Unfortunately I didn't get alot of personal information from Howard I think it is because he likes to remain a mystery.

Lance Howard is the western pseudonym of author Howard Hopkins.

Howard also produced 20 issues of the pulp journal GOLDEN PERILS in the mid-'80s-early-'90s, along with special interest books in the pulp and horror fields. Howard is hard at work on his latest Western, The Silvermine Spook...

Welcome to our Vampire author spotlight of Howard Hopkins and his work.

Below is an interview I had with Howard Hopkins on AOL Instant Messenger. You will be able to read about him and get to know a little about him through this interview. At the bottom of the page you will find a copy of the cover of one of his books and a list of all his books published and soon to be published. Click the title to find a review of that book.

CarolCastellanos: Hi, How are you?

YingKo2: Pretty good. How are you?

CarolCastellanos: What genre or genres do you write?

YingKo2: I write western, horror, children's horror, paranormal and western romance.

CarolCastellanos: Where do you get your ideas?

YingKo2: Various places. Sometimes mishearing something gives me a title or lots of time music titles give me ideas. Usually I get a title first then dialog and things start flooding in.

CarolCastellanos: What authors do you read or admire?

YingKo2: I most admire Lester Dent, who wrote the Doc Savage pulp series. He had a gift with making characters leap off the page in a couple lines. He also had a very quirky style that appealed to me and a great sense of story-telling. I like western writer Suzann Ledbetter for much the same reason. I like prose that sizzles.

CarolCastellanos: What genres do you read?

YingKo2: Western, horror, pulp, children's, romance, even comic books!

CarolCastellanos: How did you get started writing?

YingKo2: Well, I was a Doc Savage fan and was so intensely interested in it I started trying to write articles for fanzines on the character. I quickly found I had all these story ideas spinning around in the hollows of my head and pretty soon they demanded to come out. I graduated into editing and producing and publishing my own magazine and various specialty books for twenty plus issues then decided to write my first short story, a horror piece. It took a year to get it published and in the meantime I wrote nearly 30 more.

CarolCastellanos: How old were you when you got started writing?

YingKo2: Twenty-something.

CarolCastellanos: Do you ever see yourself not writing?

CarolCastellanos: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years?

YingKo2: Sometimes when I get frustrated or discouraged I start asking myself why am I doing this? It's too hard and I don't want to anymore, but that never last for long. I think I will write until someone finds a skeleton slumped over the keyboard.

YingKo2: Hopefully just reaching a wider readership and having more folks enjoy what I do.

CarolCastellanos: Do you pattern your characters after anyone?

YingKo2: No. There are a lot of people living in my head and I would rather evict them. :)

CarolCastellanos: What do you feel makes your writing unique or different?

YingKo2: I try very hard to really draw people into the story and give them the pay off at the end. I work very hard to use a style that is unique to my personality that people will finding engaging and not slow.

CarolCastellanos: Do you feel you have more creative freedom in e-books?

YingKo2: That is a tough question because my print publishers have been wonderful that way. They let me go with what I believe in a lot as long as I am very careful not to break their cardinal rule of word length. Ebooks have been a different experience and I am still learning.

CarolCastellanos: What made you choose the genres you write, and which is your favorite to write?

YingKo2: Horror was my favorite, but after I started writing westerns I grew to love it and started to try to do different things with them. The vampire one for Dancing Willow blended the two genres, and even my Lance Howard westerns touch on certain issues that have relevance today. My books The West Wolf deals with spousal abuse and a "werewolf". I found I quite liked writing spooky tales for children, too.

CarolCastellanos: What do you feel is or isn't being done to promote an authors work?

YingKo2: In print or electronic books? In print I think publishers promote mostly the big names, the ones they pay big advances to and need to recoup. it is very hard for a midlist or bottom list author to get promotion. Ebooks are so new there is very little promotion by publishers to this point, with some exceptions. I have spent months searching for ways to promote myself, developing press kits, finding websites, going to local libraries and newspapers. Lots of people aren't aware of ebooks still. I think both

YingKo2: types can certainly improve and if they get together with the authors and devise strategies I think wonderful things could happen.

CarolCastellanos: Do you feel that paperback marketing has their finger on the pulse of readers?

CarolCastellanos: How do you feel about review rating systems?

YingKo2: No. Mass market paperbacks sales fell for the last two years. And they can blame it on this or that factor, whatever they want but I think in truth it is because readers are getting tired of a lot of mediocre fiction told poorly. They rarely take a chance on new writers or books that are innovative. the percentage of money goes to big names, who can put out tripe and have it served as caviar.

CarolCastellanos: So you feel it is harder for an author to get a paperback published then an e-book?

CarolCastellanos: Does this mean the e-book publishers are more willing to take a risk on a unknown author?

YingKo2: I haven't given rating systems lots of thought, but I have seem oddly glowing reviews get a lower number and have heard folks say, oh that got a 3 and not bother to buy it. So maybe they are not good.

YingKo2: I think it is far harder to get a paperback published. The book lines are all owned by a few companies and the odds of getting out of the slush pile are astronomical.

YingKo2: My Dark Riders book is good example.

YingKo2: It crosses genres and believe me that scares paperback publishers.

YingKo2: Ebooks offer more leeway

CarolCastellanos: What do you feel is the best part of the writing industry?

YingKo2: They are young and willing to take chances

YingKo2: A well done book enjoyed by a reader.

CarolCastellanos: What do you feel needs to be changed in the industry?

CarolCastellanos: Do you think e-books and small press will be the wave of the future?

YingKo2: Most everything. I don't want to come across as bitter, because I am not, but I think they need to wake up and start giving new writers and types of stories a chance. I think they need a much fairer treatment of writers and better contracts. I think that recent fiasco with Frankfurt sort of shines the light on just how things can get chewed in the machine.

YingKo2: Small press has been around a long time, some of whom have turned into big press but it is getting harder for them because costs of book production keep skyrocketing. I know because I was doing it and it is not cheap.

YingKo2: Ebooks are another story

CarolCastellanos: Do you have a special place, or time that you like to write?

YingKo2: I think they will grow and prosper as cheaper and better readers come along and the publishers become better organized and aware. right now there is a credibility problem to over come. I think they will exist more like audio books, as a separate alternative entity and I think they have marvelous potential and will deliver what readers want. And lots more of it.

CarolCastellanos: Are there any questions that you think I have forgotten?

YingKo2: No, no special time. I grab it when I can get it.

YingKo2: I would just like to say my Poe western is out in hardcover on Halloween and I have a couple coming out soon in ebook, one a horror tale called Grimm and the other the children's horror you and your son reviewed.

CarolCastellanos: Cool. Are you doing any more for the Nightmare Club?

YingKo2: :)

YingKo2: It is designed to be a series, yes.

CarolCastellanos: I do want to thank you for coming.

YingKo2: Carol, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.

CarolCastellanos: Oh I love talking to the authors. It is a privilege for me to get to meet so many new authors. I get star struck every time.

YingKo2: Ah, but someday you will have your book out there and they will be interviewing you and star struck.

CarolCastellanos: Well as much as I would love to stay longer if I do all you will be seeing soon is. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ;-)

YingKo2: Have a wonderful night and thanks again for giving me this chance.

YingKo2: have a great night!

CarolCastellanos: You too. Night.

YingKo2: bye

CarolCastellanos: bye.

Howard Hopkins titles:

Blood on the Saddle

The Comanche's Ghost

Blood Pass (Originally titled Alaskan Showdown)

The West Witch


Ghost-town Duel
(Originally titled The Lady Killer)

The Gallows Ghost

The Widow Maker

Guns of the Past
(Originally titled Dead or Alive)


The Last Draw

The Deadly Doves

The Devil's Peacemaker ***Available Now!***

The West Wolf (Feb 2001)

The Phantom Marshal (coming soon)


The Comanche's Ghost

Guns of the Past Palomita

The Last Draw

The Deadly Doves (Feb. 2001

The Dark Riders (Vampire/western) ***Now Available!!!

Pistolero (Western)

Grimm (Pulp horror with Link Hullar)

The Nightmare Club #1: The Headless Paperboy (Children's Horror series)

Dark Harbors (Horror/supernatural Short Story Anthology)

Night Demons (Horror)

Golden Perils #s 1-20

The Gray Nemesis

Shadowed Pages

Funny Bones

Niņo Del Mar

The Black Bat

Secret Agent X


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