Saturday, May 2, 2015

My Influences When writing African Firestorm -- The Series

I mentioned in a previous post that the key was write something you wanted to read. When Rick Chesler put the word out he was looking for co-authors for his new action series, I stepped forward because those of the type of novels I like to read. So I decided to put forward a post about what sort of novels I liked and why I I wanted to write African Firestorm.

So, I divided this up into two different posts. This one is about the adventure series that I enjoy reading. The next is about those authors whose adventure/thriller novels I enjoy reading. There's different set of authors I enjoy in other genre, but that 's for another post.

Here they are:

Doc Savage

Before Superman, before most super heroes as we know them today in the comics and the big screen, there were the pulp heroes whose exploits were in the monthly pulp magazines of the early 1930's through the end of the 1940's. One of those heroes, mostly forgotten to mainstream readers is Doc Savage, The Man of Bronze.

Trained from birth to be a hero, Clark Savage Jr. ("Doc") was both a physical marvel and a mental giant, who traveled the world with his team of men, fighting evils in all forms. Villains using science-fiction weapons, lost civilizations, and monsters were taken head on with Doc and his team's brains and brawn. Like the cliffhanger serials of the 1930s, Doc saved the world from all sorts of danger. The most interesting this is that a lot of the futuristic technology in these novels are commonplace today.

I can to these novels through the 1975 George Pal Movie and the first one I brought through the Scholastic Book program through school. When I was old enough, I would haunt through used book stores, looking for the Bantam paperbacks. The reprints by Vintage Library I have the first dozen, but my budget hasn't allowed me to continue buying them or the new ones written by Will Murray. But I have most of the Bantam run, and when I need to escape into a cliffhanger, that's where I go.

The Shadow

If Doc Savage and Supermen are related (Both had Fortresses of Solitude, for example), so are the Shadow and Batman. Both are dark avengers who strike fear in the hearts of Criminals everywhere. Both are rich men who rub soldiers with the movers and shakers (Even though the Shadow's isn't really Lamont Cranson, but an impostor using Cranson's name)

But while Batman is (mostly) a solo act, the Shadow had a network of agents to aid him in his fight against evil. But the Shadow and his twin .45s were never far away, and bad guys never knew when he was coming.

While I was aware of The Shadow (Though the radio show), my first exposure was the comics of the 80's. After that, the Movie, then the Vintage Library's reprints. Sadly, like with the Doc Savage, I haven't been able to keep up with the series. but I have a few radio shows, a few of the Vintage Library reprints and if my mood takes me, both the modern movie on DVD and the movie soundtrack (I like Tyler Dane's "Original Sin" from the soundtrack).

Mack Bolan: The Executioner

If I had to name one series that I consider my key series, it would have to be this one. It was the first adult series I read, taking my dad's copy and reading them starting at the age of thirteen., and when I can, I read them today

For forty years, Mack Bolan, special forces and war vet (Originally the Vietnam war) has been fighting the evil man brings to his fellow man. When most of his family died, he was called home to bury them. Once there, he found that the mafia had been indirectly involved with their death. Untouchable by the police, the local mafia saw themselves above the law --- until Bolan decided to declare war on them. For the first forty or so volumes, Bolan's war was against the Mafia, going across the country, conducting a guerrilla war. Later, he took on terrorists, criminal cartels, madmen of all types, at first for the US Government agent, then as a lone wolf with an arm's length relationship. With his near trade mark 9mm Beretta and his .50 Desert Eagle, Bolan wages a war against anyone who threatens innocents anywhere in the word.

In addition to Bolan series, I also read two related series, Phoenix Force and Able Team. All operate under an umbrella of Stony Man group. They too fight threats against innocents and good people.

The Death Merchant

This is probably the least known and the oddest series of the four series I like.

Richard Camellion is a mercenary working for the CIA, taking extreme missions and leaving a high body count behind him. He is cynical. nihilistic, and has a high IQ. The stories are a little more out there --- Mind control drugs, Clones, underwater cities, man-triggered natural disasters are a few of the plots Camelion must stop.

While the plots are on the edge, the action is realistic and brutal. Someone isn't just shot; instead, where each round goes and what damage it does is described in detail. The same with other forms of mayhem. There are also small nuggets of information to pick up on. This is not everyone sort of series; Camelion is a bit of an asshole, and holds strong views. He also has a low regard for most of the human race, and doesn't hide it.

But I like the series because it is different. There's enough little things I can pick up on for use elsewhere, and it showed me how to write a anti-hero and make still the good guy besides his faults.

Well, that's it. Next time should be the authors I like in the adventure/thriller field.



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