Wayne received a 2011 Pulp Ark Award Nomination in the following categories:
Pulp Heroes-Khan Dynasty -Wayne Reinagel (Knightraven Studios)
“Best Cover Art”
Pulp Heroes: Khan Dynasty-Wayne Reinagel (Knightraven Studios)
“Best Interior Art”
Pulp Heroes: Khan Dynasty-Wayne Reinagel (Knightraven Studios)
Wayne, share a bit of background about yourself, if you would. I grew up in rural Illinois, one of four brothers. Started reading at age seven, with the novel Dracula. From there I read all the Victorian classics including Frankenstein, War or the Worlds, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Lost World, Three Musketeers, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Time Machine, and so on. I had a library of over 100 books by age ten, when my father bought The Pirate’s Ghost, my first Doc Savage novel. I was immediately hooked. For the first time, I was reading adventures that took place within the last century. From there, I quickly discovered the Avenger, the Shadow, and other pulp heroes. All of these books would have a major influence on my future storytelling. Exactly how much will be revealed with question number five.
Your novel, Khan Dynasty, is up for best novel. Just what is this novel and the trilogy it's a part of, PULP HEROES, all about? To best explain the story Pulp Heroes - Khan Dynasty, I need to provide a little background on my concept of Infinite Horizons.
In 1863, author Jules Verne began writing a series of scientific adventures, known as the Voyages Extraordinaires. These works included Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Mysterious Island, Around the World in Eighty Days, and fifty more. Infinite Horizons follows a similar vein, exploring the secret lives, and revealing the extraordinary, unrecorded exploits and adventures, of the greatest heroes and villains to ever walk the Earth. So if you combined Warren Ellis’ Planetary, Alan Moore’s LXG, Marvel’s What If?, and DC’s Elseworlds, blended them together and poured the concoction into a mold, you’d have Infinite Horizons. In sheer size, scope, and potential, Infinite Worlds is an endless, bottomless, literary Sargasso. And the ultimate crossover universe. The first series of Infinite Horizons novels are entitled Pulp Heroes. The titles in this trilogy include More Than Mortal, Khan Dynasty and Sanctuary Falls.
Pulp Heroes is an epic adventure, spanning two centuries in time, and features all-new stories involving famous (and infamous) fictional characters from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly’s Frankenstein, Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Professor Challenger’s Lost World, Chester Hawks’ Captain Hazzard, H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quatermain, J.H. Rosny’s Ironcastle, John W. Campbell’s Who Goes There?/Thing from Another World, James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, James Clavell’s Tai-Pan, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, Richard Connell’s The Most Dangerous Game, Philip Wylie’s Savage Gentleman and Gladiator, and many more.
And so, Khan Dynasty would best be described as a multifaceted story involving two generations of heroes racing to stop a diabolical duo from unleashing a devastating wave of death and destruction. The villains are the Victorian man-monster Edward Hyde and the insidious devil-doctor Hunan Sun, who is my take on the Yellow Peril characters like Fu Manchu. Khan Dynasty is a standalone story, filled to overflowing with a combination of speculative science fiction, and blazing action, but involves all of the same Pulp Heroes characters and historical background as More Than Mortal.
You're not simply the writer of this trilogy? What other duties do you take care of? What sort of process do you use as a creator to come up with your ideas? I’m the writer, illustrator, publisher, and chief bottle washer. Knightraven Studios is a one-man shop where I get to explore a variety of talents. Using Photoshop, a digitizer pen and tablet, I’ve painted all the covers and interior illustrations, bookmarks, and even posters. Completely self-taught, I’ve even created my own website. I’ve built a studio on the back of my house where I can hide away from the world and completely immerse my brain in the Infinite Horizons universe.
Usually, the ideas are a constant flood into my brain. The only way I can keep everything organized is to have tablets and posty notes all around the house so I can jot down various ideas, questions, and concepts as they come to me. These are eventually sorted and compiled into a series of Word documents, until I’m ready to start writing the novel. I currently have five novels plotted that I haven’t started writing.
KHAN DYNASTY mixes pulp homages with other fictional characters from a variety of literary sources. What sort of research did you have to do for this and do you think your trilogy has useful potential in a classroom setting possibly? For Khan Dynasty, and More Than Mortal, I read and reread hundreds of novels for research. These included the many of the books listed in questions one and two, plus lot of Doc Savage, Avenger, Shadow, and Spider tales. The real challenge here is to link the worlds of the Victorian heroes and pulp era heroes. There are even a few comic character homages, although names have been altered as necessary for copyright reasons. The coolest part of this is, I can tell stories that even the current copyright holders cannot. And because of this, Pulp Heroes has quickly grown far beyond the established borders of the original pulp world.
Useful potential in the classroom? Absolutely. The goal of my stories is to peak the interest of the reader and add greater depth to existing storylines. So, the attraction isn’t merely for the story itself, but in discovering the numerous links affiliated to other great novels and actual historical events. I even had to create a monster-sized poster with over 800 entries to keep all the facts straight.
What might be coming up that could you get back on the Pulp Ark Award list for 2011? Wow, where to begin. First, I have the third Pulp Heroes novel, Sanctuary Falls, to complete. Next, there are several short stories that will be published in a trilogy of art books, including the long-awaited Hunter Island Adventure, These books will also display the art of Pulp Heroes in full color.
Then there’s the novel I just completed yesterday. It will be going to press next week and be available before the Windy City Pulp and Paper Con on April 15. And, for the first time ever, I am publicly announcing the title of this series of novels. It is the first book of a new trilogy, entitled Modern Marvels - Viktoriana. In question two, I mentioned the importance the first books I ever read. This newest novel will have a cast of characters, and a fantastic storyline, absolutely guaranteed to knock your socks off.