As the release of my first novel is imminent (I just got the proofs today!), I thought it might be a good idea to delve a bit into its background.
I love the pulps.
H.P. Lovecraft was the author who got me writing in the first place. The scale of the horrors in his stories was so vast, so unsettling, that I became an instant fan. I read virtually all his work multiple times, and I even went so far as to seek out his contemporaries and influences to see with whom he shared his time and print space.
I found many great writers (Robert E. Howard arguably being my favorite of the bunch), but the more I read, the more I noticed the deficiencies.
Sexism and racism were products of the time, and they ran rampant through many of the works I read. Women were almost always weak and little more than a motivation for the hero (or else an evil seductress), while any black or Asian characters were relegated to roles as servants or villains.
These aspects rankled me. Badly. The characters deserved better than bigoted caricatures, and so did the reader.
This was the chip on my shoulder with which I approached Surviving the Crash. I wanted to write a period pulp that not only embraced the excitement of the old stories but bucked these tropes, full-on twisting them to make stronger, sympathetic characters.
More on that next time…