…what does Marilyn Monroe have to do with THE RETURN OF THE SPECIALISTS?
…what does Marilyn Monroe have to do with THE RETURN OF THE SPECIALISTS?
DILLON AND THE NIGHT OF THE KRAMPUS is a story I think is fairly unique for a pair of reasons I’ll get into in a minute and then I’ll explain why it’s being presented as this month’s feature on my Patreon page. First off, the story’s history. It was written for the 2014 PULPWORK PRESS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL and kinda just came to me in a rush as I had written a Dillon Christmas story for the 2012 volume and honestly had no intention of writing another one. That one; “Dillon and The Night Before Christmas” was a mash-up of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol.” Which I did because every time a writer decides to do a Christmas story with his/her favorite character they do either “It’s A Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Carol.” So I figured by mashing up both stories into one, I’d do my obligatory Dillon story and get it over with.
So how did I come to write DILLON AND THE NIGHT OF THE KRAMPUS? It’s partly the fault of Joshua R. Reynolds, curse his hide. Long before The Krampus became a cultish rage, Josh was telling me stories about The Krampus. Yeah, everybody and their mother know about The Krampus now, but Josh was in love with the critter long before they were. I was intrigued with The Krampus and as I do with most ideas Josh gives me, I scribbled it away in one of my notebooks, figuring that I’d use it in a story later on. Which story, I had no idea. I certainly never thought that I’d use The Krampus in a Dillon story.
So how did The Krampus end up in a Dillon story? For a couple of reasons. I wanted to write a story where Dillon again has an adventure with Wyatt Hyatt and Reynard Hansen who he worked with in “Dillon and The Judas Chalice.” I liked the interaction between the three of them as they’re all black men but they’re all very different types of black men whose skills and personalities mesh well together. Especially Wyatt and Reynard who have a relationship that is not as contentious or as cantankerous as Monk Mayfair and Ham Brooks but that vibe is there and I wanted to explore it further.
The Krampus got into it because I wanted to write a Christmas story that was more of freewheeling, action/adventure filled romp than “Dillon and The Night Before Christmas” which was pretty dark and grim (but ended on a hopeful note, Thank Odin) and the idea of Dillon fighting a Krampus struck me as being just goofy enough to work.
So I wrote the story and it was published and I thought no more about it. Until an odd thing started happening. One that is the perfect example of one of the things I love about writing: you never know what is going to resonate with readers and what they’ll pick up on. You can’t predict what readers are going to like and you’re a fool if you try. Just be glad when they do latch onto something and even more, they let you know what it is.
In this case, it’s a scene where Dillon reveals to Wyatt and Reynard that he has a house. Now if you’ve been following Dillon for awhile then you know what a shock this was to Wyatt and Reynard since Dillon has never before mentioned to them that he had a permanent residence somewhere. They’re even more amazed to learn that the dog they’ve come to Alaska to pick up is Dillon’s second dog. Here’s a picture of an Alaskan Husky, which is the type of dog Dillon prefers and that he names Festus.
Wyatt and Reynard are naturally pissed off that all this time he’s had a permanent residence and a dog and he never thought to mention it to two men he claims are close friends of his that he’s been on dangerous adventures with where they’ve saved each other’s lives many times over. And they both quite loudly express their dissatisfaction with Dillon. To put it mildly.
The feedback I got from readers (stop your snickering. I do have readers. I DO.) was that scene was their favorite in the story and they wanted to know if I was going to follow up on it. And while I didn’t have any ideas of doing so, once the suggestion was planted in my head, it took root and began to grow.
So starting next month on my Patreon page I’ll be starting a brand new serial which doesn’t have a title yet although I’m kicking around two or three of ‘em. What can I tell you? I have a hard time with titles. But what I can tell you is that the story will be a direct sequel to “Dillon and The Night of The Krampus.” which is why that story is going to be featured on my Patreon page this month so that those of you who haven’t read it can get caught up before the new serial begins. Dillon doesn’t manage to get Wyatt and Reynard back to their homes in time for Christmas for reasons that will be explained in the story. As compensation, Wyatt and Reynard demand that Dillon take them to his house along with their new friend, Professor of Occult History & Science, Folklore and Mythology, Ursula Van Houghton. That’s where the story starts and I promise you it’ll get wilder from there. And along the way you’ll hopefully find out a lot more about Dillon that will enhance your enjoyment of the character and his world.
Okay, that’s it for now. If this is your first time here, feel free to stay awhile, look around and maybe leave a comment or take one of the polls. Until next time, watch some good movies, read some good books and be good to each other. And don’t forget to vote, dammit!
And here’s a handy dandy visual aid so you don’t have to burn up brain cells imagining what Big Pig looks like:
Greetings and Salutations! And also apologies. I know I haven’t updated this thing nearly as much as I should be doing. I was absolutely horrified to see I haven’t made a post since February. I really don’t like to blame it on advancing age but so help me, it seems as if the older I get, the faster time goes. When I was a teenager summer seemed to last a year. Even in my 20’s and 30’s a year lasted longer than it does now. Seems like it was only last month we were celebrating New Year’s and here we are getting ready to celebrate it again in just 87 days.
Kinda makes you think, don’t it?
But even if it doesn’t, thank you for revisiting or visiting the DILLON blog. If this is your first time here, let me give you the obligatory orientation:
This is the home of all things Dillon. Yes, there is a Facebook page that I recommend you join as I tend to be on there a lot more than I am on here and this is intended mainly to be an archive and resource for information about Dillon and his universe for you to delve in when you want to find out more about him and his world. My hope is that this site will enhance your enjoyment of the character, his adventures as well as the novels and stories. If it doesn’t, let me know and I’ll do my best to correct it. In the immortal words of Mr. Harry Wayne Casey, I’m you boogie man. That’s what I am. And I’m here to do whatever I can. Contact me via email via DerrickFerguson@gmail.com or my two Facebook pages Dillon and Usimi Dero. I’m not hard to find, I assure you.
Before I get into the meat of this update I’d like to once again acknowledge some extremely talented folks who have given of their precious time and extraordinary talent to the creation of this blog and to enriching Dillon and his world.
First there’s Sean E. Ali who has designed the covers for the new editions of DILLON AND THE VOICE OF ODIN and DILLON AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN BELL and as far as I’m concerned he can keep on doing the Dillon covers until he gets tired of doing them. It was Sean who suggested to me that the Dillon covers should have a uniform look and style and he’s crafted what I now consider to be the definite Dillon look. There’s only two other artists I can think of that I would want to depict Dillon and Sean is definitely in their class: Jim Steranko and Marshall Rogers.
Percival Constantine came up with the DILLON logo you see that graces this website and the covers of the Dillon books and the best way you can acknowledge your appreciation of his work is to contact him and do the logo for your character. Below you can see a lot of what he came up with before we decided on the final version.
Who else? Russ Anderson, Jr. Josh Reynolds. Joel Jenkins Tommy Hancock. My wife Patricia Cabbagestalk-Ferguson. Despite what those other guys may tell you (and you know the ones I’m talking about) nobody writes a novel alone. You need people you trust and believe in you to lift you up and sustain you in that day to day grind of putting one word after another.
Okay, that’s over and done with…so now let’s get to what you paid your money for: what is happening with Dillon now and in 2017:
Hopefully you’ve been reading DILLON AND THE CITY OF STONE which is a serialized adventure presented monthly. One chapter a month. It’s notable in that it’s a story conceived by a good friend of mine I’ve known online for about 15 years named Erik Fromme. He’s an astonishingly terrific writer and I hope that he’ll be encouraged to put his writing out there. He’s done amazing work in Star Trek and Marvel/DC fanfiction and when he asked if he could write a Dillon story I said, “only if I can write it with you.” And since I was launching a Patreon page this seemed to be the perfect way to do it. So we wrote this epic Dillon story that will reach its conclusion this month. Look for it to be posted later on this week.
So if DILLON AND THE CITY OF STONE ends this month what takes its place?
In November I’ll be posting DILLON AND THE NIGHT OF THE KRAMPUS to Patreon which was originally presented in last year’s Pulpwork Press Christmas Special. Some of you have read it. Some of you haven’t. That’s cool. Those of you who haven’t read I would heartily recommend that you do so. It’s an adventure that will not only be connected to “Night of The Krampus” but will feature an aspect of Dillon’s life we’ve never seen before. In “Night of The Krampus” Dillon reveals to his friends Reynard Hansen and Wyatt Hyatt that he has a permanent residence they never knew he had. They always just assumed Dillon lived in hotels or safehouses. So in this upcoming story (for which I still have to find a title) they and we will at last see Dillon’s home in Grand, Pennsylvania for the very first time.
The next major Dillon adventure is going to be THE SPECIALISTS 2 which I intend to have ready for 2017 since I’ve already been touting it as “the best action movie that not going to be on your movie screen in the summer of 2017.” As most of you know (and if you don’t, I’m shocked. SHOCKED!) Joel Jenkins and I put together a book called THE SPECIALISTS which assembled all the stories we had written that teamed up his rock star/mercenary Sly Gantlet with Dillon.
Now, while I loved the book I felt there were unresolved plot threads and emotional issues that needed to be addressed and that’s how the concept of THE SPECIALISTS 2 evolved. If you love movies like “The Dirty Dozen” “The Magnificent Seven” or “The Expendables” series then this is going to be a book you’ll want to get. I was extraordinarily blessed in that Josh Reynolds and Mark Bousquet gave me their blessing to use characters they created in this story. So at present the line-up is composed of:
Elias Patrick Creed
Some of these characters you know and are familiar with if you’ve been reading the Dillon series. Vera Gemini is somebody you’re going to have to get to know by reading THE VRIL AGENDA. Hey, I ain’t gonna do all your homework for you, okay?
Magpie Dark is a character created by Mark Bousquet. And he’s a writer that if you don’t know him already then you should get to know. Here’s his latest book. Go buy it. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Chen Chang, Kevyn Harris and Billy Booker are characters you’ll get to know when you read the book. Trust me, you’ll like ‘em.
I think that’s it for now. I absolutely promise I will do an update for November and let you know how the various projects concerning Dillon are progressing. In the meantime, please support the artists I have provided links to in this rambling article and if you have any questions, complaints or adlibs, do not hesitate to contact me at DerrickFerguson@gmail.com
Good night everybody!
Yes, I’m still alive. I update this thing so infrequently that you might think otherwise but I’m still around and still doing my thing. And if you know anything about me you know that I’d rather update when I actually have something to update about instead of just posting random stuff because I feel the need to fill up space to keep your interest.
So today I thought I’d update you on what’s going on with “Dillon and The City of Stone” which was intended to be the inaugural offer via my Patreon page as a complete novella (don’t worry, there will be a link after the lecture) to be available Feb. 8th. For various reasons, none of them the fault of my co-writer on the project, Erik Fromme, it just didn’t get done. Oh, Erik had done a goodly 8K or so of it but I fell down on my end of the deal. Much as I hate to use illness as an excuse for not making good on a promise, such was the case in this situation.
I’ve actually been ill since October but it wasn’t until December that I found out what the problem was: my pesky old friend P.E. (Pulmonary Embolism) was back. Not anywhere near as serious as the last time it struck me ten years ago but enough that it was a serious inconvenience in my life. Including my writing as I was having trouble concentrating on it for anything longer than fifteen to thirty minutes. When I complained about this to my lung specialist he said; “yeah, well, it’s pretty hard to concentrate on anything when you don’t have enough oxygen in your blood, y’know.”
So I was working on “Dillon and The City of Stone” but nowhere near as fast as I’m used to working. And I felt really bad about stiffing the good people who had already signed up as patrons and wasn’t getting what I had promised him. So here’s what’s going to happen:
“Dillon and The City of Stone” is going to be serialized monthly on my Patreon page starting today (well, it actually started yesterday but I’m telling you about it today so we’ll fudge a bit) and thereafter you’ll find a new chapter up on the 8th of every month until it’s done. Since I have no idea how long it’s going to take me to write the thing I think this is the best way to do things so that I don’t feel I’m taking money under false pretenses and there’s a new chapter of a new Dillon adventure that you guys can look forward to each and every month
Okay, that’s the good news. Now the bad news:
“Dillon and The City of Stone” will only be available to read by my patrons. Which is actually good news for them since they can brag that they’re reading a new Dillon adventure and the rest of you ain’t. Unless you decide to become one of my patrons. But that’s up to you, of course. It’s a decision that only each man, woman and child can make for themselves. Don’t let me influence you at all.
Oh, by the way, here’s that link I promised you: Become A Patron
That’s it for this time around. Next time I hope to be able to tell you more about the “Dillon Annual Collection Vol. I” and what that’s going to be all about. And if my current plans work out the way I hope (Hah!) May/June will see me beginning work on “Dillon and The Secret of Shamballah” with an eye to having it being published by December of this year. Until next time, read some good books, watch some good movies and be good to each other.
By Sean E. Ali
It’s been a while since I did a progress report on anything I’ve been working on. So let’s talk about a long overdue project I’ve stared at endlessly because I wasn’t happy with the result…
If you ask my friend, constant collaborator, publisher and colleague, Tommy Hancock about when I am satisfied with a project, he’ll probably say, if I’m not saying “I’m in love”, there’s a good chance I’m settling for what I have completed at the moment to meet a deadline. When I’m in love, then I figure I’ve hit the high note for the job and it’s not going to get any better than the end result I have.
We go for love, but settle for like, and never ever are married to the end product because we usually have other folks involved depending on the project…
Now if you ask my good friend, collaborator, colleague, and author, Derrick Ferguson about when I’m satisfied on a project, he’d probably say the same thing, but the deadline part is almost irrelevant when it’s one of his jobs. Which sometimes works to my favor, and sometimes it doesn’t because I linger when I should commit myself to something and just get it done…
Take for instance our current gig which is an updating of the second volume of his Dillon action/adventure series, DILLON AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN BELL. I have been unforgivably slow (in my opinion) because for all the work I tossed into the project, something just wasn’t right. I was most definitely not in love like I should’ve been. I chose to go with a James Bond like idea on a lark that Derrick loved. Okay well and good, let’s go with that. Here’s the thing though, the more I worked on it, the more I couldn’t get it to work for me. Granted I’m not the only guy reading the book, but if I wasn’t sold on the final product, how exactly does it pull in anyone else? So I’ve stared at and fretted with this cover longer than anything in recent memory. I finally felt like I hit something workable, showed it off over at Derrick’s Usimi Dero FB group, which is usually a receptive audience for these things…
…and that’s where Perry Constantine came in, made one comment on the thing I had been hung up on and basically confirmed that nagging feeling in the back of my head.
Now, before I journey too far, Perry Constantine is a designer, author, columnist, critic, web designer who lives in Japan where he teaches English…
…yeah, he’s probably curing cancer and coming up with the eco-friendly perpetual motion machine that will revolutionize civilization as we know it. To say Perry’s multi-talented is a general understatement, but it’s all I’ve got.
As a designer he’s probably one of the best up and comers in the business. He’s quick, has a strong sense of design, makes great decisions when it comes to color, composition and layout, he has excellent design skills and if I weren’t in the running on a project against him, I’d pick him every day of the week and twice on Sunday. So if he catches something, unlike the bulk of folks who may or may not comment on my work positively or negatively, I stop to consider his input.
And yes if you’d like to call that an endorsement for Perry, feel free. I wouldn’t say any of the above if it wasn’t my personal experience working with him and around him.
So because Perry chimed in I went back to my source file, and considered what I was doing.
Which, for those of you playing at home, was trying too hard to make Dillon’s cover what it wasn’t. Dillon’s not James Bond. Cut that loose and the rest of it fell into place pretty quick. What I ran with is two heavy visuals from the story. I kept Dillon’s suit, killed a few details, flipped another and went with another strong visual from the story involving a Lovecraft like creature which was all tentacles and menace and mixed the two, and boom, boom: I had my cover.
And, more importantly, I was in love… finally.
Now I haven’t run any of this new stuff past Derrick, so by this time tomorrow I could be right back at it trying to compromise and revise the whole thing. That’s the nature of the job and in the end, the work is all that matters, so if changes come now, so be it; the itch has been scratched.
So the first image is the new (and if I’m lucky) final version of the cover. The other images are promo pieces that I’m sure Derrick will kidnap and distribute all over the interwebs. The images are all test pieces for a part of the full cover which wraps around the book. The place the image lands on is tall and skinny, so I fooled around with various graphics until I found something that worked for the real estate I had to fill. The resulting tests shouldn’t go to waste, so hopefully they won’t and they’ll do their duty as teasers.
The galley for the interiors are done and if we’re really lucky, you’ll be reading this within the next couple of weeks…
So my thanks to Derrick and especially Perry for their input on this.
I wouldn’t have made it this far without you.
So I said all that to say this…
The Deluxe Edition of DILLON AND THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN BELL where our hero gets embroiled in a civil war, a quest for a legendary golden bell (see what I did there?), and a few epic fight scenes with a crew of wild heroes if ever there were some, is absolutely, positively coming soon…
In the meantime, I’ve got other stuff in the hopper, and I might get a jump on DILLON AND THE PIRATES OF XONIRA now since I have a better sense of what I want to do there already…
While you wait, look at the pretty pictures…
Rock Musician, Sly Gantlet, and the global instigator known as Dillon are the best of friends and the bitterest of rivals. Contained herein are three of their most over the top, insane, and life altering adventures:
DEAD BEAT IN KHUSRA: When Sly Gantlet decides to mix business with pleasure and takes the charming and drop dead gorgeous Princess Sathyra on a solo tour to Khusra, he finds himself the target of Sathyra’s jealous ex-flame, Dillon!
DEAD BEAT IN THE GOBI DESERT: Dillon and Sly steal a biological weapon from a Russian military base, shortly before being shot down in the Gobi Desert. Soon they find themselves caught between a mysterious woman, a howling blizzard, Russian special forces, and a group of marauding cannibals!
THE SPECIALISTS: Enlisted by the American Intelligence Machine, Sly and Dillon and a motley crew of coerced killers must stop delivery of a special bomb designed to wipe out America’s electrical grid and bring about massive starvation. Up to their necks in blood and bullets, they find all paths blocked, and begin to suspect they were never meant to return from their mission alive!