of magazines known as "the Thrilling group" (Thrilling Adventures, Thrilling Baseball, Thrilling Detective, Thrilling Football, Thrilling Love [!], Thrilling Ranch Stories, etc.) published by Standard Magazines; and the word Action, which was used in the title of many pulp magazines, including Action Stories, Action Adventure Stories, Action Detective Magazine, Action Novels, Action-Packed Western, and so on.

I'd intending completing the draft of Three Witches, a short novel, by Friday. Didn't happen; but this week I did complete the two big battles that form the climax of the story. I need to write out the denouement, which may result in another thousand words or so, and then I'll set to revising and tweaking. I plan to release Three Witches as an eBook, and I've already prepared the typography for the cover. Once I start revising, I'll also get the cover art into shape, lining up each step to get Three Witches closer to publication.

When Three Witches moves into the revision stage, I'll jump back to finishing the novel I'm doing with artist Mike Fyles, Space Detective. (Mike's art at the top of this post is a sample of what he's been doing on this project. I think his stuff is just dynamite. And really, what's not to love about a Studebaker?) This, really, is long overdue. But taking a break from it has recharged my batteries to complete that novel-length story.

Last but not least, I've been kicking around emails with Jim Beard, author the The World's First Captain Action Novel, Riddle of the Glowing Men. We've been building a world and characters for a series of stories that should prove to be a lot of fun. Jim anticipates we'll have this ready by late 2013. It's good to know there's always more fun and excitement ahead--it makes the work go much more easily!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Jungle Tales Volume 1 back on the Best Seller List!

Jungle Tales Vol. 1, which includes my long Ki-Gor story, "The Devil's Nest," is back on Barry Reese's New Pulp Best Seller List for this week.

Have you bopped over to Amazon for your copy yet? You can find out more about it by clicking here.

And if you've read the book already, why not post a review on the Amazon site?

And, last but not least, a hearty "thank you!" to Barry Reese for plugging this InterroBang blog on his blog.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PulpFest is on the way!

PulpFest is quickly approaching. It's a great convention, which grew out of the original pulp convention, PulpCon.

I'll be at PulpFest this year with a stack of Jungle Tales Volume 1 and a stack of Where Legends Ride, the anthology published by Express Westerns that includes my story, "Pretty Polly." But the main point is to reconnect with friends and talk about pulp magazines, old movies, illustrators and cover painters, and a whole argosy of topics related to popular fiction and the great magazines in which it appeared.

Pulp fan Walker Martin describes the wonder that is PulpFest in a short passage that's better than I could manage:

August 9 through August 12 in Columbus Ohio (  If you love old magazines, vintage paperbacks, pulp reprints, artwork, then you have to attend.  The evening panels are amazing, probably the best I've ever read about in all the years I've been going to Pulpcon.

This convention is not to be missed if you are crazy about back issues of SF, detective, western, hero, and adventure pulps.  Hell, I know what I'm talking about.  I've been going to pulp shows since 1972.  I'm basically a reader, 24/7 and I would not waste my time attending if it was not a special and necessary event.  If it was the usual SF convention nonsense that they hold nowadays, I would say stay home and read a good book!

But fellow readers and collectors, this is heaven for a reader and collector.  Over a hundred tables, a great hotel, great friends, and interesting panels.

You can learn more about PulpFest by clicking here.

As Walker says, " A summer event not to be missed!"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jungle Tales Vol. 1 in print and performing well

My first story for Airship 27 has enjoyed a nice launch!

"The Devil's Nest" is a Ki-Gor story published in Jungle Tales Volume 1, which is now available as a print edition from Amazon.  (Click here for more info.) It arrived in print format just about one month ago.

According to Barry Reese's informative New Pulp Best Seller List, the anthology--which also features stories by Aaron Smith and W. Peter Miller -- debuted at Number 5 on the top 10 list for June 25.  It's dropped off the list one week since that time and now, but Barry's most recent list (for July 23) has Jungle Tales hanging on at the 10 spot. I think that's pretty good, considering the competition, which includes a new Hard Case Crime release (False Negative by Joseph Koenig) and the most recent Doc Savage adventure (The Infernal Buddha) penned by Will Murray.

Part of the appeal of this Ki-Gor collection is, I think, the Tarzan Centennial. Pulp fans are in the mood for some fresh jungle action, I think. Dinosaurs and jungle action--what's not to like?

By the way, the dandy black-and-white illo accompanying this post is by Kelly Everaert, who provided the very nice interior illustrations for the book.

I have some other Ki-Gor projects in the works. I'll let you know when the news is ripe.

Many thanks to those who have bought and read Jungle Tales Volume 1!

Monday, June 25, 2012

My new Ki-Gor adventure in Jungle Tales Volume 1

I'm contributing to this year's Tarzan Centennial with a novella in a new anthology: Jungle Tales, Volume 1, from new pulp publisher Airship 27, features three stories about popular jungle hero Ki-Gor. My story, "The Devil's Nest," finds our hero searching for a lost American heir, encoutering a lost tribe of warriors, and battling a squad of mercenaries hunting down the lost gold mines of Ophir, the source of King Solomon's gold.

This action-packed anthology also features stories by Aaron Smith and Peter Miller, a bold painted cover by  Bryan Fowler, and interior illustrations by Kelly Everaert. The eBook version currently is available from Airship 27's Hangar, which you can reach this URL:

A print version will soon be available.

Find out more at The Pulp Rack:

- Duane

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy Flapper Friday doodle

I know it's not Friday yet, but tomorrow more than half the town will be taking off the day for Oaks Day at Churchill Downs. So I'm getting a jump on things. A happy partier seems appropriate for the weekend festivities tied to the big horse race, so that's today's doodle.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Harry Crews, author of ‘Feast of Snakes’ and ‘The Knockout Artist’, dead at 76

Marvelous writer of gritty, no-frills Southern fiction from the hard-scrabble griddle of the down and out.

Harry Crews, author of ‘Feast of Snakes’ and ‘The Knockout Artist’, dead at 76

Read more: