Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blogs I Like: Rough Edges by James Reasoner

James Reasoner has written so many books I’m not even sure he knows how many. A career writer of over 40 years, Reasoner is an old-school pulp writer working in the modern age. He loves and adores all types of fiction—especially westerns—and he channels all of that enthusiasm into his blog, Rough Edges.

Reading the Rough Edges blog is like sitting next to a kid in the candy store and having him tell you about all the different types of candy, who made them, and which are his favorites. Actually, the image works better if you imagine that same kid but in a drug store sometime in the mid-1960s. This was the time when comic books and dime store paperbacks could be seen in just about every establishment. This kid is a voracious reader, consuming just about anything, but favoring westerns, SF, and old pulp superstars like Doc Savage and the Shadow. Throw in the trips to the library and bookstores and you have a kid who realized he loved to read and never stopped.

Now, with the Rough Edges blog, Reasoner has many more years of reading and knowledge to share. He has many regular features. One of my favorites is Saturday Morning Western Pulp where he’ll take a particular issue of an old western pulp and comment on the stories, authors, and cover artists. Sunday gets you Bonus Pulp, which could be a detective mag or a SF one. He typically does the Forgotten Book Friday segment where he’ll take an old book and/or author and “re-introduce” it to modern audiences who may have been too young to have read the particular book first hand. (I fall into that category a lot.) Somewhere along the way he started contributing Tuesday’s Overlooked Movies where he’ll examine some movie out of the mainstream and tell you why he likes it.

Reasoner, however, isn’t just a fan. He’s a working craftsman of words. He produces millions of words a year in content. Many of his books are under a house name or pen name, but you’d be surprised—no, amazed—at how prolific he is. And, a few years back, he, and his life, Livia Reasoner, started Rough Edges Press, an independent publishing house. Rough Edges Press releases some old titles by other authors and some of Reasoner’s short westerns that he wrote back in the day. He also releases new material like his Outlaw Ranger series. Most recently, Rough Edges publishes Blaze, the new adult western series featuring husband and wife gunslingers, J.D. and Kate Blaze. That series is up to eleven.

But it’s the Rough Edges blog that has become a constant companion. Every Saturday morning, one of the first things I do is check Rough Edges blog. No matter the day, I read Reasoner’s blog entries. Reasoner’s interests often dovetail into mine, so I’ve long considered him my tour guide for stuff I like and other stuff I'm probably going to like.

Why don’t you come along for the ride?

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