Monday, July 29, 2013


One of the best parts of being a writer is the interesting people you get to meet at conventions, store signings, through the Earth Station One podcast, and on social media. Sometimes I get asked questions so I thought it would be interesting to share some of them along with the answers. Some of these are questions asked to me directly, some come from social media, and others are asked to a group of writers. Regardless of where they come from, here’s a few of the latest.

Check out Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here.

Q: Why is the sky blue?

I have to thank my friend, Blake for this one. When he first asked, this was my answer. “Because there's a smartass in every group, Blake.” I then thought that I should probably expound further, but then decided that my first response was pretty good. HA! HA!

Q: What is an all-ages comic book?

An all-ages comic is a comic that both kids and adults can read. It's not just a kid's book or just an adult book, but suitable for both. The mainstream comics of the 60's - 80's were mostly all ages. These days there are few that are made for both. It’s cot comics, but I’d say the Pixar movies are mostly all-ages. You get different things out of them as an adult than as a child.

Q: Do you set up a new Facebook page for every series or book you have, or do you just have an author page?

Just the author page. There’s no need for a page for every one of my books. That becomes very difficult to manage and maintain. I rarely LIKE pages that are books for that very reason. Besides, I already spend too much time on Facebook.

Q: Any plans to write any other pulp characters?

Oh yeah. I just finished a Fight Card book last week. I have a story in The Avenger: Roaring Heart of The Crucible and in The Spider: Extreme Prejudice, both of which came out in the past month or so. Another The Spider anthology featuring a story by me is coming soon. Domino Lady: Sex As A Weapon will be re-released in October plus I wrote a Domino Lady novel that will come out sometime in the near future. Earlier this year I had Secret Agent X and Green Hornet stories come out. Plus, in a couple months I start work on a Honey West/Domino Lady novel for next year. Whew. And that’s not even all of it. You can check out the full list at if you'd like.

Q: Who is your favorite golden age pulp character that you discovered relatively recently?

Domino Lady. I had never heard of her before I was tasked with writing a story. I love the character now. Secret Agent X is another. I had heard of the character, but hadn’t read much before I was tasked with writing him.

Q: What were the other tunes played in Evil Ways along with Carlos Santana’s Evil Ways?

You have to read the book to find out. :) Okay, I guess I can share. The other two songs were Bruce Springsteen's 'Glory Days" and 'Tryin' To Live My Life Without You' by Bob Segar.

This was covered in a previous Q&A, but here’s some background on how Evil Ways got its title.

There's a scene in the novel that takes place in a bar. The house band plays classic rock covers. One of the characters in the book is a singer. They coax him on stage to do a few songs. I turned on the radio and the next 3 songs that played were the songs he performed. One of those was Evil Ways and I thought it might make an interesting title until I came up with something better. It stuck.

Q: Should you as an author expect to do most of the legwork in marketing your book or should your publisher do it?

Ideally, both should do it. The publisher should do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of marketing in places where the author cannot, like magazines, TV, bookstore distribution, and the like. This is a short-term thing though because the publisher then moves on to the next book being released. The author should be spreading the word as well because, let’s face it, who should care more about the author’s book than the author? Plus, the author can market long term and keep sales going beyond the initial sales week. This helps keep royalties coming and can lead to publishers requesting more books from the author.

Q: How do you write about things you *don't* know?

I research when I can. Sometimes that means searching the internet, other times it means meeting people who have that knowledge, and sometimes it means just making it up as I go along.

Q: How are you doing on their creative projects/writing?

I'm up to my eyeballs in multiple deadlines so I've been chipping away at multiple projects every day. This will continue through August and into September. After that, I need a vacation.  :)

Q: What is your favorite Kurt Russell movie?

Tombstone. I absolutely love this movie. If I run across it on the TV I will sit and watch it every time. My second favorite is probably John Carpenter’s The Thing. Guilty pleasure favorite would be Tango and Cash.

Q: Favorite Michael Douglas movie?

Wall Street followed by Romancing The Stone.

Q: Where can I find your books?

As luck would have it, there are links in the tabs at the top of the page. Novels, anthologies/novellas, short stories, comic books, and audio. I also have the Amazon a-store link up top as well. Outside of that, you can ask your favorite bookseller to order them for you. Plus, most are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and the like. They're out there. I also sell a few autographed copies direct. There are buy it now buttons on the tabs as well. I'll add more as we go along. Just ask. I might have a copy or two on hand.


On a forum, I mentioned that I have always had an interest in and would one day love to write The Fantastic Four. Author I.A. Watson sent me these questions based on that response. I was aware of them from cartoons, but I've been a huge fan of the Fantastic Four since the mid-80's when I was introduced to their comic book adventures. My favorite FF uniforms are the black with white belts, gloves, boots, & neck piece.

My only caveat here is that I've not given any thought to stories I would tell since I haven't gotten this particular job. If I got the job as the Fantastic Four writer this might change because, as writer, you have to give the editor/publisher what they want.

Q: The FF has really only had about four storylines since vol 1 #20 - a member leaves/dies/is replaced, the team explores something, Reed invents something, or an old villain returns deadlier than ever. What would you do with the team that didn't retread that old ground?

You cannot simply jettison those parts because the Fantastic Four are, first and foremost, a team of explorers. I love that the FF is often discovering new races, new worlds, new galaxies, new dimensions, well, you get the idea. Reed not inventing something is out of character.

That said, I have no plans to have anyone leave. I like my Fantastic Four to be Reed, Sue, Ben, and Johnny. Of course, She-Hulk can pop by for a visit every now and again because I love that
character. Granted, as I type this I’ve not written any plots, but I would love to start the FF on an adventure that takes them on a great journey into strange lands and see what happens. I would also want to do more down to Earth stories between their grand ol’ adventures. Mix ‘n match.

Q: Likewise, the FF hasn't really had a major villain added to their rogues gallery since Lee/Kirby. What kind of threat might you come up with that has the staying power and returnability of the Mole Man, the Skrulls, or Anihillus?

Good question. If I were writing the series I would certainly create some new adversaries for the FF, as well as some allies and friends as well. That said, I wouldn’t rule out revisiting some of the classic villains as well. You have to mix and match. A new villain
going to war with an older FF villain with our heroes caught in the middle does have some appeal.

Q: What would you do with Johnny Storm? How do you make him as central to the series and as cool as he was in 1963?

Johnny is a cool character. I think he is sometimes written a little too childish. Is he childish at times? Sure. Is he that way all the time? No. Can he be a jerk? You bet. Is he always? No. Johnny is like that teen actor who becomes instantly famous and it goes to his head. Johnny is a hothead, prone to leaping without looking. This gets him into all types of trouble, both in her personal life and as a superhero.

Q: How would you handle Dr Doom? How would you cope with "Doom fatigue"?

Doom would not happen immediately in my run if possible. Eventually, I start in with Doom as a subplot. He’s up to something, but what? He’s searching for something, but what? How will this hurt Reed Richards?

Q: What role would Franklin and Valeria play in your run? How would you make Valeria less annoying and less of the sort of deus et machina her brother used to be?

I love the kids. Valeria being smarter than Reed makes her the magical fix to many of the issues they run into. I love the relationship between Val and Franklin. I would love to see that relationship continue. Family is an important part of the FF. You can’t be successful with this title is you ignore that.

Q: How would you develop the most neglected, cliche, and difficult-to-get-right relationship between the four, that of Reed and Sue?

Reed and Sue Richards are the longest running married couple in comics and I love that. It seems that a lot of stories about married couples fall into these categories: 1). They argue all the time and we fear they’ll split up. 2). One cheats, or is tempted to cheat, on the other. 3). They are the perfect couple.

Now, let me preface this by stating that I am not married so I am therefore no expert on the subject, but I like to think that, based on observations, a married couple doesn’t fit snugly into one of these categories alone. Get to know the characters and write them in character and you will see how their relationship develops. I imagine Sue gets rather irritated at Reed on a regular basis, but she also knew the kind of man she married. She knows how he gets lost in his work. To suddenly write her hating
that about him would be the wrong way to go. Reed and Sue are a team and I love them as a couple.

And that’ll do it for this round, I think. Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer? Post them here as a comment or send them along to and I’ll answer them in a future installment of Sometimes I Get Asked Stuff...

Also, please sign up for my mailing list. Drop me an email at and I'll happily add you to the list.




Derrick Ferguson said...

I'd love to read your FANTASTIC FOUR because you understand what makes them tick. They're a family of scientists/explorers that occasionally fights supervillains. They're not a superteam. The job of The Fantastic Four is to continually push the boundaries of The Marvel Universe by going where no Marvel superhero has gone before.

BobbyNash said...

I agree, Derrick. I love that the FF goes out and explores, discovers strange new worlds and universes, and the like. One of my favorite FF stories was a 6 issue (I think) tour of the Negative Zone where they ran across a new species each issue.

Sadly, I suspect this is one of those wishes that may never come true, but you never know.