John Jakes is a bestselling author of historical fiction, science fiction, children’s books, and nonfiction. Best known for his civil war saga, North and South Trilogy, Jakes also wrote the popular Sword & Sorcery saga Brak the Barbarian. A free Brak the Barbarian short story is available for download and a short video about Brak is available on YouTube and embedded below.
Back in the day – the mid to late 1960s – I was writing Brak the Barbarian serials and short stories while I still had a day job in advertising. This took me to New York every month or so, where I had commercials to produce or supervisors to see at DFS, a genuine Madison Avenue agency – at the time the seventh largest in the world.
On these trips I would usually manage a lunch with the late Lin Carter; he too was in advertising. He smoked as much or more than I did then. As I recall, he and his second wife had no children, hence he could spend a lot of time on a costume for this or that annual sf and fantasy convention. One year I remember seeing him flamboyantly garbed as Ming the Merciless, from the old Flash Gordon Saturday afternoon chapter plays at the movies.