On my website page devoted to The Black Claw, my 1940’s masked vigilante fighting the forces of evil on the home front during World War II, I wrote a piece explaining that while I had planned a 10-novel story arc of her adventures, sales on the first two volumes (MARK OF THE BLACK CLAW and JUSTICE OF THE BLACK CLAW) were less-than-encouraging and I was suspending the series.
The piece prompted an email from Tom Johnson, a pulp collector, writer and publisher. I was flattered to hear from Tom. Among active pulp aficionados, he is one of the big guns. In the Kindle Store, he has published collections of novels from the old hero pulps including The Black Bat and Secret Agent X, many of his own works of fiction as well as several nonfiction books on the old pulps.
Saying I was flattered would be an understatement. He gave both Black Claw novels excellent reviews and spread the word to other pulp readers.
In part, Tom wrote: “I reviewed both Mark & Justice of The Black Claw, and loved them… so much of this New Pulp that’s being written isn’t near as good as The Black Claw, so I hope to see all the stories you’ve mapped out down the road.”
Now, I’m rethinking The Black Claw. I have the third novel, CHALLENGE OF THE BLACK CLAW, sketched out and started. I need to decide if I’m going to devote the time to finish it. Writing historical pieces requires research; I like to make sure facts and known events are accurate and factual.
I’ve decided to give myself to the first of the year to make a decision. On the one hand, I really enjoy writing about the characters and situations in the imaginary world of the Black Claw; on the other hand, I need to consider the time/return equation.