Archive for September, 2018

Imaginarium Convention Returns to Louisville for 5th Anniversary October 5-7!

Posted in Writing in Theory & Practice on September 27, 2018 by Occult Detective

For Immediate Release

September 25, 2018

Imaginarium Convention Returns to Louisville for 5th Anniversary October 5-7!

The 5th anniversary of the Imaginarium Convention arrives in Louisville, Kentucky October 5-7 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.  A convention that brings together storytellers and creatives with readers and those intopop culture fandom, Imaginarium 2018 celebrates all areas of the creative writing world.

The lineup of programming, activities, and guests is stronger than ever.  Over 160 professional guests will take part in over 130 panels and workshops pertaining to all genres of creative writing, the craft of writing, publishing, filmmaking, screenwriting, editing, game design, marketing, social media, and other areas relating to creative skills and career development.

The Guest of Honor for 2018 is New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Robyn Peterman. Those receiving special Imaginator recognition as guests this year include SYFY favorite, author, artist, musician, and filmmaker Christopher St. Booth, New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author J.M. Madden, bestselling author and paranormal investigator Deborah LeBlanc, and bestselling, award-winning mystery/thriller author Carolyn Arnold, whose work has been recognized for its accuracy in police procedurals by those in law enforcement across the nation.

In addition to the extensive programming, Imaginarium 2018 features an international independent film festival with juried awards.  Feature films, short films and documentaries chosen as official selections screen on the Friday and Saturday of the Imaginarium weekend with winners announced at the Imaginarium Awards Banquet.  Additional screenings that are not part of the juried awards will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Also announced at the Awards Banquet are the Imadjinn Literary Awards, a juried series of awards given out in a full array of writing genres!

Imaginarium 2018 includes the Imadjinn Book Fair and Expo, which is open to the general public and showcases a wide variety of exhibitors.  From authors with their books, to game companies, to arts and crafts, jewelry, natural body products, hand-crafted candles, collectibles, memorabilia, and more, the Imaginarium Book Fair and Expo has something for everyone to enjoy.

Gaming is also a big part of Imaginarium 2018.  Hosted by Bloat Games, a Louisville-based gaming company, the gaming room features a variety of table-top board games and role-playing games, in addition to demos hosted by the game designers themselves!  Retro Rewind of Lexington, Kentucky will be setting up several retro gaming stations for attendees to enjoy gaming systems of the past.

The gaming room will also feature activities for kids, as the highly-acclaimed convention group Motley Kids makes a special appearance on Saturday, October 6 from 10-6 to host all kinds of games and activities for children.

Those who are into Cosplay will find a lot to enjoy at Imaginarium 2018, including a costume contest and masquerade on October 6thwith cash prizes awarded by a panel of judges!

Live entertainment can be found throughout the weekend at Imaginarium, including spotlighted performances in magic by John Pyka (aka Big Daddy Cool), oral storytelling (Robert Turk), clowns (the Kalashnikov Clowns of Louisville, Kentucky), River City Belly Dance, and a Steampunk Fusion Funk Dance performance by Lady Safiya Seraphine Lovelace!

Imaginarium Convention is an established, unique convention where attendees can explore learning, networking, professional opportunities, and have fun within an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere! A strict no-harassment policy is maintained to ensure a positive experience for all attendees.

Weekend and single day passes are available that access everything the Imaginarium Convention has to offer, with full weekend passes at just $70.

For further information on the Imaginarium Convention, please visit: or email

Occultober 2018

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error on September 25, 2018 by Occult Detective



Oct 01

  • Occultober Begins.
  • Cullen Bunn’s A Passage in Black Kickstarter
    featuring Dance, Dance Upon the Night of the Ball by Kromoff & Freeman
  • Isaac Bonewits’ Birthday.
  • Dave Arneson’s Birthday.

Oct 02

  • Jack Parson’s Lesser Feast
  • Arthur Edward Waite’s Birthday

Oct 04

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part I of V)

Oct 06

  • Imaginarium Convention
    I moderate the Paranormal Literature Panel @ 11:30 (Farmington Room)
    I moderate the Occult in Literature Panel @ 3:15 (Derby Room)

Oct 09

  • Connor’s Fifteenth Birthday.

Oct 11

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part II of V)

Oct 12

  • Aleister Crowley’s Lesser Feast.

Oct 13

  • Mississinewa 1812 Living History

Oct 16

  • HorrorBoards Kickstarter

Oct 18

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part III of V)
  • Katherine Kurtz’ Birthday

Oct 20

  • Converse Historical Society’s Haunted History
    I’ll be hosting Ghost Tours on the hour from 6-10
  • In Memoriam: John Hall

Oct 22

  • Timothy Leary’s Lesser Feast
  • John Hall’s Birthday

Oct 25

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part IV of V)

Oct 31

  • Hallowe’en Night

Nov 01

  • This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part V of V)

Dance, Dance Upon the Night of the Ball

Posted in Horror on September 20, 2018 by Occult Detective

bunnSuperstar comic scribe and horror author Cullen Bunn will be launching a Kickstarter for CULLEN BUNN PRESENTS: A PASSAGE IN BLACK in October. This will be a graphic novel anthology featuring comic book adaptations of some of Cullen’s short horror stories. I was lucky enough to be tapped to illustrate “Dance, Dance, Upon the Night of the Ball” from an Anton Kromoff script.

Dance Title


One heck of a way to kick off the Hallowe’en Season, if I do say so myself.

Stay tuned for more info once the Kickstarter launches…

Haunted History Tour

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on September 13, 2018 by Occult Detective


I’ll be leading folks on guided tours of the Oddfellows Building on Saturday, October 20. If you’re in the area, it’ll be a good opportunity to learn a little local history and maybe, just maybe, experience something a bit more…

An Imaginarium Convention Update

Posted in Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 12, 2018 by Occult Detective


My schedule is starting to shape up for my appearance at next month’s Imaginarium Convention.

I’ll only be attending the con on Saturday, October 6th this year. Though I’m not sure when, I will be signing copies of First Born, Shadows Over Somerset, & Keepers of the Dead at the Seventh Star Press table for a brief period of time. I will, however, be involved with two panel discussions:

Paranormal Literature – An open discussion about paranormal literature today. What’s popular now? What are some of the trends at the moment? Why do tales with strong paranormal elements resonate so strongly in a science-driven age? This panel will consider these kinds of questions and much more! Sat 11:30am in room Farmington. Panelist include: (Mod- Bob Freeman) Tammy Blackwell, Pam Turner, Kelly Martin, Katheryn Ragle.

The Occult in Literature – The occult is often used in literature, from thrillers, to mysteries, to horror and cross-genre tales. With a vast amount of information available and a history that extends to the beginning of humankind, the occult has proven to be fertile ground for storytellers. Our panelists will discuss the presence and use of the occult in literature. Sat 3:15pm in room Derby. Panelist include:  (Mod- Bob Freeman: The Occult Detective) Chad McClendon, Sara Marian, R.N.Drum, Janie Franz, Josef Matulich.

bobIf you’re looking for me to devalue your copies of any of my books (ie get them signed), catching me before or after one of these panels is a sure way to have me nailed down to one spot and hold me accountable.

Otherwise, if you see me on the convention floor, feel free to come right up and say “hi”, but be prepared for me to chew your ear a bit (not in a Mike Tyson sort of way). I’m hard to miss. I kind of stand out in a crowd for some reason.

My thoughts on The Visions of the Pylons by J. Daniel Gunther

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on September 11, 2018 by Occult Detective

visionsThere are books and then there are books, those works that come along to elevate you, that open you up to infinite possibilities, to wonders and magic and more.

J. Daniel Gunther’s The Visions of the Pylons: A Magical Record of Exploration in the Starry Abode is a fascinating glimpse into the workings of a magician, a Thelemite, in pursuit of knowledge and truth.

Visions chronicles a series of workings with Gunther assuming the role of seer while his student, Richard Gernon, served as a scribe.

Plumbing the depths of Egyptian Cosmology, utilizing Aleister Crowley’s “Notes on Astral Projection” as his guide, Gunther embarked on a quest through the Pylons, confronted by Celestial Gatekeepers, Watchers, as he made unbelievable discoveries — unveiling secret pathways into the Aethyrs and beyond.

Yes, one might quibble over the particulars of the gods as depicted therein, but to do so is to miss the point, I feel. The essence of the unfolding narrative is what matters here. This book was stunning, eye opening, and mind expanding, a modern grimoire that should grace the libraries of all who aspire to glimpse behind the curtain.

This, for me, was the most important work I’ve read this decade. The Visions of the Pylons is an important work, a necessary guide for all seekers of occult wisdom. While these may not be the answers you’re looking for, Gunther’s journey is an inspiring vision-quest that will thrill you and inspire you to reach out and touch new heights beyond your wildest imaginings.

Beyond Visions content, Ibis has packaged the work as a beautiful piece of art. Visions is a gorgeous book, lavishly illustrated and bound, but at an affordable pricepoint. This will become a treasure, a book that will continue to be a presence in your life for years to come, that you might pass on to those who come after.

I urge you to seek this book out, to consume it and think about it. It made me hunger for more and helped clear the debris from the path of my journey. I think it could do the same for you.

The Visions of the Pylons by J. Daniel Gunter is available via Amazon or direct from Red Wheel /Weiser.



My thoughts on Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic & Sen Moise’s Working Conjure

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on September 5, 2018 by Occult Detective

blackthornWhile we gently slide into the witchy season, what better time than now to talk about a couple of books I had the pleasure of devouring recently.

First up was one that caught me a little off guard. To say that I was pleasantly surprised by Amy Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic is more than an understatement.

In the 40+ years that I’ve been interested in folk magic and the occult, I have read dozens of books on herbalism, potions, oils, and the like.

This one hit that sweet spot, being concise and informative. The author has a smooth voice, coming across friendly but knowledgeable. She’s the neighbor you wish you had.

The book is comfortable to read, with heavier stock newsprint so there’s no glare. Not overly fond of the inserts, but overall the font is relaxed and not hard on the eyes. Us over-50 year olds have to worry over such things ;)

The star of the book is the simple recipes found throughout. This is spellcraft laid out for beginners, but there are plenty of intriguing creations that will entice the seasoned veteran as well.

You can pick up a copy of Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic wherever books are sold, or just click the Amazon link and get it delivered to your door.

conjureAnother fascinating book I had the chance to devour was Hoodoo Sen Moise’s Working Conjure: A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic.

I’ve always had a soft spot for traditional folk magic, particularly Southern rootwork that blended heathen magics from Europe and Africa to create something new and wonderful… and downright scary at times.

I was unfamiliar with the author, hoodoo’s not really my scene (I’ve got a thing about chickens), but Sen Moise delivers are well-balanced primer for those interested in dipping their toes into the modern revival of Root Magic.

I see that as the strength and weakness of this book. While the author is respectful of his ancestors, I see this as an evolution of the craft. It’s a bit modern and revisionist, but it speaks to the times we’re in and this is Conjure for the 21st Century, where the old and new find a balance to move forward.

It was certainly an interesting and enveloping read. It was personal, which is a strong point, especially with this flavor of magic. While this isn’t exactly my cup of hoodoo blend, I was better for having experienced it and will certainly integrate aspects of the work, particularly parts of Conjure in the Graveyard, into my own practice.

Working Conjure: A Guide to Hoodoo Folk Magic by Sen Moise is available on Amazon or wherever books are sold.

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