Jeff Deischer is a noted author of 53 novels, novellas, and short story collections, and 2 novelettes. 9 non-fiction books. All of which have been published by a variety of publishers. Known for Pulps, characters in the public domain, superheroes, and other genre material, Jeff has a long and engaging career.

In this world of Kindles and Print on Demand printing, Jeff continues to have his output released by other publishers. He also has stepped into publishing other authors with Deischer Kreative Works (DKW).

Of note is a novelette by Will Murray (Track of the Trinoculus, a Three Valkyries adventure!) and the shared world anthology “Atomic Gods and Monsters“.

JOESEPH SIMON
Your output is great! It is often said that people should be employed by what they enjoy. Given you enjoy writing, it looks like you enjoy writing about things you enjoy! What is your background in writing?  

JEFF DEISCHER
I started writing at about age 10. At the time I thought I was going to be an artist more than a writer. But in college, I realized I wasn’t that good of an artist and started writing more. But I didn’t take it too seriously until I got my first computer in 1998 and wrote a Doc Savage fan fiction novel The Stone Death that was posted on the internet for a time, and my non-fiction book, The Adventures of the Man of Bronze: a Definitive Chronology. But it took me another ten years to really get serious about writing, which coincided with the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008. I worked in the auto industry and got laid off.

 

JOESEPH
How is working with the publishers that you have been published by?

JEFF
I wasn’t happy with any of the small publishers I’d worked with from 2008-2012 – they all thought that because they were publishers, they were also good editors, and insisted on unnecessary and detrimental changes – so one of my best friends, Sam Pepper, formed Westerntainment specifically to publish two books of mine he thought were important, Over the Rainow: a User’s Guide to My Dangyang, a travelogue about my trips to China, and The Marvel Timeline Project, part 1, a chronology of the early Marvel Comic stories.

 

 

 

JOESEPH
While you continue to work with the publishers that release your work, you are now a publisher. What prompted you to create DKW?

JEFF
A couple of reasons. I didn’t feel like bringing Sam into the anthology
Atomic Gods & Monsters because of all the extra work involved, most of which I’d do anyway — he knows he’s not an editor and while he proofreads, he doesn’t insist on the changes he suggests – and when I told him about it, he agreed. Will Murray and I have been friends for a long time, so when the idea of publishing a new novelette by him, I also decided not to get Sam involved.  I’m in the strange position of having a publishing company that publishes other people’s work while my own is published by someone else.  I have no real plan for my own company. It was formed solely to handle the anthology. So I’m not sure if I’ll ever publish my own work, but it will be putting out a new anthology, Super AF!, which brings the Ajax-Farrell reprint characters into the present with more mature content. There will be six novelettes, and it will be out in October. The characters are Yankee Girl, the Flame, Hexmaster, Phantom Lady, Captain Speed, and Red Rocket. The writers are Robert Hudson, Jr., me, Dale Glaser, Mark Marderosian, Thomas Fortenberry, and Sebastien Gallois.

 

JOESEPH
What experiences with other publishers have you taken to help create DKW?

JEFF
I learned about formatting manuscripts and was along for the ride through all the publishing headaches Sam had with KDP.  There are a lot of technical details that have nothing to do with writing. This was one reason I agreed to Sam’s idea to let him publish my books so I wouldn’t have to learn or deal with any of it, but I ended up doing it anyway, so he wasn’t doing it all alone.

As an editor, I don’t try to make anyone else’s story like my own. My job is to help them realize the potential of what they wanted to create.

 

JOESEPH
Being a writer can be a solitary activity. Now that you are working with other writers as a publisher, have you had any realizations about your own writing (writing in general and / or working with publishers)?

JEFF
Not really. I pretty knew these things, like quality, style, diligence, before I got involved in these anthologies. I’ve worked with others before, though sometimes only as a proofreader. Most of the people who asked for my honest opinion didn’t really want it. I’m lucky the contributors to AG&M are by and largely open to suggestions.

 

JOESEPH
Will Murray is one of the hottest tickets in pulp, a fantastic genre historian, and you had the opportunity to publish his novelette. Given that you both happen to be friends, it must have been an honor to publish Will.

JEFF
It is! I’d mentioned it years ago, but the time wasn’t right. Our careers have reached the point where it was the right time for both of us. 

 

JOESEPH
A Doc Savage fan fiction and a Chronology to start off an interesting career.  And, a friend to Will Murray, writer of Doc Savage stories today. That is wonderfully in sync. How important is Doc Savage to you as a reader and as a writer? 

JEFF
Doc was probably the second novel series I read as a pre-teen, after The Three Investigators. The series’ influence on me can’t be overstated. I absorbed Lester Dent’s style, and I write in a style similar to his Doc Savage style, subconsciously.  I try to do it consciously when I write “golden age pulp”, such as my Doc Savage pastiche, Doc Brazen, but it’s always with me, even when I’m trying to write in a more florid, less pulpy style.

As far as Doc as a character, there’s no other series I’d read 200 novels to construct a chronology. I’ve written many chronology essays, but Doc is the only one to get an entire book to himself. I’d have to say he’s my favorite literary character (Elric is a close second), mostly because of Lester Dent’s narrative style and imagination.

I met Will through the Destroyer, which he wrote back in the late ‘80s and ‘90s before Bantam hired him to write new Doc Savage novels. I wrote fan letters for each of his novels in “real-time”, so he could gauge suspense, conflict, tension, etc., the way a reader did. I wrote my letters as I read, not afterward. They were pages long. So by coincidence, he was writing the only two paperback series I was reading at the time. Destroyer #102 is dedicated to me for those letters, by the way, and now I’m Will’s “first proofreader” for his current novels, starting with the first Wild Adventure of Doc Savage, Desert Demons.

Without Will, I’m not sure where my writing would be. He was kind enough to look at a few things I wrote over the years, giving me advice on how to fix the problems. I went about it ass-backward, but it would have taken even longer without his input.

My big problem with a lot of what is written about these old characters isn’t about Doc specifically, but about the process: I accept as much of what the author intended about his creation, rather than fudging facts or making my own pet theory about them. As far as fiction, I’m not really in favor of wholesale rebooting except in rare circumstances

 

JOESEPH
Your anthology Atomic Gods and Monsters is already on its 5th volume. As you know, but readers might not, I happen to be an author starting in the fourth volume.  Atomic Gods and Monsters is a shared World anthology. What is the Atomic Gods and Monsters universe? I’m joining quite a cast of creators.  From well-known to international, you’ve gathered an interesting group of people.  Who is part of Atomic Gods and Monsters?

JEFF
Let’s start with the last question first. The cast of contributors is ever-changing. Probably half the people who had a story accepted since the first volume has left for a number of reasons, some of which I know, and some I don’t. Most commonly, they feel a quarterly schedule is too hectic for them. The regulars now are  Terry Alexander, Edward S. County, me, Thomas Fortenberry, Sebastien Gallois, Robert Hudson, Jr., Edward Lee Love, Dale Russell, you, and Bryan Glosemeyer will be joining us for volume 5, Call to Duty

I came up with the idea for AG&M while perusing the PDSH wiki – that’s public domain superheroes – and found a number of characters who appeared in reprints with all new names. So I pitched the anthology idea to a number of people, some of which I knew, some of which were members of the Public Domain Heroes group on Facebook, and got more than 10 contributors. As I said, there’s been a lot of flux in the membership. Two characters have had two different authors! There are about six or eight characters that have not been used yet. 

 

JOESEPH
A lot of your work deals in the public domain. Public Domain means different things to different people. What is the public domain to you?

JEFF
“Public Domain” is a legal term meaning the copyright on a work has expired. That’s all. This is a murky area for some because trademarks are different than copyrights, and while some copyrights may be in existence, they are “orphaned” – no one claims the copyright, allowing the use of the characters.

I like PD characters because they’re inspirational: They come with a built-in history that is a springboard for new ideas.

 

JOE
Who are the heroes and villains of Atomic Gods and Monsters?  

JEFF
The current roster of heroes is Magga the Magnificent, Rocketman, the Blue Monk, Deep Sea Dawson, Atomaster, Firebird, Black Cobra, X the Phantom Fed, Olane, and the Mask. We have straight-up superheroes, mystics, scientists, pulp vigilantes, weird fantasy, jungle girls, and aviation heroes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOESEPH
What makes Atomic Gods and Monsters different from other anthologies, prose, and comics?

JEFF
This group of heroes is unique in that they had no original stories – only reprinted stories. That’s what got me interested in them. As far as contributors, we have a mix of pros and talented amateurs. In the writing groups on Facebook, I belong to, a lot of posts are about breaking into the business or how to write. I wanted to give fans of public domain characters a chance to do something about what they love, the opportunity to write a story that would be published. So the quality is a bit uneven, but we have a wide variety of genres, a lot of stories (9-11 per volume) for $3 on Kindle. The series has been praised for its originality, quality, variety, and quantity. The series started in 1954, and time progresses at a real pace. It’s now mid-1955.

 

JOESEPH
Readers don’t need to read each volume of the series to enjoy the stories. They can drop in anytime they want. Given that, what have readers missed and what do they have to look forward to?

JEFF
As you say, each story is self-contained, though some writers build on the previous work. My own series, the Blue Monk, is a serial, each story is a chapter in a novelette.  Volume 4, The Queen of Space, was a massive crossover about an alien invasion. We might be doing another of these for volume 8.

 

 

JOESEPH
How has it been being the person in charge of continuity of the Atomic Gods and Monsters’ shared-world universe?

JEFF
A headache. It’s a lot of work to edit ten stories. Some require some work, while others it’s mostly just proofreading. Then there’s bookkeeping – this is the work I wanted to spare Sam. This is work that you have to love to do. 

 

JOESEPH
Given that, the shared world concept is a popular device within the superhero genre. What shared world rules does AG&M adhere to and what do you see other companies doing wrong with the shared world concept?

JEFF
I offered some suggestions for the AG&M universe when I approached people and didn’t get much discussion, so that’s how it came to be – stuff like magic, aliens, etc. I tried to steer clear of problems I see with all comic book companies: an abundance of aliens, and heroes are too powerful. I think the rest is a matter of taste, rather than being “wrong”.

I wanted to do a WILD CARDS type of anthology, except have it progress in real-time. I loved the first WC book, but then the series jumped to the present and it became less interesting to me. So I wanted to keep the focus on the era where it began, the Fifties.

 

JOESEPH
Where can people buy Will’s novelette or Atomic Gods and Monsters?

JEFF
They’re both available on Amazon in Kindle. The first three volumes of AG&M came out in print, as well.

 

JOE
$3 on the Kindle is a great deal. $3 every 3 months.  A whole universe of super stories all in one anthology, $3 quarterly seems like a great deal to me.  I may be biased because I am a contributor, but I’ve been a reader for many decades, and let me tell you shared-world universes can get quite expensive!

JEFF
I prefer a physical book to Kindle but I know a lot of people feel just the opposite, so, as an experiment, I decided to try a Kindle only series. It’s also a lot less work to do a Kindle book than a print book, which was a plus for me, since I was busy writing my Heritage Universe superhero series when I started AG&M. Since we were ostensibly doing this for our own enjoyment more than for-profit, I set the price low so that readers would get a really good value for their money.

Hopefully, readers will find out what a value Atomic Gods and Monsters is. Public Domain and pulp goodness! Go get some! Atomic Gods and Monsters just released volume 5!  Jeff’s Doc Savage Chronology is a great addition for any Doc Savage fan! Will Murray’s “Track of the Trinoculas”! + Jeff’s Doc Brazen! A lot of pulpy goodness for people to catch up on!

Jeff many stories can be found @
 www.amazon.com//Jeff-Deischer/e/B00J30N7RQ?

Atomic Gods and Monsters can be found @
https://www.amazon.com/Atomic-Gods-and-Monsters/dp/B08JVH6B92

Will Murrays Track of the Trinoculus can be found @
https://www.amazon.com/Track-Trinoculus-3-Valkyries-Adventure-ebook/dp/B093TNY81N/

And Jeff’s latest Doc Brazen, Millenium Bug can be found @
https://www.amazon.com/Millennium-Bug-Doc-Brazen-Book-ebook/dp/B07CBD5HWH

Thank you, Jeff.

 

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Jeff Deischer is a noted author of 53 novels, novellas, and short story collections, and 2 novelettes. 9 non-fiction books. All of which have been published by a variety of publishers. Known for Pulps, characters in the public domain, superheroes, and other genre material, Jeff has a long and...