Sunday, July 16, 2023


Anyone who has read my pre-Zana O'Savin novels can probably deduce the fact I'm a Chevrolet man, to the bone.

My favorite car growing up was my old man's last true power car—a dark blue, 1966 Chevy Impala. That beast looked a good bit like this:

In my time, I've tried to own as many Chevrolets as I could, including (it was early fatherhood—forgive me!) a bronze Chevrolet Venture (yeah, yeah, an SUV...), and my current vehicle, a black Chevy Impala of somewhat later vintage but with some horsepower under the hood.

But the characters populating my novels are REALLY Chevy folks, most particularly my signature character, Hector Lassiter.

Across more than a dozen entries, Mr. Lassiter remains a committed Chevy partisan, pretty much from the brand's inception, to Hector's lightly implied, post 9-11 grave.

But, particularly, Hector was partial to his 1957 Bel Air, which is essentially its own character in my Edgar-, Anthony, Gumshoe, and other awards-finalist debut novel, HEAD GAMES.

Hector Lassiter sidekick Bud Fiske (Bud debuted in HEAD GAMES, but appears in several Lassiter novels, as well as centering the first Zana O'Savin novel, THE BLOOD OGRE), is, across several novels, himself partial to Chevy Impalas. (The same is true of my other series character, Chris Lyon).

This brings us to Zana O'Savin and her big-fisted companion's car of choice, a 1967 Chevy Impala, in factory issued Granada Gold featured in THE MOTHMAN MENACE.

These days, the 1967 Impala (four-door, in black, with tan interior) is a pop culture icon because of the long-running TV series Supernatural, in which monster- and demon-hunting brothers Dean and Sam Winchester tour haunted America in a '67 Impala affectionately dubbed "Baby."

Like that TV series icon, Zana and Iain's sixty-seven Chevy is heavily modified with smoke screens, hidden weapons caches and other key modifications befitting a Justice Amalgamated "company car."

You can order THE MOTHMAN MENACE here:



Sunday, July 9, 2023


(Attention book collectors: Artist Douglas Klauba and I are both scheduled to appear at PulpFest 2023, if you wish to get rare signed copies from author & artist — particularly the very striking hardcover edition.)

Pathway to a postmodern, pulp-style book cover:

THE MOTHMAN MENACE, was painted by Douglas Klauba & designed by J.T. Lindroos.


The Zana O’Savin Series is my passion project and love-letter to the classic pulp magazine characters and Superman-inspirations Doc Savage & his cousin Patricia Savage, Doc’s five-man team of adventurers, as well as The Shadow, and The Avenger (with one or two more classic pulp characters lapsed into the public domain possibly still to come in Zana #3).

THE MOTHMAN MENACE debuted on July 1, 2023—the same year Doc & Pat Savage celebrated 90 years as variously (seemingly-sadly-fading?) pulp, paperback, radio, film, and comic book icons.

Ironically, I was introduced to the Doc Savage series at single-digit age by the novel mostly regarded as sporting the weakest of Doc Bantam Books paperback reprint covers: THE LAND OF TERROR.


But little me didn’t care: I was deeply captivated by dinosaurs and those Bama-painted black-and-white, photo-realistic depictions of my new heroes on the back cover looked like real people to little me.


That pulp novel is also an outlier, because it was the second-published Doc Savage pulp tale, and Lester Dent (AKA, “Kenneth Robeson”) and company were still finding their feet: Doc was particularly, ahemvery “savage” in his meting out of justice in this sophomore effort.


Still, the blood-and-thunder story fully sold me on Doc Savage & Co.

And truthfully? I still favor that far edgier version of Doc Savage with freak-fisted civil engineer “Renny” Renwick as Doc’s obvious second-in-command.


But soon enough, I found more Doc Savage novels, but these graced with the brilliant covers of James Bama.


Uniquely, I’ve nearly always had unusually significant say or even near-full control of my own books' dust jacket and cover illustrations, even to a degree with the “Big 5” New York publishing houses. (Perhaps reduced to the “Big 2” or even “Big 1”, via dire mergers, by the time you read this.)


When it came to my Zana O’Savin series, I craved something in the vein of James Bama, but focused on my version of Pat Savage—“Zana O’Savin”—and depicted in a very particular

and tasteful tone.


When it comes to neo-pulp novel illustration, I’ve come to conclude there are two approaches: The literal—depict an actual scene from your novel, which is more in the vein of classic pulp magazine cover approach—or symbolic/representational, which is what Bama and his followers mostly strove for with the Bantam covers.

I far prefer the latter approach for many reasons beyond simple nostalgia: It’s simply more in tune with the tastes of current book audiences to be more symbolic, and, I believe and heartily submit, it's infinitely more impactful on a visceral level, which is, frankly, the level on which books rise and fall when covers are first glimpsed and buying decisions made.


My other condition: Not reduce our heroine to a heavily sexualized spin on her cousin with exaggerated proportions and strategically torn shirt.


My Zana cover artist of choice was Doug Klauba.


Collaboratively, Doug and I have had very little back-and-forth when it comes to covers.

I come to the table with a very particular concept in mind, and Doug has consistently and immediately delivered the goods and then-some, with a minimum of roughs, revisions, or further dialogue between us before barreling toward the final image.


The concept for THE BLOOD OGRE, ala-James Bama, was quite simple: Give us Zana and her legendary Peacemaker, backed with a matching shadow of a Shadow-like silhouette with one of his notorious .45’s, “The Shadow’s” shadow doubling for the shadow of Zana and her 1875, modified Colt revolver.

As to the cover of THE MOTHMAN MENACE? Characteristically, I had this vision, even before I wrote the novel: Again, I wanted nothing limiting in a literal sense in depiction of an actual scene from the novel—because I maintain those sorts of images ultimately stunt audience reaction devoid of deeper context.


Rather, I wanted a cover illustration at once modern but also leaning lightly into nostalgia.

There is a musical tradition tracking back to the mid-20th Century of the so-called “answer song.”


A tune becomes a hit, and begets similar, popular tunes in answer to the lyrics of the earlier ditty.


Several of James Bama’s classic Doc Savage covers were imitated by a variety of artists. But for me, nowhere where they more strikingly paid tribute than via three or four of artist Peter Caras’ Avenger covers for Warner Books reprints of the 1940 pulp novel reprints issued in the 1970s.

The most obvious of these Caras homages to James Bama is The Avenger cover for THE FROSTED DEATH, paying tribute to James Bama’s iconic cover of the Doc Savage Bantam reprint cover THE DUST OF DEATH.


I pitched the cover of THE MOTHMAN MENACE to Doug as the capstone to a kind of pulp paperback cover triptych, while remaining very much its own piece of slick packaging.

Read my recent interview with Doug Klauba via PulpFest HERE.

You can order THE MOTHMAN MENACE at:




Tuesday, July 4, 2023


I'm proud to announce that the new series that began with the July 2022 release of "THE BLOOD OGRE: The Hellish Menace Beneath 'The House Doc Savage Built'" continues with "THE MOTHMAN MENACE, released July 1, 2023.

The new novel is available in hardcover and trade paperback, and also features a stunning cover painting of new series character "Zana O'Savin" and the legendary cryptid the Mothman, by the terrific Douglas Klauba, with design by the great J.T. Lindroos. It is published by Night Town Books.

You can order it here:



Doug Klauba and I also are both scheduled to appear at this year's PulpFest, where you'll have the rare opportunity to get copies signed by author and artist.

Here's the pitch:  


On a blustery December night, Zana and longtime companion Iain Rauenwich nearly fall victim to the worst bridge disaster in history, the infamous collapse of the Silver Bridge into the Ohio River. Spotted at the scene is a winged, hulking black beast with searing scarlet eyes—“redder than you ever saw red.” Some claim the “Mothman” is merely an omen of disaster; others a sinister death-dealer. Meanwhile, mysterious and identical-looking men in black roam the reeling West Virginia town of Point Pleasant, whose night-skies swarm with mysterious lights. In a literal siege against time itself, Team O’Savin must confront its most unexpected and formidable antagonist!