Or, how Secret Agent X and Lance Star: Sky Ranger shared an adventure without even knowing it.
Airship 27 Productions has announced that volume 4 of the publisher’s Secret Agent X anthology series is now available for purchase. What does Secret Agent X’s latest adventure have to do with the adventures of Lance Star and the Sky Rangers, you ask?
And believe it or not there's an answer.
My story, "Mountain Men of The Lost Valley" in Secret Agent X Vol. 4 sends X on a mission to Kiev where he sabotages an enemy stronghold where a weapon of mass destruction is being built. In the Lance Star: Sky Ranger "One Shot!" comic book, Lance undertakes a mission to Kiev to stop his arch nemesis, Baron Otto Von Blood from restarting the same project and once again bringing the weapon on-line.
Even though each story can be read on their own, and even though Lance Star’s story came out first, Lance Star's "One Shot!" is a sequel to Secret Agent X's "Mountain Men of The Lost Valley."
How’s that again, you ask?
I’ve got an answer for that too.
The Secret Agent X tale was actually written first, in 2007 as a matter of fact. While the wait to get X’s adventure in The Lost Valley was lengthy, it wasn’t due to any fault or other reason. Sometimes in publishing, stories sit for awhile. Neither writers nor publishers like it, but it happens. It’s just the nature of the business. I’m just happy that it has finally made it into the hands of readers.
When I wrote "Mountain Men of The Lost Valley" it was meant to be a stand-alone story and, for the most part, it is just that. You get a complete adventure in one sitting. However, when I wrote "One Shot!" in 2010 (or was it late 2009?) I was looking for a way to get Lance and Von Blood together and decided that Von Blood would be overseeing an enemy weapons facility. As I started on the script, I remembered that I had a similar weapons facility at the beginning of my X tale. Somehow in that moment, it all fit. Von Blood was getting the same facility back up and operational. And from there it was a simple matter of making sure the setting was the same for both.
From there all the pieces fell into place as if I’d planned it from the beginning. I love it when that happens. Now, Lance and X existed in the same world for me. Of course, this wasn’t the first time these two pulpsters had crossed paths. In Sean Ellis’ Secret Agent X novel, "The Sea Wraiths, Sean had a squadron of fighter pilots drop X off behind enemy lines. Sean asked if he could "borrow" Lance and the Sky Rangers for the mission, and of course I was all too happy to have them help out.
I have a soft spot for planting these little Easter Eggs throughout my various stories. While the casual reader might not notice them, those who read a lot of my stories will start to see tiny threads that tie them (not all, but most) to the same world. For instance, FBI Agent Harold Palmer is the main character in my novels Evil Ways and the upcoming Evil Intent. Harold’s great grandfather was a G-Man working for the State Department then later the War Department during WWII. This Agent Palmer has made appearances in Lance Star: Sky Ranger "One Shot!" (BEN Books), the upcoming Lance Star novel "Cold Snap" (Airship 27), and The New Adventures of The Eagle "Lights! Camera! Sabotage!" (Pro Se’s Pulp Obscura). Who knows where he might show up next?
There have been a few others I’ve peppered in stories as well. I won’t spoil all of them here because half the fun is trying to find them. Usually, they involve characters showing up in the background, supporting roles, or just get mentioned, but the threads are there. Be on the look out for Margaret Grace’s appearances over several stories as well. I have a lot of fun with these Easter Eggs. I plan to keep placing them wherever they are appropriate.
How many can you find?
Secret Agent X Vol. 4 is available in paperback at CreateSpace and as an ebook from Airship 27. Within weeks it will also be available from Amazon, Kindle, and Indy Planet.
Secret Agent X volumes 1, 2, and 3 are still available as well.
Lance Star: Sky Ranger "One Shot!" is available in paperback at Indy Planet and as an ebook at My Digital Comics, DriveThru Comics, Graphic.ly, and iTunes.
Secret Agent X "The Sea Wraiths" is available in paperback at Lulu.com and as an ebook on Kindle, ITunes, and Nook.