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This is an old revision of BeckmanCharles made by dantesnana on 2012-12-09 00:28:13.

 

Charles Beckman Jr.


See Charles Boeckman Jr.

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Charles Boeckman, AKA Charles Beckman, Jr., began his love for the pulps as a kid, when he devoured the teen and adult versions of the magazines with the garish-colored covers and the fascinating stories. A born story-teller, he delighted his neighborhood friends in the back yard at night, spooking them with ghost stories and other tales he dreamed up on the spot. One kid got so scared, he ran home crying. Only later while in high school did he learn from a writer's magazine that people got paid for spinning yarns. That little piece of knowledge dictated the rest of his professional life. With wanderlust in his soul and a dislike for working for others, he decided that the life of a author would afford him the opportunity to be his own boss and have the freedom to travel to all the big cities he cared to see and to live in. After all, what other profession required only a typewriter, typing paper, and a fertile imagination to fund the lifestyle he dreamed of?

Of course, he had to master the skills inherent in professional writing, least of which was his ability to type fast and to type well, which he did. Then he had to study writing technique, become intimately acquainted with the subtleties of human nature, and study the markets. He read fast and he read long. He practiced, submitted stories, got rejection letters, and persevered. He would not quit. And he sold his first story in 1945 at the age of 25. He specialized in short stories: suspense, mystery, surprise endings, and westerns. He did sell one science fiction story, but he preferred focusing on the frailties and triumphs of human beings struggling with real life.

And so he embarked on a career that afforded him the life style he had dreamed of, traveling to the major cities in the US and living in some of them on and off while producing regularly for the pulps until their demise with the advent of television. Undaunted by that market's collapse, Boeckman quickly adapted to writing for many other markets involving short stories, novels, non-fiction books and articles. In the 1980's, he and his wife, Patti, wrote 25 romance novels for Silhouette, which sold over 2,000,000 copies world wide.

Charles continued writing for various markets until later in life and thought the pulps had long been forgotten. However, at the age of 90, Charles marveled when Patti pulled a surprise out of the bag after she stumbled onto pulp fans on the Internet. What?? Modern readers were chasing down those old magazines, reading them, collecting them, attending conventions, buying and selling them, writing new pulps, and discussing the vintage pulp authors? WOW! Who would have thought?

Here was Charles, in his 90's, suddenly wading through a stream of memories and flashbacks to the days when he knew Day Keene, Gil Brewer, Talmage Powell, Robert Turner, and other pulp writers, back to the times when they gathered in Florida and spent time trading stories about their writing careers. Here were memories of the thrill of trotting to the news stand when another of his stories sat there waiting for him in magazines such asNew Detective or Dime Western Magazine, and he read it in print, enjoying the pleasure of knowing others were also reading about the characters he had brought to life from the depths of his imagination.

Then Patti began posting Charles' name on various pulp sites. All of a sudden, pulp fans were finding out that a legend from the past was still among them. That resulted in Gary Lovisi of Gryphon Press featuring Charles in one of his monthly Paperback Parade magazines, and a small press reprinted one of Charles' pulp novels, Honky Tonk Girl.

One day, Patti discovered pages and pages of pulp listings on Amazon, including anthologies of reprints of vintage pulp stories. Another mind blower!

Then the BUG BIT! Charles got out his cardboard boxes of fragile pulp magazine with his stories that he had packed away decades ago, and he read them. That old thrill of anticipating other folks who could again read and enjoy his stories surged through him, and he decided to put together an anthology of reprints of some of his suspense-type stories and post it on Amazon. And that's what he did! The title is SUSPENSE, SUSPCION & SHOCKERS. This process put him in touch with David Cranmer, Tommy Hancock, Ron Fortier, David Haws, and a host of other pulp aficionados. This connection with his past through present-day pulp fans has been a delightful surprise that he is enjoying immensely.

So, as of this writing, Charles is 92. He is in the process of putting together an anthology of his western tales and continues to look forward to connecting with pulp lovers.

(By the way, Charles spent lots of time on band stands as a side man and band leader and often uses authentic musical backgrounds in his stories.)

(Posted by Patti Boeckman, December, 2012)



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