Thursday, January 23, 2014




Fight Card Presents: Iron Head and Other Stories is the first in a series of charity anthologies from the Fight Card authors cooperative – a writers community featuring many of today’s finest fictioneers, including Jory Sherman, Ryan McFadden, Mark Finn, Troy D. Smith, Ed Greenwood,  Jack Badelaire, James Scott Bell, James Hopwood, Bowie V. Ibarra, and Matthew Pizzolato. 

Compiled by Paul Bishop and Jeremy L. C. Jones, 100% of the proceeds from these anthologies will go directly to an author-in-need (in this case, revered western writer Jory Sherman) or a literacy charity. Words on paper are the life blood of a writer.  The writers in this volume were willing to bleed in order to give a transfusion to one of their own – and then continue to bleed to give a transfusion to literacy charities in support of that most precious of commodities ... readers.  They are true fighters, every one ...


Jory Sherman is a fighter.  He's been in the writing business all of his adult life.  He's been a poet, a journalist, and a novelist.  He’s penned short stories, radio scripts, and autobiographical essays.  In his memoir, he never flinches or falters.  He’s written horror, action-adventure, and westerns, both adult and traditional.  His publication numbers are high.  Short stories? Over 50.  Novels? Well past 500.

On top of all his own writing, Jory has helped out, directly and indirectly, more fellow writers than anyone knows.

Jory Sherman is a fighter.  If he’d been a boxer, he’d be at that part of his career now where he was fighting full time and training up-and-comers on the side.  Yeah, he's been a rookie and champ, but he's never been a ham and egger and he darn sure isn’t a tomato can.  Great footwork.  Good with his hands.  A master out wide and a genius in close.  Endurance, stamina, and courage to spare.  He’s a fighter.  Always has been.  Always will be.  

Within all of all his jobs and roles writer, painter, teacher, husband, soldier, and these days, recreational fisherman there's always been that one thing, that one truth: Jory Sherman is a fighter...And his fighting spirit his fight is rooted in belief, belief in himself, in his characters, in language, in storytelling.

Lately, Jory's been sick.  He also turned 81 in October of 2013.  Every morning he wakes up and writes. "There is nothing to fear," he says in Master Course in Writing.  "All that you need will be given to you through the magic process of writing."

Writing is Jory Sherman’s equivalent of the sweet science.

Jory Sherman is a fighter, though he doesn't box.  He writes.  And this anthology, ten rounds of two-fisted FIGHT CARD action, is a testament to how inspiring a fighter Jory Sherman is.

A boxer steps into the ring and tests himself.  A writer puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  Call it a fight or the drafting of a story or whatever you want.  You put yourself to the test and you see who you are.

If you're lucky whether you’re a writer or a boxer you are never fully alone.  You have your trainer there, your team, your fans, your community.  Someone like Jory Sherman to lend a hand.  

But what if you are Jory Sherman?  What if you’re the guy who usually helps everyone else out?  What do you do then?

About six months ago, I asked Jory if he'd ever written or had any interest in writing fight fiction and he told me a few stories about going to boxing matches with his father as a child in Denver. 

One of these childhood adventures led to Iron Head.  Jory wrote it fast, while juggling two novel deadlines and at least three trips to the VA Hospital per week.

Once we had “Iron Head” in hand, Paul Bishop and I set about finding stories to accompany it.  We needed at least four of equal length, roughly 6,000 words.  Both of us sent out feelers, asking writers we knew if they’d be willing to donate a fight story to a Fight Card anthology.  All proceeds, we said, would go to Jory.

Response was beyond enthusiastic. 

"I love fight fiction!"

"I've always wanted to try a boxing tale."

"Anything for Jory.”

We had a dozen commitments within 12 hours.  Within a week we had enough commitments for more than two full anthologies.  Eventually, we had a roster for four boxing anthologies and at least one Fight Card MMA anthology with plans to continue bi-monthly releases for as long as there is interest.

Not all of the anthologies will benefit Jory Sherman.  Some will benefit literacy programs, literary organizations, or other authors in need.  Fight Card Presents: Iron Head & Other Stories is the first and it was borne out of the generosity that Jory Sherman inspired in others.

As I said above, Jory has been ill lately--very ill.  There have been some close calls.  There have been near misses, emergencies, medications, and hours and hours of dialysis.  The medical bills are excruciating.  Crippling.

But a fighter doesn’t give up, and Jory Sherman is a fighter.

In one of my favorite scenes in this book, a character awakens from a coma and says, “I dreamed about how to defeat him.”

He’s talking about the fighter who put him in that coma.  That’s the way to do it: wake each day fighting.  Never give up.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as we enjoyed putting it together.  Thank you for buying it and for helping out an author in need.  I’d also like to thank the authors, all of whom have been exceedingly generous and a real joy to work with.  Jack Badelaire, James Scott Bell, Mark Finn, Ed Greenwood, James Hopwood, Bowie V. Ibarra, Ryan McFadden, Matthew Pizzolato, Troy D. Smith, and, of course, Jory Sherman, it’s great to have you on the Fight Card team.

Keep writing!
Jeremy L. C. Jones
Boiling Springs, SC
January, 2014


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