Archive for the Writing in Theory & Practice Category

Words Writ with Moonlight

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 6, 2017 by Occult Detective

harvest moon

We are in the heart of it now, this autumnal rite of transformation. The rains have come. The colours of fall are upon us. The harvest moon watches from its celestial perch. The veil is thinning… Magic is in the air.

Magic is very much on my mind, both with the k and without, though to be honest, since every act is an act of magick, well, it’s all part and parcel…

My point is, I’m writing. Not as much as I’d like, but words are being writ just the same.

I have an insane amount of responsibilities at the moment, and a more than usual number of frets and worries, but magick is all about will and I can only do what I can do.

Magick, or no, there is nothing subtle about reality.

But, this was about writing, so back to it. I am in the midst of two projects:

One is a collaborative fiction of the occult detective variety. It is smoking good, I should warn you. My partner in crime on this is continually raising the bar and it’s an exciting turn. I think, once it has a home, that you’ll enjoy the ride we’ve crafted for you.

The other also has a bit of an occult detective bent, but from a non-fiction vein. Oh, this one has been in the making for decades. It is coming together slowly, to be sure, but deliberately. There is potential here for something special, and may in turn be expanded to include future volumes.

All this is to say, the witching season always brings with it creative energies waiting to be tapped. I am in throes of conjury. Unfettered and perhaps unhinged, I have entered the sanctum of the ancients and willfully succumbed to the inception of a magical reality, where all are bind-runes in a stream of ever-flowing majesty and the words are writ with moonlight on a parchment made of stars….

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Dare you attend… the Imaginarium?

Posted in Writing in Theory & Practice on October 3, 2017 by Occult Detective

imaginarium

Imaginarium is the nation’s premiere creative writing convention.

Held October 6th-8th, the three day annual event is held in Louisville, Kentucky and is centered entirely around creative writing, including the worlds of books, movies, gaming, music, and comics/graphic novels.

Imaginarium features extensive programming content, with panels and workshops presented by over 150 professional guests covering everything from the craft of writing to various genres, industry-specific topics, publishing, and social media/publicity.

The convention features a film festival with a full array of awards, a masquerade/costume contest, gaming, an expo open to the general public, an awards banquet, a series of literary awards called the Imadjinns, and many more activities, creating a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere that is content-rich and ideal for networking, promotion and personal development.

This year’s Guest of Honor is Bram Stoker Award®-winning editor Michael Knost. He will be joined by Imaginators Gary Braunbeck, Lucy Snyder, Abigail Keam,  Teresa Reasor, and Eric Bloat. Imaginarium’s Toastmaster is author and publisher Tony Acree.

For further information on the Imaginarium Convention, please visit http://www.entertheimaginarium.com/

I don’t get to attend many conventions these days. This one hurts every year it rolls around. For one, Imaginarium is just 3 hours from my front door. It’s also shepherded by some of my favorite people on the planet.

Imaginarium is packed to the gills with diverse panels, stellar guests, and does a great job of showcasing a multitude of genres. But more than that, it spotlights creative writing in a unique way, by acknowledging all the various mediums through which creators express themselves.

One of these years I’ll make it down there and hobnob with all those wonderfully inventive yarnspinners. If you can make the trip, you should… Who wouldn’t want to spend a weekend basking in this magical vortex of creativity?

Do yourself a favor — embrace the Imaginarium. You’ll be glad you did.

Three from Seven

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

I’ve had three books published by Seventh Star Press — two in the Cairnwood Manor series (Shadows Over Somerset / Keepers of the Dead) and the first in my Tales of the Liber Monstrorum (First Born), with the second (Descendant) soon to follow.

I am, understandably, proud of each of them. They are, oddly enough, all very different. Shadows is something of a Gothic Horror, while Keepers is far more Fantasy/Adventure. First Born is a mixed bag of traditional Occult Detective tales and Urban Fantasy, while Descendant will have elements of both of those with a bit of Police Procedural for good measure.

One thing I can promise about each and every one of them is this — I did my level best to spin a good yarn.

I hope you agree…

The Cairnwood Manor Series

sosShadows Over Somerset
Trade Paperback / Ebook

kotdKeepers of the Dead
Trade Paperback / Ebook

Tales of the Liber Monstrorum

Cover 01 First BornFirst Born
Trade Paperback / Ebook

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01 sigil magick

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Who is Landon Connors?

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , on July 23, 2017 by Occult Detective

Here’s what people are saying about FIRST BORN:

If you like the genre, you’ll love Landon Connors and the entourage of standing characters in Bob Freeman’s imaginarium. The tales in this volume range from the classic noir detective yarn with Connors at the center, to horror stories set in rural places like those of the author’s youth.” — Freeman Presson, Wizard

The connections stand out so vividly when put in order.” — Greg Mitchell, author of The Coming Evil trilogy (not to be confused with a certain now-spectral Outrider)

“The tales here breathe, and oft times, there’s a hint of brimstone, perhaps some of that old black magick lurks in the exhale.” — Steven Shrewsbury, co-author of Bad Magick

connorslogo

I don’t think it’s a secret that Landon Connors is the “star” of my Liber Monstrorum series. Oh, sure, there are plenty of other characters, many of them shining brightly, but let’s not kid ourselves — this universe revolves around Connors. So, I guess the big question is, where does he come from?

drconnorsWell, to dissect that mystery, we need to turn back the clock to 1987. I was living in a basement apartment in Muncie, Indiana, doing a lot of things I probably shouldn’t have been doing, but I’m awfully glad I did.

Anyway, in amongst the mind-expansion, self-exploration, and general magical mayhem, I was also pretty heavily into tabletop roleplaying.

We were playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition), a bit of Car Wars, a pinch of Call of Cthulhu, and two comic book related RPGS — Marvel Super-Heroes and DC Heroes.

It’s those last two games where Landon Connors origin story takes center stage, only he had a different name back then.

skillingbeck

Landon started out older and more cryptic, but the chain-smoking, drug abusing, occult detective was alive and well and going by the name Solomon Killingbeck, Private Eye.

We had sort of merged the Marvel and DC RPGs into a single somewhat cohesive game, utilizing the best bits from both systems and sprinkling a healthy dose of d20 mechanics into it.

Solomon Killingbeck was a character I rolled up and used as a Doctor Strange-type of NPC, a valuable resource for my players who helped shepherd them through many occult-themed adventures in the super-hero multiverse.

So, almost 20 years later when I decided to delve into writing occult detective fiction, obviously it was to Killingbeck that I first looked.

Yes, I made him younger and better looking, tossed him a demon-enchanted fedora, jettisoned his Jewish heritage, and changed his name, but the essence of the character was still there.

Oh, and about that name change: it was done to honor my son, Connor. His middle name, an homage to his maternal grandmother who passed just before he was born, is Landon.

Seemed like a perfect fit.

Anyway, you can read all about Landon Connors in First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum, available now via Amazon and other online retail outlets.

And if you really want to submerge yourself in all-things Landon Connors, there are Connors-themed Tarot Decks available through my Etsy store, TheOccultDetective.

Playing Favorites #FirstBorn

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on July 19, 2017 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First BornOver on twitter, a friend dropped me a congratulatory note via DM regarding the release of my occult detective collection, First Born: Tales of the Monstrorum.

We chatted back and forth for a bit, them politely asking about the collection, what stories were included, how many were unique to the work, and so on.

They mentioned reading the blog in which I shared my favorite illustration from the book, and then they dropped a heavy question on me — of all the stories in First Born, which was my favorite?

Man, that was a tough one, but answer it I did, with a short response. Here’s a longer version of it —

For the longest time, I would have named Mourn Not the Sleepless Children as my favorite. It was originally published by Burning Effigy Press back in 2009, part of a chapbook anthology entitled Fresh Blood. It was one of three stories, the others written by Dave Alexander and the horribly underrated Kelli Dunlap (better known now as Kelli Owen).

I worked closely with Monica Kuebler, BEP’s editor-in-chief, and I was so proud of the final product. To this day, Monica was the best editor I’ve worked with. She was professional, courteous, and helped me polish that story and make it something special.

Thankfully, in the chronology of events in my Liber Monstrorum tales, it comes first and thus was the lead story in First Born. It’s a great lead off and is a great showcase for what I can do when everything is clicking just right.

That being said, another story has supplanted it as my most favored tale. That distinction now falls on Wyrdtails.

wyrd2

Wyrdtails was written and serialized back in December of 2014, one of those “writing without a net” Harlan Ellison writing exercises I’m so fond of. I had no idea where the story was going, no idea from where it even sprang. It just fell out of my keyboard onto this website, growing in the telling.

We learned a lot more about Landon Connors, his father Ashton, the Order of the Sacred Hart, and saw Greg Mitchell’s ghost come out to play a bit.

In a lot of ways, Wyrdtails has been my most quintessential occult detective story, made all the more special because it came from the ether, like, seemingly, all the best stories do.

So, there you have it. If you’re curious, First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum is available via numerous online retailers, but as Amazon seems to be the overlord of that heap, I’ll direct you there by way of the following link. If someplace else is more appealing to you, I trust your google fu will serve you accordingly.

 

The Art of First Born

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , on July 17, 2017 by Occult Detective

There are several illustrations in First Born, but I think my favorite is that which serves as the collection’s frontispiece.

FB01

The illustration, featuring Landon Connors and Boo, with Baphomet at the top of the stair, encapsulates for me what Jimmy Page called the “power, mystery, and hammer of the gods”.

I like the symmetry of it.

And I like the fact that, though unintended, the illustration evokes thoughts of a keyhole.

First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum is available now and can be purchased online via Amazon in Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook as well as other outlets found on the world wide web.

 

Liber Monstrorum Begins Here…

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by Occult Detective

 

I am proud to announce that First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum is, at long last, available for purchase. First Born is an occult detective collection, bringing together twelve short stories, a novella, and two illustrated tales.

These are the stories I’ve been working toward since I first put pen to paper as a boy growing up in rural Indiana. My obsession with witchcraft, magick, and religion, in both fact and fiction, has all led to this.

Published by Seventh Star Press and edited by Scott Sandridge, First Born is my love letter to the occult detective genre and to those glorious supernatural tales that thrilled me as a child… I hope these stories do the same for you.

Cover 01 First Born

From the arcane sorceries of “The Wickedest 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…

First Born can be ordered from the following online outlets:

AMAZON
Trade Paperback
Kindle

AMAZON UK
Trade Paperback
Kindle

BARNES & NOBLE
Trade Paperback
Nook

KOBO
Ebook

iTunes
eBook

Below are some examples of the artwork you’ll find inside:

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