Monday, November 08, 2010

A directory of literature (kind of)

So as I've been plugging away at my current National Novel Writing Month tome, and posting my progress on social media sites. Folks have been asking if they can read my latest work. Well, no. "The Army of Crime" isn't finished yet, and not really ready for public viewing.

However, a fair number for people (OK, mostly friends) have asked about the book I finished for last year's NaNoMo, and the one I did for the year before that.

Fair enough. Here they are.

First off, though, a little background: just thinking about novel writing seemed an imposing challenge to me, especially when I thought about all the great literary novels already written.

So I lowered my standards.

I've always been interested in the pulp literature of the 1930's, and was intimately familiar with the style. So more as an exercise than anything else, I decided to write my own pulp.

The initial story, "Murder Squad" was framed by a back story. In a forward I talked about discovering that my great-uncle Ralph (I really had such a relative),  a renowned non-fiction author of the 1950's (totally fiction) had a secret pre-war career as a pulp magazine author. He worked for a minor magazine publisher, and created a hero pulp character -- Raven -- to compete with the more popular Shadow, Doc Savage, and the Spider.

It was a lot of fun to write. So much so, that I couldn't resist writing another book with the same characters (or rather, I discovered another manuscript from great-uncle Ralph in the attic).

When I started the National Novel Writing Month event, I knew that time was of the essence. So I did a third novel about Raven. And then last year a fourth. And this year will be the fifth. I actually have about 20 outlines for Raven novels, taking the character from 1936 to the start of World War II, when many publishers (including my fictional one) discontinued their pulp magazines due to the paper shortage (and the rising popularity of comic books).

Below are links to all the novels. One thing to keep in mind: while the writing is done, the editing has yet to start in earnest on any of these. I've tried to clean up as many mistakes as I can find, but there may be some plot points that need fixing, chronologies that need tweaking, and other structural issues a professional editor would see and correct. It's only after they've been edited that I will officially offer them to the world (and you'll see them on Amazon).

Murder Squad
Men mysteriously die of a weapon that doesn't fire bullets! Toy police badges are left at the scene of the crime! What does it mean? Can Raven solve the puzzle before becoming the next victim?

The Crimson Cypher
A dead thief found in an isolated farm yard clutches a coded message in his hand -- a message that pits Raven and Crow against a merciless army of killers in an international race to rescue Police Commissioner Rowland from certain death and save America from saboteurs!

Death in Five States
A beautiful young heiress is trapped in an express train full of killers! Can Raven and Crow reach her in time as the train of doom hurtles across the country, leaving a trail of murder behind it?

The Purple Doom
A mysterious figure holds sway over New York society. His demands are simple: pay to live, or die the horrible death known as the Purple Doom! And after Commissioner Rowland and MacGuffey are attacked, Raven must fight alone to stop the Purple Doom from destroying an entire city!

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