ROBERT EVANS ~ AUTHOR OF FIGHT CARD: GOLDEN GATE GLOVES
Science Fiction and Fantasy grabbed hold of me in high school and didn’t let go. I started writing in the genre as soon as I realized I could, but somewhere between then and now, I was introduced to the military as a whole and a specific military form of self-defense called the Army’s Modern Combatives. This is a great program, both challenging and rewarding, and it is where I was first introduced into the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and in a roundabout way, to boxing. However, I didn’t start writing stories in the boxing and MMA genres because of my experiences in the Army or with the Combatives program.
The thrust to write boxing/MMA tales came during a time in my life when I decided to take a trip into history and read the masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I searched the Internet and old bookstores (sadly, many of these are disappearing due to the influence of the Internet) for the old pulps. I was looking for and reading the stories that started the sci-fi/fantasy genres by authors who cut their teeth in the pulps – such as Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Fritz Leiber, and many more. I searched for those who wrote enthralling and entertaining tales, who were the cutting edge in fiction.
None stood out more than Robert E. Howard, in particular his tales of the battling boxer Sailor Steve Costigan. My imagination was immediately captured by these “two fisted” boxing yarns – by the character of Costigan himself, a man fighting with honor and a deep set of morals, in far off exotic lands. That is one of the things I miss most about the old stories … the settings were exotic, dark, foreboding and full of adventure.
Today, with the internet and nearly every square inch of the world photographed and recorded, the allure of an exotic local is lost, but it was something I was hoping to revisit with my stories. While I was becoming acquainted with the pulp masters, I was also becoming very interested in MMA and following the sport as a fan. I started looking for new authors who were writing in the MMA/boxing field. However, I failed to find any.
Suddenly what sounded like stories I would be interested in reading, became a great opportunity for me to jump into the genre, and fill a specific void. With that little bit of spark, I created my MMA fighting Army Staff Sergeant Mickey O’Quinn. Mickey O’Quinn’s first two stories, Basement Brawl and Foul Fight With A Pit Viper, caught the attention of Paul Bishop – the co-creator of the Fight Card series – who asked if I would be interested in contributing a Fight Card tale.
I had already read the available Fight Card titles, and was very excited about the storylines and the pulp/noir feel of the writing. As a result, it wasn’t much of a choice for me to say yes and get to work on a story that had been sitting in the back of my brain looking for a way out.
The story, Fight Card: Golden Gate Gloves, takes place around San Francisco and the Gold Country of the California foothills. These are places I know very well, having worked in San Francisco for over five years and currently living and working in the Gold Country. The main character is Conall O’Quinn, the grandfather of my MMA fighting Staff Sergeant, Mickey O’Quinn. I couldn’t help but tie these two storylines together with a bloodline, because like a well executed combination – it just worked.