Archive for the Horror Category

Horror for the Holidays

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Sword & Sorcery, Writing in Theory & Practice on November 24, 2017 by Occult Detective

Have you heard of jólabókaflóð? You must have, because the Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve and then spending the evening reading, is fast becoming a cultural phenomenon around the world.

Now that’s a tradition I can get behind.

If you’ve got loved ones who love to read, and prefer something a little bit more — shall we say — sinister, might I suggest my offerings, published by Seventh Star Press.

CAIRNWOOD AD

Available on Amazon.com Shadows Over Somerset  & Keepers of the Dead

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Available on Amazon.com First Born

Nothing says Yuletide quite like stories about occult detectives, werewolves, witches, vampires, and immortal swordsmen. Add a sprinkling of Norse Gods into the equation and you’ve got yourself one helluva Christmas Party.

 

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Hallowe’en is over, but Samhain remains.

Posted in Horror, Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on November 1, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Another Hallowe’en has passed. We had a great night. We visited my parents at the Woodcarvers Building and watched some of the kids parade through in their costumes, then headed back home for a bonfire and camp supper.

We ended the evening with some para-entertainment, courtesy of Rob Lowe, and an episode of Lucifer.

All in all, a fine Hallowe’en that came and went too fast. Luckily, we’re still in the throes of Samhain, which will culminate this coming weekend with November’s Frost Moon.

***

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It being November 1st, I can’t let the day pass without acknowledging the birthday of Landon Connors.

Yes, I know, he’s a fictional character, but in truth he’s much more than that. Giving him a birthdate grounded him for me. Knowing how old he was in, say, 1986, helps me make him a living and breathing person.

He was ten, by the way.

Happy 41st Birthday, Landon Connors. I hope there are many more to come…

***

ODQuarterly

If you were one of those who purchased the latest issue of Occult Detective Quarterly and found my Walter Davies tale, “Birds of a Feather”, truncated, fear not. The good folks at ODQ have uploaded the missing words in an Erratum, with future editions having the corrected prose.

***

That’s all for now… I’ve writing to attend to.

All Hallow’s Read 2017

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 31, 2017 by Occult Detective

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It started on October 23, 2010 with a blog post by Neil Gaiman titled “A Modest Proposal“.

I propose that, on Hallowe’en or during the week of Hallowe’en, we give each other scary books. Give children scary books they’ll like and can handle. Give adults scary books they’ll enjoy.

I propose that stories by authors like John Bellairs and Stephen King and Arthur Machen and Ramsey Campbell and M R James and Lisa Tuttle and Peter Straub and Daphne Du Maurier and Clive Barker and a hundred hundred others change hands — new books or old or second-hand, beloved books or unknown. Give someone a scary book for Hallowe’en. Make their flesh creep…

Give a scary book.

If you don’t know what kinds of books there are, or what would be appropriate for the person you’re giving a book to, talk to a bookseller. They love to help, most of them. (The ones that don’t tend not to be booksellers for long.) Talk to librarians. (Do not plan to give away their books though, unless they are having a library sale.)

That’s it. That’s my idea.

Scary book. Hallowe’en.

Who’s with me?

I, and thousands of others, were and are. To be honest, any excuse to give books as gifts is one worth taking, but I quite like the giving of scary books, as that is, arguably, my raison d’être. The scary part, not necessarily the giving, but I do that too, quite happily and even more so than the receiving end of the exchange for a whole host of messed up reasons that delve back into the annals of time and childhood neuroses.

Anyway. I’m squarely in league with the scary book giving as a Hallowe’en tradition. You should be too. And this year, I believe my family is adopting Jolabokaflod for the Yule season, because, well, BOOKS.

Not familiar? Jolabokaflod or Yule Book Flood is the tradition of gifting books to one another on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. The only thing I can think of lovelier than that is All Hallow’s Read, but just because it’s got bats, and ghouls, and spooky things attached.

So, books. Give ’em. For Hallowe’en and Christmas Eve. Hell, I’m thinking of starting a book giving Thanksgiving tradition too… Thanksreading? Booksgiving?

But beyond all that, let me wish you all, my friends and readers, a Happy Hallowe’en and a Blessed Samhain. May all your nightmares come true.

One day till Hallowe’en means it must be Devil’s Night

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Liber et Audax, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 30, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Devil’s Night is upon us, a night of pranks and mischief. Unfortunately, good-natured fun (corning or soaping windows, smashing pumpkins, toilet papering trees) can sometimes give way to out-and-out vandalism.

Please, if you’re up to some devilishness this evening, do not include arson or property damage into your repertoire. Have fun, but remember — these are your neighbors.

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— On another note: I drew attention to the latest issue of Occult Detective Quarterly and my short story “Birds of a Feather”. There was a problem with the issue and the last 800 words or so of my tale were inadvertently absent from the edition. This problem is being rectified and I trust no print copies will make it into the wild sans the story’s conclusion.

If so, please contact me and I’ll email you the rest of the third act and epilogue. Same holds true if you are one of the few who was sent a pdf of the issue.

It’s a story I’m quite fond of and would like to make sure you get to read it in toto.

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— Now normally on a Monday night, Connor and I would join some of my oldest and dearest friends in a rousing Roll20 session of D&D, but this week that will not be the case and we’re looking toward spending the night with Kim for a change.

I wonder what sort of infernal tomfoolery will get up to? Only the devil knows for sure, and he’s not telling.

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— In closing, a reminder to embrace All Hallow’s Read. Please, give someone a scary book this Hallowe’en.

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3 days till Hallowe’en & it’s time to flock together #OccultDetectiveQuarterly

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 28, 2017 by Occult Detective

testDavies stepped back out into the Scottish mist and once more set off across the moor trail, refreshed in body if not in spirit.

He doubled his efforts, cutting a course through the high grass and past the ruins of the old Bradshaw house, of which he scarcely managed to take in the scenic beauty.

The sun was all but gone now and he ached to ascend Cauldron Hill with his wits about him, but by the time he reached the hillside, and the formidable climb ahead, his hip assured him that there would be no fanfare at journey’s end… and the confidence he’d had when he embarked on this fool’s errand had all but fled.

Through gritted teeth he attacked the rise, his hip screaming in protest, his mind full of doubt. He was no warrior, at least, not in the sense that his mentor was. He had killed, and would do so again, not just men, but monsters… so many monsters. But Davies was, at heart, a scholar. Not a man-of-action. Yet, here he was, about to ascend to the summit of Cauldron Hill.

He stopped and took a deep breath, drawing the blade from the cane sheath and, with a silent prayer to the Gods of Ancient Alba, walked forth onto a scene of unfathomable carnage.

Cauldron Hill was awash in the blood of a thousand black birds, of the variety most commonly thought of as vermin by those who make their living by the sweat of their brow, working the soil.

But these crows were not slaughtered by the salt of the earth. No, Davies was sure, this was black magic; as black as it gets.

The preceding text is an excerpt from my short story “Birds of a Feather”, my humble contribution to the Occult Legion collaborative effort that is being serialized in Electric Pentacle Press’ Occult Detective Quarterly.

The latest issue, that includes my tale, is currently available via Amazon, just in time for the witching season’s close.

Freeman_BloodsingsIf memory serves, you’ll also discover some artwork from my pen as well, and a spot here or there of some header and logo work.

The crew at Occult Detective Quarterly are all good chaps, dedicated to the genre, and have put together a fine assemblage of talent, including the always brilliant William Meikle, Brian M Sammons, Alice Loweecy, and Ed Erdelac, to name but a few.

My spot of prose in this issue, I hope, will appeal to all fans of the occult detective school of fiction, but will certainly be of note to fans of my Cairnwood Manor novels, as characters, both good and bad, found within their pages are spotlighted here in “Birds of a Feather”.

What a terrific All Hallow’s Read gift it would make.

 

Today’s your last chance to enter to win a copy of the Weiser Book of Occult Detectives!

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives on October 24, 2017 by Occult Detective

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At the stroke of Midnight, EST, all submissions to win a copy of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, edited by the erudite and spooktacular Judika Illes should be in my inbox.

Why do you want to enter this contest? Read my review. Trust me, this is the book you’ll want to be reading Halloween night.

So, what’s the trick to getting this treat? It’s Show and Tell time. Share with me your favorite fictional occult detective, either with prose or picture, but I want to know the why of it.

You will be judged based on the content of your submission. This is open to writers and illustrators. Length is not a factor, but the overall piece will be viewed as a whole. Be creative. Dazzle me with your words or pictures, but most of all I want to feel your passion for the character.

I am happy to accept multiple submissions.

Unfortunately, I have to limit this to folks in the continental US.

Submission deadline is Midnight (EST), OCTOBER 24th.

The winner will receive The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, a signed copy of my novel Shadows Over Somerset, and a signed copy of the now rarer-than-rare, short-lived Occult Detective Illustrated and have their winning entry splattered across this internet.

Send all submissions to: contest (at) occultdetective (dot) com

12 Days till Hallowe’en and it’s bleeding in 4 colors

Posted in Horror on October 19, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Since I was a little kid, Hallowe’en and comics have been all but synonymous. Whenever the witching season rolls around, I dig out some of my horror favorites, such as House of Mystery, Ghosts, The Witching Hour, Tomb of Dracula, or any number of countless others, and I immerse myself in the art and stories, from an age when comics mattered, when they were an integral part of the growing-up process.

Those days, I’m afraid, are long gone. I suspect my generation was there for the last, dying embers of what was once a staple of every child’s life. Oh sure, “comics” are bigger than ever, ruling the big screen (and the small one to a lesser degree), but comics in four colors have not been selling well for decades.

As soon as they stopped being available in gas stations, super markets, and news stands, well, the writing was on the wall. To paraphrase the Buggles, the Direct Market killed the Comic Book Star. Yes, comics still exist, but other than the work of creators like Tim Truman and Cullen Bunn, little else attracts my attention.

And I guess that’s the real horror…

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