Monday, December 28, 2015


Doesn't this Doug Klauba cover just blow you away?

Find it HERE

Now look at that list of contributors. Yeah, I'm in there.

Now let me tell you a tale about this big & important book...

Now and then, someone does something special for you, by offering a hand up the ladder. That happened to me some years back when Tommy Hancock of (then) fledgling Pro Se Press accepted both of my short story samples for his company's inaugural magazines. I was an unknown and unpublished author at the time, and so he went solely on gut instinct and the strength of what I had sent him. He must have seen something in there, because not only did those two stories finally get published but he began needling me about coming up with a novel. Oh I had one, but it was far too long, so I split it up in thirds, sent him a proposal, and we were off to the races. I currently have 6 Pro Se novels or novel-length anthologies in print or on various devices, two books I authored or co-authored in a children's series as well, and numerous short stories in various multi-author anthologies or Pro Se magazines. Believe me, there's more on the way as I write this. Through the intervening years I also did some editing for Pro Se. I proved prolific enough as an author that I was awarded my own author imprint—something I would never have dreamed of happening. 

Along the way, I've been picked up by several other publishers and I've made some dedicated fans who purposely seek me out for my work. Not bad for 5-1/2 years of consistent writing. Yay me... 

I am eternally grateful for that opportunity to do what I love and see it become a reality, and I never forget that first time I saw my name on a cover. The hard work and dedication was my own, but there had to be someone who thought I had something worth sharing on his dime to give me that boost. Tommy Hancock did that for me.

I'm sure there are a lot of similar Tommy Hancock stories, because Tommy is just one of those people who thrives on making things happen. Which is why when things began to get tough for him, there was a great outpouring of support. Hey—he's one of our own, and usually one of the first out of the trenches to take on the latest challenge.

The bigger story here is how wonderfully supportive the indie publishing companies that deal with New Pulp and action/adventure style genre fiction have become. While we are all competitors in a small but gradually growing community of fans, there is always a sense of camaraderie among us. This is about the tightest group of creators I have encountered in the 26 or so years I've been banging out stories. You could argue that the internet with it's social networking sites is the reason for it, and that's partially true—it has at least become the medium for bringing like-minded people together in the first place. But more than that is going on here, because I've belonged to other writer's groups online and I never felt this welling of true affection. We are a band of brothers and sisters of the swashbuckling pen. If one of us hurts, we all bleed.

This book I'm going to tell you about is a perfect example of that.

Now and then, we're all handed a chance to give back. That came this year, when our Tommy ran into some serious health challenges that led to financial difficulties. These were big things that are life changing and result in high medical expenses and no outside employment. This is something we all know could happen to any one of us, and it's probably our greatest fear. As much as we love writing and putting out great volumes of fiction, that's the first thing that gets set aside when financial difficulties strike. It's a wonderful craft, but down here at the indie level, not always very lucrative. For most of us, the day job or whatever other means of support we have are financing the writing career, which is a labor of love no matter what the circumstances.

Now Tommy Hancock is one of the big movers and shakers of the group, and he's a well-loved guy. Within mere days of notifying us, a benefit anthology was proposed and most of us who know and have worked with him gladly signed on, while Ron Fortier of Airship 27—a competing publisher no less—agreed to publish it with all proceeds going to Tommy for his medical bills. If that doesn't say something about friendship and respect for one's own peers, I don't know what does. 

The amazing thing here too is the incredible response, with an overwhelming amount of creators of both the written word and art devoting some of their time and talent to the project. Every story within has an associated piece of black and white illustration, which is an Airship 27 signature feature. Short story or artwork—all show the same generous donation of skills that could have been working on something more personally lucrative. Nobody even gave it a second thought. It was for Tommy after all...

In a long run, this was for us too. "Us" in the community sense, where we do what we can to support one another because therefore but for fortune go you or I. "Us" as in we are an army of people throwing high action and thrilling adventure stories at the world, and Tommy has been one of our generals for as long as many of us have been in the battle to have our stories read and enjoyed.

Now that you've seen the wonderful cover art and read my version of how it came to be, please read the press releases below. Then consider picking up a copy because this is an amazing book as well as a great example of a community helping one of its own. My understanding is it has been released on Kindle, and will eventually be also be offered as a 40 hour length audiobook. So there will be a little something here for every taste!

Make sure you look for it HERE on Amazon as well. And if you really enjoy it, please leave a review, so that other folks can find it and enjoy it too. Tell them Tommy Hancock sent you to the front.