Wednesday, April 13, 2011


YESTERYEAR, the debut novel from Tommy Hancock as well as Pro Se Press' first foray into the field of novels and anthologies, is now for sale!  Printed via Createspace, YESTERYEAR, 190 pages, can be purchased for $12.00 here.  In the next 1-3 weeks, it will be available via Amazon and after that available via online at other markets as well!

The following is taken from the Estore Page-


YesterYear by Tommy Hancock, Published by Pro Se Press. Cover Art by Jay Piscopo, Interior art by Peter Cooper, Format and Design by Sean Ali.

A world where heroes and villains existed since the day the market crashed and the world almost collapsed. Common people granted great powers and awesome responsibility. A world where one of them knew all the secrets, good and bad, and put them down in a book. A world where that man and that manuscript disappeared.

Until now.

YESTERYEAR is the first book in an epic series chronicling the adventures of Heroes and Villains, both in the Heroic Age of the 1920s-1950s and in the modern day. Centered around a missing manuscript that might hold information that could literally change history and even mean the end of the world, YESTERYEAR alternates between a fast paced modern storyline about the man who ends up with the legendary book and excerpts from the mythic tome itself. Marvel to pulp like adventures of glory and adrenaline and become engrossed in the humanity and horror of being a Hero.

YESTERYEAR by Tommy Hancock-Sometimes the Greatest Mystery of Tomorrow happened Yesterday

As an added bonus, Pro Se is proud to share an exclusive excerpt from YESTERYEAR!


Two things in this world that do more damage to lives and souls than anything else. Excess. And boredom. And, unfortunately for some, the two go hand in hand. Most people aspire to greatness at some level. When they reach it, when they stand atop the grand mountain that they chose to climb, they very often will look not down into the valley they have left, but to the next highest mountain to scale, always wanting more. And those who achieve their fifteen minutes of fame and fortune become jaded quickly, tired of the trinkets and baubles of celebrity that they sought for so many years. They desire more, usually more of the same. And it's always too late that, even if they get close to that next lofty spire, they realize the fall is that much harder.
It was late 1935 and she stood in front of the full-length antique mirror she kept by her bed. It had been her mother's and the only thing that she had taken out of the antebellum shack she'd called home most of her life back when she left in 1931. She smiled as she stood there, the thought of that night crossing her mind. It seemed funny to her that that night, that singular event was all she could recall from life in Kentucky, life before Hollywood. Not that that bothered her, she mused to herself as she reached behind her to sort through the pile of clothing neatly disarrayed on her bed.
It was a warm night, especially to be autumn. But, then again, she was in California. High in California, as she told that young man trying to make his name that she'd had dinner with a few nights ago. Wayne, he called himself. John Wayne. Simple name, she thought when she first heard it. Still felt that way. Not enough strength, enough flair to make a mark in anyone's mind. Granted, it was better than what she’d heard someone say his real name was.  He'd fade soon enough, making B westerns as he was. Even if he was more proficient in other areas, a faux blush crept into her cheeks, John Wayne would not be a name anyone would remember.
Not like Constance Meredith.
She lifted a green floor length evening gown from her bed and playfully draped it in front of her. Making little girl faces in the mirror, she wondered at her own name. Or, actually, how her mother happened on it. She never asked and no one ever took the time to tell her. But at least, she thought, they gave me a name that fit a movie star. I didn't have to manufacture one like so many did. She frowned at the green dress and slung it back on the bed.
A movie star. She was that indeed. Her name had been all over the city and the country in the past year, on every marquee and every one's lips. Constance Meredith. The lovely blonde that played opposite Spencer Tracey. The innocent ingenue swapping jokes with WC Fields. The moll with the heart of gold who finally saved Edward G. Robinson from himself. Those roles, as well as several others, had made her quite the hot commodity. Not bad, she thought as she sported a black cocktail dress in front of her mirror, for a hick whore, as someone who didn’t last long enough in Hollywood to even have a name called her sometime back.
She shook her head disapprovingly at the black dress and let it fall away. Hick whore. She stood there in front of the mirror in nothing at all, her skin an alluring mottled white, almost like marble. John Wayne. She stared at herself, stark, bare, naked. The moll with the heart of gold. Nothing was there, not just clothes, but nothing at all. No spark. No life. No Constance Meredith.
She spun on her heels, crying as she collapsed into the mound of clothes on the bed. Tears soiled silk as she sobbed. Constance Meredith no longer existed, she knew that now. She'd known that for a while, ever since Claudette Colbert ended up getting a grapefruit smashed into her face by Gable instead of her. She went to Colbert the day after the casting call came out, confronted her, asked who she slept with to get the part. The saucy witch turned it around on her, saying that it hadn't been nearly as many as Constance herself had before.
She was finished. Even though a script with a new actor, some swashbuckling matinee idol type by the name of Flynn, sat on her nightstand with Jack Warner's own handwriting on it saying it was hers for the asking, she knew better. The bell tolled heavily in her ears. That was why she was in her room on a Friday night of all nights. No calls. No one sported her on his arm this evening. No producer knocked down her door to share his latest project. And no flash bulbs clicked from the street below trying to catch her passing her window.
She screamed into a tangled red evening gown as she kicked her feet and hammered her fists into the mattress. Her ride to the top had ended. Once, just so few weeks ago she thought, she stood with the elite, with the best. Now she languished on her sheets and pillow. Alone. Empty. And lifeless.
She wanted to go out that night, to find something. Some way to fuel her inner flames again, to make her burn brighter than everyone else, to be the light in the eyes of adoring fans and lustful leading men. She missed that feeling, that almost worshipful adoration. She remembered bathing in it with her Academy Award nomination last year, simply basking in the glow of applause and ovations. And she wanted it back. But she couldn't get it back. No actor or actress would ever shine so intensely again, she'd learned that earlier that week. After reading that article.
She'd been in Louis B. Mayer's office, called there to entertain 'an offer to relocate' he'd called it, and she absent mindedly picked up a New York paper draped across the arm of the chair beside her. The headline caught her eye:
The byline, some hack named Long meant nothing to her, but the hack’s words did. Comparing the masked men and women prancing and dancing all over the country it seemed to motion picture stars. How the glitter and gold of Hollywood dims a bit in the presence of The Night or Lady Mercury. How Hero's ruggedly cut features outshine Cooper or Grant. How the public has found a new set of idols, a new group of inspirations to pin their dreams on. A new privileged class, leaving the celluloid elite somewhere in the middle.
She cursed out loud thinking about the damnable article as she got off her bed. Throwing clothes about madly she swore that no one in pajamas was better than her, regardless of how far they could fly or how many lives they saved. She was Constance Meredith, a movie star. It didn't matter that that young kid with the electric powers, Blue something or the other, just landed a serial at Republic. Or that the young Heroine called Paradise was now appearing in Madison Avenue ad campaigns. None of that mattered a bit.
Like hell it didn't.
She hated it. She'd grown accustomed to being a crumb in the upper crust of society, the object of affection or ridicule, both were equally enticing to her. She wanted to forget Kentucky, forget Colbert, and remain on the pedestal high above the riff raff. But she couldn't do that, not anymore. Because her star had burnt out. And a new cast of players now captured America's heart. And she couldn't compete with that, she fumed as she kicked at her antique mirror. The mirror lunged forward, spinning once or twice. It wasn't like she could go out and audition to be a Hero. She couldn't just throw on some gaudy costume and jump into the middle of criminals and ne'er do wells. Or end up on the Shipman's arm after a daring rescue of some forgotten actress.
She just couldn't go out and become a Hero.
Three nights later, the Los Angeles news buzzed with the sudden appearance of its own masked crimefighter. And what an appearance she made. Long red dress, cut just low enough to turn heads, and a white masquerade mask covering her face, white full length gloves to match. And her name, that bought almost as many comments as did her lovely features and hourglass figure. She dripped of Hollywood, even down to the name she made sure the people around the purse snatcher she'd felled knew before she left. Yes, The Starlet dripped flash and excess. Just like her beloved Hollywood.

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