Intros, Essays, and Assorted Misc.

MISCELLANEOUS

Sometimes I write essays for websites, guest blogs, or introductions to other writers' novels or anthologies where I do not have a story. This page will house those oddities that do not fit in any of the other categories on the site.

Enjoy.

Bobby

ESSAYS/BLOG POSTS

Some essays and guest blog posts written by Yours Truly.

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In January of 2017, I wrote this blog post for this site.

5 QUICK WAYS TO HELP YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR!


One of the questions I get asked often at conventions and appearances is "How can I (or we) help you?" First off, being at the con or event and stopping by my table is always a good start so they are already off to a good start. Last night, I ran across the image above and liked it so I thought I would share. Sadly, I do not know who created it to give them credit, but there is a web address at the bottom.

I thought I would take a look at each step.

Buy their books seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how often those who ask the question don't actually buy a book. Yeah, it's a head-scratcher for me too. If you see an author at a convention or signing, unless they are a big name author, they most likely purchased the books from their publisher, usually at a discount, and they make a couple bucks off of the sale. Buying a copy not only makes the author feel good that their book(s) is going home with a reader, but it helps pay for lunch or their gas to and from the event or the table cost at a convention.

Review their books is a biggie. No matter where you bought the book, leaving a review at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A- Million, wherever you like, or at each, is like gold. Word of mouth sells books. I'm more willing to try a book from an author I'm not familiar with if a friend tells me the book is a good read. Reviews are always appreciated, even if you don't like the book. The more reviews on a site like Amazon, for example, means more promotion placement on that site. If you liked ____, then you'll like _____. Reviews help make that happen.

Follow them and share on social media is a good, quick, and easy way to spread the word. I am very lucky to have a small group on social media that shares my posts to their friends. It takes seconds, but the impact could be fantastic and has the potential to gain the author new readers. I try to promote books from writers I know or movies from actors and directors I know. Indie creators generally don't have a large (or any in some cases) budget so social media is a good avenue to spread the word about my projects, even those that are still in production to hopefully build buzz. Supporting Patreon, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe projects is also a good social media way to help out if that's of interest to you. Also, if you take photos at a con, on a panel, at a writer's conference, or book signing, tag the creators. It's a good bet they will then share that photo and promote you. It's the circle of social media.

Recommend them. Remember what I said about word of mouth? It's a powerful marketing tool. If you follow me on social media (I'm on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+PinterestLinkedInPatreonAmazon, and GoodReads. Please stop by and visit.) you've no doubt seen the "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate" post I do from time to time. That is what this part id all about. If you read a book, watch a movie, or have a favorite TV show, play, or band, then tell the world about it. I'd much rather see posts talking about how much you love musicals, which are not my thing, than seeing your post about how you hate Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (for example) and only watched two episodes and can't believe it's still on the air. You don't like it. I get it. That's fine. I do like it, so I will skip your posts. Plus, there is already a lot of hate and negativity going around about life, politics, healthcare, jobs, religion, war, and on and on. Do we really need to add more hate for something that we find entertaining? Let's be positive. Tell me what you love. Who knows, I might love it too.

Offer to help. This takes us back to the beginning of this blog post and since I started writing this, I have added a few ways that anyone can help their favorite authors. We'll start with the two on the infographic above. Approach a library or bookstore on the author's behalf. This one is simple. Next time you're there, ask if they have any books by Bobby Nash (or your favorite author). If not, ask if they have heard of the author or mention a book you enjoy. It may or may not be enough to convince them to put a book on the shelf, but you never know. Bookstores and libraries usually have a local author section. If your author is local, that might help as well. Donate a copy to the library yourself. Libraries often take donations, as do hospitals and places where people spend a lot of time waiting. I have donated some of my books that way. I don't know if they lead to sales or not, but you never know.

All of this is a crap shoot, really. There's no tried and true method to get people to read our books. If there was, that would be great, but no. Word of mouth is still the best way to get someone to notice my books. To all of you who have helped spread the word, you have my sincerest thanks.

As always, I appreciate all of the help and support.

Thank you.

Bobby

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Back in October of 2015, I wrote a short piece for Nicole Givens Kurtz's Pulp Fiction Fridays talking about my experiences working on Gary Phillips' Hollis P.I. anthology.





Pulp Fiction Fridays with Guest, Bobby Nash



Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens
Trey from Cybil Lewis Series (c) Laura Givens
October is Black Speculative Fiction Month! To celebrate, each Friday in October will be Pulp Fiction Friday. Authors will contribute a post discussing the writing of pulp, mystery, spies, and whodunits in the realms of science fiction and speculative stories. Welcome to Bobby Nash to Pulp Reports!

AND WE’RE LIVING HERE IN ANGELTOWN…
by Bobby Nash

I’m going to let you in on an industry secret.
Publishers are sneaky.
No, seriously, you have to watch them. They won’t take no for an answer and they know just the right things to say to convince writers to do what they want. Like I said, sneaky.
Let me tell you a story.
I was attending the third annual Pulp Ark convention in Arkansas where I had won Best Author, an honor that still surprises me to this day, but that’s another blog post for another time. Like so many conventions, there were more than a few opportunities to sit and talk with fans and peers, usually at the hotel bar. Cons are also a great place for ideas to spawn as happens when creative people get together. It was at that hotel bar where my friend, Tommy Hancock cornered me to tell me about this new project Pro Se was putting together and wanted me to be part of because (and I quote) “you’d be perfect for it.” Pro Se was going to do new stories with Nate Hollis, the p.i. hero of Gary Phillips’s Angeltown comic book series. Now, as a fan of Gary’s work and of the comic, I was intrigued, but my schedule was extremely full at the time. This seems to be a recurring thing for me these days. I promised myself going into the convention that I would be firm and say no to any offers that came my way until I got caught up. (Yeah. Even now I have a hard time typing that with a straight face.) I came away from that convention with two stories to write. Shows how smart I am, huh?
So, Tommy is telling me about the anthology and I’m intrigued, but I stood my ground, thanked him for thinking of me, and politely declined.
Now, for those who don’t know Tommy Hancock, he listened to my “thanks, but no thanHollisks” and in his head, I’m sure he said, “challenge accepted.” Thankfully, he didn’t say it out loud. Since we’re here talking about my experience working on Gary Phillips’ Hollis P.I., you can imagine how the rest of this conversation went. Like I said, he’s a sneaky one, that Tommy Hancock. In all seriousness, this was not a hard one to say no too, especially when I heard the line up for the book. Gary Phillips and Derrick Ferguson are buddies of mine and I knew they were going to turn in some kick ass stories. Plus, as odd as it seems, we had not appeared in any of the same anthologies to that point. I didn’t know Juliet Blackwell or Aaron Philip Clark as well, but after reading their stories, I knew they were a prefect fit. So, I returned home from Arkansas with my Pulp Ark Awards– in addition to best Author, The Ruby Files’ Rick Ruby (created by myself and Sean Taylor) won for Best New New Pulp Character– and a story to write. The best thing about long drives is that’s a great time to work through story ideas. A little hard to write on the road, but I had the beginning of my tale by the time I reached Georgia.
I love writing crime fiction. There is an element of crime fiction in almost everything I write. One of the cool things about writing pulp tales is that I spend a good deal of time writing about the 20s, 30s, and 40s. All fun, but I do sometimes long for a character to pull out a cell phone. Thankfully, Nate Hollis is rooted firmly in the hear and now. Plus, the book skewed more toward adult themes and subject matter than books I generally work on so that was a fun challenge. For that reason, I knew that the story of Naomi Waynesboro in my story titled “Naomi” was not going to be a happy one.
Warning: there may be spoilers ahead so only read on if you’ve read the story lest I spoil a twist or two.
Last chance…
Okay, no complaints about spoilers if you’re still reading.
The world Nate Hollis inhabits is not always a nice place. Dealing with gangs, drug dealers, prostitutes, crooked cops, and assorted degenerates is just another day on the job for Nate Hollis. Being surrounded by this has affected Nate, as it would anyone, but he is not the type of man to let it overpower him. In fighting for those who can’t fight for themselves, like Naomi, Nate pushes back the darkness that threatens to destroy his city. Although I doubt he would ever refer to him as such, this is what makes Nate Hollis a hero. He cares.
Naomi’s story is not a new one. She is a young, idealist dreamer fresh off the bus in the City of Angels looking for fame and fortune in Hollywood. It doesn’t take long for the barracuda’s to get their hooks in her as the Hollywood dream machine throws buckets of cold water in her face. Getting into the movies sounds a lot like the publishing industry sometimes, huh? Oh, I could tell you stories. Following Naomi’s path leads Nate and his friend, bounty hunter Irma Deuce (one of the coolest characters ever) into the underbelly of the adult film industry where young girls like Naomi are used up and spit out.
As a writer, I enjoyed the challenge of writing a more adult theme than my usual work. Researching this one probably put me on a few watch lists as there are some really unique… yeah, we’ll go with unique, sites out there that shed some light on this topic.
Writing about topics I don’t have a personal knowledge with is always an education. Researching this topic was no different. One of the questions I’ve been asked more than once since Hollis P.I. premiered hasn’t been about the subject matter, butdomino lady SAW 2013 about how I, a middle-aged overweight white guy, could write a character who is African-American, younger than me, and in much better shape? I am always amused that I get this question related to Nate Hollis, but never when I write female charters like Domino Lady or Ghost Gal.
As a writer, I start with the character. Once I get to know the character, that informs how he or she will react to the situation I put them in. If I write a scene where our hero is chasing the bad guy into a building and they run through a door, slamming it between them and the hero, what will the hero do next? This is the set up. That’s plot. What happens next depends on the character. Nate Hollis would handle getting on the other side of the door differently that Domino Lady or MacGyver would, for example. That’s where character and plot collide. Once you know the character, he or she will show you where you go next. I love it when that happens.
In the case of Nate Hollis, Gary Phillips had already handled the heavy lifting with his stories featuring Nate. Getting to know Nate meant re-reading the original stories and the story bible put together for the writers and I was set. In writing the story, I was only interested in how Nate Hollis would handle the situations I put him in.
I could ramble on about the writing process a lot longer, but I’m pretty sure I passed Nicole’s word limit a few paragraphs back. Word counts, much like deadlines, make a delightful whooshing sound as you fly past them. Ha! Ha!
Before I go, I would like to thank Nicole for inviting me to be part of her Pulp Fiction Fridays feature. There have been some good things posted already and more to come so please check them out. I’d also like to thank Gary Phillips for creating a character so cool I couldn’t say no to and to Tommy Hancock for not letting me do so. Big kudos to the other Hollis P.I. writers; Juliet Blackwell, Aaron Philip Clark, Derrick Ferguson, and of course, Gary Phillips. Also, a big thanks to all who picked up Hollis P.I. and read it, and especially those who reviewed it. We love reviews.
And of course, a shameless plug to visit me at http://www.bobbynash.com or on social media. I’d love for you to pop by and say hi.
Bobby
Bethlehem, GA


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Back in August 2014, I wrote a short piece for author Y.I. Washington's blog about the difference between a plotter and pantser and how I fall somewhere in the middle. It's also where I inadvertently named myself CAPTAIN PLOTTY PANTS! Enjoy...

And then I have great friends who make things like this happen...

GUEST POST – BOBBY NASH

THE BIRTH OF CAPTAIN PLOTTY PANTS!

I do hope that everyone enjoyed the guest post from Nikolas Baron last week. He and Grammarly.com have been life savers for me.
Bobby Nash_1This week I’d like to re-introduce you to another fantastic author. From his secret lair in the wilds of Bethlehem, Georgia, 2013 Pulp Ark Award Winning Best Author, Bobby Nash writes a little bit of everything including novels, comic books, short prose, graphic novels, screenplays, media tie-ins, and more.
Between writing deadlines, Bobby is an actor and extra in movies and television, including appearances in Deviant Pictures’Fat Chance, FOX’s The Following, USA’sSatisfaction, AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and more. He is also the co-host of the Earth Station One podcast (www.esopodcast.com) and a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers.
Bobby was named Best Author in the 2013 Pulp Ark Awards, his first professional writing award. Rick Ruby, a character co-created by Bobby and author Sean Taylor also snagged a Pulp Ark Award for Best New Pulp Character of 2013. Bobby was also nominated for the 2014 New Pulp Awards and Pulp Factory Awards for his work.
Without Further ado, I give you:
THE BIRTH OF CAPTAIN PLOTTY PANTS!
By Bobby Nash

If you’re a writer then you’ve probably been asked this question at least once. “Are you a Plotter or a Pantser?” If you haven’t, just hang on because it’s coming. Personally, I’m not a big fan of hanging labels on people like this, but we should look at what they are first.
Plotter is a writer who knows his or her story backward and forward before writing a single word on the manuscript. Often, Plotters create detailed outlines so there are no surprises as he or she writes the novel.
Pantser is a writer who flies by the seat of his or her pants and starts writing and allows the story to flow organically and in the moment. Pantsers usually don’t know how the story is going to end when they start writing.
And then there are writers like me who fall somewhere in the middle. For the sake of this blog post, we’ll call us Plotty Pants, a name that I just coined and one that I am equally sure is going to come back and bite me in the ass eventually.
At the beginning of a project, be it novel, short story, comic book, screenplay, whatever, I work out a loose plot in my head. I do work-for-hire projects for publishers and those projects usually require me to send a brief synopsis/plot for approval before hand so having some idea where the story is going helps a lot.
I don’t write outlines. Nothing against those writers who do, but outlines don’t work for me. I just don’t like them. I tried outlining some of my earlier stories and found myself losing interest in writing the actual story because I had this feeling like I had already told this story and was ready to move on to something else. Because I had put all the work into the outline, I felt as though I was writing it twice. Your mileage may vary, but I stopped outlining after that.
What I do is work through part of the plot in my head, hitting the high points, conversations that I’ve envisioned, things like that. I call these signposts on the journey from the beginning to the end of the story. I the write from one signpost to the next, but that still leaves me open to follow the story wherever it leads. There are times when this works really well.
I’m working on a novel called Blood Shot (coming 2015) that had one of these moments in it. I started writing and knew I needed to cut away from our main protagonists for awhile so I started writing about this guy and his girlfriend, getting into who they are, their relationship, his comparing her to his ex-wife (internally, of course), things like that. Then, I end it with her slipping his work keycard from his pocket while he’s not looking to end on a bit of a suspenseful note. I knew later that there would be a character who would break into a building so this was easy enough, but I couldn’t decide how the guy fit into things.
I had a few options. Option one: I could leave it as is and let him fade away as unimportant, which seemed a bit of a cheat after spending a couple of pages getting to know him. Option two: I could wait and see if it fit. Option three: I could cut the chapter and use it in another project if I needed to do so. I decided to go with option two and wait while I kept on writing. If it didn’t work, I could cut it later and work in the thief’s first appearance another way.
Two chapters later, I realized how he fit and it was if it had been planned from the beginning. The two main protagonists in this novel are Washington DC Homicide Detective Catherine “Jacks” Jackson and Secret Service Agent Samantha Patterson. One of them (I’m not saying which one so there won’t be spoilers since the book isn’t out yet) is divorced; as we had learned earlier in the novel. The pieces fell into place. This man and my protagonist were once married. Suddenly, this guy who I wasn’t sure fit in the novel suddenly became an integral part of the narrative… all because I was open to the possibility of seeing where the story took me. It’s not something I would have accomplished working with a full outline.
Each writer has to decide which method works best for him or her. That usually happens trial and error. I suggest trying your hand as both a Pantser and a Plotter and see which one works best for you. Or, if you’re like me, you can also be a Plotty Pants.
Happy Reading.
Bobby Nash
Bethlehem, GA


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Back in June 2014, I wrote a short piece for author H.C. Playa's site talking about the pros and cons of cons. We tak a look at the convention experience for writers.

Weekly Writers’ Ramble: Bobby Nash

THE PROS AND CONS OF CONS

Today we welcome Bobby Nash as our author guest, and the last for this months topic.
I love a good con.

Not the kind where someone steals all my money though. Those are only fun to watch on TV or in the movies. What I love are conventions. From the small one-day shows to the big four day events, conventions invigorate me as a creator even as they wear me out as a person. When H.C. asked me to make a list of the pros and cons of attending cons, I leapt at the chance.

The Pros:

1. Meeting the Pro’s. As a creator myself, I love talking with other creative people and the convention is a great place to meet like minded peers, fans, and friends alike. Some of the best relationships I’ve made are with people I first met at a convention.

2. Finding out what’s new or uncovering something you didn’t even know existed. Conventions are great ways for local and lesser-known creators to get their works in front of potential fans. As a writer, I love introducing people to my work. With so many different books out there, conventions are a good place to see what else is out there. More often than not you’ll find a few gems you didn’t even know you were looking for.

3. Travel. I love to travel and attending conventions has allowed me to visit places I might not have had the opportunity otherwise.

4. Getting out of the house. I know this sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Writing is a rather solitary job and I spend so much of my time in a room alone with my laptop. Stepping into a convention center with a few thousand of my closest friends is a nice refreshing change of pace to my sitting alone in my office for days and weeks at a time.

5. Cosplay, fans, and fun. Cosplayers, fans, actors, writers, artists, etc. are there to work, but also to have fun. The evening events at conventions are a fun time to socialize outside of the dealer’s room where people can hang without trying to sell stuff. It’s a great time for photos, chatting over drinks, or just hanging out. Have fun and introduce yourself to someone new. Just don’t stop in the hallways or at the top of escalators for photos. That leads to disaster.

The Cons:

1. Conventions are expensive. All of the cool things like paying for a badge or a table, food, hotel, travel, books, supplies, and whatever you see at the con that you just have to buy can eat up a good bit of cash so you have to be prepared. Budget is key. I usually try to carpool and/or split a room with someone when I can. That certainly helps out with those expenses.

2. Crowds. As cons continue to grow in popularity, the crowds grow right along with them. If you don’t like crowds, this is something you’ll have to bear in mind.

3. Know your surroundings. I mentioned earlier taking photos. Be aware of where you’re standing when you ask for a photo. Blocking doors, stairs, and escalators never ends well and either creates a back up or a collision. Just take a moment to step away from the walkways.

4. Dehydration. Drink plenty of water. This is key. Also, at least once a day, take a shower. Cons are hot and sweaty.

These are just a few of the pros and cons of attending a convention. Personally, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons. No matter what convention you go to, try to have a good time. Remember, the people working the dealer’s room, panels, booths, etc. are there to have a good time like everyone else, but they are also working so check out their stuff and say hello.

I’m often asked what kind of con people should attend. That’s a tough one as there are so many different kinds of conventions out there for many different fandoms.

There are smaller one day shows that are usually more laid back with little stress. These are usually shows where you shop with a handful of guests you can meet, usually writers, artists, or actors.

Hotel shows are generally relaxi-cons, which means they run day and night over the course of a weekend. Look for a good number of parties in the evenings, plenty of opportunities for meeting your fellow fans.

Convention Center Cons take place during the day in a convention center. That means the evening is usually unscheduled, although if there is a hotel attached to the con, it’s probably where most folks from the con will hang out in the evening. In other cases, people scatter when the convention closes down for the day, depending on the venue.

No matter which type of show you want to attend, check their website first to see who is there you want to meet, what panels you would like to attend, things like that. Have a plan, but be flexible. It is impossible to do everything at the cons.

Most of all, no matter which con you attend, have fun.


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This essay was originally written for the first Domino Lady anthology before the book moved to Moonstone. Moonstone did not have a use for the essay so it has sat idle for years... until now.


PUTTIN’ THE SAUCY BACK IN PULP SAUCE
OR HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE DOMINO LADY

My recipe for Pulp Sauce.

Like any good culinary masterpiece you must start with the finest ingredients.  You’ll be hard pressed to find them any finer than Ellen Patrick – wealthy sociallite, smart, beautiful, adventurous, playful, mischievous, and sexy as hell.  Toss in one hundred and twenty pounds of luscious enthusiasm, sprinkle in a healthy dose of innuendo, show just a little skin, top it off with a hint of Robin Hood’s steal from the rich and give to the poor attitude, then set to simmer.

Ellen Patrick dons her tiny black domino mask and fights crime.  Sure, we’ve all heard the basic premise before.  Bruce Wayne does much the same thing at the basic level.  So does Tony Stark.  What makes Ellen Patrick and her stunning alter ego, The Domino Lady stand out is something difficult to put into words [it’s never good when a writers says that, is it?]  What the Domino Lady has is something I can only describe as Pulp Sauce.  Her adventures were saucy, racy, just pure and simple fun in that way that can only be found between the covers of a pulp novel.

While many of the more popular pulp heroes and villains have their roots steeped in a long publishing history, The Domino Lady blazed her own path.  Ask any pulp fan if they’ve heard of the Domino Lady and you’re bound to see excitement well up within them.  Not bad for a character who had a total of six [yes, I said six!] adventures published in the 1930’s.  Wow!  It staggers the mind to think about it.  And of those six, only three carried cover appearances by our lovely Ms. Patrick.

So what has kept our little adventuress in the hearts and minds of her loyal fans? 

Beats me.  If I knew the answer to that question I would bottle it and you could purchase Bobby’s Pulp SauceTM from sea to shining sea.  And beyond. Something about those six stories, originally penned by Lars Anderson, struck a chord with readers.  Over the course of the last sixty some odd years [math is not my strong suit, people.  That’s why I became a writer] the six original Domino Lady stories have been reprinted numerous times.  If you find yourself enjoying the titles contained in this volume [and how could you not?  There’s some great pulp sauce packed between these two covers, let me tell you] track down those old tales on-line or at your favorite pulpseller.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Okay, I’ve blathered on enough.  However, before you turn the page and dive into the next vat of pulp sauce, I want to take the opportunity to thank my co-conspirators in this volume.  The editors have really assembled a great group of writers and artists for this books and I’m honored to spend time with them.  Believe it or not, when we’re not writing pulps, we’re probably on-line talking about them with one another.

The sauce is boiling.

Enjoy.

Bobby Nash
Bethlehem, GA

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JUDGING A BOOK...
CREATING THE DEADLY GAMES! COVER

In April 2012 I wrote a guest blog at author Rachel Hunter’s Life Defined blog. In it, I tackled the issues I faced creating a compelling novel cover so I went through the steps it took to create the cover for Deadly Games! It was reprinted here and at BEN Books in May of 2015. Enjoy.

The topic today is one I’ve discussed before, but it’s good information for those, like me, who are planning to publish a book, or for those of you curious about the process. This will go through some of my experiences in designing the cover for my latest novel, Deadly Games! This was my first time designing a cover and I’m proud of how it turned out so I thought I’d share some of the steps I went through in designing the cover.

Click on images for a larger view.
So, without further ado, here’s Judging A Book...

There’s an old saying: “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”

While in the context of the statement, that might be true, there is also a lot of truth in the fact that so many readers do in fact judge a book by the cover. The cover of a novel, comic book, even DVD or CD is the first point of contact with a prospective buyer. Think about how many times a striking cover has caught your attention and you picked up a book just to see what it was all about. That’s the mark of a good cover.

I’m not here to debate the merits of certain types of covers over others. As with most forms of art, beauty is, as ever, in the eye of the beholder. When it comes to novel covers (just to keep it simple) creators and publishers have many options. There’s the painted cover, the comic art style cover, the computer generated image cover, the clip art photo cover, the original photo cover, the abstract design cover, the giant fonts without an image cover, and on and on and on. Just visit a bookstore and you’ll see what I mean.

When I was putting together my latest novel release, Deadly Games! I started out by sketching ideas for what type of cover I wanted for the novel. Deadly Games! is an action/thriller set in the real modern day world. In fact, like my novel, Evil Ways, before it, part of Deadly Games! takes place in the fictional town of Sommersville, GA, which is very much based on Barrow County, but with a few odds and ends added. Knowing that the story was firmly planted in reality, I started forming ideas of what I wanted the cover to convey. Once I had the basic idea I had to decide what type of cover worked best for this book. I love drawn and painted covers, but I did not feel that either of those methods worked here. I decided on a photo cover.

I scoured through free photos looking for something that fit the theme of the book, but nothing really jumped out at me so I went back to sketching and came up with the idea that became my cover. I knew that I wanted a shot of our protagonist, Detective John Bartlett standing with a gun and a copy of a will in his hand on the cover. Blood would be splattered on the will and his hand as well as a puddle of blood on the floor, possibly with a reflection of Detective Bartlett in the blood pool. I loved the idea and decided that I would have to shoot this myself.

I called up my friend Kurt, also a Barrow County resident and a talented photographer himself, to discuss my idea and ask if he would play the cover model. He agreed and we went off to shoot. It was almost Halloween at this time so I picked up a tube of fake blood at one of the Halloween stores. Turns out I didn’t need it. Kurt mixed up a pool of blood and the blood spatter with some liquid latex. It was an education for me as I was not familiar with the substance. That turned out to be one of the best things ever. Not only did it look wet, but it was easy to move around. All you had to do was peel it up and go [See photo #1]. A handy little time saver, let me tell you.

Before I go on I should talk about the will. I did a search on-line for wills and found several examples that were rather dull looking documents. I created the Last Will & Testament header myself and used a will I found on-line belonging to Ted Williams. Yes, that Ted Williams. A few adjustments to make the will fit the villainous character of Darrin Morehouse from Deadly Games! and we were off and running. [See photo #2]

The photo shoot went well. We took several photos for both the front and back cover [See photo #3] until I found the right pose [See photo #4]. Oddly enough, the image on the back cover of the novel was an improvised shot. Originally, I had not intended for the hand to be in the shot with the gun. That’s my hand, by the way. Some ideas came while we were doing the shoot so keeping an open mind to new ideas was important. [See photo #5]. The presumably dead hand holding the gun not only looked good, but also tied in to the story so that was a nice, unexpected bonus.

When I sat down to design the cover my first step was to remove the background clutter that I hadn’t realized was in the shot when I took it [See photo #6]. I found that none of the fonts in my digital library seemed to fit the tone of the book or didn’t have the right look to match the cover. That meant a trip through some of the free on-line font websites where I downloaded a lot (and I do mean a lot) of new fonts. I finally settled on a few different fonts that I could try. That, of course, led to a whole lot of trial and error to see what works. I’m only posting a small sample here. There were a lot of variations on themes, fonts, and textures [See photo #7], but something still wasn’t quite right. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. At least not yet.

It finally dawned on me that there was a lot of dead space on the cover in front of and behind the character on the cover. Cropping it was the logical answer, but I wanted to be able to see the pool of blood on the cover. Thankfully, I decided that the cover worked just fine without the blood pool on the front and the cover was finally how I wanted it [See photo #8]. Adding some texture and type to the back cover completed the look [See photo #9].

All in all, the process of creating the Deadly Games! cover took several days. During this time I was also formatting the interior pages as well, but many hours went into this. Most important to me is that I am happy with how the cover turned out. That certainly helps when it comes time for me to talk up the book. I have had experiences where the covers on books I’ve written or been a part of were not to my liking. As evidence, the cover to my first novel, Evil Ways was a great disappointment and it did very little to help sell the book.

Hopefully, potential readers will like the Deadly Games! cover enough to pick up the book to see what it’s all about. If so then it is a successful cover. I think it came out great and hopefully you’ll agree. I will definitely design more of my own covers in the future. In fact, I just recently completed a cover for an upcoming release called Earthstrike Agenda that I thought came out great as well.

And just in case this blog about creating a cover has piqued your interest in Deadly Games!, here’s a little more information about the story.

DEADLY GAMES!
A thriller by Bobby Nash

They played the most dangerous game of all and death was only the beginning...

Six years ago, Police Detective John Bartlett and journalist Benjamin West were instrumental in the capture of notorious master criminal Darrin Morehouse. Their story played out in the media, rocketing both Bartlett and West into local celebrity status.

Today, Morehouse, still a master game player and manipulator, commits suicide while in prison. His death initiates one final game of survival for the people Morehouse felt wronged him the most. At that top of the list are Bartlett and West, who must set aside their differences to save the lives of Morehouse's other victims and solve one last game before a dead man’s hired killers catch them and his other enemies.

Deadly Games! is a fast-paced action/thriller featuring action, suspense, murder, and the occasional gunfire from Author Bobby Nash, the writer of Evil Ways, Domino Lady, Lance Star: Sky Ranger, and more.


DEADLY GAMES! can be purchased at the following:
BEN Books estore (paperback)
Amazon (paperback)
Barnes and Noble (paperback)
Books-A-Million (paperback)
Powell's Books (paperback)
Mighty Ape NZ (paperback)
BookAdda India (paperback)
Bookwire (paperback)
Amazon (Kindle) ebook
Smashwords (ebook) multiple formats, Kindle, Nook, etc.
Barnes and Noble (Nook) ebook
Barnes and Noble UK (Nook) ebook
KOBO (ebook)
Drive Thru Fiction (ebook)
SONY Reader (ebook)
iTunes (ebook)
Eason Ireland (ebook)
Bookwire (ebook)
Nook UK (ebook)

John Bartlett and Benjamin West will return in Deadly Deals!

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INTRODUCTIONS

Some books with introductions written by Yours Truly.

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STRANGE DAYS

July 2016:
I wrote the introduction to Jeff Deischer's new book.

What in the Sam Hill is going on here?”
-Otis P. Strunk

I love comic books and the super heroes that inhabit them.

My love affair with this medium started in the magical year of 1979 when, after a little whining and cajoling, I convinced my mother to buy me a 3-pack of comics that had two issues of Amazing Spider-man in it plus a mystery third comic, which also turned out to feature my favorite wall-crawling hero. Turns out it was three consecutive issues and I devoured them. At thus was born my love of comic books, much to my mother’s dismay. I sometimes wonder if she regrets buying me those comics now.

But, we aren’t here to talk about me or my love of comics. No. We’re here to talk about Jeff Deischer and his love of comic book heroes and villains, especially those found in comic’s Silver Age. The Silver Age was a magical time in comics. New characters showed up with familiar names, bringing forth the first of what would come to be known as legacy characters. The Silver Age was also a time of creative expansion. New characters and universes were created, many of which still thrive today in booth and on movie and television screens.

Jeff Deischer’s Strange Days is a throwback to the storytelling style of the Silver Age of comics. By that, I mean the story really moves-- no decompressed storytelling here. No siree. Jeff throws us right in the thick of things with a giant villainous thing doing giant villainous stuff. You can never go wrong with that. And that’s before we even meet our heroes.

Who Are The Mysterians?

That’s what the headlines read. The Mysterians are heroes for that most noble of reasons, they are good. The Mysterians are people who want to do good things and help people. Sounds simple enough, but sadly, the world wants very little to do with their would-be saviors, preferring instead to label them as freaks and to fear them. This doesn’t deter our heroes, however, oh no. They are going to save the world in spite of itself.

Strange Days is a great addition to Deischer’s Argentverse and is an incredibly fun throwback to the world of the Silver Age of comics, which is… let’s face it, one of the coolest on the planet.

For those not in the know, the Argentverse is a superhero universe filled with characters inspired by the comics Jeff grew up reading. Argent means "silver" so it makes sense that the Argentverse stories take place mostly in the Silver Age. Strange Days is the fourth Argentverse volume, the first three being ArgentNight of the Owl, and The Superlatives, all of which are on sale on Amazon (you should definitely look them up).

You’ll get no spoilers from me here because I want you to experience this collection with no knowledge of what is to come the same way I did, but here’s some of the things you have to look forward to in the pages ahead… An amorphous giant bank robber stalks San Francisco in The Proteus Problem. In Paris, the Mysterians square off against thieves in The Infallible Brain (last heard from in Argent). In Summer of the Sorcerer, a 30 foot giant magician causes trouble for the team. The Hunted sends the team on an urgent quest to Africa. Deadeye, last seen in Jeff’s Night of the Owl, returns in Ghost in the Machine to break cowboy, Otis P. Strunk, out of prison to recruit him for into the Lawless legion. The team gets in the middle of an Agent of A.R.G.E.N.T. mission in Blast from the Past. The coming of the Insidians introduces us to the most powerful one of all.

Jeff Deischer’s Strange Days reminds me of the comic book stories that hooked me way back when 8 year-old me had to convince my mother to plop down whatever it cost for that plastic-wrapped 3-pack of comics in 1979.

Happy Reading.

You can find Strange Days herehere, and here or wherever your favorite pulp fiction is sold.

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DAY OF THE DESTROYERS

April 2015:
I wrote the introduction to this amazing new book.

PRESS RELEASE:

From the epoch of the Great Depression when the pulps were in full bloom, among the millionaire playboys who donned masked avenger garb, there were the super spies from Secret Agent X to those in Thrilling Spy Stories.

It is with great pleasure then that Moonstone Books presents Day of the Destroyers, an all-original prose linked anthology. Each story is part of a larger arc wherein Jimmie Flint, Secret Agent X-11 of the Intelligence Service Command battles to prevent the seditionist Medusa Council from engineering a bloody coup overthrowing our democracy.

Inspired by actual events from the 1930s, alluded to in the recent Roosevelts: An Intimate History PBS documentary, a grouping of extremist politicians and moneyed interests sought to "take back" the country from President Roosevelt. Day of the Destroyers pits the ever-resourceful Jimmie Flint against these forces.

He fights across the country preventing an aerial assault on Chicago’s rail lines, destroying a secret factory of gas meant to enthrall millions in New Mexico, to racing to stop a machine of fantastic destruction in Manhattan. He’s aided by his girlfriend, intrepid newspaper reporter Kara Eastland, his teenaged protégé Tim Fallon, as well as pulp era masked vigilantes the Green Lama, the Phantom Detective, and the Black Bat. Joining the fight are real historical figures including General Smedley (the original Devil Dog) Butler and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn. Each exciting chapter-story in the anthology builds to a final showdown between the redoubtable X-11 and his arch-nemesis, Colonel Lucian Starliss, head of the Medusa Council.

Writers who contributed to this one-of-a-kind collection are Pulp Factory award winner Adam Lance Garcia, Macavity and Shamus nominated Jeri Westerson, pulpmeisters Tommy Hancock and Ron Fortier, former Marvel Comics editor Eric Fein, Zeroids writer Aaron Shaps, former LAPD lead detective Paul Bishop, Moonstone EiC Joe Gentile, and Chester Himes award winner Gary Phillips. Introduction by Pulp Ark award winner Bobby Nash.

You can find Day of the Destroyers here, here, and here or wherever your favorite pulp fiction is sold.

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FUTURE TENSE: THE GOLDEN AGE VOLUME 5

October 2014:
Jeff Deischer’s Future Tense: The Golden Age Volume 5 is now available. Features an introduction by some guy named Nash.

Future Tense: The Golden Age Volume 5 - Now available!
by Jeff Deischer

WHO IS MAJOR FUTURE? Like many other heroes of the Auric Universe, Major Future seemed to come from nowhere. In his case, it was more true than in others’. In 1943, a man with superhuman powers that included strength, agility and the ability to see radio waves, found himself in Los Angeles. How he got there and why he had these special abilities, he did not know. Impelled by some inner drive to help others, he took the name “Major Future” and became a superhero. Future Tense tells the full origin of the hero known as Major Future.

Check out Future Tense: The Golden Age Volume 5 here and here or wherever your favorite pulp fiction is sold.

Congratulations on another winner, Jeff. This was a fun read.

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