Saturday, September 08, 2012


While perusing Steven Reid Harbin's Facebook group "Pulp Magazine Authors and Literature Fans", one Patricia Boeckman posted about her husband's (Charles Boeckman AKA Charles Beckman Jr) now available collection of past pulp stories; SUSPENSE, SUSPICION & SHOCKERS.  I asked if she wouldn't mind posting more info about Charles' work and Mr. Boeckman himself generously gave us some biographical history:

Boeckman shared ink with other pulp
legends such as Mickey Spillane and
William Irish (AKA Cornell Woolrich)
I sold my first pulp suspense story in 1945 to Mike Tilden the editor of Detective Tales. Once I broke into the pulps, I had a steady stream of short stories and novelettes published by Popular Publications both suspense stories and Westerns and other publishers such as "Pursuit, Malcolms, Manhunt, Alfred Hitchcock, Publishers paid one cent a word for stories in those days. One could make a good living if he or she could turn out a lot of stories. I wrote all of my stories first draft (as did other pulp writers I knew). I could write a 5,000 word story in a day. (One day I wrote a 9,000 word novelette in a working day.(no time for much revising.) We used mechanical typewriters. The Royal portable was the choice of many of the writers I knew.

I grew up in Texas so knew a lot about rattle snakes so I used that for a basis of my first story, STRICTLY POISON. Once I was making a living from full time writing I visited many of the big cities, San Francisco, New Orleans and New York. My favorite was Manhattan where I had leased a small apartment a block from Central Park west. New York was the center of the publishing business so I became friends with many of the best known editors of the pulps. I also got to know the top writers in the field, such as Day Keene (he was on the cover of almost every pulp story magazine) Talmage Powell, Gil Brewer, Harry Whittington, and others.

If you haven't read Boeckman
before and are eager to start
one of his stories is on amazon
as book and audiobook
In the 1920's,30s, and 40s a large segment of the population got their entertainment from radio and magazine stories. Every month the magazine stands were filled with fiction stories-- suspense, murder, action, love and science fiction stories and others. The pulp stories (so called because of the cheap pulp paper on which they were published) sold for ten or fifteen cents and had ten or fifteen stories. I started reading the pulps when I was ten years old. I grew up in the Great Depression. We had enough to eat but not any left over for music lessons. I taught myself to play clarinet and saxophone listening to phonograph records. When I left home I had $30 in my pocket, a used portable typewriter and some musical instruments from a pawn shop. I'd always liked the seashore so I took a bus to Corpus Christi, Texas. The next day I had a part time day job and a week-end job playing music. Those were the days of the big band era: Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, Pete Fountain, Fatha Hines, Satchmo Armstrong. I later wrote a book on the history of jazz, Cool. Hot and Blue. I have a copy that was autographed by all of the above.
One of the first pulps Beckman appeared in.
My writing and music gave me an exciting life and the freedom to travel. I married a beautiful and talented young lady, Patti Kennelly who also had talent as a writer. We collaborated on 26 love stories for Silhouette and Harlequin that sold world wide over two million copies. I'm now 91 looking back over a creative and exciting life. Patti has encouraged me to make a collection of my short stories going back to my first pulp sale in 1945. The collection will be published soon.

Charles at his website had this to say about one of the stories in the upcoming collection:

This excerpt is from a story entitled, “Eddie Builds His Mouse Trap,” from my anthology of short stories that I wrote beginning in 1945.  The style of some of the stories in the collection is crisp, biting, and and punchy. Short sentences. Quick observations. Brief descriptions. Some are more in the Alfred Hitchcock style, with longer sentences and psychological twists and turns.

It was ironic. All the beautiful dolls Eddie Price had on his string, and a plain little mouse like Ginny Potucek finally hashes him up.

The morning he was going to kill her, she came out of the kitchen, her face flushed and damp from the heat of the stove. She was untying her apron. “Eddie, we’re out of bread. I’ll have to run down to the grocery store.”

“Oh?” Eddie said. Not that he was really surprised, having just tossed their last loaf out in the alley.

collection of 24 short stories by Charles
Boeckman and is now available at

He stood in front of the dresser mirror, whistling, buttoning up a clean white shirt. It was easy to see why the dames fell all over Eddie Price. He was six feet of man, adequately spread out around the shoulders and chest. He had lazy, grey eyes that would drift over a girl, caressing her, sending shivers up her spine, and a shy, little-boy grin that twisted her heart. After that, she’d be a fit subject for Freud if she didn’t run her fingers through his thick black hair and whisper in his ear.

But he wasn’t thinking about dames at the moment. His fingers were all thumbs, knotting his tie, and there was a sick pit of nausea in his stomach. In a few min­utes he was going to kill his bride of two months, Ginny, in a very messy way. He wasn’t too enthusiastic about it.

You can read more about Patricia, Charles and more excepts from the new book at

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