My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Monday, February 28, 2011

Poor Fiction

POOR FICTION: I am reminded every day of a trend in the writing world, one I call Poor Fiction. This is where someone, good intentions or bad, tries to write something s/he knows absolutely nothing about. This is often seen in modern day pulps, where the author has never read a pulp but thinks they know pulp because they once read a comic book version of Doc Savage or Conan, etc. This can also be said for other areas in fiction. I recently read a novel that had a military/war theme, where the authors brought their knowledge of movies and comic books to their prose story, and it was obvious they had never been in the military, let alone in a combat situation. But because it is fiction that makes it okay. Well, no way around it, what we get is Poor Fiction from the writers. I distinguish this above by saying ‘good intentions or bad’ for a reason. There are some cases where the writers actually know better, but write for sensationalism instead of accuracy. That’s bad intentions. Good intentions is where the writer knows nothing about the subject but follows a so-called “Bible” written by someone who does not know anything about the subject. In this case the writer is only at fault for following bad information. Yes, I agree, fiction is just that, fiction. But personally, when an author does not know his subject, I think s/he is doing a disservice to their readers. They should write what they know, and the story will at least have some sound of authenticity to it. By following a movie or comic book that had it wrong first, you are merely continuing the path along Poor Fiction, and eventually your books will be classified as such.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Horros Of Altenschatten

The Horrors of Altenschatten
By Calvin Daniels & Tyrell Tinnin
ISBN #978-1451562453
216 Pages
Price: $12.99
Rating: 4-Stars

Unit 13 #1, The Horrors of Atlenchatten pits the special army team against the Germans in France during WWI. A German scientist is turning men into beasts with the intention of using them to fight the Allies. Sergeant Crake leads his squad on the mission to destroy the evil plans and stop the horrendous experiments. His crew consists of an odd assortment of soldiers picked because of their special abilities. They will need those special abilities to succeed and return to England alive.

This story is non-stop from the first page to the end, with lots of action. The production and writing is topnotch. However, I had trouble reading the book to the end, but that was personal. Being a combat veteran, I found the combat scenes laughable. But comic book fans will find this novel fun and entertaining. The main characters are straight out of the comics. Supposedly the story takes place in 1918 or earlier, and is politically correct, with a woman, a black man, and an American Indian as members of the squad. We have The Starling, who wears a crimson cape and hood, and a domino mask to hide her face. The black man is called Soltice for his super ability. The Indian is called Smoke for his. Then we have Centurian, who is something of a cyborg – part man, part machine. Chimara is part man, part lion, and Grymm is “something”. We’re told he is a Troligre, an ancient race of beings. Oh, and then there is Haddock, a mind reader. As with other novels from Granton City Press, this story jumps around too much. And for some reason, writers seem to think a lot of sex and language is needed in a novel with soldiers. Another problem with the combat mission is the sex between the sergeant and a member of his team. Though it wasn’t my cup of tea, most will find it an exciting and entertaining read.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Release

By Tom Johnson
ISBN 978-0-9826795-6-2
164 Pages
Price: $13.50 Print $4.99 e-book

Pulp goes Top Secret in this military comedy drama set in Europe during the
height of the Cold War. A group of misfit MPs must confront spies and the black
market while dealing with a boxing tournament on Post! Not since M*A*S*H* and
Soldier In The Rain have we been treated to an inside look at military life with
a touch of humor by a soldier who actually experienced it.

COLD WAR HEROES by Tom Johnson is loosely based on the author's experience with
the 202nd Military Police Company in France during the 1960s.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Torn Veil

The Torn Veil
By Calvin Daniels & Mitchel Rose
ISBN #978-1451562446
210 Pages
Price: $12.99
Rating: 4-Stars

The Torn Veil brings us deeper into the mythological Granton City, this time introducing us to the Chinatown district in a fantasy adventure of demons and other dimensions. The hero is Yoshi, The Ghost Wind, who is a ninja trained warrior-slave to the ruling monarch of the district. In a complicated story, gods and demons are in a battle for the control of mankind, and the center appears to be in Granton City, where the Veil that separates the dimension from our plain is becoming weaker. All parties recognize Ghost Wind as the one who has a chance to defeat the evil. If he fails …

This novel had the potential of being the best story featuring a new hero I’ve read in several years. Its premise is fantastic, and the hero is fascinating, while the action is furious and well thought out. The production and writing is top notch, and very little editing problems. However, there were way too many characters involved, and the authors jumped around too much. Instead of following the main characters, we follow each of them: sometimes several in the same chapter, which becomes confusing. In the end, I did not remember half the characters, and felt the authors should have spotlighted Ghost Wind more. Though set in the 1920s, the story reads more modern than the novels of that period. Martial Arts and machine guns are mixed in with magic and sex. Still, regardless of my negative feelings towards the story, this is a topnotch action adventure for the fantasy lover. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Man In Purple

The Man In Purple
By Johnston McCulley
ISBN #978-1453701997
274 Pages
Price: $24.95 Paperback; $34.95 Hardback

Johnston McCulley's The Man In Purple is available from Altus Press. This beautifully produced volume contains the three Man In Purple stories originally published in Detective Story Magazine in 1921. One of the early costumed pulp characters, following on the heels of McCulley's Zorro, the Man In Purple is a Robin Hood of the period, robbing from the unscrupulous rich and giving to the poor. A pact had been made between millionaire playboy Richard Staegal and his fiancée that before they marry, they would live an adventurous career, thus was born the Man In Purple. The two are assisted by Staegal's chauffeur. The name is derived from the purple outfit he wears as a disguise. The volume contains an Introduction by McCulley expert, Phil Latter, and a brand new Man In Purple story by pulp author, Tom Johnson. Available from Amazon and Altus Press.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review

Metal Monsters of Doom
By Calvin Daniels & Kevin Lee
ISBN #9781450558044
203 Pages
Price: $12.99 Paperback
Rating 4-Stars

When scientists come up missing, and there appears to be foul play in Granton City, their paladin, The Black Wolf takes a hand in the investigation. Armed with a brace of Colt .45 automatics, and a knife or two, the vigilante enters the badlands of the city seeking clues. Wearing something of a wolf’s mask over his face, the underworld calls him The Black Wolf. In this debut novel, the hero goes up against pre-Nazis in 1920’s America’s. A super madman is building an army of metal machines to destroy America, beginning in Granton City. The authors quickly populate their universe with characters both foe and friendly, and we are treated to a fast-paced, action-filled adventure.

The production and writing in this book was superb, and the story well thought out. However, as with all of the small press publications I’ve read, this novel also suffers from editing problems. A good proofreader would have helped tremendously. There are lots of wrong words, some missing words in a sentence. One paragraph did not come to an end. One name changed from Alara to Adara. And there was an accidental switch in narrative when it briefly went from third person to first person. Things easily missed by an author, but would have been caught by a proofreader. Still, overall this was a fun read, and I highly recommend it.

Tom Johnson

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pulp Ark Award Nominations

Best Book

Green Hornet Chronicles-multiple authors (Moonstone Books)
Green Lama Unbound-Adam Garcia (Airship 27 Productions)
Dodge Dalton in the Shadow of Falcons Wings-Sean Ellis (Seven Realms)
Rabbit Heart-Barry Reese (Wild Cat Books)
Pulp Heroes-Khan Dynasty -Wayne Reinagel (Knightraven Studios)
Tales of the Red Panda: The Android Assassins-Gregg Taylor (Autogyro Press)
Weird Horror Tales: The Feasting-Michael Vance-(Airship 27 Productions)
Beat to a Pulp: Round One-multiple authors (Beat To A  Pulp)
The Masked Rider: Tales of the Wild West-multiple authors-(Airship 27 Productions)
Deadline Zombies-Teel James Glenn-(Books for a Buck)
Robin Hood King Of Sherwood-I. A. Watson-(Airship 27 Productions)
Zombies in Time and Space-multiple authors-(Wild Cat Books)
Dagon’s Disciples-Chris and William Carney (Wild Cat Books)
Pulp Detectives
-Tom  Johnson (Altus Press)
Sun-Koh-Heir of Atlantis-Art Sippo (Age of Adventure)
Van Allen Plexico Presents Gideon Cain-multiple authors (Airship 27 Productions)

Best Short Story

Run -Andrew Salmon-Masked Gun Mystery #1 (Pro Se Productions)
Of All the Plagues a Lover Bears-Derrick Ferguson-How The West Was Weird (Pulpwork Press)
Masquerra and the Storm Lord -Nancy Hansen-Pro Se Presents Fantasy and Fear #2 (Pro Se Productions)
Grave Mistake-Teel James Glenn-Pulp Empire, Volume 2 (Pulp Empire)
Aloha McCoy-Hello New Life, Hello Old-Ken Janssens-Masked Gun Mystery #1 (Pro Se Productions)
Dancing Out of Time-Megan Smith-Peculiar Adventures #1 (Pro Se Productions)
The Beast of Governor's Island
-Teel James Glenn-Deadline Zombies (Books for a Buck)
Mr. Brass and the Spawn of Frankenstein-Joshua Reynolds-Peculiar Adventures 2 (Pro Se Productions)
Studyin‘ Scarlett
-Ken Janssens-Fantasy and Fear #2 (Pro Se Productions)
The Girl in the Glass Coffin-I.A. Watson-Van Allen Plexico Presents Gideon Cain, vol. 1 (Airship 27 Productions)
The Girl with the Phantom Eyes -Barry Reese-Peculiar Adventures #2 (Pro Se Productions)
The Last Deposit-I.A. Watson -Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Vol. Two  (Airship 27 Productions)
The Affair of the Wretched Flesh-Joshua Reynolds -Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective Vol. 2,(Airship 27 Productions)
Constantine’s Wolves-Joshua Reynolds-Pro Se Presents Peculiar Adventures #2 (Pro Se Productions)
The Demon of Blackwater Swamp-Russ Parkhurst-Startling Stories: Vol. 2 No. 4 (Wild Cat Books)
Scourge of the Spoils -Matthew P. Mayo-Steampunk’d (DAW Books)
The Mountain Goats of Madness-Phil Bledsoe (Phil Bledsoe)

Best Cover Art

Green Lama Unbound-Mike Fyles (Airship 27 Productions)
Robin Hood-King of Sherwood-Mike Manley (Airship 27 Productions)
Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell-Tamas Jakab (Pulpwork Press)
The Adventures of Dodge Dalton in the Shadow of Falcon's Wings-Chad Rouse (Seven Realms Publishing)
Vampires Vs. Werewolves- Rob Moran (Age of Adventure)
Rabbit Heart-Jason Levesque (Wild Cat Books)
Jim Anthony, Volume One-Micah Harris (Airship 27 Productions)
Hex of Shadows
-Teel James Glenn (
Pro Se Presents Peculiar Adventures #2
-Adam Buechler (Pro Se Productions)
Tales of the Bagman
-Laura Givens (Airship 27 Productions)
Zombies in Time and Space -Nick Neocleous (Wild Cat Books)
Pro Se Presents Peculiar Adventure #3-David Burton (Pro Se Productions)
Pulp Heroes: Khan Dynasty-Wayne Reinagel (Knightraven Studios)
Pro Se Presents Masked Gun Mystery 2-Norm Breyfogle (Pro Se Productions)
Tales of the Red Panda: The Android Assassins-Thomas Perkins (Autogyro Press)
Startling Stories Summer 2010-David Burton (Wild Cat Books)
Weird Horror Tales: The Feasting-Christophe Dessaigne (Airship 27 Productions)

Best  Interior Art

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective Volume 2-Rob Davis (Airship 27 Productions)
Jim Anthony Super Detective Vol.Two The Hunters-Pedro Cruz (Airship 27 Productions)
Green Lama Unbound-Mike Fyles (Airship 27 Productions)
The Rook Volume 5-Anthony Castrillo, (Wild Cat Books)
Robin Hood•King of Sherwood-Rob Davis (Airship 27 Productions)
Pro Se Presents Peculiar Adventures #3- Clayton Hinkle (Pro Se Productions)
Dagon’s Disciples-William Carney (Wild Cat Books)
Pulp Heroes: Khan Dynasty-Wayne Reinagel (Knightraven Studios)
Strange, Weird, and Wonderful Magazine, Summer 2010-David Burton (Strange, Weird, and Wonderful)

Best Pulp Related Comic

Boston Bombers (Red Bud Studios)
Lady Mechanika (Aspen Comics)
Lance Star Sky Ranger (Bobby Nash)
Strange Aeons (Strange Aeons)
Warlord Of Mars
(Dynamite Entertainment)
(Tracy J. Butler)
The Fate of Gary Wooten (Pro Se Productions)
Kolchak the Night Stalker:Lovecraft Damnation-(Moonstone)
Air Fighters-(Moonstone Books)

Best Pulp Magazine

Masked Gun Mystery  (Pro Se Productions)
Peculiar Adventures (Pro Se Productions)
Startling Stories  (Wild Cat Books)
Fantasy and Fear  (Pro Se Productions)
Six Gun Western (Age of Adventure)
Beat to A Pulp (Beat to A Pulp)
Dark Worlds (Rage Machine Books)

Best Pulp Revival

Ascott Keane-Rabbit Heart by Barry Reese
Green Lama -Green Lama Unbound by Adam L. Garcia
Captain Hazzard -Citadel of Fear by Ron Fortier
The Eagle -TRIPLE DETECTIVE #4 by Kerry Roberts
The Masked Avenger -TRIPLE DETECTIVE by Tom Johnson
The Spider: Chaos Maker-Robin Wayne Bailey (Moonstone Books)

Best Author

Martin Powell
Joel Jenkins
Barry Reese
Ron Fortier
Wayne Reinagel
Gregg Taylor
Adam L. Garcia
IA Watson
Teel James Glenn
Derrick Ferguson
Sean Ellis
Van Allen Plexico

Best New Writer

Laura Givens
Percival Constantine
Ken Janssens
Tommy Hancock

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cold War Heroes Update

Cold War Heroes is at the printers, and the price has been set by NTD at $13.50, plus postage for paperback, and $4.99 for e-book. It will still be a while before it is released to Amazon and other major outlets. 

Pulp goes Top Secret in this military comedy drama set in Europe during the height of the Cold War. A group of misfit MPs must confront spies and the black market while dealing with a boxing tournament on Post! Not since M*A*S*H* and Soldier In The Rain have we been treated to an inside look at military life with a touch of humor by a soldier who actually experienced it.

COLD WAR HEROES by Tom Johnson is loosely based on the author’s experience with the 202nd Military Police Company in France during the 1960s.

Monday, February 7, 2011


by Tom Johnson
Published by Altus Press
384 Pages
Tippin' Hancock's Hat-Pulp Reviews by Tommy Hancock

In this day of what is truly a modern Pulp renaissance, we are seeing fantastic new takes on old pulp concepts, new pulp heroes fighting new pulp villains, and new techniques used in telling two fisted action adventure tales.  All that new is necessary to move a genre into the forefront of modern reading, to make sure that a type of fiction continues to live for years and years to come.  Having said that, however, it's also important, particularly for pulp, that our roots not be forgotten, that the magazines and writers who started this vital arena of heroic fiction be remembered and honored.  Not just in terms of reprinting the old standards.  No, we still need someone skilled enough and willing to write in the old style, to stick to the conventions established by the originals, to write new stories that read like old pulp.

Thank God that we have Tom Johnson to do just that.

EXCITING PULP TALES, Johnson's latest from Altus Press, is a collection of ten new stories spotlighting little known and even obscure Pulp characters that have entered the public domain.  Names like Ki-Gor, The Purple Scar, Funny Face, and others that mostly didn't make it past 2 or 3 original appearances fill the pages of this book with excitement, action, mystery, and enough humor to balance it all out.  Normally, I would go story to story and rate them, but with this collection, that's not necessary.  Johnson emulates the style of pulp authors from the hey day of the medium with such precision and exact attention to not only the period and character elements, but also to the stylistic work of the individual authors.  These stories each could have appeared in a pulp magazine from the 1930s and 40s and fit perfectly.   Do they follow a formula? Yes.  Do they have heroes, villains, and some stock literary devices? Yes.  Do they stand out as some of the best pulp stories I've read in a while? You bet.

Are they perfect, though? No.  A couple of stories drag in places, getting more involved in setting the scene than telling the tale, but Johnson quickly pulls the reader back to where they need to be.  On the edge of their seat waiting for the next bullet to be fired or body to be found.  

Exciting? Yep.  Pulp?  No doubt.   Tales?  Ones I would read again and again for the most part.  Altus and Tom Johnson, both known for their excellent work in pulp storytelling, have most assuredly done it again with this one.

FOUR OF FIVE TIPS OF HANCOCK'S HAT-Overall, these stories are exactly what I feel Tom intended them to be.  New tales told in the old way bringing some excellent rarely seen characters to the spotlight where they belong.

Sunday, February 6, 2011



Pro Se Productions, producers of Pulp Magazines beginning in August, 2010 and Pulp author Tommy Hancock, a nominee for Best New Writer in the First Annual Pulp Ark Awards (voting underway now), announce today that Hancock's first full length novel which will also be Pro Se's first novel to publish is in the final stages of editing and will debut within the next 4-6 weeks.

YESTERYEAR is Hancock's first full length novel work, but has been a work in progress for nearly ten years.  Now thanks to Pro Se Productions, this long told, but little read tale will finally be shared with the public.   And it sports a fantastic cover drawn by Jay Piscopo!  "The three characters," Hancock stated to ALL PULP, "featured on the cover are sort of the crux of this whole universe while the book one of them is holding is the lynchpin that could send that world spinning into oblivion.  Jay's work brings out the contradiction of glory and darkness that these heroes go through as well very clearly illustrates character traits of each of them without a word on the cover about them!  The attention to detail and the focus being on that book...that all important book...makes this cover jump out at me and this would not be the same book without Jay's cover."

According to Hancock, the basic concept is that the YESTERYEAR world was a fairly normal place until October 29, 1929.  Not only did the world very nearly collapse under economic depression, but something seemingly more positive happened.  A man flew.  Without an airplane.  Under his own power.  And he wore a mask.

This singular incident sets off the appearance of a string of Heroes, taking their name from the name given to the first of their kind by the papers-Hero- who are more or less pulpy in nature, although some tip their hat to the super hero genre born from the pulps.   These heroes enjoy a particular 'golden age' well into the 1950s.  But in 1955, a well known author, who also happened to have been a Hero, vanishes and along with him a much rumored manuscript that, through the use of newspaper articles, letters, and stories revealed the true obsidian side of this golden age.  Both author and book have been missing.  Until now.

"There are really three stories," Hancock said, "being told in YESTERYEAR.  One is the modern tale, of how this book with all these alleged secrets pops back up and sets the entire world, most definitely the inheritors and keepers of the Heroes legacies on edge.  Another one is the titula manuscript itself.  Pieces of it will be printed in the book and will tell stories of how the Heroes were seen in their day, the two fisted, heart of gold stories.  Then other parts of the manuscript will be used as well and these are the ones that aren't so shiny but oh so revealing.  I hope with this concept I've pulled off something that's not really been done extensively.  Construct an universe, deconstruct it, yet allow enough of what was good about it, even it was a ball of lies, to remain for the reconstructing that must follow."

Hancock stated that the plan currently is to have interior art in the book as well from an up and coming artist in the Pulp field, but that this book will be available by the end of March and will not be held up by any delays.   The book is being published by Pro Se Productions (,  Hancock also pointed out that the book, including the graphics work on the awesome cover, will be designed and formatted by Sean Ali, Pro Se Design Specialist and a long time friend and supporter of Hancock's works.  Also, the book will open with an introduction by noted Pulp author Derrick Ferguson, the first writer other than Hancock to write characters from the YESTERYEAR universe almost ten years ago.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Tom Johnson has published over thirty books with publishers like Filament Books, Altus Press, and now Night to Dawn Books. Characters like the Black Ghost and Masked Avenger has provided grist for his pulp fiction, and Tom has drawn on his experiences in the Army as well. Tom and his wife Ginger helped edit the Fading Shadows magazines and Tales of Mask & Mayhem. Their efforts on keeping pulp alive earned them the Lamont award in 1991, and in 2005, Johnson became among Preditors & Editors’ top ten finalists for Jur: a Story of Pre-Dawn Earth. During the past year, he has created a new science fiction series with Pangaea: Eden’s Planet, and now his sequel, Pangaea: Eden’s Children. His upcoming SF novel, Tunnel through Space, will come out later this summer.

BARBARA CUSTER: When did you first begin writing?

TOM JOHNSON: I was a Desk Sergeant for the Army MPs in France when I first started writing fiction, sometime around 1964 or ‘65. On slow nights, when there wasn’t much activity going on, I got awfully bored while my units were out on patrol, and I enjoyed working out plots and creating characters, then coming up with situations to move the stories along. Unfortunately, I never pursued my interest in writing until after Vietnam. In 1970, I wrote the first two novels in the Jur series in long hand, and hired a professional typist to put the first one into manuscript form. But when the first novel didn’t sell right away, I left the second one in long hand and that’s where they stayed for thirty years.

BARBARA CUSTER: How did your experiences in Vietnam affect your writing process?

TOM JOHNSON: I think the jungles of Vietnam inspired me more than anything. The setting was perfect for an action adventure novel; and we had a few real adventures ourselves over there! Every day was a story, and for anyone as impressionable as me, I could see dinosaurs or ancient civilizations everywhere I looked. When I returned to the States, I had to put my stories on paper. Those lonely nights back in France resurfaced, and I remembered some of those plots and characters I had created, and before I knew it, the stories began unraveling as fast as my pen could move across the page.

BARBARA CUSTER: You enjoyed a great run on Echoes, Detective Mystery Stories, and your other magazines. Do you have any back copies available?

TOM JOHNSON: Yes, Echoes ran from 1982 until we retired in 2004; 100 issues in magazine form, then another 57 issues as a newsletter. In 1995, we started a string of fiction magazines, which included Detective Mystery Stories and others. I think we published over 300 issues of the fiction magazines, and probably had a hundred writers and a dozen artists contributing to the titles. We started a trend that is still going today, although the quality of the publications has improved greatly since the advent of POD (publish on demand) technology. When we retired, we stored a lot of back issues, and occasionally still sell copies.

BARBARA CUSTER: How did you come up with the idea for your Pangaea tales?

TOM JOHNSON: In the Jur novels, there is an ancient civilization called the Gen-sis, or First Ones, that existed with the dinosaurs. However, with Jur, the stories centered around people from the twenty-first century accidentally falling through time portals and finding themselves in the Jurassic Period. But I never really explained who this ancient civilization was, or where they come from. Pangaea begins sixty million years before the Jurassic Period, and tells the story of the First Ones. So, though Pangaea and Jur are connected in that respect, they are two different series; one following the First Ones, the other following people from our own time who encounter the Gen-sis.

BARBARA CUSTER: What do you find most difficult about your work-in-progress?

TOM JOHNSON: That’s easy. Wordage. When I studied in school, we were taught to use all the little helpers available to a writer: adverbs, adjectives, and a lot of passive voice. Today, publishers and editors want shorter sentences, tighter, and less little helpers. Absolutely no passive voice. So, for someone coming from a period when it was all right to use them, to a period in which they are avoided like the plague, I’ve got to add more story in shorter sentences. Sometimes, it is completely alien to me.

BARBARA CUSTER: What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

TOM JOHNSON: Creating characters and plots. I won’t start a story until I have the plot, and I must be happy with my characters in order for the story to work. I want them to be real, not just names on paper. They become someone I know, someone I can connect to. Basically, they are my friends. No matter how flowery the language of the story, if your characters don’t feel real, you won’t pull the reader into the adventure.

BARBARA CUSTER: Your “soul stealer” short stories have gone well for NTD and now for your anthology Blood Moons and Nightscapes. Where did you get your idea for these tales?

TOM JOHNSON: As an accident investigator in law enforcement, as well as a soldier in Vietnam, I saw violent death. A car slams head on into a tree, and what’s left of the driver and passengers can be scrapped off the windshield. Maybe there was a baby, or young child in the front seat. Or a bullet blows a soldier’s face half off – or worse. Death can come when we don’t expect it, and it may be very violent. I would like to think that there are angels – or soul stealers out there, who could help those victims meet that sudden, violent death and cross over. That’s why I created the soul stealer stories, I think.

BARBARA CUSTER: Tell the readers about your latest release.

TOM JOHNSON: Pangaea: Eden’s Children is the sequel to last year’s Pangaea: Eden’s Planet. In Eden’s Planet, a rocket ship from 2023 crashes back to Earth after going through a time warp in space. But the planet they land on is Earth 250 million years in the past, known as the Permian Period, sixty million years before the dinosaurs. However, there are terrible reptiles and other denizens in this period just as awesome as T-Rex. Plus, the crew is aware of a coming catastrophe that will wipe out all living creatures in this period. The story is about their survival. Then, in Eden’s Children, I had to fast forward the scene sixty million years, when the descendants of that rocket ship have resettled the Earth, and the problems they are facing. Pangaea, by the way, refers to the super continent, before it broke apart to form the continents that we are familiar with today. Imagine a world with one continent and one ocean. That was Pangaea, the world as it was then.

BARBARA CUSTER: What advice would you give to a person trying to get their short story / novel published?

TOM JOHNSON: Never give up. It was 32 years from the time I wrote my first novel in 1970 to when it was finally published in 2002. Since then, I’ve written seven fiction novels and numerous anthologies of short stories, as well as nonfiction books. All published. So if your heart is really into writing, then stick with it. The greatest reward is not in the money you make, but the pleasure of creating something others will enjoy. Write every day, as the experience will improve your abilities. And read the current genre of books you prefer, so you will know what the publishers are looking for. But above all, unless your aim is that of becoming a writer-for-hire, don’t compromise your goals just for the sake of being published. Write what YOU are interested in, not what someone else wants you to write.

BARBARA CUSTER: Where may someone order a copy of your books?

TOM JOHNSON: I try to keep a few copies of my books on hand for book signings and mail orders when someone wants an autographed copy. I can be contacted at But Amazon carries the majority of them also. Plus, you can always order direct through the publishers at Night To Dawn and Altus Press at Aspen Mountain Press is now carrying the electronic version of “Jur: A Story of Pre-Dawn Earth” at
All of NTD books are being carried in electronic format at Filament Book Club at