NINE FOR THE NEW (New Creator Spotlight)
AP: Don, welcome to ALL PULP! First, can you tell us about yourself, some personal background?
DT: I was born in a small town in Tennessee, and my father was in the Air Force so we tended to move around a lot. Then my mom divorced him and married another guy that had a job where we moved around even more. And my older brother and I just got used to finding the closest library in the area we were in and reading as many of their books as they had to offer.
AP: As a writer, what influences have affected your style and interests the most over the years? Do you have a particular genre/type of story you prefer to write?
DT: This last year there seems to have been a serious clash of ideologies in America, and for that matter the ideologies of America clashing with the rest of the world. It’s like that old song “Something’s happening here.” Lots of tension and no one really knows what the final result will be.
I have always enjoyed Fantasy, as it was influenced by older legends and mythology. And my first love as far as what genre to write was Horror, and from time to time I like to go back to it. So I would say that both would be at the top of my list as far as the type of story I like to write. But with that said, I do enjoy tackling a genre or style that I’ve never done before, and one day I’ll eventually write a lowbrow slapstick comedic story, mainly because I haven’t as of yet.
AP: What about genres that make you uncomfortable? What areas within pulp are a little bit intimidating for you as an author?
DT: Not really one to get uncomfortable when it comes to genres. There’s some that I just haven’t done as much as others, and one is prone to be more comfortable writing in the genres that they are used to. And as far as my pulp writing I would probably have to say that Science Fiction oriented pulp is a little bit intimidating because I was such a fan of all the old 30’s to 50’s pulp Science Fiction writing that was done back then. And to me it just seems that those guys back then raised the bar pretty high.
AP: Are you a pulp fan? If so, how has that affected you as a writer of pulps. If you aren’t a longtime fan, then why pulp?
DT: Oh yeah I would say that I’m a pulp fan, and throughout my life I have run through several different styles and genres of pulp. And the majority of it has been very enjoyable to me. And as a writer it has a “in the trenches” feel to it, very dramatic with a quicker pace than the standard type of story from beginning to end.
AP: What do you think you bring to pulp fiction as a writer?
DT: I’m a storyteller, and have been all my life. If I’d been born in an earlier age before computers or even books for that matter, I would have been the guy sitting by the campfire keeping everyone else entertained with a good story. And that’s another thing, to me a good story is exactly that, it captures the interest of the reader, instilling in them a want to get to the next page to find out what happens next. So when I’m writing I like to keep that in mind.
AP: Your work has been published recently with PRO SE PRODUCTIONS in their various magazines. Can you tell a bit about THE BROTHERS JADE three part novella as well as MURDER IN THE GHETTO OF TRENTONIUM.
DT: THE BROTHERS JADE is a Fantasy story involving the beginning of the quest for the Drink of the Gods. And the drink is a magical brew that imbues upon the drinker immortality and possibly godhood. They are the ones foretold about in the sacred Prophecies of Michael Crucible. Earlier Michael Crucible, the greatest god of good in the world of Mythas sacrificed himself to finally defeat the Great Enemy, "He who should not be named". And both were undone by that sacrifice, resulting in a major power vacuum on the world stage, especially when it comes to the forces of good.
But luckily Michael Crucible left a series of prophecies that predicted that a group of adventurers that would come. And they would be charged with the responsibility of not only achieving the fabled Drink of the Gods, but also restoring the overall balance of power.
And if THE BROTHERS JADE is the story that deals with important events going on worldwide throughout all of Mythas, then the characters and setting of MURDER IN THE GHETTO OF TRENTONIUM is more of a different more localized story. It is more about the smaller picture in one particular city, and although it to is a Fantasy story, I would say that it is the more mundane of the two. Gim Bolt and Mohrian the Wizard are crime investigators for the city of Trentonium, and their specialty is going after murderous individuals whose crimes have brought them to the attention of the city guard for various reasons.
AP: These stories exist in the same universe, right? Do you have a thought out universe using these characters and will readers get more of this in upcoming issues of PRO SE PRESENTS or elsewhere?
|Fantasy and Fear 1 Cover|
Featuing 'Trentonium' Characters
Art by Erik Burnham
DT: Yes both stories exist in the same universe. In fact several of the characters from MURDER IN THE GHETTO OF TRENTONIUM appear in the second novella installment of THE BROTHERS JADE. And yes the universe of Mythas has been pretty intensively thought out, and the plan is to reveal more and more details about this universe with all of my Fantasy stories that will be based in that setting.
AP: What is your creative process as far as creating a story and writing? What techniques or steps do you take?
DT: Before I start a story I’ll usually think a lot of the basic points of it out before I ever set pen to paper. And even than I’ll still usually come up with a least a basic outline of events, coupled with information about the major characters of each storyline. Then at that point I will think about the interlocking chain of events that will take the reader from the initial first steps down the road towards the eventual climax. And then I set down and start writing things out, with all of those various steps in mind. Although sometimes a story will take me down a road or avenue that I hadn’t expected originally.
AP: What’s coming from Don Thomas? Any projects you want to discuss?
DT: In the world of Mythas, even before the prophesized group from THE BROTHERS JADE, there were others that quested for the fabled drink of the gods. And they were a band of notorious villains that had a lot to do with tilting all of Mythas so dangerously close to being subjugated the remaining gods of evil. So there is not only a parallel to both stories, but also to a degree each interweaves with the other.
Besides that I am also working on another story involving Gim, Mohrian, and their tight knit group of friends as they try to counter an outside force attempts to organize into a formidable threat against the entire city of Trentonium. And this particular story will highlight other characters in the group, especially Storm the pit fighter.
And there’s also my series of stories about the masked adventurer THE RAPIER, and his climatic battle in 1940’s Los Angeles against a very real evil mastermind, whose nefarious plan causes Jason Graves aka The Rapier to evolve from Hollywood bad boy actor just playing the role of a hero, to him becoming a full-fledged costumed vigilante.
AP: Don, thanks so much!