Monday, March 7, 2016

Day One Four Six. Influence: Writers

The authors who influence me are creative and artistic—but more important, they work. They're working authors who place butt in chair and fingers on keyboard.

Heavy volume
One of them produces a million words a year (2,480 words per day) of finished prose ready to go into print. Several work in a variety of media from traditional books to graphic novels.

The key, for me, is that they are always working. That's what sets working authors apart from those who merely enjoy writing. When you can't afford the luxury of waiting to be inspired, when deadlines loom, when you have to work even when you don't feel like it, you're the real thing.

The three authors introduced here are members of Bob Deis's Facebook page devoted to men's adventure magazines. We're veterans of, or fans of, that genre of two-fisted writing and art that shaped us from the 1950s to the 1970s. Visit the site here.

Chuck Dixon, 61, is a longtime script writer for comics and graphic books who also writes fiction and has two book series going, See details here. I'm a big fan of his "Bad Times" series about former Army Rangers who undertake dangerous time-travel missions in search of treasure and adventure. His other series, the Levon Cade books, are dark tales of vigilante justice, Chuck has contributed over a thousand scripts to publishers like DC Comics, Marvel, Dark Horse, Hyperion and others featuring characters from Batman to the Simpsons.

James Reasoner, 62, warns new writers not to wait for inspiration. "My inspiration has always been to not have to go out and hold a real job," he said on an off day when he was completing one chapter of a book rather than his usual two daily. He has been at it for forty years. "There are not many of us who can keep doing this year after year."

Prolific writer
Reasoner writes in other fields but is especially well known as a Western writer with more than 200 books to his credit, under his name and various pen-names. Early in his career he wrote Mike Shayne novellas in Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

He is author of a ten volume series of novels about the Civil War plus other volumes about World War II.

One of Reasoner's recent achievements is an anthology of alternate history, "Tales From the Otherverse," located here,

In 2014, after 60 years of writing non-fiction, I made my own attempt at alternate history with my book "Hitler's Time Machine," which is available from me, or here. I was encouraged by the writers you see on this page. "Hitler's Time Machine" was so well received I felt I was on my way as a creator of fiction.

About crime
I wanted my next project to be a crime novel.

A favorite expert on crime is Paul Bishop, 60, another creative and very busy scribe, Learn about Paul here.

Paul is co-creator of the popular Fight Card series of short fiction pieces designed to be read in one or two sittings. His novel Lie Catchers is worth a read. If it appears to present police work realistically—albeit, with a catch—remember that Paul spent 35 years with the Los Angeles Police Department and was twice named Detective of the Year.

In 2015, I was ready to try my second work of fiction, a post-World War II crime novel featuring some of the characters in the "Hitler" book.

The new book "Crime Scene: Fairfax County," was all but finished when, in October, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. See my January 15 post for details on my health situation. I was able to complete "Crime Scene: Fairfax County" and you can get signed copies from me. I'm also working on the next book in the series.

It doesn't appear that time will permit me to proceed much farther with my series-character crime novels. We'll see. Whatever happens, I'm glad I made the move from traditional publishing to self-publishing and from non-fiction to fiction.

Meanwhile, watch these guys. They're really good.


  1. Thank you for sharing. Great entry!

  2. I'm glad you did some fiction writing, it's great! Sorry that circumstances don't allow you to do more of it. I will check these writers out, though.