Archive for the Occult Detectives 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.

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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…

***

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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.

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.

 

We have a Winner! #OccultDetectives

Posted in Occult Detectives on October 25, 2017 by Occult Detective

A big thanks to everyone who took part in the Weiser Book of Occult Detectives Giveaway, and to Judika Illes and Weiser Books for graciously supplying me with a copy to pass along.

My readers were tasked with spotlighting their favorite occult detective, through art or prose, and I would be then left to sort them out and assess them accordingly.

It was a tough choice. I collected somewhere in the neighborhood of two dozen entries and there wasn’t a wrong answer in the lot <insert cheeky wink>.

I believe the general consensus was that Thomas Carnacki was the favored occult detective with well over a third of the submissions naming him.

Other submissions heralded Dr. John Richard Taverner, Jules de Grandin, John Thunstone, Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast, and Levi Stoltzfus, among a smattering of others.

I was surprised there was ne’er a mention of John Constantine or Harry Dresden, two occult detectives I profoundly thought would be in the running, nor did a single female supernatural sleuth make an appearance, nor were there any female submitters.

So, who tipped the scale to win, not only a copy of The Weiser Book of Occult Detectives, but also signed copies of my own Shadows Over Somerset and Occult Detective Illustrated?

It was the only artistic entry… and it buttered my bread.

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Congratulations are in order to W.R. Nordstrom who delivered the artwork of my own occult detective, Landon Connors, along with a simple note: “Landon Connors of course.”

Well, far be it from me not to reward such blatant pandering.

Thank you for your entry and I’ll strive to get you your package before Halloween’s dark arrival. Enjoy.

And to all of you who entered, thanks to you as well. I’m sure we’ll do this again in the near future.

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

13 Days till Hallowe’en and the Devil Rides Out

Posted in Media Macabre, Occult Detectives on October 18, 2017 by Occult Detective

We’ve entered into the sublime swell of telluric energies that rise during this, the season of the witch. Thirteen glorious days out from All Hallow’s Eve and the esoteric influx of eldritch sorceries are nearing their zenith…

Today I’d like to spotlight two items that are, in a sense, a single thing. I draw now your attention from the mundane world about you and entreat your assiduity be turned toward one of the premiere examples of the occult detective genre — The Devil Rides Out.

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Dennis Wheatley was a prolific author, to say the least. Heralded as “The Prince of Thriller Writers”, I favored his “Black Magic / Duke de Richleau” novels, of course, but Wheatley’s work as a whole were brilliantly well-paced. I chewed through them as a boy and still hold a fond place in my heart for them.

Yes, they’re stuffy and so very British, but that’s part of their charm.

As for what I consider his finest work, The Devil Rides Out, written by Dennis Wheatley in 1934, is a sordid tale of black magic and the occult. While it is a product of its time, I believe it still holds up and has a captivating allure, even now.

It helped considerably that Wheatley got on quite well with Aleister Crowley and, it should come as no surprise, the Beast bears more than a passing resemblance to the novel’s antagonist Mocata.

 

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As much as I love the novel, however, the film adaptation of The Devil Rides Out is really something special. It aired on Turner Classic Movies last night and, once again, I could not look away. Christopher Lee as Duke de Richleau is not only brilliant casting, but is easily Lee’s finest performance, and that’s saying a lot.

“Director Terence Fisher has a ball with this slice of black magic, based on the Dennis Wheatley novel. He has built up a suspenseful pic, with several tough highlights, and gets major effect by playing the subject dead straight and getting similar serious performances from his capable cast. Christopher Lee is for once on the side of the goodies.” — Variety

If you’ve not seen it, you should make a point of immersing yourself in The Devil Rides Out. It holds with me a rather curious distinction, shared only by Angel Heart, in that it is a movie that surpasses its source material despite said material being near brilliant.

It is an inspiring film, heavy handed at times, but a delight to the senses. It draws from the novel, capturing its frantic pacing, but is able to frame the narrative through Lee’s performance in such a way that elevates the material even further.

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