Many of you have probably already heard, but one of my all-time pulp heroes author Emerson LaSalle was killed yesterday in the woods near his home in Calamity, Idaho where he was mauled by a large black bear. I was shocked and stunned to hear it and saddened as well since I'd only a few months ago made good friends with the author.
Mr. LaSalle did not care for me at first and that's putting it mildly. I wrote him an e-mail some time ago professing my admiration for him and telling him how much his work had been an influence on my own. Here is part of his reply:
Yes, I am aware of your little novels. It seems you have taken the liberty of stealing my best stuff, watering it down, and passing it off as your own. How clever of you. Did they teach you that in MFA school, you little tit?
As you can imagine I was stunned by this reply. At first I thought it best to slink away and leave this bitter old man to his own devices. Instead, I doggedly continued to e-mail him. I'm glad of my decision, for I eventually won him over, and in his last months he even became something of a mentor.
Anthony Neil Smith and I were lucky enough to get Mr. LaSalle to let us write a screenplay based on his memoir. The screenplay is called Pulp Boy and it's an amalgam of events found in his unpublished memoir set in the present day. Neil and I are very eager to find interested producers. I'd love for the film to be made since a talent like Mr. LaSalle's deserves such a fitting tribute.
LaSalle wrote over 400 pulp novels in his lifetime -- mostly science fiction and horror but a good mix of crime and a few westerns too. Some of his standout titles were Vixen Shamus, Guns of Old Mars, Sheriff Dracula and Whorebots of Planet Vegas.
I was stunned when the executor of LaSalle's estate called me last night to inform me that LaSalle had left me the manuscript of his final novel. It's being sent to me by FedEx along with all the rights and I've been on pins and needles waiting to get it and read it. The final LaSalle novel! What's the title? What's the plot? Who are the characters?
I will miss my new friend. Our aquaintance was far too short. But I salivate at the thought of the new manuscript.
More news later.