Once again its time to strap in to your seat belts and rev up your props, as Lance Star – Sky Ranger returns with another heaping of all out action, adventure thrills and spills high up in the wild blue yonder. And this time he’s accompanied by a handful of pulpdom’s greatest aviation heroes to include, The Griffon, The Three Mosquitos, and the undisputed Commander of the Clouds, America’s # 1 action ace, Captain Midnight!
Writers Bobby Nash, Van Allen Plexico, Aaron Smith and David Walker pull out all the stops to bring you five pulse pounding tales of brave men and their flying machines as they fight our countries deadliest foes both at home and abroad. Here, for the first time, is the origin of Captain James Charles Albright and the mission from which he would become known forever as Captain Midnight. This volume contains a brief history of all these classic pulp fliers, interior illustrations by Rob Davis and a stunning cover by Shane Evans, Lance Star – Sky Ranger Vol.Two is the high diving collection pulp fans have been waiting for. Brought to you proudly by Airship 27 Productions, pulp fiction for a new generation!
What age group and genre is your Lance Star series geared towards?
Lance Star: Sky Ranger stories are generally targeted for ages 12 and up. There’s a little something for everyone. It is a pulp adventure series. As pulp we have a multitude of sub-genres we can play in. Pulp can be action, adventure, science fiction, horror, crime, comics, and more.
Tell us a little about it.
At present there are two Lance Star: Sky Ranger pulp anthologies in print from Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Books with a third volume is slated for 2011. A full-length Lance Star: Sky Ranger written by me is also scheduled for 2011. There is also a Lance Star: Sky Ranger comic book one shot called, appropriately enough, “One Shot!” by myself and artist James Burns and published by BEN Books.
All of the Lance Star: Sky Ranger books are action/adventure stories set during the late 1930s/early 1940s. Lance Star and his sky Rangers travel the globe on wild adventures. Exciting air battles, fisticuffs, secret missions, vile villains, gorgeous women, duplicitous operatives, hidden lands, and brave heroics are just a typical day at the office for the Sky Rangers.
What is your favourite scene? Can we have a snippet?
One of my favorite reviews of the first Lance Star: Sky Ranger pulp anthology mentioned that I wrote exciting aerial combat scenes. Here’s a short snippet of that scene from Lance Star: Sky Ranger Vol. 1:
Captain Andrew Stewart was a superb pilot.
Possibly one of the best Lance Star had ever had the pleasure of flying with. And Lance had flown with many of the great ones. Despite his prowess in the cockpit, Lance knew it was only a matter of time before their opponent’s numbers got the better of them.
“I’m on your six, Drew,” Lance called as he fell into formation behind Drew’s fighter plane. Drew plane was smaller and more maneuverable, but the Nessie had more power. Together, they made a lethal combination.
Drew opened fire on the closest bogey, splattering across the Hornet’s wing. The damage was minimal, certainly not enough to take the plane out of the fight, but it did slow it down.
Lance swung wide, taking the Nessie in an arc around his wingman’s plane and opened up with the .50-calibers, destroying the wing. The Hornet dropped like a stone toward the water.
The pilot leapt out of the doomed plane and Lance watched as his emergency parachute popped open. Angling away from the destroyed remains of his plane, the enemy pilot descended smoothly to the water.
Lance banked left, following Drew as he lined up his next target. Before they could get a bead on the Hornet, the remaining Navy plane exploded as the enemy fighters shredded it with gunfire.
All that remained was Lance and Drew. And they were severely outnumbered.
The Hornets regrouped, circling around in opposite directions in an attempt to box in the pilots.
Lance felt his plane lurch as bullets peppered the Nessie’s side. The Hornets were focusing on the large seaplane. Lance took the Nessie into a dive, the pulled back quickly. The sesquiplane groaned in protest at the undo stress that her pilot was inflicting on her.
Suddenly, Drew’s fighter was there, spitting fire at the attacking Hornets.
“Lance,” the Navy Captain’s voice called over the wireless. “Prepare for a quick port dive. I’ll protect your six.”
“I’m not leaving you up here alone, Drew!”
The Navy fighter slipped in behind the smoking seaplane, bucking and weaving as enemy fire rained down on them. “No time to argue, Lance! Your bird’s got more holes in her than I can count.”
“I can hold her.”
“Dammit, Star, don’t argue! I need you in one piece to get those divers!”
“The divers are covered, Drew. Just stay out of their sites.”
Lance angled his plane toward the water below.
Drew’s fighter followed.
The Hornets remained in pursuit.
Then, miraculously, Lance heard the three greatest words he had ever heard spoken with a Boston accent. “We’re here, Boss!”
The Skybolt came out of nowhere. One second the sky in front of Lance was empty. The next he saw his pride and joy coming straight toward him only to pass by overhead like a rocket. The Skybolt shot toward the Hornets, unloading a massive barrage from the .50-calibers and the 37mm. Automatic engine cannon.
The Hornets, caught off guard, broke off their pursuit.
Have your characters or writing been inspired by friends/ family or by real-life experiences?
Always. I find inspiration everywhere. Sometimes I cast people that I know in the roles of the fictional characters I write so that they will have a unique voice. The characters become real to me, which makes writing their responses to situations easy for me. I just let the scene play out in my head and watch what the characters do.
Can you sum the books up in one sentence?
If you’re looking for a grand adventure let Lance Star: Sky Ranger be your guide.
Who is your favourite character and why?
Lance Star is probably my favorite because he is the character whose head I spend the most time inside. Lance is a hero, but he’s also an every man. He is as much at home up to his elbows in grease while building his latest plane as he is out chasing down Nazi spies or searching for lost treasure.
Which comes first for you – characters or plot?
It depends. I’ve certainly had stories that start off with one or the other. Since Lance Star: Sky Ranger is an on-going series of books I now start with plot and then determine how these characters will react to the situation I drop them into.
Who is your publisher and where are your books available? Are there e-books and hard copies available?
Lance Star: Sky Ranger is published by Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Books. Cornerstone is a traditional publisher so Lance Star: Sky Ranger, as well as the entirety of the Airship 27 pulp line, are available to bookstores and on-line retailers everywhere. There is also an Airship 27 on-line edition that is made available through http://www.gopulp.info/ for those who prefer to order their books on-line and direct from the publisher.
Are there any upcoming signings or appearances you’d like to mention?
I will be appearing at the Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con on December 4 – 5, 2010. I am currently setting up my convention and signing schedule for 2011 and will post that to my website soon.
Do you have an agent, or have you gone alone?
Up until this point I have not had an agent. I am currently trying to find an agent using a novel I recently completed. I don’t do much self-publishing. The Lance Star: Sky Ranger comic book was published by my company as a supplement to the pulp anthology series.
What marketing have you been doing to help sales?
I do a lot of marketing in addition to what is handled by the publisher. I do a good deal of on-line marketing with websites, blogs, forums, and social media outlets. I also use postcards, flyers, press kits, and press releases to promote books to bookstores, comic book shops, magazines, and local newspapers. I also attend/present at conventions, writers conferences, and book signings, and local fairs and festivals. I talk with bookstores and comic book shops directly and I also have a comprehensive email list that I use for marketing purposes. I have fun with marketing and promotion.
What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
It varies. I am not a morning person so anytime after noon and throughout the evening is productive. The hardest part is making myself sit down and get started. Once I start writing I’m usually good to go.
Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
All on the computer. When I first started I would use pen and paper, but now that I’ve been doing this for awhile I can simply sit down at the computer and get to work.
What do you draw inspiration from?
Inspiration comes from everywhere and nowhere. Sometimes ideas appear fully formed and other times I have to work at it and pull bits of story from here and there until the story gels together.
Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Not really. Obviously, when I’m on a deadline that requires a certain amount of work to be accomplished each day. If I’m not on deadline, such as with the novels, then I’m free to let the story flow organically. On average I write between 1,500 and 2,000 words a day, although some days I write more.
What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?
Good question. I love telling stories. Even if I weren’t working as a writer I would still have to tell the stories just to get them out of my head. My brain is constantly pulling ideas from my daily life, things I see, people I meet, movies, TV, you name it. I love writing so thankfully I’ve been able to share my stories with readers.
What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I always have several projects going at any given time. Currently, I am finishing up a 15,000 word Lance Star: Sky Ranger novella for volume three of the pulp anthology series, I’m working on a full-length Lance Star: Sky Ranger novel called “Cold Snap,” which is currently at 23,000 words. I’m doing edits on a recently completed novel called Games! There are also two thriller novels in process. Blood Shot is currently at roughly 62,000 words and Evil Intent (the sequel to my first published novel, Evil Ways) is currently at 30,000 words. I plan to finish both of those in 2011.
What is your writing process like? Do you do a lot of background research? Do you plot every detail or do you prefer the characters to move the story in new directions, or a combination of both?
At little of both, I’d say. I do research as needed. With the Lance Star: Sky Ranger books, research is important because I’m writing about a timeframe that I am not personally familiar with. Keeping historical accuracy is important with this series. On the thrillers I research investigative techniques, forensics, weapons, and other elements that are important to the plot.
I do not write detailed plots. I have general plot points for each story, but I like to allow for room for the story to grow in organic ways as I follow the characters as they sometimes veer off in unexpected directions. I’ve heard this style of writer referred to as a Pantser. Not sure if I agree with that as I have a rough idea of where I’m going, but writing this way has led me to some interesting plot twists.
Do you belong to a critique group?
I don’t belong to a critique group. I have in the past, but there is not one very close to where I live so I was attending as often as I liked. I do have a small group of readers that read my work and give me feedback so I have that.
How long does it take you to write a book? Have your written other books?
It varies depending on the book and deadlines. I always have multiple projects going at any given time so I’m never concentrating solely on one story at a time. The fastest I ever wrote a novel was my second, Fantastix: Code Red (currently out of print), which was based off a comic book script I wrote. Using the script as an outline I wrote the novel in three months. It was a daunting task, but I did it. I do not want to write one that fast ever again if I can avoid it.
I’ve been writing prose and comic books since 1992 so I’ve a few books out. You can see a full list at http://bobby-nash-news.blogspot.com/
How did you get into writing? Did you always want to become a writer?
I did not always want to be a writer. I started out with the goal of being a comic book artist. I started writing stories so I would have something to draw. Then other artists started asking me to write for them. Eventually, after taking the advice of a friend, I realized that my writing skills were better than my artistic ones and I began to focus on writing, which led to paying work. And then one day I got the urge to write a novel. Ron Fortier, the publisher/editor of what was to become Airship 27 read the novel and brought me on to write some pulp stories for his new imprint. The first book we did was Lance Star: Sky Ranger. One thing leads to another.
Are you working on another book? Possible to have a preview snippet or blurb of that?
Always. There is always another book in production. I recently finished a novel called Games! Games! is a thriller about a madman’s obsession with games. After six years in prison, Darrin Morehouse takes his own life and sets into motion one last game against those he felt were responsible for his arrest and conviction.
Here’s a snippet from the opening page of Games!:
Fulton County Courthouse
The circus was back in town.
Cameras surged as reporters jockeyed for position on the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse building, each one vying for that perfect angle, the one shot that would catch and hold the attention of their viewers. Despite the bone-chilling thirty-four degrees and light drizzle, the crowd outside continued to grow as the moment grew closer.
Fabian Alexander shrugged off his warm coat, which his shivering assistant then cradled to her chest in an effort to salvage any leftover body heat. She knew that the reporter must have been freezing, but she also knew the man. It was always better to look good than be comfortable.
“You ready?” Alexander asked as he straightened his tie and flicked a piece of lint from the front of his tailored sport coat.
“We’re live in,” Mike Greenway, the cameraman said between chattering teeth. “Four… Three…” He mouthed the words two and one before the reporter started speaking.
In his ear piece, Alexander heard the anchors in their nice, warm broadcast booth introduce him. “We go now live to Channel Ten’s own Fabian Alexander who is on scene outside the Fulton County Courthouse on this frigid December morning.” She turned to look at the monitor where the reporter waited on the scene. “How are you doing out there, Fabian? Are you staying warm?”
“It is very cold outside the Fulton County Courthouse today, Monica,” he started. “But you’re right. It has been a very busy morning here. Today, in what is being referred to as a bold move by the Atlanta Police Department, suspected head of a large, and as yet unnamed criminal syndicate, Darrin Morehouse was arrested and charged with a list of charges ranging from murder to conspiracy to commit murder.”
The television monitor switched to file footage that had been shot earlier of the accused, Darrin Morehouse, at one of the many political fundraisers he attended.
“From what we’ve been told, John and Monica, it appears that the District Attorney will indeed be, as they say in the movies, throwing the book at the man. Information received earlier tells us that this extensive investigation into Mr. Morehouse has been ongoing for the last three years.”
One of the anchors interrupted with a question. As much as the reporter hated it when the guys in the booth did that, he knew it was good for the show and he rolled with it even though it meant standing out in the freezing cold for another minute. “Has the district attorney’s office given any indication of which specific charges they plan to bring against Mr. Morehouse?”
“Not yet, John,” Alexander answered. “The Atlanta Police are being tight-lipped about this case for the moment, but we expect to hear from a police department spokesperson before long. We will, of course, keep you up to date on any further progress. For Channel Ten Up To The Minute News, Fabian Alexander reporting. Back to you in the studio.”
“And we’re clear,” Greenway said as the light winked off his camera.
“Thank God,” Alexander said as he retrieved his coat and put it on. “It’s fucking freezing out here.”
“It’s too early in the morning for stupid questions, Angela,” the reporter said. “Just get me the damned coffee. Quicker is better.”
“Yes, sir,” she said and ambled off toward the Starbucks across the street.
“I swear, that girl is worse than useless,” he complained as he got into the news van that was only slightly warmer than outside. What little warmth there was inside was welcoming and he felt a tingle creep back into his fingertips.
“Yeah, but at least she’s hot,” the cameraman said with a knowing smile.
“If only that’s all that was necessary to do her job,” Fabian sighed. “Anyway, as soon as I defrost we can shoot the coverage. I want some face time with Bartlett before our next pickup.”
“He’s not going to like that.”
“Do I look like I fucking care what he likes?”
“Not especially,” Greenway said, still smiling.
“Just keep an eye out for him. We move as soon as he exits the building.”
What mistakes do you see new writers make?
We all make mistakes, especially when we’re just starting out. Those mistakes will vary from writer to writer. The trick is to use those mistakes, to learn from them and improve your craft. You can learn a lot from your writing mistakes.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
If you want to write for a living then you have to treat it like a job. There is nothing wrong with writing as a hobby and if that is what you want to do then that’s great. However, if you are considering writing as a career then you have to remember that it is a job and treat it as such. Writing is a great job and I love it, but at the end of the day it is still a job.
What is your website and/or blog where readers can learn more? Can they friend you on Facebook or Twitter?
Of course. I have a large presence on the web. Here are just a few of the places you can find me.
http://www.bobbynash.com/ (currently under reconstruction)
And more. I’m not hard to find.
Novels by Bobby include Evil Ways and Fantastix: Code Red.
Upcoming novels include Lance Star: Sky Ranger “Cold Snap” and more.
Bobby’s short story, novella, and anthology work includes Lance Star: Sky Ranger Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 [Airship 27 Prod./Cornerstone Books], Startling Stories Magazine [Wild Cat Books], Sentinels Widescreen Special Edition [White Rocket Books], Full Throttle Space Tales Vol. 2: Space Sirens [Flying Pen Press], Sentinels: Alternate Visions [White Rocket Books], Domino Lady: Sex As A Weapon [Moonstone Books], Shadow One: Shades Of Gray [BEN Books], Real Magicalism [Daemon Press], and A Fistful of Legends [Express Westerns].
Upcoming titles include Frontier [BEN Books], The Green Hornet Case Files [Moonstone Books], Secret Agent X [Airship 27 Prod./Cornerstone Books], Ravenwood: Stepson of Mystery [Airship 27 Prod./Cornerstone Books], Tales From The Zero Hour: Weird Tales [Blinding Force productions], Aym Geronimo and the Post Modern Pioneers: Tall Tales, The Crimson Mask [Airship 27 Prod./Cornerstone Books], The Wraith [Airship 27 Prod./Cornerstone Books], Mars McCoy Vol. 2 [Airship 27 Prod./Cornerstone Books], Nick Landime, and more.
Comic books and graphic novels by Bobby include Life In The Faster Lane, Fuzzy Bunnies From Hell [FYI Comics], Bubba The Redneck Werewolf [Brass Ball Comics], Demonslayer [Avatar Press], Threshold [Avatar Press], Doc Dresden: The Immortal [Odyssey Comics], Jungle Fantasy [Avatar Press], The Garden [Planetary Stories], Fantastix [FYI Comics], Yin Yang [Arcana Comics], and Lance Star: Sky Ranger [BEN Books].
Upcoming titles include I Am Googol: The Great Invasion [Point G Comics], more adventures of and Lance Star: Sky Ranger [BEN Books], Life In The Faster Lane [BEN Books], and more.
“Lance Star: Sky Ranger “One Shot!” is exactly the sort of high-flying, action-packed air war yarn I really enjoy. It’s fine pulpish fun from start to finish. Bobby Nash and James Burns are aces!” — James Reasoner
COMING 2011 – LANCE STAR: SKY RANGER PULP ANTHOLOGY VOL. 3
Once again Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Book Publishers strap in for high flying pulp thrills with the announcement of LANCE STAR – SKY RANGER Vol. Three coming in 2011 featuring stories by Bobby Nash, Sean Taylor, Bernadette Johnson, and Van Allen Plexico.
COMING 2011 – LANCE STAR: SKY RANGER PULP NOVEL “COLD SNAP”
More high-flying action is on the way in 2011 with the release of the first full-length Lance Star: Sky Ranger novel titled “Cold Snap” by Bobby Nash from Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Books.
Michael Poll (Publisher, Cornerstone Books) – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ron Fortier (Editor, Airship 27 productions) – Airship27@comcast.net
Bobby Nash (Writer)- email@example.com