Erwin Relaxes Before Writing
Erwin K. Roberts, a pen-name, has enjoyed adventure fiction from his youngest days. Long before he could read he loved Theater of the Mind. (a/k/a Old Time Radio) His family read many things to him. These included Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” “Swiss Family Robinson,” and many others. (All before Disney ever “adapted” them.) The first film he remembers seeing is “The Story of Robin Hood & his Merry Men,” with previews for the re-release of “King Kong.”
Erwin returned to writing at the beginning of the 21st century. He now has over a dozen books that he has contributed to, or written entirely. Two of those he has published under his Modern Knights Press imprint. A third was released in July.
On this site Erwin plans to promote his books, and share some of his stories that don’t fit anywhere else, or are otherwise orphaned.
Based on Erwin’s Half-Awake Mistake, JACK DARE FINDS TROUBLE
Twelve or thirteen years ago I made one of the silliest mistakes of my life. I woke early one morning and glanced at my alarm clock. Fifteen minutes ’till the hour. Better just get up. What’s a whole five minutes of sleep? So I got up, showered, shaved, and headed to downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
I arrived where I could usually get a free parking space, just outside the downtown freeway loop. Wait a minute, something’s wrong. (Erwin slaps forehead… …starts taking notes)
Jack Dare, P. I. fills in for Erwin in “The Box of Trouble,” a piece of fiction based on real events. Sort of …
Read The Box of Trouble here
Many writers have a Private Eye
So did I, beginning in the late 1960’s. He began as Johnny Dare. Soon after he became Jack Dare, whose family name, Dareinsky (or some such) got shortened on the way through Ellis Island. In the beginning he carried a specially built automatic pistol that, in a dire emergency, could fire three or four round bursts. (Strangely, Don Pendleton’s Mack Bolan, the Executioner, started carrying a real life version of that weapon circa 1983, made by Barretta.)
In 1971 I took a three-plus week course in Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Warfare at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Some of that stuff was downright scary! On New Years Day, 1972, I arrived for thirteen months of duty in the Republic of Korea. I wrote out the story “The Dropout” in long hand, using a McGuffin I learned about in Chem School. In 1973, at the Presidio of San Francisco’s Thrift Store, I found an old version of that deadly McGuffin for sale!
Christmas Day 2020 – another Zoom holiday
Merry Christmas, or whatever other holidays may apply! (Even the Buddhist celebrate New Years.) Now, what present for the end of the year? The first story I added to the site after launching it turned out to be “How The Name Came.” As of this writing there exist three more parts of that Saga.
Captain Areo was a fairly obscure World War Two U.S. comic. But, in the book, at least three Captain Aeros had simultaneous adventures in Europe, in the United States, and in southern China. Somethin’ strange going on, if only in the editor’s mind. I found a one-shot reprint comics that contained the origin of the Asian version of the Captain. I based my story, “The Secret of the Aero-Plane” on only that version. Then I found out about the other Areos. I finally got to explain all that in story number four.
Click here to read: THE SECRET OF THE AREO PLANE
Thanksgiving time in USAonia… In 2020, like no other year.
I have lived in the State of Missouri since I was five years old. I lived on the east side of the state, in St. Louis County, from Kindergarten thru High School Graduation. Various cities within the County became my (legal term) “Home of Record” while at college and serving in the U.S. Army. With my wife and son, I moved to Kansas City on the west side of Missouri at the end of 1975.
I was a Charter U.S. Air Force Dependent (read Brat) at about six months old, when the Army Air Corps became the Air Force. I believe I spent at least one Thanksgiving in Guatemala, but do not remember the event. In 1972 I had a fine meal in the chow hall in middle of nowhere Korea. In 1998, our son’s phone call came near the end of the feast. He called from Hill722 in Bosnia, where he commanded a small Signal relay station. Just the wife and I this year. Our son and daughter will not visit, to keep us safe. We still have much to be thankful for.
What story should I post for November, 2020? The answer is simple, the only story I’ve ever written with a Thanksgiving setting: “Union Station Showdown.”
This requires some explanation. I got to know Kansas City’s Union Station for rail passengers because at least part of my family traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico, at least once a year to visit family. We changed trains there. I explored every space in the place open to the public. Probably a few that weren’t, as well. (I even bought the first ever appearance of Spider-Man there.)
On the Pulp Factory mailing list, ten or twelve years ago there was a discussion about doing a train themed anthology. In the long run, nothing came of it. But I created the character Grant Rockwell as the chief of security for Union Station and the Kansas City Terminal Rail Road tracks that surround the station.
Kansas City almost lost Union Station. An out of town multinational outfit began developing abandoned track space around the Station. They promised to do something with the deteriorating Station building. Then they kept putting it off, and off, and off. The city took back control not long before the building would have been condemned. The city put a huge bond issue on the ballot to restore Union Station. It passed! (My kids will testify that the only “political” sign ever put in our yard was the one that said, “Save Union Station.”)
Thanksgiving, 1938. Who might come to Kansas City for the holiday? The Phantom Detective? Dr. Satan? No! George Chance, who will soon become The Green Ghost. Chance is a master of stage magic who is about to stop touring. Who just happens to have met Grant Rockwell in Central America.
Click on the Union Station Showdown link to read the story of the second meeting of George and Grant.
Click the image of the Green Ghost, just above, to check out the Airship-27 title on Amazon.
YAS-HS (Yet Another Super-Hero Story)
Imagine a world where heroes and villains are a relatively common thing. However, very little is known about them, as individuals. Imagine discovering that your significant other has known one of the most guarded heroes for some time. Click here to read: The Hero & the Purse.
The Moon Man – Showdown on the Plains
The Moon Man appeared 38 times in the Ace pulp magazine 10 Detective Aces beginning in 1934. (About five years later Ace began publishing comic books. Click here to read the first prose Moon Man story adapted to introduce The Raven into comics.)
Showdown on the Plains, at 33,000 words, may be the longest prose adventure of the Moon Man yet. Steve Thatcher, the Moon Man, must thwart an outside takeover of the Great City Police Department. The Robin Hood of the U.S. Mid-West fights to keep his city safe.
Click on the links in the New Book line above to see the book on Amazon.
Click on the cover to read the scene where the Moon Man first appears.
The character, now called The VOICE, has been rattling around in my head for over fifty years. Above is the cover of “Casebook of the Voice,” published by my Modern Knights Press imprint. Click on the cover to read a story from the 60,000 word book. You can get the volume on Amazon, or directly from me, at a discount. ( email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
The Voice became active the week before Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency of the United States. He remained active until the end of 1999. Maybe he’s still out there. In 1979 I wrote “Plutonium Nightmare” where the nameless Voice helps save his hometown from a dirty bomb and leftover Viet Nam War era radicals. That 47,000 word story is available from me and Amazon, as well. A third book is in the works.
On the right is the cockpit of the U.S. Army Air Corps WW2 fighter plane know as the P-38 Lightning. (Known to German troops as “The Fork-Tailed Devil.”) In our next story the lead character flew a P-38 into a tight spot on one of those weird remote Pacific islands. The flight changed his life, and his destiny.
A few years after World War Two his code name and image appeared in films, and then television. He was not quite born with that name. This is the beginning of the saga.
Click on the cockpit image to discover just HOW THE NAME CAME…
Fun With History
Sherlock Holmes is believed dead. Dr, Watson & his wife come to America only to find trouble. What better back-up can you ask for than the Rough Riding future President.
Click on the cover to read a complete excerpt from the short novel.
Available on Amazon in print and Kindle formats.
This Time, the Native American is the Hero
To the right is an image of Blue Hawk of the Yaqui People of Mexico, and the United States. The image is from a 1935 issue of the Masked Rider Western magazine. The magazine ran for 100 issues from 1934 to 1954.
True, Blue Hawk played a supporting role to the white Masked Rider in the novels. But, he got the MR to do the in town shopping and information gathering.
The New Pulp movement has meant new adventures of the MR and Blue Hawk. I had fun writing “Thunder at Devils Tower” for Airship-27’s Masked Rider Tales of the Wild West vol 2. (on Amazon)
Click on Blue Hawk’s image to read his first ever solo story. The MR is sick and “Blue Hawk Goes To Town.”