Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ralph's Rants Interviews "Monstrous" author Jim Beard

Jim B Interview
Hello and welcome to Ralphs rants does interviews

This weeks guest is none other than the prolific, imaginative as well as all around nice guy, Jim Beard.

Lets get right to it, Jim; What event in your life made you want to write?

Maybe I’m not so nice – let’s find out! No single event really, just seems like I’ve always been interested in creative writing. I can remember summer vacations from school where me and the kid next door tried to write a ‘super hero encyclopedia’ but gave up after a few pages…hmm, that’s a trend that’s continued into adulthood  But again, writing has always been in my blood, even though I’m trained as a visual artist and have a degree in it.

What was your first published piece, Either web based or print?

As a writer, my first professional published piece was the profile pages in HAWKMAN SECRET FILES #1 for DC Comics way back in 2002. I had actually written my “Stormchasers” story for JLA/JSA SECRET FILES #1 first, but the Hawkman book was published first. Those profile pages were later reprinted in the first two Hawkman trades.

Where and how did you hone your craft?

I think there’s probably more than a few people who would argue that my craft isn’t that honed  I had intended to be a comic book writer, but after a few gigs the industry went into lockdown mode and wasn’t really interested in having a new barbarian like me breach its defenses. So, I found my path to pulp fiction in 2011 and have been honing that ol’ craft ever since, I guess.

You’ve been published in two novels as well as one anthology (That I know of) in the past year, and have another about ready to pop, as well as another novel you’ve mentioned, a sequel to Sgt. Janus, What else are you planning?

Let’s see – I have six finished short stories that are in with publishers and waiting to be released, and I’m currently working on, yes, the next book in the Sgt. Janus series, SGT. JANUS RETURNS. After that it’s a short tale for Barry Reese’s Rook series and then onto Book II of CAPTAIN ACTION. Then…well, I have some thoughts on what to do, but things change way too quickly in this biz to hammer it all into stone.

Was this your first year of having novels published?

2012 was my first year as a published fiction writer. In December of 2010, I put out a book of critical essays on the 1966 Batman TV series called GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES.

Of the characters you’ve created, which is the one closest to your heart, and why?

That would be Sgt. Janus, of course. You know, its funny; if you had told me years and years ago that I would someday create and have published an Edwardian occult detective character, I would have scratched my head and asked if he would have a colorful costume and secret cave from which he fought crime. It would never have occurred to me back then that such a thing would well up from somewhere deep inside of me and grip me as it has. I just finished the first new Janus tale for the second book and it was a joy to return to that world.

Which of the ‘classic’ pulp characters is your favorite, and has influenced you the most?

Doc Savage all the way, baby. I dig The Shadow and The Spider and all the others, but its Doc and his adventures that engage me like no other. With Doc, all things are possible and all worlds are open for exploration.

Which writer from pulps classic era has been most influential to you?

Lester Dent is still the prototypical pulp writer for me. He says it all and with brevity and wit.

Which era do you prefer writing in? The dim past? The golden age of pulp? The modern (Current ) era or the future?

Overall, I think I still prefer the classic 1930s/1940s era, but, as in Sgt. Janus, I have a great admiration for the World War I period, as well as the Victorian era. That said, writing a Captain Action novel set in the 1960s was a hoot and a half, too.

What does the future hold for Jim Beards writing and publishing schedule?

(answered that in a previous question)

Finally what is your favorite thing about being a new pulp author?

That I found a form of fiction that I feel comfortable writing within and that it makes my imagination soar. Pulp encompasses so much, and the style can adapted to anything at all – any genre, any setting, and group of characters. And it’s all about adventure.

And what is your least favorite?

That I can’t be involved in every single project that passes my way. Seriously. I want to write it all and there just isn’t enough hours in the day to do so. That still bugs me.

And that’s it for this week’s interview. I want to thank Jim Beard for playing along. Be on the lookout for his brand new book “Monster Earth” It’s sure to be a fun read.

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