Sunday, July 13, 2008

Speaking at the West Covina Library

Yesterday I spoke at the West Covina Library about Pulp Writer and the history of pulp fiction. There were several pulp fiction enthusiasts there, including one gentleman named Chester Hilton who learned to read by using Wild West Weeklys, and read them religously for several years during the Depression. He was one of the classic readers who read under the covers after he had gone to bed, and after his mother turned out the lights, he would take his Wild West Weekly over to the window and read by streetlamp. "I bet you don't know the name of Kid Wolf's horse," he challenged me. "Well, I do happen to know," I told him, "but I want you to tell me what it is," I kidded back. "Blizzard," he said promptly.

We all had a great time. There were other pulp fiction enthusiasts there, including one man who had collected a great many of the pulps, including some of the Weird Tales issues from the 1920s. I hope you have them stored in a safe deposit box, I told him.

It was nice to get out and do a presentation again. I hadn't done one in a few months, and it felt good to speak again. I needed the escape - many of you know that I am trying to sell my house in Los Angeles, and stressful doesn't even begin to describe it. Besides worrying about whether the house will ever sell, there's also the extra work of making sure the house is picture perfect every single day before leaving for work, and every weekend having open houses and preparing for those - which, if you include all the yard work, takes an entire day. so for the past few months, every single weekend, I have worked myself to exhaustion on Saturday and Sunday mornings getting the house and the yard ready, and then spending Sunday afternoons taking the dogs and driving around for three hours. All for nothing, so far. I will be so glad when this is all over. You have no idea. Or maybe you do.


Chris said...

This is a cool blog. What a rich history to investigate. Plus, the covers are awesome. Keep up the good work.

If you're interested, check out my Louis L'Amour blog. You can learn all about it by clicking on my name above. If you wouldn't mind, I'd love a link to my blog from yours. I'll do the same for you.

I'm also interested to hear if you think L'Amour was a "pulp" writer, as I've often heard him described. A friend of mine once said that, as if it was kind of a negative thing, not to be taken as seriously, just sort of "fun" and frivolous. My position is that thought pulp may be largely fun and frivolous, that doesn't necessarily strip it of merit. It takes style to write that way, and while pulp writers probably couldn't write like Jane Austen, Jane Austen couldn't write like pulp writers. What do you think?


It's nice to see someone flying the flags for the pulps. I suppose I am a modern pulp writer - I have a western novel, The Tarnished Star coming out soon from Black Horse Westerns. These keep the pulp spirit alive - 45,000 words wrapped in a lurid pulp style cover. Please check some out.

Laurie Powers said...

thanks for the comments, guys. sorry I haven't commented sooner. If you read my current post you'll see why. I'll check out your post, Chris. And I'm very familiar with Black Horse Westerns!