Archive for the Occult Detectives Category

Comically Distracted

Posted in Archive, Occult Detectives with tags on June 8, 2017 by Occult Detective

No, this is NOT a project I’m working on. It is, however, a rabbit hole I fell into today while working on something else entirely.

I thought it was far too fun to not share, so here you go… Something that might have been, could have been, but isn’t —

ocg comic

40 Days

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , on June 4, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First Born

First Born has a due date, something akin to 40 days from today. Somewhat fitting, methinks. Shall we count down the days together?

First Born is available July 14th, but why wait? You can place a pre-order for the kindle version now. But if you’re more partial to the trade paperback, well, 40 days and nights aren’t so bad.

The Kindle Edition Pre-Order for First Born is LIVE

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2017 by Occult Detective

firstbornI am pleased to report the Kindle Edition of First Born is now available for Pre-Order.

I will pretend it is purely coincidental that I also completed a book trailer for First Born today and published it to youtube. The truth of the matter is more akin to my wallowing in a surreal state of synchronicity…

When dealing with subjects such as these, preternatural forces are always at play.

Anyway, check out the trailer below, but be warned —  its default playback is only 144p. You’ll want to increase that to 360p for optimum viewing.

Enjoy.

What stories will you find in First Born?

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

LIBERMONSTRORUM

On the heels of yesterday’s COVER REVEAL, I thought I’d talk a little about my plans for the Liber Monstrorum series and share the table of contents with you.

I anticipate the Liber Monstrorum Chronicles to be at least four volumes: First Born, Descendant, Born Again, and Afterbirth. I may get to a fifth volume, Afterlife, and even a sixth, Transcendent, at some point, but that’s a ways down the proverbial Lost Highway.

First Born and Descendant are written, edited, and with all cover and interior artworks complete. First Born, obviously is very close to publication (within a short handful of weeks) and, I expect, Descendant will be along in late Fall or Winter.

A final draft of Born Again needs to be written, but I am merging three separate works into one cohesive novel, so the heavy lifting has already been done. All that’s left for me is to connect all the dots and rein in some troublesome threads.

My plan is for Afterbirth to be another collection, in a sort of kinship with First Born, comprised of short stories and novellas that occur after the events in Descendant and Born Again. I have several stories ready for this volume already.

Afterlife and Transcendent are kind of loosely floating around in my head, with Afterlife feeling like a novel and Transcendent possibly being five novellas.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Let’s turn out attentions back to FIRST BORN: Tales from the Liber Monstrorum.

Cover 01 First Born

First Born is made up of twelve short stories, two illustrated tales, and one novella. All have been published in one fashion or another in various forms, though many have been reworked here and there. This is the first time they’ve all been gathered under one roof, so to speak.

Here is a list of the stories you’ll find inside:

MOURN NOT THE SLEEPLESS CHILDREN
THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS
THE SOUL CAGES
ASHES TO ASHES
FAMILIAR TERRITORY
NOS GALAN GAEAF
OBSERVANCE
GHOST OF A CHANCE
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
STRANGE MAGICK
WYRDTAILS
THE GRIM BEAST OF IAEGER
THE HOUR OF THE WOLF
A MURDER OF CROWS
A GATHERING OF SHADOWS

I will be posting pre-order information for First Born sometime over the weekend, I believe, so stay tuned.

Who’s in the mood for a collection of supernatural thrillers?

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on May 25, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First BornIt’s official.

I am thrilled to announce that the cover reveal for First Born has dropped over on the website of my publisher, Seventh Star Press.

It’s been a long time coming.

These Liber Monstrorum tales, largely focusing on occult detective Landon Connors, have been near and dear to my heart for the past dozen years or so.

Even the Cairnwood Manor books are interwoven into this surreal landscape of supernatural fiction.

First Born is a collection of occult detective stories, all connected to a larger tapestry. These short tales have been placed in chronological order and served up as a prequel to Descendant, a novel featuring many of the characters you’ll be reading about in First Born. Following Descendant will be the novel Born Again and another collection titled Afterbirth.

Intrigued? Here, have a look at First Born’s backcover synopsis:

From the arcane sorceries of “The Wicked Man in the World” to the supernatural exploits of Occult Detective Landon Connors and the harrowing investigations of Agents Wolfe and Crowe,this collection of macabre tales of the black arts treads the dangerous landscape between this world and that populated by angels and demons, gods and devils, ghosts and spirits, and the legendary creatures of our darkest imaginings.

 First Born is the beginning of the journey into the Liber Monstrorum, the Chronicles of those Occult Detectives who are the last line of defense against those preternatural forces that threaten to destroy a world that refuses to believe that such things exist…

Now, before I slink off to my library and get back to work, I thought I would leave you with this missive written by a good friend and fellow writer. I hope you’ll consider trying First Born on for size.If you’re into supernatural thrillers, then I think it will be a good fit.

BOB FREEMAN’S MAGICK
by Steven L. Shrewsbury

Someone asked me why I often spell magick with a ‘k’ attached. True enough, I first read of this spelling via the writings of Aleister Crowley and his use of the number eleven (K is the eleventh letter of the alphabet). Frankly, all cool appearances and Hammer of the Gods references aside, I use it to differentiate between what many may call magic. I’m not talking about magic, like sleight of hand with cards, parlor tricks; table knocking or David Copperfield wet dreams. True Magick has meaning, holds power and can be felt.

That said, I believe magick lurks in Bob Freeman’s tales. No deceit, no tricks, no BS. The stories in this collection hold a connecting resonance and flow naturally. I’ve seen many a writer struggle to find their voice or try to use someone else’s. Bob’s voice can reach a fine crescendo, not unlike the sweep of a wand…then rise and fall with the might of a bludgeon. Some folks want to pretty up their yarns, overcome by an overwhelming desire to whip out their throbbing thesauri. Bob tells a story and entertains, as simply as if he sat down on a couch to relate it. A natural storyteller, his opening lines grab hold fast. In “A Murder of Crows” the opening paragraph ends with the line, “The White Christ rose after three days on the cross, could the servant of the rook do less?” I had to find out more.

Some writers can lose their hold on that delightful feeling that can gush in storytelling, instead vomiting prose that sucks more ass than Dracula at a donkey farm. Bob’s sense of reality and desire to comprehend mysteries of the unknown mingle to keep one’s attention. In this connection, he makes one hungry to devour more. Part of his spell comes from life experience, both in harsh times and good, which give each story a firm frame of grit.

If this is your first taste of Bob’s brew, prepare to be hooked. If you’ve read Bob before, these shorter works will only make the head nod in a desire to read more… especially the teasers that lead up to his novel, DESCENDANT. Enjoy this glimpse into his mind.

The tales here breathe, and oft times, there’s a hint of brimstone, perhaps some of that old black magick lurks in the exhale. Bob’s tales are never typical of the classic mystery, noir or horror tale, but he places a fresh polish on certain underpinnings. His narrative in “Ashes to Ashes” dealing with Crowley’s remains, made me say aloud, “Damn, wish I’d have thought of that.” Knowledgeable beyond my vaguest hoping in such lore, he’s never dull. Bob tells a story that draws one in to accept this reality.

These yarns are Bob Freeman’s. Does he remind me of anyone else? Sure, but to say that tale is a Bob Freeman story and holds a unique magick all its own, hey, what more is there to say? He succeeds in getting it across, hitting the mark, weaving his spell.

So, grab a drink, sit down and get comfy. Let’s go to places only Bob Freeman can see and take us to…they are dark places, moody, scary and downright magickal. Get ready. We’ll be there most of the evening.

Steven L. Shrewsbury
Rural Central Illinois

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.

 

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