Ron Fortier is a comics and pulps writer/editor best known for his work on the Green Hornet comic series and Terminator – Burning Earth with Alex Ross. He won the Pulp Factory Award for Best Pulp Short Story of 2011 for “Vengeance Is Mine,” which appeared in Moonstone’s The Avenger – Justice Inc. and in 2012 for “The Ghoul,” from the anthology Monster Aces. He is the Managing Editor of Airship 27 Productions, a New Pulp Fiction publisher and writes the continuing adventures of both his own character, Brother Bones – the Undead Avenger and the classic pulp hero, Captain Hazzard – Champion of Justice.
Interview with Ron Fortier contributor/editor in Occult Detectives 2/05/2015
What is your current release and (without spoilers) tell us about the new book or series.
My latest piece of fiction was a “Ravenwood – Stepson of Mystery” short story in the “Occult Detectives” anthology released from Airship 27 Productions last Dec. I’ve got way too many things in the works these days. A new pulp book “Nighthawk-Burning Skies” coming from Moonstone Books and I’m currently writing two on-going pulp comicbook titles for them; “Black Bat – Domino Lady : Danger Coast to Coast” and “Guns of the Black Bat.” Hopefully both comics will be out sometime this year.
What is the usual process for your writing? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer for sure. I often just plunge into a story with a very tentative (sometimes non-existent…ha) plot in my head and hope for the best. I tend to write scenes instead of a scheduled routine for so many pages or word courts. I do a scene and then quit. When the muse strikes again, I go back and write the next scene.
Once you have an idea that sparks your imagination do you research your idea or do any world-building exercises, or do you just begin to write and see where the Muse takes you?
I’ve pretty much answered that question so far. Where if there is something historical or technical in the plot, I will of course research it to make the story as authentic as possible. But then again, it is fiction and there’s always room to fudge.
Are you a full time writer? If so when did you make the decision and what factors led to the decision. If you are not a full time writer…Is your plan to one day being a full time writer?
I’m now 68. I worked for 30 years in a plant to support my family. Then writing was part time, but I still managed to write well over 500 comicbooks and a few novels in that time. I retired from the day-job over 14 yrs ago now and devote myself to writing and editing, when I’m not traveling with my wife or spending time with our six grand kids. It’s a great life these days. But I did work hard to get here.
What is your daily writing time like?
I spend most mornings editing other people’s fiction, be it novels or short stories for my Airship 27 Productions line. Then after lunch, I’ll try to get in some writing if the muse is willing. If it isn’t, then I simply kick back and do some reading…until it is.
Can you tell us about your publishing experience? Are you Indie, Traditional, or do a bit of both?
Comicbook wise I started working in the independents then was lucky enough to move up to professional outfits like Malibu, Now Comics and even Marvel. My prose work has been published by Wizards of the Coasts and other professional publishers. Today I work in both equally.
Everyone like to know where an author gets their ideas from, but what I want to know is what is the strangest thing to inspire one of your stories?
That’s easy. A few years ago I was part of a bestselling anthology from Pro Se Press. Upon getting my comp copies, I immediately sat down to read my colleague’s stories in the collection. In one, the writer had created a marvel cast of characters, including one I thought had tons of real story potential. I contacted him and we are no currently planning a brand new anthology based around this one supporting character from his short story.
Can you tell us about some of your other writing (fiction or nonfiction) and any appearances or signings that you have planned?
I’ll be traveling quite a bit this year with Airship 27 Productions, both at pulp and comic cons. We, myself and Airship 27 Art Director Rob Davis, will be at the FoCo Comic & Gaming Festival in early March here in Fort Collins, Co. In April we’ll be at the Windy City Pulp & Paper Con, then its off to Louisville, Con for the Derby Comic Con. In Aug we show up at PulpFest in Columbus and in early Nov. we fly off to Akron for the Akron Comic Con…and my one solo appearance (other than at the local comic shop on Free Comic book day) will be at the Rocky Mountain Comic Show in Denver in late Nov. Phew, I’m tired just writing about them. Ha.
As an author what inspiration or advice would you give to a writer who is working to make the transition to Author?
Don’t worry yourself about being a full time writer. Only a very tiny percentage of writers ever realize that dream. Most have day jobs and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Being a writer should be about your desire to want to tell stories, not a quest for fame and fortune. That’s just bogus to the max.
Who is your favorite author? Tell us what makes this author stand out in your mind and what book would you recommend to someone new to that author?
The late mystery writer Ed McBain was my favorite writer of all time. I discovered him as a teenager and was amazed at the economy of his prose. He never used more words than were necessary and he had a keen insight into human psychology. I still to this day try to emulate his terse, clean style. As for favorite books, try any of this fifty novels in the popular 87th PRECINCT mystery series. Everyone one of them is a lesson in how to write effectively.