Item: Blood Creek has been purhased for large print.
Item: Artist extraordinaire Tom Floyd has been assigned to Howard's widescreen original Spider comic book, The Strange Case of the Spider and Mr. Hyde.
Item: The next book in The Nightmare Club series, #2, is tentatively titled The Deadly Dragon. Work progresses on the second Chloe Files novel, Sliver of Darkness, and the conclusion of Chloe's short story, The Trouble with Flappers. Work has also started on a new western, as yet untitled, and the beginning chapters of Moon Girls.
Item: Howard has recently completed five covers for Books We Love Kindle projects. See his gallery page for a sneak peak of the books.
Item: The Devil's Rider by Lance Howard now available from AmazonUK.
Item: Howard's werewolf western short story, Night f the Crimson Moon now available in Weird Western Tales from Wildcat Books.
Item: Howard has been contracted by Moonstone Books to write a new widescreen comic book featuring The Spider, that bloody 1930s pulp hero. His story is tentatively titled The Strange Case of The Spider and Mr. Hyde.
Item: The Avenger Chronicles from Moonstone, on which Howard was coeditor, contributed two stories and the introduction, is now in prepress and should be available shortly.
Item: The Chole Files #2 is in progress and is called Sliver of Darkness.
Item: Signed copies of Ladigan now available from the author for $12pp. Please use the Paypal button above for easy ordering.
Item: My history of The Avenger, The Gray Nemesis is now available in paperback from Golden Perils Press.
Item: The Chloe Files first novel, ASHES TO ASHES, is now available.
Item: The Spider graphic novel art has been approved and is half finished.
Item: The first draught of a new Western, Coyote Deadly is finished and galleys are corrected for my April Black Horse Western rlease, Blood Creek.
Item: Moonstone has hired Howard to write the graphic novel adaptaion of The Spider: The Devil's Paymaster. The script is finished and approved. Artwork by Gary Carbon looks excellent and is pinated in a beautiful noir style.
Howard, along with author Martin Powell, has also been asked to consult on Moonstone's upcoming Avenger/Spider/Dracula crossoover graphic novel.
The Chloe Files and Howard's Dark Bits blog are updated weekly, so keep an eye out for new entries! Email and reader subscriptions are now avaiable. Links are available on the man page of this site. Look for the first book in The Chloe Files comming soon.
Also look for changes on the main website. Over time I'll be including individual pages for all horror books and a special western page.
Express Westerns has released its first short story anthology, which includes Howard's The Ballad of Jesse Barnett, a tale written especially to bring attention to spousal abuse. Check out the website at www.expresswesterns.com The book, Where Legends Ride, is available from Amazon, Barnes and through booksellers.
Item: Howard is now officially the co-editor on Moonstone's upcoming short story anthology, The Avenger Chronicles. This volume features tales of The Avenger, the greatest crime-fighter of the 1940s. Howard has also contributed a story and the book's introduction. It is scheduled for a March release and features a new coveer painting by original Avenger paperback artist Peter Caras.
Item: Thee Devil's Rider has been accepted.
Item: Galleys for December's Desolation Pass are finished.
Item: Haunted Pass is now available from AmazonUK. A cover and excerpt have been added to the main page.
Item: I have been asked to write the introduction to Moonstone's upcoming antho for The Avenger. I am very excited about this, as he is one of my all-time favorite pulp heroes, second only to Doc Savage.
Item: I have been accepted to the Amazon shorts program. The first will be a separate Chloe Files story called The Trouble with Flappers in which Chloe investigates murder and supernatural mayhem at a deserted mansion where she steps back tot he 1920s. It will retail for 49 cents on Amazon.
Item: The Dark Riders now available at Amazon.com, AmazonUK.
Item: A while back I wrote a script for a horror comic book based on a short story of mine in Dark Harbors called Strangler. It was made into a DVD mini movie and now rapper Tybru has turned the story into a rap song and I hope y'all will give it a listen. You can hear my name come up near the end http://www.mediafire.com/?9ofbdiywd1g
Item: Poison Pass sells to paperback
Item: Work begun on new western, The Devil's Rider
Item: New masthead and contest banner added to main page.
Item: Chloe Files Part 5 now up.
Item: Nightmare Pass has sold to large print trade paperback.
Item: Pistolero now available from Amazon
Item: Part 2 of The Chloe Files now up
Item: The Chloe Files--what happened after the events chronicled in GRIMM? Find out in The Chloe Files, the ongoing supernatural adventures of Chloe Everson. I encourage anyone who enjoys them to add a link to their page (they are set up for RSS, too).
Item: Moondancer is now a free short story (PDF). Download it now on my main page!
Item: All ebooks are now available in trade paperback from the Golden Perils Press online store at www.lulu.com/goldenperils These are completely revised, reset. Dark Harbors, Night Demons, Grimm and The Nightmare Club are also on sale at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble online.
Item: Blood Creek, the 28th Lance Howard western, has been accepted for publication.
Item: The Spider Chronicles, which contains my tale along with others such as John Jakes, is now available.
Item: I have placed tales in future anthologies for The Avenger, Captain Midnight and The Ghost.
Item: Nightmare Pass is now out and available from www.amazon.co.uk. I've posted the cover to my mail page and it's very appropriate to the story.
Item: Edits are done for my upcoming Spider tale, Death Reign of the Zombie Queen, in the Moonstone antho (amazon.com, bn.com), which comes out in Jan. I have seen the artwork that goes along with the tales and it is very very nice. I've done an interview for The Pulse comic news site about it too, also out in Jan.
Item: I've taken the plunge and set up a My Space page (www.myspace.com/yingko2). It was rather confusing but I finally got it set and will be doing my blog there in the future (The news will stay right here). I also experimented with two trailers, one for my westerns and one for my horror novels. They are dumbed down for quicker downloading and a bit crude, but I hope to have better ones up there at some point. Please stop by and take a look.
Item: On the same note I've also created a page at www.comicspace.com/yinko2 This is a gathering of comic book writers, artists and fans.
Item: Research is ongoing for a novel set in the 1920s. This one will be more of an adventure novel with supernatural overtones, not a western.
Item: I've completed an interview with Black Horse Western author Link Hullar to appear on our www.blackhorsewesterns.org site. If you haven't checked out this site yet, please do. You can win copies of free books (currently my Nightmare Pass, also open on my main page).
Item: I want to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and Merry Christmas. May your dreams come true and may you not get caught living them!
Item: Desolation Pass has been accepted.
Item: Students of the Unusual Giant Sized Extra Credit Issue #1 comic book is now available in comic shops (or orderable through) and includes my horror short story Strangler (art by Joel Rivers). The mag comes with a DVD that includes a mini movie of my tale.
Item: The All About Muse holiday antho of shrt stories called The Holiday Mixer is now available and includes my Christ tale of holiday cheer and murder! (http://www.haypennypress.com/)
Item: Please take a mosey on over too our new Black Horse Express site. Ian Parnham and I have spent the past couple months completely revamping the site. I designed all new graphics for it and it will be updated with new articles, tidbits and news every month! Please feel free to wander through its pages, enter the free book contest and enjoy!
11/12/03 Gold in Them Thar Moors...
Remember the days when action was king and nothing stood between a man and his horse except a saddle?
Recollect the times when the hero wore a white Stetson and soiled doves had hearts of tarnished gold?
Recall an era of blazing fiction when a knockdown, drag-out saloon brawl proved might was right and justice came at the smoking barrel of a Colt Peacemaker or a members-only neck tie party?
If you're a fan of the western pulps you durn sure do. For ten cents readers could saddle up a stallion, down bottomless glasses of redeye and cavort with the prettiest fillies this side of Dodge. Playing poker with Wild Bill or ridin' the written range with Buffalo Bill Cody, the only limits were imagination and Liberty dimes.
Those were the days. The Wild West. The Mythical West. Brimming with legend and crackling with tall tales told 'round the fire. Men were men, women were courted, and you dang sure knew who the bad guys were. By the end of the tale you could count on that desperado getting his, usually by hanging from hemp or riddled with .45 slugs.
If you are a pulp western fan you might also pine for the days when you could walk to the local newsstand and select the latest Wild West or even Spicy Western Stories Magazine. Sadly, those brittle paeans to six-gun sovereignty no longer exist.
Most modern westerns are a trail apart from those halcyon days of dust and danger. In fact, many are slapped with the Historical genre label as publishers' marketing departments try to pretend the western is deader than Wild Bill himself. But for fans of the horse opera a handful of modern writers seek to carry on the tradition, at least in spirit, while bending the literary horseshoe to the modern publishing requirements. Peter Brandvold, Ralph Cotton and a passel of others still pen tales of the Old West that hark back to the myth and pulp. Admittedly, the market appears minuscule at times, especially if you walk into a local Borders or Barnes & Noble in the North East, where I live, but rest assured they are out there if you search hard enough. Online ordering from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com have made it easier to locate these novels, as have a few specialty online western stores.
A couple sites that may surprise most western fans are AmazonUK and WHSmith, two British booksellers. You might wonder exactly what the Brits have to do with westerns, and rightly so. The answer may come as a pleasant discovery.
Two British companies -- one, a hardcover publisher named Robert Hale, Ltd. (these books are actually called "paperboards" and are small collectible hardcovers with colorful pulplike covers) and the other, a large print trade paperback company called Ulverscroft -- publish a monthly selection of old-fashioned westerns that come as close to the grand pulp days as you are likely to find. I know because I write for them under the penname Lance Howard.
Hale's imprint is called Black Horse Westerns (Ulverscroft's are called the Linford Western Library and Magna Dales Western Library) and they have been churning out 10 to 12 shoot 'em ups a month for over 30 years. The books focus on the mythical west: gunfights, jangling spurs, sateen bodices with bulging bosoms -- you name it, chances are a Hale western has it. The writing spans the range from passable to excellent, much the way pulp writing did. The flavor is dust and it goes down jest fine with Old Orchard.
For the record, my 18th -- The Silver Mine Spook -- saw print in February 2003, and is a direct homage to the old pulp tales that mixes the West with two fingers of spooky goings-on in a supposedly haunted saloon. A number of my tales involve such scenarios, influenced by a dash of Doc Savage, an ounce of Gunsmoke and maybe even a jigger of Scooby Doo. Heroes are distinct, whores might even have a few morals left, and good usually triumphs. My novel The West Wolf probably has the most pulplike cover in recent memory and, with little reworking, could easily have been interchanged with Doc Savage.
The cost to ship the westerns through AmazonUK, oddly enough, is no more expensive than getting the titles Barnes and Noble has available for the U.S. In fact, it is often cheaper, as exchange rates fluctuate. While I unabashedly suggest running an AmazonUK search for Lance Howard, try running Black Horse Westerns, then browse through the books that come up. Black Horse is carrying on the pulp tradition, with a minimal of modern intrusion. Give them a try! I think you'll enjoy them.
Reprinted and updated from The Pulp Rack website
"I don't read Westerns!"
I get that a lot. Many folks who don't read Westerns have a certain perception of the genre--cowboys with six-shooters, high noon and "howdy Pardner" dialog. And to an extent they are right. Not that there's anything wrong with the trappings associated with the traditional Western. Just the same way the mystery has its detective, the horror story its monster, the romance its happy-ever-after, the western holds true to certain restrictions and ornaments. Yet within these trappings there's room for an incredible diversity of character and topicality. The western is a-changin', pards! At its best you'll find grand tales of the indomitable human spirit, explorations of the soul and emotions that are relevant even today. Perhaps even more so because there are lessons to be taken from the past and the pioneers who made this country, their fortitude and seemingly limitless strength.
Even in the traditional Western, what we call the "Mythical West", you find heroes and escapism, comfort from the everyday realities and drudgery of existence. There's nothing wrong with that, and, in fact, there's something downright, well, "right" with it. Sometimes we need heroes. Ever found yourself depressed or discouraged over the day's news reports, stories of war and strife, famine and hardship--the myriad blights that plague humankind? Sick of it? Read a western and get away from it for a spell. It helps. Being bombarded with sorrow and bad news everyday plays hell with our emotions and psyches, so as the saying goes: "You deserve a break today." Reading is an excellent way to take that break, Westerns a wnderful way to release the tension and believe in the "myth."
Witness a recent rebirth of the Western on screen, big and little. The Peacemakers, a crossover mystery/western drew the USA Network's second highest ratings for a premier (behind their horror series The Dead Zone) and beat out even network programing in the time period. A recent Tom Selleck Western on TNT garnered big ratings. Even the pitiful recent Lone Ranger movie on Fox did very well and Hollywood has more Westerns on tap. Do folks want a heroic genre? Do they need it? I sure do. That's why I write it. And that's why I recommend giving it a try. There is something for everyone, whether you want people stories, hero stories, historical adventure or epic struggle and perseverance.
My own westerns run the gamut. The more traditional "shoot 'em ups" that appear under my Lance Howard name are generally focused on the mythical west, yet I work very hard to develop characters modern readers will find engaging and root for and identify with. They cross traditional Western boundaries often--with hints of the macabre and dollops of mystery, yet I strive to touch on issues that affect us today: spousal abuse in The West Wolf, alcoholism in The Last Draw. And the feelings of isolation and loneliness certain characters face I feel reflect what many people struggle with day to day. But they also show there is hope. Other westerns I have written under my own name are a bit darker, more mixed with horror and mystery; for those who think the western is all about gunfights you may be (pleasantly, I hope) surprised to find vampires and Jack the Ripper type killers (The Dark Riders and Pistolero).
You don't read Westerns? Maybe it's time to give them another try? I hope you will and I hope you'll enjoy them. There's more gold in them thar books than you might think!
When I meet fans or tell folks I am a writer usually the first question I get is: "Where do you get your ideas?" I think every writer has to answer this but the problem is ideas are so indefinable and elusive they seem to come from nowhere, yet everywhere. I guess I could say, "Well, most of my ideas come from IdeaMart. It's a bit like WalMart and you get usually get them ten to a pack, heavily discounted." Some who have read my work might even think that's the real answer! Hmmm... But the turth is, ideas are everywhere, in anything that inspires you or in whatever arouses some emotion within. Take music, for example. Many of my ideas are inspired by song titles, or a piece of lyric (ofttimes misheard) in a particular tune. I have found entire novels have sprung right from one line in a song. For instance, I have a short story called Cassandra in my Dark Harbors Horror/Fantasy anthology. Most folks automatically think of the mythological figure who predicted things people refused to believe. In a way they'd be right, but indirectly. It actually came from an more obscure ABBA song by the same title (which was loosely based on the myth gal, hence the indirect link). The story is a modern horror twist on the old myth, but it sprang from a song title, because at the time I actually had not read the myth. The same is true of another tale in that book called The Fisherman. It was originally a George Baker Selection song (a Dutch group Americans may only be familiar with through the songs Paloma Blanca and Little Green Bag).
The moral to the story? If you are looking for ideas--don't look. Let them come. Listen to your favorite music and be open to inspiration!
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