What is Pulp Fantasy?

I’ve spent a lot of time lately working on book 6 of Tales of the Lore Valley, (along with plotting out books 7, 8, and 9 and starting up a brand new storyline… details to come) so I’ve had this idea rattling around in my head for a little while now.

I’ve always had trouble marketing the Lore Valley series. It has a distinctive style and pace, which I’ve kept for each of the first three books, and which I intend to keep for however more books I end up doing. Each book is short, falling more into the novella size, and highly episodic. I consider each set of three books to be something like a TV season, telling a ‘chapter’ within a much larger overarching story. Ostensibly, it’s about a world being invaded by a mysterious enemy, but the individual stories touch on much more than that. Air pirates, destiny and fate, friendship and loyalty, the power (and tyranny) of magic.

In the past, at shows or just talking to people, I’d call it sword and sorcery. That always seemed to fit, but I found that description lacking and unsatisfying. It didn’t quite capture the style and tone of the books, especially when they’re fast-paced, character-driven stories that usually end with plot-derived cliffhangers. They have a serial, pulpy style to them, like the old pulp fiction serials of the past. Well, that gave me an idea.

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Now, this term is already out there in some limited usage, mostly as a description of certain types of fantasy books, a lot of them already included in the – you guessed it – sword and sorcery genre. Here’s a post from Grognardia that lays this out in detail. What I intend to do, however, is usurp that term the same way my buddy Demethius Jackson has cornered the market on self-help fantasy. Go ahead, Google “self help fantasy” and see who comes up first!

So, long story short, what you’re about to see is an author embarking on a new marketing campaign. I’m not totally sure how I’ll make this happen, but feel free to watch the magic as I fumble through this extraordinary (and tedious) adventure! I’ll start with the book descriptions and keywords, and then work my up to blog posts (like this one!) and conversations all over the web. When you ask me at a show or signing what the books are about, I’ll absolutely include the phrase in my discussion of it with you, possibly more than once. Over time you’ll get so sick of it that you’ll buy my books just to burn them in a pagan ritual condemning me to some unnamed pit of pagan hell.

That’s when I’ll know I’ve done my job.

P.S. For what it’s worth, feel free to buy as many of my books as needed for pagan rituals. If said rituals involve dancing naked in the woods, I might even do a book signing beforehand!

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