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The Spur--Coming From WCB!
Mark Ellis
post Aug 3 2011, 12:03 PM
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Since Ron Hanna posted the news on his FB page, I guess I might as well follow suit here...

The Spur will be published by the very well-known and highly regarded purveyour of modern pulp, Wild Cat Books.

Although the initial agreement is for three loosely connected books (I guess that would fit the definition of a trilogy), The Spur is designed as an ongoing series.

More details later...from me and on the Wild Cat Books site!

Both Ron and I are major psyched!



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Ron Fortier
post Aug 3 2011, 03:20 PM
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Look forward to reading these, Mark. Congratulations again. I ran into Ron Hanna while at Pulp Fest, but for whatever reason he chose not to make this public until after he got home on Facebook? Oh well, to each his own.
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Mark Ellis
post Aug 4 2011, 06:23 AM
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QUOTE (Ron Fortier @ Aug 3 2011, 05:20 PM) *
Look forward to reading these, Mark. Congratulations again. I ran into Ron Hanna while at Pulp Fest, but for whatever reason he chose not to make this public until after he got home on Facebook? Oh well, to each his own.


I'm not sure. I have the impression Ron H. was weighing the number of projects in the hopper and finalizing a schedule.

But WCB is very enthusiastic about The Spur...as I obviously am.

It's interesting that more time has passed since the dawn of the so-called paperback men's genre (The Executioner #1, 1969) than passed since the beginning of the pulp age (which I sort of arbitrarily date to the first issue of The Shadow) before there were revival attempts.

The pulps had barely been gone a decade before Bantam started the Doc Savage reprint program which jump-started similar things from a host of other publishers.

I haven't seen much in the way of a men's adventure revival...maybe because it's still too recent and the books aren't that hard to find.

The Spur is far closer in tone to the men's adventure genre than the space-adventure pulps...the setting is a bit more raw, the violence more graphic and sex scenes--although not obligatory--are a little more descriptive. Also, the science-fiction elements are rooted more in actual science.

I'm bringing everything I learned--and even created--from all of my years of writing as James Axler...and which made Outlanders one of the most successful mass market paperback series of the last 20 years.

One of those things are the comic story-telling techniques I brought to Outlanders...I stll remember how the former Gold Eagle executive editor reacted so negatively when I told him that...even though going by their old model (where every writer was expected to emulate Don Pendleton) Gold Eagle had far more flops with new series than successes.

I maintain to this day that bringing comic story-telling techniques to prose is one of the reasons that Outlanders has lasted so long.

The Spur will reflect all of that as well.

The first novel in the series is titled Rio Diablo.


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Ron Fortier
post Aug 4 2011, 07:43 AM
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Thanks for the insights here, Mark. Fascinating, and yeah, I'd like to think my own script writing experiences over the early years of my own career did help with my approach to prose narratives.
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Mark Ellis
post Aug 5 2011, 01:35 PM
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Kinda funny...during the decade plus when I was totally out of the comics field, a few novelists of my acquaintance acted like the whole thing was an embarrassing ghetto from which I had escaped under the cover of darkness. I was cautioned by one of them never to cite my comics work as legitimate credentials.

Then when the traditional publishing industry suffered its major crash-and-burn (December 6th, 2008, hereinafter known as "Black Wednesday"), I started receiving queries from a couple of those selfsame folks wanting to know how to either break into comics or write graphic novels.

This post has been edited by Mark Ellis: Aug 5 2011, 01:36 PM


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cougar18
post Aug 5 2011, 08:00 PM
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QUOTE (Mark Ellis @ Aug 5 2011, 02:35 PM) *
Kinda funny...during the decade plus when I was totally out of the comics field, a few novelists of my acquaintance acted like the whole thing was an embarrassing ghetto from which I had escaped under the cover of darkness. I was cautioned by one of them never to cite my comics work as legitimate credentials.

Then when the traditional publishing industry suffered its major crash-and-burn (December 6th, 2008, hereinafter known as "Black Wednesday"), I started receiving queries from a couple of those selfsame folks wanting to know how to either break into comics or write graphic novels.


Seems like alot of mediums get the same bashing, until things go south. Comics used to be the uncool thing, now they are the bees knees. Movies used to look down on video games, then they wanted a piece of the action when they saw how well they sold. They then wanted more of the action when the releases of video games started to over shadow the movies, as when Halo 3 was blamed for the poor showing of certain movies that opened on the same weekend as the game was released. Next thing you know, Hollywood actors and directors are getting involved in the gaming market.

Similar to how TV used to be for the 'B lister' actor, yet when shows like The Sopranos started getting more attention than the movies, Hollywood started getting more involved. Now the only time a star is said to hit rock bottom is when they do reality TV such as one of those rehab/ getfit programs.
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Mark Ellis
post Aug 6 2011, 08:33 AM
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QUOTE (cougar18 @ Aug 5 2011, 10:00 PM) *
Comics used to be the uncool thing, now they are the bees knees.


It's also a combination of ignorance, arrogance and flat-out lazy thinking.

A few months before the release of my first Outlanders novel, Exile to Hell, I suggested to the-then Gold Eagle executive editor that he should consider having a presence at that year's SDCC.

After all, Harlequin imprints were always represented by editors at the RWA and even their Raven House mystery reprint series were pushed at conventions like Bouchercon.

When I mentioned the SDCC, the editor uttered a patronizing laugh: "That's not our audience."

Oh, I see...an imprint that publishes not one but three series about Mack Bolan, a character who served as the direct inspiration for The Punisher, an imprint that publishes the ongoing adventures of Remo and Chuin (who had two spin-off comic series publsihed by Marvel), and two novel series featuring a post-nuke setting with lots of mutants, explosions and even aliens (sort of)...

Nah, there's no audience for that kind of output at the SDCC!

Ten years later, when a new head of marketing took over, one of the first things Gold Eagle did was buy booth space at the SDCC.

Of course, no Gold Eagle writers were flown to the SDCC so they could autograph books...the travel budget was all eaten up by shipping secretaries from Toronto to San Diego.

(Yeah...that generated some fan excitement..."I hear she brings spread-sheets to accounting!")

At any rate...you get the idea.

This post has been edited by Mark Ellis: Aug 6 2011, 09:22 AM


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