The Union Recorder

March 16, 2013

Resident pulp writer wins best novel

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE —  

Today’s real world still needs heroes. Barry Reese’s pulp fiction novels force inspiring characters to stand up to darkness.

Escapist fiction commissions a sense of making the world better. The Milledgeville writer’s recent works don’t act as a mirror for our often negative natured society. 

Instead, antagonists always draw out the best in pulp heroes.

“The good guy is going to win,” Reese said. “You just have to wait until we get there.”

At this point Reese has been published more than 50 times. A recent personal work, “The Adventures of Lazarus Gray Volume 2: Die Glocke,” won best novel in the 2013 Pulp Ark Awards.

Best novel at the Ark Awards is the closest thing to a pulp genre version of winning a best picture Oscar. He was humbled by the honor.

Cover and interior art raises the pulp genre profile of any work. “Die Glocke” also won Pulp Ark Best Cover and Best Interior Art awards.

Washington-based artist George Sellas collaborates with Reese.

Sellas gets free artistic reign when sent a new story.

“Anytime you can give people a visual representation of something that sticks more with a lot of people,” Reese said.

After winning several Pulp Ark Awards and being an invited pulp expert guest at Dragoncon, Reese has a fan base, which seemed strange years ago.

“When I started writing in 2007, I thought nobody else was doing it. Now there is a new pulp movement,” he said.

The 1930s-based genre interested a young Reese. His father usually left Tarzan and Doc Savage books lying around.

“The covers grabbed me. Before I could read, I was fascinated with these books,” Reese said. “I was that weird kid that could tell you about the forgotten heroes.”

Reese began a professional writing career 10 years back. A big break came suddenly from Marvel Comics after a friend’s referral.

The local fiction extraordinaire submitted material for Ghost Rider and Blade good enough to be hired the next day. Reese spent three years working for Marvel.

His best-seller was a Spider-Man book that sold 48,000. An encyclopedia of Marvel characters netted the most monetary reward.

Reese also developed stories for Moonstone Books, which allowed him to take on the Green Hornet and the Avenger characters.

Working under strict license guidelines has positives and negatives. Getting to write plots for a favorite pulp hero is wonderful, but these works have a defined story bible.

Personally created novels and short stories keep Reese more in tune.

“With my own stuff there is a lot more freedom. I get to take more chances with my work. It’s more explicitly me,” he said.

That freedom grows with each successful book.

“I’m not one of those people who plan out a lot of stuff,” Reese said. “The more I outline I’ve found the less fun it is. I feel like I’m transcribing as opposed to creating.” 

Reese’s writing process is built around his characters like the popular Lazarus Gray. The 1930s hero washed up in fictional sovereign city with no idea of his identity.

A medallion with the name Lazarus Gray serves as a rebirth starting point. In the first book Gray finds out his true identity while warding off evil.

The award winning “Die Glocke” is the first of a trilogy that Reese has already completed. Gray’s third adventurous installment debuts this May.

A contract with Pro Se Productions provides royalties from each copy sold.

Pulp novels don’t make him rich, but the love of history and the genre make everything worthwhile. A Twin Lakes Library System director day job fills the gaps.

Visit barryreese.net for pulp updates or book orders. His works are sold locally at Middle Georgia Cards, Coins and Comics as well as online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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