Friday, September 14, 2018

Forgotten Books: Pulpwood Days, Volume 2: Lives of the Pulp Writers - John Locke, ed.

I always like reading about authors, especially pulp authors, so PULPWOOD DAYS, VOLUME 2: LIVES OF THE PULP WRITERS is targeted right at me. Edited by John Locke and published by Off-Trail Publications in 2013, I’m just now catching up with it.

This is a collection of twenty articles by pulp authors published in various writer’s magazines such as WRITER’S DIGEST and THE AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST, from the Twenties to the Fifties. Included are articles by a number of Western pulpsters whose work I’m very familiar with: Chuck Martin, Hapsburg Liebe, Tom W. Blackburn, Frank H. Bennett (who wrote Westerns as Ben Frank), and Tom Curry, whose 12,000+ word memoir is the centerpiece of the volume as far as I’m concerned. There are other big names as well: Arthur J. Burks, Steve Fisher, Eustace L. Adams, Thomas Thursday, Harold Q. Masur, and Jean Francis Webb. Then there are the writers I know little or nothing at all about, such as Walter J. Norton, Ludwig S. Landmichl, and Paul E. Triem. All of them have interesting things to say, though.

I’m fascinated by how writers work and the stories behind the stories, so to speak, and there’s plenty of that here. As you’d expect since they’re all by yarnspinners, even articles like these are well-written and entertaining. I really enjoyed this book. There’s a companion volume, PULPWOOD DAYS, VOLUME 1: EDITORS YOU WANT TO KNOW, as well as an earlier collection of writer’s magazine articles by assorted pulpsters, PULP FICTIONEERS. I’ve already ordered copies of both of them. In the meantime, if you’re a fan of the pulps or writing in general, I give this one a high recommendation.


George said...

These books sound great! I'm ordering them NOW!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review, James! I love these pulp-writer stories and wish there were more of them to share. --John