Archive for the Occult Detectives Category

Kick Out the JAMS

Posted in Horror, Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on May 10, 2017 by Occult Detective

mathers rs

Fans of my Cairnwood Manor series might get a kick out of the faux Rolling Stone cover above. Mathers is a character I enjoyed writing a lot, sort of a cross between Jim Morrison, Jimmy Page, and Dennis Wheatley’s Duke De Richleau. He had a prominent role in Keepers of the Dead, and, I’m happy to report, he will be showing up in the future, both in the novel Born Again and in some short stories I’m working on.

Anyway, the purpose of today’s missive is merely to say that I am overjoyed and excited about some things developing behind the scenes. Nothing concrete, and certainly nothing I want to jinx by dragging them out into the light of day just yet, but my fingers are more than crossed, let me assure you…

In publishing news — Still working on finalizing First Born. We’re a handful of weeks out from the launch and I’m starting to get a bit antsy. A lot hinges on this occult detective collection.

Progress is still being made on Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game. Crossed a hurdle in regard to the magic system and spell lists. Things are really starting to come together.

Been focusing on Connor’s novels, helping to edit them for publication. He’s essentially created a YA occult detective series from the bare bones of an abandoned idea of mine. He’s done some incredibly unique and wondrous things with it. Makes a father proud.

Hope to squeeze in a couple of book reviews tomorrow, but time is becoming a precious commodity.

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the passing of my favorite artist, Frank Frazetta. He is truly and sorely missed.

Today is also John Constantine’s 64th birthday. Happy Birthday, Con-Job. I miss you too.

Till next time, be well & true…

The Weiser Book of #OccultDetectives, edited by @JudikaIlles

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Occult Detectives with tags , , on May 2, 2017 by Occult Detective

wbodI proudly parade my near lifelong obsession for the occult detective genre in all its forms and guises on this blog. That obsession led me to not only pursue a writing career entrenched in the conceits of the genre, but to explore the preternatural outside the realm of fiction as a paranormal investigator.

It is also no secret that October is my favorite month, that I have an unnatural attraction to Hallowe’en, Samhain, and all the trappings the Witching Season has to offer.

Well, when the Season of the Witch rolls around this year, readers are in for a real treat as my two favorite preoccupations collide with the October 1st release of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing, edited and introduced by none other than one of the premiere occult authors and scholars of the modern age — Judika Illes.

Judika Illes has compiled an amazing collection of occult detective stories, mining some of the best paranormal mysteries the early twentieth century had to offer, written by such legendary authors as Algernon Blackwood, William Hope Hodgson, Sax Rohmer, Dion Fortune, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

As one devoted to the genre, both as a fan and an author, I understand the awesome task Illes has undertaken. To pore over the sheer volume of early occult detective tales and select the very best and defining tales for a collection such as this would be a maddening endeavor for any scholar, but Judika Illes has done an admirable job of putting together a brilliant and impressive table of contents here.

As well read in the genre as I am, Judika Illes has managed to unearth no less than four spectacular tales that had escaped my attention: The Dead Hand by L.T. Meade and Robert Eustace, The Vampire by Alice and Claude Askew, The Witness in the Wood by Rose Champion de Crespigny, and The Eyes of Doom by Ella M. Scrymsour.

Whether you are new to the genre or a lifelong fan, The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives: 13 Stories of Supernatural Sleuthing is a collection you absolutely cannot do without. Why, I am already pining for the coming of October when I can once more crack the spine of this assemblage of paranormal thrillers and read them when the moon is high and unseen spirits roam unfettered.

The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, edited and introduced by Judika Illes is available for preorder from amazon.com.

 

Beltane Blues (Cheap Day Return)

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on May 1, 2017 by Occult Detective

“At Bealltainn, or May Day, every effort was made to scare away the fairies, who were particularly dreaded at this season. In the West Highlands charms were used to avert their influence. In the Isle of Man the gorse was set alight to keep them at a distance. In some parts of Ireland the house was sprinkled with holy water to ward off fairy influence. These are only a mere handful out of the large number of references available, but they seem to me to reveal an effort to avoid the attentions of discredited deities on occasions of festival once sacred to them. The gods duly return at the appointed season, but instead of being received with adoration, they are rebuffed by the descendants of their former worshippers, who have embraced a faith which regards them as demons.

In like manner the fairies in Ireland were chased away from the midsummer bonfires by casting fire at them. At the first approach of summer, the fairy folk of Scotland were wont to hold a “Rade,” or ceremonial ride on horseback, when they were liable to tread down the growing grain.”

― Lewis Spence, British Fairy Origins

The tide has turned, it seems, as Beltane Fire Festivals and the like light the way to a new dawn of pagan revitalization. Oh, sure, there are some naysayers, calling the pagan movement, reborn in the 50s by many estimations, a passing fancy, but from my vantage point, being somewhat older than most of those writing of such things, that paganism, which has never been a unified thing to begin with, is merely undergoing a change, much like it has been doing for the better part of the past century and most likely has done so since we were painting bulls on cave walls.

You will find a litany of articles declaring paganism’s demise, of it falling out of favor. They couldn’t be more wrong. Welcome to the revolution, the evolution, of faith in the 21st century.

Beltane, being a welcoming of summer’s return, of renewal and rekindling, is alive and well here and I feel a continuation of what I wrote of last year at this time — that the old ways have steadily been seeping back into my weary bones, that the call of the spirits still beckon from beyond the pale.

I have many fires lit and I tend to them as best I can.

First Born, my occult detective collection due soon from Seventh Star Press, has passed through the proof stage. I will be looking forward to announcing a blog tour and book promotion in the coming weeks.

I’ll have a Landon Connors tale published in an upcoming issue of Skelos Magazine. Details once I can share them. One of my bucket List accomplishments I craved was being published in Weird Tales. As they are no more, I view Skelos as a worthy successor, so landing a story with them is a real honour.

I’ve been editing my son’s second novel, Word Hollow, and it’s really been such a tremendous joy to pore over this thing. Connor is a marvel and I thank the gods each and every day that he is a part of Kim’s and my world. We are blessed. I may be biased, but he’s one helluva storyteller.

I finally completed the Occult Detective Tarot and the writing on the rulebooks for Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game continues. It is coming together nicely and I look forward to shopping it around to game publishers soon. I have some in mind, of course, but am prepared to take the beast to crowdfunding if necessary. There is an audience hungry for it, I think.

tarot sample

Speaking of Occult Detectives, I have read the wondrously talented Judika Illes’s October release titled The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives and I will be publishing a review this week, giving the book my most heartfelt recommendation and endorsement.

You can also expect forthcoming reviews of several other books, including Getting Higher by Julian Vayne.

I have some other projects in the works, some more secret than others, but I’m in a bit of a rush, so that’s all for now. I love this time of the year, this Second Hallowe’en if you will. There is magic afoot and the ancient powers abound. I am thankful for my time here, for my friends and family, and for all of you. Be well and true, and may the gods bless you all of your days.


A Feast of (Fictional) Friends

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , on April 26, 2017 by Occult Detective

“Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as raven’s claws.” — Jim Morrison

Apologies for being rather scarce this month. I’ve been insanely occupied by several projects. Expect me to continue being scarce until Là Bealltainn, then we’ll see to getting back to some semblance of a routine.

Here’s a little sneak peek into some of what I’ve been working on, related to both the Occult Detective RPG that is still in development and a collection of occult detective tales, the first installment of the Liber Monstrorum Chronicles, set to be released in a short number of weeks.

lmc jam

Up front, that’s Landon Connors in the leather armchair, of course, with Martin Crowe kneeling nearby. In back, from left to right, we have Cassidy Martin, Dale Parker, Allen Parker, Sarah Jones, Brooks Autry, Father Francis Rainey, Thea Hill, Selina Wolfe, Tracy Larson, and Greg Mitchell.

I suppose if it’s a group photo, then Michelle Hawkes is taking the picture ;)

All are characters to be found in First Born, debuting in July from Seventh Star Press.

Hungry like the Wolfe

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , on April 5, 2017 by Occult Detective

wolfe

An illustration of Selina Wolfe, one half of the the occult detective team Wolfe & Crowe.

Selina and her partner, Martin Crowe, will be appearing soon in the Liber Monstrorum Trilogy from Seventh Star Press.

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Happy Anniversary, Buffy

Posted in Media Macabre, Occult Detectives on March 10, 2017 by Occult Detective

BuffyCast-S1_(1)

Has it really been 20 years since Buffy the Vampire Slayer debuted on the WB?

How an unsuccessful early 90s movie became a smash-hit late 90s television series is some sort of esoteric alchemy that can not rightly be explained. Against all odds, Buffy conquered the small screen with a largely unknown cast spouting witty, irreverent, and sardonic dialogue.

The Scooby Gang, as they were so aptly called, were not us… they were who most of us wished we were.

Buffy was, without question, ground breaking television and, arguably, one of the finest modern depictions of the occult detective genre.

Joss_and_sarah_on_set

Fedoras off to Joss Whedon and the entire cast, crew, writers, and directors that helped turn Buffy into something more than just a tv show. Does it hold up after 20 years? Yeah, mostly. Oh, there are a few chinks in the armor, here and there, but the heart remains, even if there is a stake plunged into it.

First Born

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First Born

Mark July 14th on your calendars. That’s right, at long last, I have a release date for my occult detective collection forthcoming from Seventh Star Press — First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum.

For review requests or press inquiries, you can contact my publisher via ccjames (at) seventhstarpress (dot) com or email me direct through my freeman (at) occultdetective (dot) com address.

You can also sign up for the Seventh Star Press Read to Review Program

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