Archive for the Writing in Theory & Practice Category

This Silent Well of Sorrow (Part 1 of 5)

Posted in All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 4, 2018 by Occult Detective


Part One of Five


The magician’s shovel bit deep into the rich, black soil, the sound of overturned earth swallowed by the vast expanse of old-growth forest that surrounded him. He was not alone. There were many eyes upon him for he was an intruder here.

Starbiter wiped sweat from his brow, pulling his weathered hand down across his face to stroke the hoary beard that he had hid behind for so long. It was a mask of sorts, a deceit. It projected an aura of wisdom and learnedness, and while the years behind him measured him so, the road ahead begged hard to differ.

No, one would be hard pressed to see wisdom in his present course.

A crow cawed from overhead, one of the watchful denizens of the ancient wood. The old scholar recalled a rhyme from his childhood. “One for sorrow, Two for mirth,” he muttered. “Three for a funeral and four for birth.” The crow flapped its wings and swooped down off its perch, soaring over Starbiter’s head. “One it is,” the magician spat. He returned to the soil and finished the grim task he had set himself to.

How many graves had he dug in this silent corner of the world? Each was marked by a single stone, never larger than his fist. He made sure it had a flat side to it, and he scratched an appropriate sigil to denote the departed in a significant way.


He lowered the figure into the ground and covered them, slowly and methodically, reciting that old nursery rhyme over and over, again and again, as he worked. “One for sorrow, Two for mirth, Three for a funeral, Four for birth,” he sang.

“Five for heaven.”

He brought the flat of his shovel down hard, patting the earth solid.

“Six for hell.” He stabbed the shovel into the ground and took up the flat rock he’d uncovered earlier, and with another stone, he etched the sacred symbol onto it, then lowered it atop the mound of black dirt.

A crow cawed, and then another. Starbiter looked up to the trees over head. A murder of crows had arrived. A procession of mourners perhaps, he mused. He counted them, one by one, then acknowledged the truth of it.

“Seven for the devil, his own self.”

Guy Starbiter brushed off his hands and smiled grimly before beginning the long trek out through the forest to his awaiting Opel Kapitän. Within an hour, he was back to civilization, pulling his saloon sedan into the rundown roadhouse at Bishop’s Cross.

He took a deep breath and took out his cell phone. No bars. He cursed, then steeled himself and made for the door beneath the flickering neon sign that read “Beherit Club“.

He approached the bar, eyes intent on the patrons scattered throughout. He ordered a whisky neat, top shelf, and lit a cigarette nervously.

“Pay phone?” he asked.

“Sure,” the bartender replied, pointing toward the bathrooms. There it stood, mounted between the doors to the men’s and women’s lavatories, like some sort of ancient relic from a long lost era.

Starbiter dialed the number by heart and put his back to the wall. All eyes were on him. As he waited for someone to answer he began to count them. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Sev—

Caliburn House.

“Thea?” he muttered, shaken.

“Yes, this is she, who…” Alethea Hill paused for a moment. “Guy, is that you?” she said. “You sound horrible.”

“Tell Landon,” Starbiter said, lowering his voice to a whisper, “Es tut mir leid.”


“Just tell him, bitte.” Starbiter returned the handset to its cradle and slouched toward the bar. The magician downed his whisky and leaned there, eyes closed, that damnable nursery rhyme coursing through his brain.

“Another, Herr Starbiter?”

The magician looked up from his empty glass, startled. The bartender smiled as the patrons all rose from their seats.

“I am number eight,” the bartender said.

Dann bin ich neun, scheint es,” Starbiter replied.

Nein, der Hexer” the bartender said. “Du bist die Nummer eins.”

to be continued…

Imaginarium Convention Returns to Louisville for 5th Anniversary October 5-7!

Posted in Writing in Theory & Practice on September 27, 2018 by Occult Detective

For Immediate Release

September 25, 2018

Imaginarium Convention Returns to Louisville for 5th Anniversary October 5-7!

The 5th anniversary of the Imaginarium Convention arrives in Louisville, Kentucky October 5-7 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.  A convention that brings together storytellers and creatives with readers and those intopop culture fandom, Imaginarium 2018 celebrates all areas of the creative writing world.

The lineup of programming, activities, and guests is stronger than ever.  Over 160 professional guests will take part in over 130 panels and workshops pertaining to all genres of creative writing, the craft of writing, publishing, filmmaking, screenwriting, editing, game design, marketing, social media, and other areas relating to creative skills and career development.

The Guest of Honor for 2018 is New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Robyn Peterman. Those receiving special Imaginator recognition as guests this year include SYFY favorite, author, artist, musician, and filmmaker Christopher St. Booth, New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author J.M. Madden, bestselling author and paranormal investigator Deborah LeBlanc, and bestselling, award-winning mystery/thriller author Carolyn Arnold, whose work has been recognized for its accuracy in police procedurals by those in law enforcement across the nation.

In addition to the extensive programming, Imaginarium 2018 features an international independent film festival with juried awards.  Feature films, short films and documentaries chosen as official selections screen on the Friday and Saturday of the Imaginarium weekend with winners announced at the Imaginarium Awards Banquet.  Additional screenings that are not part of the juried awards will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Also announced at the Awards Banquet are the Imadjinn Literary Awards, a juried series of awards given out in a full array of writing genres!

Imaginarium 2018 includes the Imadjinn Book Fair and Expo, which is open to the general public and showcases a wide variety of exhibitors.  From authors with their books, to game companies, to arts and crafts, jewelry, natural body products, hand-crafted candles, collectibles, memorabilia, and more, the Imaginarium Book Fair and Expo has something for everyone to enjoy.

Gaming is also a big part of Imaginarium 2018.  Hosted by Bloat Games, a Louisville-based gaming company, the gaming room features a variety of table-top board games and role-playing games, in addition to demos hosted by the game designers themselves!  Retro Rewind of Lexington, Kentucky will be setting up several retro gaming stations for attendees to enjoy gaming systems of the past.

The gaming room will also feature activities for kids, as the highly-acclaimed convention group Motley Kids makes a special appearance on Saturday, October 6 from 10-6 to host all kinds of games and activities for children.

Those who are into Cosplay will find a lot to enjoy at Imaginarium 2018, including a costume contest and masquerade on October 6thwith cash prizes awarded by a panel of judges!

Live entertainment can be found throughout the weekend at Imaginarium, including spotlighted performances in magic by John Pyka (aka Big Daddy Cool), oral storytelling (Robert Turk), clowns (the Kalashnikov Clowns of Louisville, Kentucky), River City Belly Dance, and a Steampunk Fusion Funk Dance performance by Lady Safiya Seraphine Lovelace!

Imaginarium Convention is an established, unique convention where attendees can explore learning, networking, professional opportunities, and have fun within an inclusive, relaxed atmosphere! A strict no-harassment policy is maintained to ensure a positive experience for all attendees.

Weekend and single day passes are available that access everything the Imaginarium Convention has to offer, with full weekend passes at just $70.

For further information on the Imaginarium Convention, please visit: or email

An Imaginarium Convention Update

Posted in Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 12, 2018 by Occult Detective


My schedule is starting to shape up for my appearance at next month’s Imaginarium Convention.

I’ll only be attending the con on Saturday, October 6th this year. Though I’m not sure when, I will be signing copies of First Born, Shadows Over Somerset, & Keepers of the Dead at the Seventh Star Press table for a brief period of time. I will, however, be involved with two panel discussions:

Paranormal Literature – An open discussion about paranormal literature today. What’s popular now? What are some of the trends at the moment? Why do tales with strong paranormal elements resonate so strongly in a science-driven age? This panel will consider these kinds of questions and much more! Sat 11:30am in room Farmington. Panelist include: (Mod- Bob Freeman) Tammy Blackwell, Pam Turner, Kelly Martin, Katheryn Ragle.

The Occult in Literature – The occult is often used in literature, from thrillers, to mysteries, to horror and cross-genre tales. With a vast amount of information available and a history that extends to the beginning of humankind, the occult has proven to be fertile ground for storytellers. Our panelists will discuss the presence and use of the occult in literature. Sat 3:15pm in room Derby. Panelist include:  (Mod- Bob Freeman: The Occult Detective) Chad McClendon, Sara Marian, R.N.Drum, Janie Franz, Josef Matulich.

bobIf you’re looking for me to devalue your copies of any of my books (ie get them signed), catching me before or after one of these panels is a sure way to have me nailed down to one spot and hold me accountable.

Otherwise, if you see me on the convention floor, feel free to come right up and say “hi”, but be prepared for me to chew your ear a bit (not in a Mike Tyson sort of way). I’m hard to miss. I kind of stand out in a crowd for some reason.

I make my home in the Haunted Heartland

Posted in Alba Gu Brath, All Hallows Read, Horror, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on September 5, 2018 by Occult Detective

I always seem to get more popular the closer we get to Hallowe’en.

Case in point —

heartlandYou can find me in the latest issue of Heartland Magazine in an article titled “Oh, the Horror: Exploring Haunted Places in North Central Indiana”. I had a great chat with reporter Carson Gerber about several local haunts. He’s a great interviewer, always respectful, and a pleasure to just sit and talk with.

Want to see me in person?

I’ll be a guest for the 5th anniversary of the Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, Kentucky October 6 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Conference Center.

Imaginarium is an amazing convention for writers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, editors, publishers, game designers, cosplayers, gamers, readers, podcasters, pop culture fans and all who love the creative world. It features over 130 panels and workshops, sports a gaming room crawling with table-top games, RPGs, and retro video games, is a book fair and expo, and offers tons of Live entertainment, covering everything from bellydancing, to magic and music, costume contest and cosplay and more.


Weekend and single day passes are available. For more info visit


On October 20th, the Converse Historical Society will be hosting an old school Hallowe’en Festival at the Eastern Woodland Carvers Club in beautiful downtown Converse.

The CHS will have some fascinating artifacts on display, there will be games and refreshments, and I’ll be there giving people guided tours through the upper floors of the historic Oddfellows Building. Never been on a ghost hunt before? This is a chance you don’t want to miss.

Keep an eye on the CHS Facebook Page for details.


A Tumultuous Tarot Tuesday

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Writing in Theory & Practice on April 3, 2018 by Occult Detective

On the last day of March I commented that it was “going out like a lamb to slaughter. Kicking and screaming a little bit, but of little consequence.” April has been a different matter altogether, with unexpected snowfall to the tune of a couple of billowy inches that blanketed my corner of the world on April Fool’s Day and into Monday morning, followed by today’s rather blustery cacophony of thunderous discourse in the heavens above.

I am quite partial to thunderstorms. While my seasonal preference leans toward Autumn, followed closely by Winter, Spring’s storms excite me. I revel in their majesty and marvel at the power that courses across the sky and tasks those of us below.

So, here I sit, in the haunted Hoosier heartland, while the wind howls and moans without, the driving rain pelting out pagan rhythms on the metal awning outside my office door… it seems the perfect atmosphere to do a little soul searching, occult detective-style.


Using the Major Arcana from my Occult Detective deck, I draw six cards.

  1. How I feel about myself: Death. Nice. It does mirror my inner thoughts — self-doubt, fear, feeling the weight of health concerns for myself and those closest to me. These thoughts are buried deep, but in quiet moments, they are there, like earthworms rising up in the lawn after a heavy rain.
  2. What I most want right now: The High Priestess. I’m looking for a secret to be revealed. No mystery there. Why else turn to the cards?
  3. My fears? Temperance. Ah, blissful harmony. How much longer can it possibly last? Deep down, it’s a fear many of us possess. Life is good, but financially it’s precarious at best. I have always tended to live on the edge.
  4. In my favor: The Chariot. Drive and ambition. Creativity is my strong suit. Ideas are in no short supply. Implementing them and staying focused on a single task, however…
  5. My opposition: Justice. Fate itself is against me? Not so, but close. Still, I am being warned against accepting bad advice and self-serving actions. Now that’s some advice I can take to heart.
  6. So, what lies in store for me? The Devil. Ah, a sinister warning to not over-indulge in my addictions. To succumb to such temptations is a danger to the world I’ve created for myself, but there is also the encouragement here to be bold, wild, and free, to cast aside all self-doubt and forge a path anew.

Were my questions answered? In part, and with further reflection, perhaps even more so. That’s the thing about a reading, it sparks self-reflection. I have a number of projects I’m working on at the moment.. well, that’s not really true. I have a number of projects I’m thinking about, all in various stages of development. I suppose it’s time to get down to the doing, to the completing of them.

Words seldom write themselves and pictures cannot be drawn until the pencil is in hand.

All acts of creation require magick to implement them. The artist must understand themselves, their purpose, their motivation clearly and succinctly before they can put their art into action, to bring it from the ethereal and into the world.

It is so easy to be lead astray, to lose focus. Life is so painfully short. There is no excuse not to live life to its fullest, to embrace with fervor that which makes you whole and complete. Live a life of adventure, but make it your own. It’s your story. You control your narrative. Be you, writ large on the page. Bask in the majesty and wonder of the world around you and celebrate your place within it.


Bob Freeman’s “First Born” Blog Tour

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , on March 12, 2018 by Occult Detective




I’ll be making the rounds all this week, promoting my occult detective collection, First Born, which is the opening chapter in my Liber Monstrorum Chronicles. As my appearances go live, I will update the blog roll accordingly.

Monday 3/12
Greg Mitchell’s The Coming Evil

Tuesday 3/13

Wednesday 3/14
Josh Reynold’s Hunting Monsters
Ginger Nuts of Horror’s “We’ve Got It Covered”

Thursday 3/15
Morgan Sylvia’s Through the Labyrinth

Friday 3/16
Sheila’s Guests and Reviews

Saturday 3/17
I Smell Sheep

Sunday 3/18
Jacob Floyd’s Ghosts and Monsters

Tuesday 3/20
Book in the Bag

Tuesday deserves a hail of bullets

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Writing in Theory & Practice on February 27, 2018 by Occult Detective
  • I’m doing a blog tour to support First Born from March 12 – March 18. First up is an interview conducted by my friend Greg Mitchell over at his The Coming Evil website. I’ll also be swinging by Josh Reynold’s place, Morgan Sylvia’s digs, and Jacob Floyd’s Ghosts and Monsters, to name but a few.
  • I contributed to Matt Cowan’s Horror Delve Ultimate Fantasy List. This year’s subject was Weird Places and I tackled the Arthurian Chapel Perilous.
    Check it out HERE.
  • I’m working on a couple of reviews for the site including one for the spectacular Lunar Nomad Oracle Deck by Shaheen Miro. Watch for them later this week (maybe).
  • We’re slowly building a youtube channel for our gaming group, Oak Hill RPG Club, and we could use your support. Please: like, subscribe, and share.

  • On the writing front, I’ve got several projects in the works, including a collaboration with Greg Mitchell, a sword & sorcery short story submission, Born Again (the follow-up to Descendant, which should be launched later this year), and, the one I’m both most excited for and nervous about…
  • I’m writing the introduction to a Robert E. Howard Kull of Atlantis collection titled Slave, Soldier, King. As you all know all too well, Howard is my favorite author and I’m both thrilled and honoured to be a part of the project.
  • Thursday’s my birthday. My 52nd. I’m looking forward to taking a well deserved day off and spend some quality time with my family. I plan to make a few blog posts beforehand and schedule them to drop throughout the day, because otherwise I plan to be untethered from my phone and the internet for the duration.
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