Derrick Ferguson: Who Is Demond Thompson?
Demond Thompson: I’m a father of 2 and husband of 1. I get to do dope things with dope people, and I have an on-again off-again love affair with professional wrestling.
DF: Where do you live and what do you tell the IRS you do for a living?
DT: Jeffersonville, IN and I tell the IRS that I’m a massage therapist.
DF: How did you get started podcasting? What was the spark that made you say; “I can do this!”
DT: I bought a voice recorder from Best Buy and called some people I know. I’ve always liked getting to know people. I’ve been on television and radio previously so that part of it wasn’t really intimidating.
DF: How do you find your guests?
DT: At first, I asked interesting people that I know personally. Then I just send emails to people I thought would have good stories or at least provide stimulating conversation. Since then, I’ve asked previous guests after I interview them if they know anyone who’s interesting and would talk to me.
DF: Why just Six Questions? Why not eight? Ten? Twenty?
DT: Six is too many. I originally wanted only five! I’m talking to mostly strangers and Six Questions usually take an hour of time to record. I want to respect their time. Also, if I did 8, 10 or more, then I’d probably be still editing my first couple episodes.
DF: You’ve interviewed writers, film directors, comedians, professional wrestlers and mental health experts so is it fair to say that your podcast adequately reflects the variety and diversity of your personal interests?
DT: The Kevin Hart answer is Yes. While I do have a variety of interests, the guests I’ve interviewed all have interesting stories to tell and that’s what matters most. I really enjoy hearing stories about people’s lives, especially creatives. I do enjoy torturing the missionaries that come over to the house by asking them to tell me a memorable tale from their childhood. They nearly always deliver too!
DF: Who are the three people you haven’t interviewed yet that you would love to?
DT: Dave Chappelle, Mark Hamill, Dr. Cornel West. If you ask me another day, I’ll give you three more answers probably.
DF: One of the things I love about your podcast is that there’s no bloat or fat. Yet it never seems rushed and you manage to extract an extraordinary amount of information from your guests in a short amount of time. How do you achieve that?
DT: It’s a developed skill actually. If you sit and listen long enough, a person will tell you everything you need to know. During the interview itself, I listen and just ask questions. After the interview, I meticulously edit. Sometimes there’s some good stuff that gets cut for pacing reasons, and if it’s good I keep it to use another time.
DF: What is the future of your podcast? Do you see yourself still doing it five years from now?
DT: As long as there are people out there looking to talk to me about themselves and their interests, I’m in. I’ve also been kicking around the idea of adding segments to the show, talking about little known historical figures. The show will evolve as time goes on. Will it look the same in 5 years? If it does, I’ve messed up somewhere.
DF: What’s a typical Day In The Life of Demond Thompson like?
DT: Wake up way before the rest of the family. Workout, listen to podcasts, writing. I don’t really have a typical day because I’m still working on my bettering my focus.
Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know?
Demond Thompson: Depend on what you want to know. I have a weird work history, diverse group of friends for someone who lived in Indiana. I also stay crunchy in milk.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SOMETIMES IT TAKES A BAD MAN TO DO THE RIGHT THING-DERRICK FERGUSON’S ‘DIAMONDBACK: IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME’ NOW AVAILABLE! Click Below To Get Your Copy Today! Remember, Kindle Unlimited Members Read for Free!
From the imagination of Derrick Ferguson, the creator of DILLON, comes a very bad man with one hell of a plan…A gunman walks into a war….“New Pulp fans know Derrick Ferguson,” says Tommy Hancock, Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “for the exciting characters he creates and the fantastic stories he writes about them. It is a great honor for Pro Se to be a part of bringing one of those characters to readers old and new once again. Diamondback in many ways is about as far from Dillon and Fortune McCall, two of Derrick’s other creations, as one could get, yet there’s still something this mysterious man walking on his own side of the law that makes him clearly a Ferguson character. Derrick imbues his work with a very unique voice and that, along with all the juicy crime action is what makes IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME worth picking up.”
To call Denbrook a ‘den of thieves’ is the kindest thing you could say about the city and an insult to both dens and thieves. As one of the city’s biggest crime lords prepares to bring in a shipment of hi-tech weapons that will change the balance of power, an unexpected element comes into the game that might change everything. The arrival of a man claiming to be the enigmatic but deadly gun-for-hire Diamondback Vogel has all the wrong people asking all the right questions. Believed to have been killed in the bloody Foreman City Shootout, the man calling himself Diamondback rapidly lives up to the legend and offers his services to the highest bidder. As he cuts a path of death and destruction through the city, his true agenda known to him alone – crime lords, crooked cops, and the odd secret society begin to take notice and ask themselves: “Who is this guy and what does he really want?” From Pro Se Productions and Derrick Ferguson’s POWER PLAY author imprint comes DIAMONDBACK: IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME! Featuring an absolutely stunning cover from Jason Wren and cover design and print formatting by Sean Ali, DIAMONDBACK: IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME is available in print at https://tinyurl.com/yxrzvovy for $9.99.This latest volume from Ferguson’s POWER PLAY imprint is also available on Kindle formatted by Antonino lo Iacono and Marzia Marina for $2.99 at https://tinyurl.com/y3464zfz. Also, Kindle Unlimited members can read for free! For more information on this title, interviews with the author, or digital copies for review, email email@example.com.To learn more about Pro Se Productions, go to www.prose-press.com. Like Pro Se on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ProSeProductions.
AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS
BASS REEVES FRONTIER MARSHAL Vol 4
Airship 27 Productions is excited to announce the release of “Bass Reeves – Frontier Marshal Vol. 4”
There was no greater lawman in the Old West than Unites States Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves. For thirty years, Reeves rode throughout the untamed Territories under the famous Hanging Judge Isaac Parker out of Fort Smith. In that time he captured well over three thousand outlaws and survived several deadly gun battles.
Writers Ron Fortier, Derrick Ferguson, Terry Alexander and Mel Odom offer up four brand new, action packed adventures of the legendary Bass Reeves. In these stories the Marshal will employ all his wilderness skills to deal with some of the most brutal, cold blooded killers on the frontier. While at the same time protecting the innocent whom he has sworn to serve.
“In this volume, we really put Bass Reeves through some challenging times,” confesses Ron Fortier, Airship 27 Managing Editor and one of the volume’s contributors. “From dealing with renegade outlaws, to vengeful Indians, Marshall Reeves has his handful both staying alive and bringing the bad guys & gals to justice. This is the Wild West where death can come from anywhere at any time.”
In all the annals of American history there was never a finer lawman than Bass Reeves, Frontier Marshal. So saddle up pilgrims and get ready for some rip-roaring action.
AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!
Available now from Amazon in paperback and soon on Kindle.
It never fails to amaze me how I can read a book and come away from the book thinking and/or feeling about it one way and then read that same book years later and come away with a totally different feeling. Maybe it was just the mood I’ve been in the last couple of days. I’ve been kinda of introspective and contemplative as I usually tend to get when the year winds down and while arraigning books in my bookcase, I took down Bill Friday’s A DEATH ON SKUNK STREET and on pure compulsion, read it.
First off, you have to understand that when it comes to poetry my appreciation of the art form begins and ends with Dr. Seuss. I simply never developed what I consider to be a proper appreciation of poetry so I never blame the poet if I don’t get the poetry.
But I’ve always liked Bill’s poetry as it has such a dark, witty sarcasm that greatly appeals to me and I liked A DEATH ON SKUNK STREET well enough when I first read it back in 2016 that I wrote a blurb for the book. But I’m a different Derrick Ferguson today from the one who read the book four years ago and a whole lot has changed for me emotionally and I suppose that’s why many of the poems in Bill’s remarkably intimate book have a whole new meaning for me as I caught myself time and time again, re-reading some of them two or even three times.
I have always admired Bill for his ability to be so concise in expressing such raw emotion so succinctly and conveying complex feelings with a deceptive simplicity that is also deeply profound. It’s not easy to do and my respects to Bill for being skillful and talented enough to do so.
The first time I read A DEATH ON SKUNK STREET it made me think. When I re-read it a few days ago, it made me feel. And in a subtle way, despite the angst and darkness in many of the poems, there’s also a lot of hope and wonder in them as well. In a very strange and unexpected way, A DEATH ON SKUNK STREET was a book I didn’t even know I needed to read but I’m glad I did.
AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS
ALL AMERICAN SPORTS STORIES Vol 2
Airship 27 is excited to present three new pulp tales that shine a light on American sports.
Each displays the inherent drama and personal sacrifices required when any man or woman pits their strength of will to accomplish their goals.
“Next to religion, nothing contributes more to the American way of life than sport.”
Jock McKenzie, award winning New Hampshire sports reporter and radio personality. 1925-2013
BROOKLYN BEATDOWN – Derrick Ferguson – Levi “Dancer” Kimbro faces his greatest challenge in the ring vs the savage Deathblow Ballantine. This time it’s personal.
BASEBALL IN DECEMBER – Dexter Fabi – A young rookie player is mentored by an old pro and together they experiences the longest record season in the game’s history.
THE KICKER – Ron Fortier – Returning Vietnam veteran Lucas Brown must over come a tragic disability to recapture his dreams of gridiron glory.
Here are three dramatic stories detailing the excitement, thrills, beauty and drama that is American Sports as told by today’s New Pulp scribes. Artist Adam Shaw provides the powerful cover and Art Director Rob Davis the twelve interior illustrations. The clock is ticking, the game is on the line and only the best will triumph.
AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – PULP FICTION FOR A NEW GENERATION!
Available now from Amazon in paperback and soon on Kindle.
Now that I’ve got the first season of Shadows Over Cymande done with, I suppose it’s as good as time as any for me to try and explain what I’m doing with this series, where it’s going and how it came to be in the first place.
Why did it start? Well, if you’ve been a Patron of mine for a while and before that you know my work from my Frontier period then you know how dedicated I am to presenting online serialized fiction. I don’t know why that is and someday I’m going to have to sit down and try to figure it out for myself but I’ve been committed to telling serialized stories ever since I first discovered The Internet. I spent a lot of years in DC/Marvel fan fiction writing serialized stories about my favorite superheroes and I enjoyed it immensely. Fan fiction was a good way for me to keep the creative juices flowing when I got stuck on a piece of original fiction. And since I considered it highly unlikely that either DC or Marvel was going to come knocking on my door and offer me a job, it was a fun way to tell the superhero stories I always wanted to read. I also made a lot of good friends. Many of whom I still work with and socialize with to this day.
So, when I started up this Patreon thing, I naturally intended to use it as a way to tell serialized stories that in some ways would be me experimenting with storytelling in a way I thought would be more entertaining that just presenting it as a novel.
Of course, there’s the whole ethical angle of me experimenting on your dime when I’m supposed to be entertaining you but we’ll put that to the side for awhile.
Shadows Over Cymande was born out of my love of Soap Operas, believe it or not. I grew up during the 1970s and 1980s when Soap Operas were the primary daytime television entertainment. And for a time there, we even had nighttime Soap Operas such as “Dallas” “Falcon Crest” and the wildly successful “Dynasty”. The daytime Soap Operas are almost all gone, now. I think only two or three are still hanging in there, including “General Hospital” which was one of the daytime Soap Operas that is a huge influence on Shadows Over Cymande
There was a period during the 1980s where “General Hospital” was the craziest, most batshit insane pulp action adventure cliffhanger serial you ever saw. Luke and Laura Charles (played by Anthony Geary and Genie Francis) along with superspy Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) and ace reporter Jackie Templeton (played with a ruthless kind of feistiness by Demi Moore. Yes, that Demi Moore) ran around the city of Port Charles getting embroiled in wild adventures that came straight out of comic books and 1940s Saturday cliffhangers, culminating into the classic “Ice Princess” storyline which saw our heroes battling the wealthy yet insane Cassidine family bent on world domination who had at their disposal a weather machine they intended to use to freeze the Earth if they didn’t get their way. Believe me when I say that for a few years there, “General Hospital” was unlike any other Soap Opera on daytime TV what with its mad scientists, secret societies, hidden cities within cities, ruthless crime bosses, fights, captures, chases, explosions and fates worse than death. And mind you, this was every day.
In fact, the show was so popular it attracted a whole lot of really world renowned actors and actress who showed up either in cameos or small supporting roles. Culminating in a genuine Film Icon, Elizabeth Taylor herself appearing as Helena Cassidine, matriarch of The Cassidine Clan looking for revenge against Luke and Laura for foiling her husband’s plans to freeze the world.
And then there’s “Dark Shadows” It started out as a Gothic melodrama and didn’t really take off until a year after it’s debut when Jonathan Frid took center stage as the vampire Barnabas Collins. It didn’t take long after that until we also had werewolves, witches, warlocks, zombies and all sorts of monsters running around Collinsport. And if that wasn’t enough, the writers threw in concepts such as parallel universes and time travel. “Dark Shadows” even flirted with Lovecraftian themes with the “Leviathans” storyline, heavily influenced and inspired by Lovecraft’s “Cthulhu Mythos.” And just like “General Hospital” this batshit insanity was on the tube five days a week.
In fact, the first scene of Episode One of Shadows Over Cymande is intended as a homage to the first scene of the first episode of “Dark Shadows” which has the heroine Victoria Winters (Alexandra Moltke) arriving by train to the mysterious town of Collinsport, located in Maine. My heroine Alexandrea Ainsley similarly arrives by train to the mysterious city of Cymande in South Carolina.
And on top of that, for years I’ve been taking notes about ideas for a series of novels involving two African-American families of great wealth, power and influence with lineage going back to the Civil War and their rivalry from the days of slavery to the 21st Century. I envisioned it as a John Jakes type of multi-generational epic series of novels. But after a few years I realized that this was a genre I simply wasn’t hardwired to write. For one thing, it would take tons of research and quite frankly, I’d rather be writing than doing research. I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for writers who can spend years doing pure research before writing Word One but I’m not that breed of writer.
But somewhere along the line I got the bright idea that maybe I could smoosh all of these ideas/concepts together and come up with something halfway readable. Judging by the fact I have not as yet gotten an email from my patrons demanding to know What Is This Shit? and Can I Have My Money Back? I guess I’m safe for the time being.
So why not call the first twelve episodes Book One instead of Season One? Mainly because unlike the other serials that are running here, I currently have no plans as yet to publish Shadows Over Cymande as a novel. It’s going to be running here exclusively on my Patreon for a good long while. And if I think of each twelve-episode arc as a Season that will enable me to build certain storylines organically and manage the huge cast of characters much better. So far, I’ve got five Seasons planned. But that could change and it could go longer. Or something else could happen and I end it sooner. These days I like to be extremely loose with my writing plans. Makes me feel less constrained.
So, we’ve met most of our main and supporting characters in Season One and been introduced to the Redfern and Jalmari families. The Redferns are deep into highly advanced technology that almost seems…well, alien or magical in nature while the Jalmaris have connection to…Something Else.
(Cue ominous music)
Even though we now know who killed Carol Baylor and Walter Pinckney, there’s still a lot about the why they were killed that still has to be uncovered. As well as the words the unconscious Carole said to Isaiah Jalmari. And what happened to Sheriff Mark Francis? Why did David Redfern just suddenly disappear? Why was he spying on his family? Why does Cab Westminster have a retro secret office straight out the 1950’s in his basement and why is he typing up reports on everything that happens in Cymande?
I promise I won’t be stringing out these mysteries for long. But the thing about writing something like this is that for every mystery that’s solved, it seems to give birth to two more that need to be solved.
If you’re at all curious as to what this is all about then just bounce on over to my Patreon site. Shadows Over Cymande: The Complete Season 1 is available in both Epub and Mobi formats I hope this has enhanced your understanding and hopefully enjoyment of Shadows Over Cymande. And if not, let me know and I’ll take another whack at it and we’ll see where we’re at.
You can find my Patreon site HERE and besides Shadows Over Cymande there’s plenty of other goodness such as Dillon and The Island of Dr. Mamuwalde and One Night In Denbrook to enjoy if you’re so inclined to part with a couple bucks a month to check it out.
My Thanks to Perry Constantine for his technical assistance in preparing the ebook version and his most excellent cover design.
And as always, Thank You for your time, your patronage, your interest and support in my work and may God continue to bless you and yours. Stay safe and be good to yourself and others.
Derrick Ferguson: It’s been three long years since we did this last so we have to do this obligatory bit of business for the people that came in late. So here we go: Who Is Bertram Gibbs?
Bertram Gibbs: Husband, father, writer, brutally sarcastic curmudgeon, cinema, television, and comic book historian, purveyor of true crime stories, collector of oddities.
DF: Where do you live and what do you tell the IRS it is that you do for your cheese and crackers?
BG: While I am always saying/reminding people I’m from the Bronx, New York, I live in Lynn, Massachusetts. I do issue the warning that I have constructed an electrified moat around my home (oft referred to as ‘The Psychedelic Shack’) and is guarded by a bevy of attack gerbils. That’s on top of my rescue pup and three cats. Regarding the felines, one is a spastic germaphobe, one constantly retreats to the basement to work on her thermo-nuclear device, and the last one sits calmly, staring and plotting the demise of us all.
DF: One of the things that intrigued me about you right from the start is your background so yes, I’m gonna make you tell the folks at home about it. Proceed.
BG: OH, C’MON!!!
My rapier wit, my brutal sarcasm (re-mentioned in case the readers skipped over the first part), my near-encyclopedic knowledge of films, my love of comic books, and my cinematic writing style which lets the readers ‘see’ the story they’re reading. But originally, we crossed paths when I was writing for Curtis Fernlund’s Justice League fan fiction site where he was great and righteous enough to publish a novel I wrote (that DC/Warner wouldn’t) in monthly installments (The Return of BWAH-HAH-HA, for those who came in late). It was a team-up story with a lot of cameos from the DC heroes’ roster. I decided to let Plastic Man, The Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) and Booster Gold go after Lex Luthor, using their combined powers of annoyance. This was done in the 80s period where super heroism was mixed with outlandish comedy. I tried to do all the characters justice and threw a few comedic moments that the DC writers didn’t come up with.
DF: How long have you been writing?
BG: YEESH! If you want photographic proof of when I started, there’s a pic of me at 4 years old, frowning in front of a typewriter (I’ve aged of course, but the frowning rictus remains the same). If you asked Ma, she would say it was about the time I learned to read on my own; which was at 3. Ma had read me comics since I was aware enough to question the bubbles above the superheroes. One day, after a bedtime story, I complained (yeah; I’ve been doing that since birth) that I didn’t like the story. She said, ‘So, go write one!’ Been writing ever since.
Ma was my biggest fan and harshest critic. I would sit in my room, writing in longhand, finish the dozen or so pages and pass it to her for review. She would sit in her chair, a cup of tea on the ever-present folding TV tray next to her chair, going over page after page until she was done. One of two things would happen: Ma would either tell me she liked it, commenting on the plot, the story structure, the characters, then give a few tips on how I could improve it. Or, she would lock eyes with me, take a sip of tea, then tear the sheets of paper in half, then in haves again, telling me why the story didn’t work, if it seemed like I used a known character or one from something else I wrote, or if it was crap to begin with, then proceed in telling me why she felt it was crap. All the while smiling under her dark eyes and speaking in her soft Lauren Bacall voice. Which could also go full New York with a Jewish twang.
True, the latter could be ego-blitzing, but living in a sarcastic environment, where the digs flew like a flock of insane geese, it thickened my skin. And helped me deal with rejection.
Quick Ma story showing her caustic remarks weren’t just meant for the family: She had to go through a parents/teacher’s night and each one (there were eight in total) said that I was attentive, had my homework down, always willing to help out, polite, always had my hand raised with an answer, and things like that. Ma got bored of hearing the stings of praise by the third teacher. The last one said basically the same thing as the others, except she added, ‘When Bertram was born, they broke the mold!’ Ma said in her dangerous monotone, ‘And to make sure there were no duplicates, we backed a truck over the pieces.’
DF: In the three years since we last did this, have you found an audience for Bertram Gibbs or have they found you?
BG: A little bit of each. I’ve been passing my stories around to different people; professionals and John Q Public. The civilians really like them; so did some of the professionals, but not enough to publish them because they did not fit into a particular literary niche. And because my stories read like a film instead of a book, the few professionals who responded felt they were off-putting because I did not adhere to a particular format.
Between the end of last year all the way into the Spring, a filmmaker asked to do a film adaptation of The First Thing We Do. Because I lack the talent to do screenwriting, the gent happily took on that task. What came from that was very disconcerting.
He had merged one or two characters, changed the gender on one, removed key murders, altered the motivation of the villain, as well as the ending, and because the story revolves around my two NYPD Homicide detectives, Desmond Fine and Frank Costa, versus them being equals, he tried to make one the older, senior detective and the other the newbie on the force. That caused a bit of a back and forth brouhaha between us because I explained – repeatedly – that a pairing of that type was an overused film trope that went back to Kirk Douglas’ ‘The Detective’.
Then it occurred to me that even if he changed the characters and the events from the book for a film, it did not change what I wrote in any way. I decided to allow him to make whatever changes he wanted to (within reason) because if/when the film came out, it would turn people towards the book. The readers would see what as written versus what they saw and determine which was done better.
End result: he couldn’t get the funding to get the production off the ground. That equally saddened and overjoyed me. Sure, I was disappointed, but felt that if the book was in the right hands, and the time was right, a film would be made based on my story and characters one day.
DF: The world has changed in extraordinary ways in the past three years. How has it affected your writing? Has it affected it at all?
BG: If anything, the dark paranoia and tenuous nature of the world; especially 2020, has spurred my imagination. Part of my work has more of a cynical edge, and part has more humanity running through it. Many I know are going through anger issues, anxiety attacks and increasing bouts of worry and depression. But they are what they are and even as bad or horrific as they are – in my mind – they’re only temporary. We have gone through troubling times and have gotten over them. WW1, WW2, the Korean, Vietnam and Iraq wars. The assassination of both Kennedys, King, Malcom. 9-11. The Oklahoma bombing. Waco. School shootings, mass murders. The murders of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and others. And on. And on. Ad infinitum. I am old enough to remember them all. That said, I am fully aware of the social and political unrest that appears on the news every other minute, but throughout it all, I am hopeful. We, as humanity, have come out of each one a little more cynical, but – for the most part – on the better side. Maybe not as complete as we’d like it, but they’re stages in our being. It’s an understanding that we, as a society, are broken. And we’ve known this all along, but now and once again we have to face the shattered pieces and fix it.
Which is why I write. I create worlds where this; our reality, doesn’t exist. And if it does, it does in a somewhat different way. Despite the dark, weird and otherworldliness of my stories, there’s a degree of hope at the end. And if there isn’t, the ‘bad guy’ gets their due. Either way, I like to see my stories as a distraction to our day to day. Something to take your mind away, if only for a few minutes. To give you a moment of peace so you’re not dwelling on what’s going on around you.
DF: Whenever I recommend your work to anybody I always tell them to start with THE FIRST THING WE DO… is that fair of me?
Some months back, I would have said yes, but these days, no. To clarify that answer, I have to tell you a story, and we all know that stories are a part of life.
When I first met my publisher, the company published ‘Reflections From the Abyss’. Because of my aversion to sequels and feeling that if you can tell a story the way you want it, it should be a one-and-done. That is how I wrote ‘Reflections’. The publisher demanded a follow-up story and because the book had a finite ending, there was no logical way to create a ‘next chapter’. But the requests continued and my imagination led me to think in a cinematic way. Like in films, you could do a prequel; a story that happened before the story. So, using my detectives, Desmond Fine and Frank Costa, I came up with an earlier case that became ‘The First Thing We Do’. After that was published, the kinks in the fabric started to show.
Seeing that how I ended ‘First’ did not refer chronologically to how ‘Reflections’ began, I knew I had to write a bridging piece that tied both works together. That story is called ‘The Cup of Their Deservings’. At the same time, the publisher began to make very drastic changes in how their author’s work was to be published (marketing, the cost of book covers – which had to be from their house artist -, editing, the actual publishing, and how the nut fell into the author’s lap). While I debated each point, a friend – who is a big fan of my detectives – pushed me to write another book with Fine and Costa. Again, ‘Reflections’ had such a finite ending, it really couldn’t be done without stretching the reality I created. In short, ‘Reflections From the Abyss’, while being published first, is actually the third in the series, and ‘The First Thing We Do’, is the first story while ‘The Cup of Their Deservings’ is the second. I can send you a stack of 8 x 10 colored glossy photographs with circles and arrows and paragraphs on the back if you’re confused by this point.
Then thanks to my watching the ‘Forensic Files’ show, I figured out how to do a follow-up story to ‘Reflections’ and keep the reality, well, real.
Suddenly, the head of the publishing company became ill and subsequently passed away. The person who took over started sending a battery of emails, reassuring the authors that their work would not go unattended. They were followed by more emails that invited the authors to submit more work, requesting said authors to invite new and unpublished authors to join, and adding a new price structure that seemed legit if you were willing to hock your mother’s respirator to get your work published through them.
Warning: When a publisher sends you an email filled with spelling and grammatical errors, moonwalk the hell out of there.
So, I did a test: I sent a copy of the bridging story that was purposefully quite graphic in violence, profane past the point of shock value and purposely filled with spelling and continuity errors. I expected that these glaring points would be mentioned and a request for a rewrite would follow. What I received was a contract to publish it, filled with said new and improved pricing structures and detailed sections on what they would not do to push the book; which was just about everything. I requested the full rights of ‘Reflection’ and ‘First’ and ended my relationship with the publisher.
So, because both books are out of print, you may find them online somewhere, but will have to pay a hefty price for them. But no worries; as the Joker said, ‘It’s all part of the plan’.
DF: Tell us about NO WORD OF A LIE.
‘No Word of A Lie’ is Stage One in my nefarious plot for world domination. The book has 14 short (and in some cases, not-so-short) stories covering different genres. Science fiction, modern fantasy, satire, straight drama, realistic horror, comedic; all stories that I feel everyone will enjoy. Taken from the Amazon site:
‘A man dies and finds Heaven is not as perfect as advertised. Two friends and how a long-hidden secret change everything. What goes on in a self-help group. A man who is stalked by himself. A 40s private eye works to solve the case of an impossible murder in modern-day Hollywood. A serial killer is forced to take a hard look at his misdeeds. The ultimate workout program. A man finds out how far he will go to change his life.
These stories and more.
As you turn each page, you’ll find No Word of A Lie.’
At this point, the book is only available in Kindle format. Maybe as time moves forward, I will include a paperback edition. But, as it stands now, you have a collection that is a little over 500 pages for $3.04 a pop, so versus adding a luggage rack to lug the thing around in to your cart, I think you’re getting a pretty decent bargain.
DF: What other pots you got boiling on the stove?
BG: Now that I am publishing my work through Amazon, I intend to re-publish my crime thrillers in book order. In a short time, you’ll have a slightly revamped and updated ‘The First Thing We Do’, ‘The Cup of Their Deservings’, ‘Reflection From the Abyss’ and the other dozen or so books I’ve written that follow.
I will also be publishing another mystery, outside of the Fine and Costa pieces, called ‘Split Decisions’, and my irreverent take on the superhero genre, called ‘The Collector’. There’s also a second book of shorts in the making.
DF: What’s A Typical Day In The Life of Bertram Gibbs like?
BG: Since the fun of COVID-19, I’ve been working from home. I get up around 5:15, have my coffee and alternate between watching the news and a show I have on DVR (presently, it’s the first season of Star Trek: Discovery). Then around 6:20, I do a moderate workout with weights, then assist my wife in getting ready for her day at the office (she does not work remotely). Then I begin my job in credit and collections. Insert 16-ounce mugs of coffee through the day. Because I have my work laptop on the same long desk as the home computer, I roll in my chair from computer to computer, office-working on one while writing or noodling on a story on the other. So, if a camera was filming me, it would be like watching a tennis match with me rolling from one end of the desk to the other. I tend to do my stories on weekdays so I can devote my time to hanging out with my wife in the evenings and weekends. Of course, there will be moments when my brain returns to a story and I go to add a line or page or two. My wife is my inspiration; my muse, and she thankfully understands when I get that glazed look in my eyes (outside of my generally glazed look) and skips to the office to go back to a story. Or begin a new one.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
I’m hoping, as all writers do, that No Word of A Lie is a springboard to being able to write fulltime. A bum can dream. Writing is the best thing I do. Legally, anywho . . .
Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should or need to know?
Bertram Gibbs: There are probably some odds and sods I could add, but they’d probably bore you to tears (I know it does me). So, I will leave it to your readers to ask whatever question they feel the need to ask. I will respond, but will warn you to expect a modicum of sarcasm in my answers. As Ma has said, my level of sarcasm could power a third-world country.
NO WORD OF A LIE is now available on Amazon. All you got to do is bounce over to HERE
And Bertram is a really entertaining guy to hang out with. Why not slide on over to his Facebook page and make friends?