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Wednesday, July 4, 2012



It’s In The Genes For Vella Munn/Vonna Harper

“If you could talk to anyone from the past, who would it be?”

As a romance and otherwise writer, I’ve been asked that question numerous times, and my answer is always the same. I’d give a great deal to sit down for a chat with my grandfather

So why does a man who died in 1924 at the age of thirty-six have his own website? Glad you asked and even if you didn’t please hang with me. Grandpa was (I wish I had a drumroll here) a pioneering writer for the early pulp magazines. His short stories, novellas, and novel length speculative fiction was read by tens of thousands. A month before his mysterious and violent death (he may have been murdered), his last story The Money Miler sold for $400. This boggles my mind, $400 for a novella length in 1924!

Hopefully you now have a better idea of why some shop talk with Grandpa would mean so much to me. I’d love to tell him about the changes in the publishing world since he pounded on a manual typewriter and ask him to read and comment on the biography I wrote about this precious-to-me man called Grandfather Lost.

What would he think of Musa Publishing’s commitment to bring out the body of work that demonstrated his creativity and intellect? How would he react to the Five Stars that Long and Short Reviews recently gave his short story "The Planetary Pirate"?

What about your eldest grandchild, Grandpa? Did you ever wonder if one of your offspring would be bitten by the same compulsion to write? I did and I hope you’d be proud of me. Granted, the erotic romances I write as Vonna Harper leave my mother and your oldest daughter blushing and shaking her head, but that’s only part of who I am. Under my real name Vella Munn (yes, I was named after your youngest daughter), I’ve written category romances, mainstream historicals, a man-against-nature, and a young adult. I’m currently under contract with Tor Publishing for a paranormal thriller and will soon write a paranormal romantic suspense for Entangled Publishing.

Truth is I’ll never talk shop with you, but thank you, thank you for the gift of your fiction and more. Your manuscripts are in my possession. I entrusted the fragile pulp magazines they appeared in to the Spencer Research Library’s Science Fiction collection at the University of Kansas. My Nana, your wife, kept the precious letters you wrote her and those are in a special place close to my heart. I even have copies of the newspaper articles written following your untimely death.

Maybe most precious, I have your genes.


  1. What a nice post! I enjoyed reading it.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Really great post.

    Your grandfather sounded like a fascinating man :)