Remember thatI promised you that there would be more Two-Fisted Todd Adventures coming soon? Well, the next Two-Fisted Todd Adventure is finally here, albeit with some delay, because one of the vendors had problems getting new books up. Not to mention that I caught a nasty cold, which significantly impacted my writing, editing and blogging time.
Though Flesh Trade is the second Two-Fisted Todd Adventure published, it is actually the first one written. Because, as described in this post, approximately twelve years ago, I found some success selling short stories to a magazine that billed itself as a successor to the men’s adventure magazines of the 1960s.
Since I had hit upon a market that gave me steady sales, I also endeavoured to find out more about the actual men’s adventure magazines of the 1960s (about which I knew little aside from some lurid covers I found on the Internet). And so I also came across this art book which collects hundreds of covers of vintage men’s adventure magazines and also offers an overview about the genre, it’s development, prominent themes and subjects and what sort of content might be found inside those lurid covers. So I promptly bought the book.
The book also included interviews with artists, models and writers who had worked on these magazines. And one of the writers said that quite often, the covers were painted before there even a single story had been written. And afterwards, a writer would be commissioned to write a story to match the cover. And considering some of the really lurid illustrations on those covers – rugged men being attacked by all sorts of likely and unlikely wildlife, while buxom maidens were being tortured and menaced by evil Nazis, evil Communists, evil biker gangs and evil beatniks (the last one doesn’t quite fit) – coming up with a story to match must have been quite a challenge.
Now I have never been able to resist a writing challenge, so I decided to set myself the same challenge as those men’s adventure magazine writers of old, namely to write a story to match the cover of one of those magazines. So I opened the art book at random, picked one of the covers shown and decided to write a story based on it. The cover I picked was this one from the July 1960 issue of Man’s Life, by the way.
So I came up with a suitably rugged hero, freelance troubleshooter Todd Donovan a.k.a. Two-Fisted Todd, who is hired to find a bunch of American college students who have gone missing in the Caribbean, and sent him careening all over the island of San Ezequiel, punching suspects and taking names, all the while headed towards the scene depicted on the cover image I’d picked. The story eventually stalled out two thirds of the way through, so I set it aside. Then life got in the way and the magazine in question changed direction and became a sexy horror mag, depriving Two-Fisted Todd of his intended market (try as I might, I could not fit a sexy vampire into the story). Eventually, self-publishing became a thing, making previously unviable stories suddenly viable again. And through it all, Todd was biding his time in some tropical paradise, a cool drink in his hand, waiting for another job.
Todd’s moment finally came, when I dusted off the character for the 2017 July short story challenge and wrote what would eventually become The Crawling Death.
In the wake of editing and publishing The Crawling Death, I also took another look at the Two-Fisted Todd story I had abandoned years earlier. The story clearly needed some work, but I still liked it. And so I continued writing where I had originally left off and completed the story in a couple of days.
So here it finally is, more than ten years late: The very first Two-Fisted Todd story, which is now the second Two-Fisted Todd Adventure:
1966: Freelance troubleshooter Todd Donovan is hired to locate four American college students who have gone missing while doing humanitarian work on the Caribbean island of San Ezequiel.
While punching suspects and taking names, Todd learns that the college students as well as a young nun were kidnapped by a local crime boss named Cabeza.
So now Todd is engaged in a desperate race against time to rescue the kidnapped women before they can be sold to the highest bidder.
This is an adventure novelette of approx. 9800 words or 35 pages in the style of the men’s adventure pulps of the 1960s.
Length: 9800 words
List price: 2.99 USD, EUR or GBP
Buy it at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Netherlands, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Brazil, Amazon Japan, Amazon India, Amazon Mexico, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple iTunes, Google Play, Scribd, Smashwords, Inktera, Playster, Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Buecher.de, DriveThruFiction, Casa del Libro, e-Sentral, 24symbols and XinXii.
Will there eventually be more Two-Fisted Todd Adventures? I certainly wouldn’t rule it out, since they are fun to write. Plus, I have a whole book full of inspiration for more strange and deadly situations into which I can thrust poor Todd and watch him fight his way out.
But first, there are more In Love and War adventures coming, since I am currently about to finish the final proofread on the latest In Love and War story. After that, look forward to a new Hallowind Cove story, After the End 2 – More Stories of Life After the Apocalypse as well as Murder in the Family 2.