Thursday, December 28, 2017

C. Courtney Joyner

C. Courtney Joyner is an award-winning writer of fiction, comics, and screenplays. He has more than 25 movies to his credit, including the cult films Prison, starring Viggo Mortensen; From a Whisper to a Scream, starring Vincent Price; and Class of 1999, directed by Mark Lester. A graduate of USC, Joyner's first produced screenplay was The Offspring, which also starred Vincent Price. Joyner's other scripts have included TV movies for CBS, USA, and Showtime.

Joyner's new novel is Nemo Rising.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Joyner's reply:
I am, forever and happily, a genre fiction addict and do support the habit of returning to older works, while exploring the new. At least, that’s the intention. I loved Phoef Sutton’s Colorado Boulevard. I think his humor and plotting, are just extraordinary, and throws light into dark places. Very impressive.

On the epic scale, I have to admit to never having read Thomas Harris’ Black Sunday until now. The style, so very different than Silence or Red Dragon, and to see that shift, in word choices and the rest, really fascinating to explore. It’s also a great example of the important of the time and place that a book was written, as this is now a time capsule, after all that’s tragically occurred in the Middle East.

Reading Harris’ Sunday is a near-documentary experience, thanks to his own background in law enforcement. It’s much like the feeling I had with Robin Moore’s The French Connection, although that was much more evidence/document driven in its presentation, since it was a true case history, and Harris’ just damn close. And, you have the movie comparisons with both, with two great films, catching the essence from the pages, which is no easy task, as we know.

For westerns, just re-read Frank O’Rourke’s A Mule for the Marquesa (but the movie tie-in, The Professionals); I’ve been luxuriating in Deanne Stillman’s fascinating Blood Brothers, and always have Elmore Leonard within reach, especially Valdez is Coming, which I’ve read to tatters. Also, finally getting around to Road Dogs, not a western, but certainly Dutch.

And, my “classic to take me back,” I found the wonderful Science Fiction Book Club editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter series, in the three volumes with the Frank Frazetta covers and pen and ink interior illustrations, all stacked in the same box at a garage sale. Five dollars later, and I was transported to Mars, battling monsters and rescuing beautiful women.

There’s controversy surrounding Burroughs now, but there’s no escaping the fact that John Carter’s pre-Tarzan mix of genre-defining adventure and science-fiction is the template for a century of fantasy work to follow. I can’t think of a better way to spend a rainy night, than with Burroughs on Mars, illustrated by Frazetta.
Visit C. Courtney Joyner's website.

My Book, The Movie: Nemo Rising.

The Page 69 Test: Nemo Rising.

--Marshal Zeringue