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
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?
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
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
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
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
YingKo2: Ebooks offer more leeway
CarolCastellanos: What do you feel is the best part of the writing
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
YingKo2: Ebooks are another story
CarolCastellanos: Do you have a special place, or time that you like to
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
CarolCastellanos: Cool. Are you doing any more for the Nightmare
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
YingKo2: have a great night!
CarolCastellanos: You too. Night.
Howard Hopkins titles:
Blood on the Saddle
The Comanche's Ghost
Blood Pass (Originally titled Alaskan Showdown)
The West Witch
(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!!!
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
Niņo Del Mar
The Black Bat
Secret Agent X
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