Archive for the Writing in Theory & Practice Category

A random thought on writing

Posted in Writing in Theory & Practice on May 15, 2017 by Occult Detective

Stories come unbidden at the most inopportune times. Not that I’m complaining. It’s just that I have things to do, mountains to slay, and dragons to climb. And then it happens, the magic voice on the edge of sanity. You know the one, no?

Some stories are spun out by necessity and desire, but others are born of magick and fester until your brain bleeds. You dig what I’m saying, right? You’ve felt it? When the story pours out like a surreal hallucination, images scattershot on the inner canvas, flashes of triangled eyes and cat tongues and arcane writings and hand gestures and sigils and demonic scrawlings in chalk on a playground.

chalk

Those are the real stories. The ones from the other place. They’re the tales of yours that you reread and wonder where they really came from and what yarnspinner climbed inside your meat suit and took it for a wild ride through some dark wonderland down under.

Writers come in a variety of sorts, be they gardeners, architects, or psychonauts. I have an affinity for the former and the latter, but particularly the latter. I’ve never felt any kinship toward architectural story building. It seems soulless to me.

A story has to grow organically. It’s a mystery to unravel, as much for me as for the reader. And if that mystery is a magical mystery tour, then all the better.

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…

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.

ssp 3

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

ssp 3.

obair ann an adhartas

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Writing in Theory & Practice on January 12, 2017 by Occult Detective

novelidea

Chan eil fhathast, ach a dh’aithghearr

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