Interview with Ron Fortier, Moderator of WRITING NEW PULP ADVENTURES, a panel at PULP ARK (May 13-15, 2011)
AP: Ron, you're heading up a panel at Pulp Ark focused on Writing New Pulp Adventures. Can you tell expand on that topic a bit?RF: Basically we hope to discuss what has been a natural progression for these new writers now doing pulps. For over fifty years all fans had were reprints of the classic stories to read over and over and over again. Thanks to this new renaissance we are experiencing, publishers are bringing forth "new" pulp stories of classic heroes. Good, bad or ugly? That's what we're going to hash out.
RF: Considering the topic, I couldn't very well recruit non-writers. No, the fun of hosting this panel was inviting on board a handful of some of the best professional published new writers working in the field today. Hearing their personal motivations for following in the footsteps of the great pulp writers of the 30s should be highly informative and entertaining.AP: You've got several people helping you out on that panel. What do your guests bring to the table for this topic?
RF: Well, tricky question that. You see pulps have really never left the book market. They just evolved with the times and became lots more sophisticated in their execution. Writers like Clive Cussler, Dean Koontz, James Rollins, Lee Child and Douglas Preston are all best-selling modern day pulp writers. So we already have new pulps being produced every single day. As for those of us writing tales of the classic pulp heroes, that's a whole other arm of the pulp world. And yes, I believe there's a need for these as well, if only to keep alive the marvelous legacy established by those early publishers. When you can read new Secret Agent X stories, you walk away with a much better grasp of the literary heritage that produced a James Bond. Read the Suicide Squad and you understand where TV shows like Mission Impossible and the current Leverage came from. This may have well started as a hobby, but today it is a viable branch of the pulp world.AP: Do we need new pulp adventures? What makes new pulp works viable in the modern era? Is there a market or is this more of a hobby?
RF: I mentioned that in my last response. Folks with no understanding of pulps or its history will be surprised at its relevancy to today's modern thrillers and action adventure movies and TV shows. The panel will clearly delineate that history of what the pulps gave us and still continue to provide.AP: What about the general public? What might they learn from your panel?