Why Romance?

A novelist, screenwriter, television personality and half the creative genius behind the Fight Card series, Paul Bishop recently finished a 35 year career with the Los Angeles Police Department where he was twice honored as Detective Of The Year.  He continues to work privately as a deception expert and as a specialist in the investigation of sex crimes.  His books include the western Diamondback: Shroud Of Vengenace, two novels (Hot Pursuit / Deep Water) featuring LAPD officers Calico Jack Walker and Tina Tamiko, the thrillers Penalty Shot and Suspicious Minds, a short story collection (Running Wylde), and five novels in his L.A.P.D. Detective Fey Croaker series (Croaker: Kill Me Again, Croaker: Grave Sins, Croaker: Tequila Mockingbird, Croaker: Chalk Whispers, and Croaker: Pattern of Behavior).  His latest novel, Fight Card: Felony Fists (written as Jack Tunney), is a fast action boxing tale inspired by the fight pulps of the ‘40s and ‘50s. His novels are currently available as e-books.

When the tough, two-fisted, pulptastic series Fight Card softens its edges there has to be a method to the madness…

Ladies Night

Paul Bishop

Yes, I get funny looks when I use the phrase, Fight Card Romance, but I couldn’t be more excited. The Fight Card Romance novels – debuting this month with Ladies Night (Carol Malone writing as Jill Tunney) – are reaching outside of the traditional Fight Card novels  to another audience of by crossing the heart of the once immensely popular romance pulps and the current popularity of the romance genre with the two-fisted pulp boxing action Fight Card fans have come to enjoy.  While romance will feature prominently, the main story – like the original Fight Card tales – will still center on boxing, the big fight, plus a happy resolution to the romance aspects of the tales.

Inspired by the fight pulps of the ’30s and ’40s – such as Fight Stories Magazine and Knockout Magazine – and specifically Robert E. Howard’s two-fisted tales of boxing champ Sailor Steve Costigan, the Fight Card series was conceived two years ago as a monthly series of 25,000 word novelettes, designed to be read in one or two sittings.

Originally, each Fight Card story was to be set in the1950s. However, this quickly became negotiable when Terrence McCauley proposed writing a prequel to his outstanding 1920’s set first novel Prohibition, featuring Quinn, an ex-fighter turned mob enforcer.  Terrence wanted to tell Quinn’s origin story, which was firmly set in Fight Card territory, but three decades earlier.

Once the specific era precedent was broken, it cleared the way to enlarge the Fight Card audience with the advent of the spin-off brand, Fight Card MMA.  MMA savvy writers Gerard Brennan and Jeremy Brown gave Fight Card MMA a great kick off with Welcome To The Octagon and The Kalamazoo Kid respectively.

Which brings us to Fight Card Romance

Fight Card has its roots deep in the pulp genre – and so does romance.  The love pulps flourished between the ‘20s and the ‘50s, often not only outselling all of the best remembered pulp genres, but often supporting the costs of those other pulps on romance’s broad shoulders.

Street & Smith’s pulp, Love Story Magazine, founded in 1921 and edited by Amita Fairgrieve (and later the dynamic Daisy Bacon), was the gold standard.  It obtained a stunning circulation of over 100,000 copies a month within its first year of publication. Love Story created a bond with its readers unlike anything else in pulpdom. Very quickly, Love Story began publishing semi-monthly and shortly thereafter, weekly.  With its huge circulation of loyal readers, Love Story became the financial security behind Street & Smith’s complete line of pulps.

Today, is no different.  According to industry estimates, the romance genre is responsible for more than fifty-five percent of all books published yearly – showing the continued strength and loyalty of romance readers.  Other genre readers and publishers sometimes foolishly scoff at the romance genre – in much the same way as the popularity of pulp writing in general was regarded – but clearly romance, in all its many forms, is still providing much of the publishing field’s profits.

Before you get the idea the Fight Card Romance brand is just about profits remember, Fight Card is not a publishing house.  It is a new publishing dynamic, an author’s cooperative.  The money from the individual titles in all the Fight Card brands go directly to each individual writer – not to a company.  The writers bring back to the cooperative whatever skills they can offer – cover art, editing, blurb writing, website design and maintenance, publicity contacts, podcasting, e-formatting, blog tours, advertising, creation of our free quarterly Fight Fictioneers Magazine, social networking – all as part of the Fight Card team. Fight Card is first and foremost a dynamic for the writers and of the writers.

Fight Card chose to enter the romance genre excited to find new readers – individuals who, after enjoying a Fight Card Romance, may also find something they like in a traditional Fight Card tale, or a kick-ass Fight Card MMA story – good writing cuts across all genres.

The main goal, however, is that romance readers will discover and enjoy the first Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night.  The author, Carol Malone is a romance reading fanatic and a romance writer.  She worked particularly hard with this essentially new genre mash-up to provide both romance readers and traditional Fight Card fans with a knockout story.

Find out more about Fight Card Romance and other Fight Card brands here: www.fightcardbooks.com

One thought on “Why Romance?

  1. You might ask yourself what a nice girl like me is doing writing for a bunch of touch-minded guys who are fans of the hard-hitting boxing tales of the past? Well, what guy wouldn't want a gal in his corner who supports his dream of becoming a contender and who doesn't whine about him getting hurt or beg him to leave behind the sport he loves? And what romance reader wouldn't love a story about a determined, strong-minded woman who finds her passion even fighting a murder rap?

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