Archive for the Writing Category

A Man Grown

Posted in Current Events, Writing on October 9, 2021 by Occult Detective

Today, my son Connor celebrates his 18th Birthday. I am staggered by this. The boy becomes a man…

The truth is, he’s been a man for some time. Mature beyond his years, he has always possessed a rapier sharp intellect and an understanding of human behavior.

As a writer, he has grown immeasurably, producing wonderful, fantastical tales prolifically. He has a bright future ahead of him.

As a father, I couldn’t be more proud of him. I will miss the boy he was, but I embrace and cherish the man he is.

Happy Birthday, Connor. I love you beyond words.

All Things Must Pass

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Tarot, Writing on June 29, 2021 by Occult Detective

Soon, the Cainwood Manor series (Shadows Over Somerset / Keepers of the Dead) and the Liber Monstrorum series (First Born / Descendant) will be reissued in trade paperback and hardcover editions. Their covers will be adorned with selections from the limited edition Landon Connors: Occult Detective Tarot. These releases will be followed by Born Again, a collection that will bring both series to conclusion.

The Moon — Shadows Over Somerset
Deception. Illusion. Imagination. Things around you are not what they appear to be.

High Priestess — Keepers of the Dead
Mystery. Reflection. A time for retreat. Things around you are not what they appear to be.

The Magician — First Born
Skill. Creativity. Desire. Manifestation. The need to take deliberate action is called for.

Justice — Descendant
Truth. Fairness. Law and order. A time for hard decisions to be made.

Judgement — Born Again
Awakening. Transition. Renewal. It is the bitter end, but also a dynamic new beginning.

Raising a Horn to Robert E Howard

Posted in Writing on June 11, 2021 by Occult Detective

This morning I posted on twitter:

On a Thursday morning, June 11, 1936, the greatest yarnspinner who ever lived, #RobertEHoward, left this world for the next, leaving behind an enduring legacy. His words & characters live on & I suspect shall do so until the last Man draws breath & joins him in the great beyond.

Howard has been gone now for 85 years. Much has been written about the man, by myself and others. That he, in such a short time, was able to create such vivid and visceral tales, that have endured and thrived is a testament not only to his mastery of the pulp yarn, but to the men and women who came after, keeping his legacy alive and in the public eye.

I discovered Howard as a young boy, through his Conan stories with the provocative Frazetta and Boris covers and Marvel’s comic book adaptation. Conan led me to Solomon Kane, Steve Harrison, Bran Mak Morn, Dark Agnes, John Kirowan, and so many others.

See, Howard created authentic, vibrant worlds and populated them with unforgettable characters who lived and breathed as surely as we do ourselves. Too often overlooked are Howard’s occult stories. He was a master of the horror genre, as surely as he was adept at historical fiction, westerns, and the genre he gave birth to — sword & sorcery.

Later this year, I plan to review the Occult Detective fiction Howard left us, in as much detail as I can muster. Hopefully you’ll come along for the ride.

But today, we raise a horn to honor the man who gave us so much in so little time.

Three for Thursday: Storytellers

Posted in Writing on April 22, 2021 by Occult Detective

I had no time today to settle in and devote a little TLC to Thursday’s calling, so here I sit, posting on my phone after wolfing down some post-hike eggs.

So how about something easy, like my three favorite storytellers.

Number Three is Katherine Kurtz, author of The Adept series (with Deborah Turner Harris), and the Deryni fantasy novels, among others. Just a wonderful storyteller who has never failed to sweep me off my feet.

Number Two is Neil Gaiman, who transcended comics to become a brilliant myth-spinner. Obviously, Sandman was amazing, but as a novelist and short story teller he has become a consummate storyteller.

Number One should come as no surprise — Robert E. Howard encapsulates my life philosophy in his thunderous and effortless prose. While his sword and sorcery tales of Conan are my favorites, he could write masterfully in any genre.

Wish I had more time to chew the fat on this. If you’ve not read any of the above, now seems about right to rectify that.

Haunted Heathenry

Posted in Current Events, Writing on March 19, 2021 by Occult Detective

I imagine the majority of people who follow this blog know me primarily as a writer of novels and short stories, particularly in the horror genre, or more specifically the occult detective sub-genre. It was a pursuit I took on in October of 2000. I published several short stories quickly and my first novel, Shadows Over Somerset, was released in 2004 by a small press publisher, Black Death Books.

It was a whirlwind of excitement, with book signings and convention appearances, but it was also filled with stress and disillusionment. I won’t go into the details, but suffice to say, I became disenchanted with the writing community, by and large. It’s a cutthroat business, and deceitful peers and bad publishing experiences turned me off of the industry, but I am now and always have been a storyteller.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my storytelling journey of late. I suppose it started when I was a child and, along with my little brother, I created elaborate productions with action figures and set pieces. It was also when I began to write comics, often rewriting captions and dialogue from books like The Mighty Thor and Doctor Strange to tell new tales, even using a cut and paste method of redirecting scenes. Later I was given the opportunity to write plays that my sixth grade class performed for our elementary school, my favorite being a battle between the Greek and Roman Gods that was ultimately settled once the Norse Pantheon took the field.

Of course, a large part of my talents for telling stories were honed through adjudicating roleplaying games. It scratched that itch for genre yarn spinning that was cultivated from reading Howard, Lovecraft, Wellman, Burroughs, and Wheatley as a boy, but it soon became music and magic that fueled my artistic endeavors.

As I said, I started writing horror in 2000, at the age of 34, prior to that I was writing (mostly) super hero comics (something I pulled the plug on in 2006), but my primary focus, particularly from age 16 – 30, was writing songs and poetry. That was where I felt most fulfilled, where I explored my thoughts on religion, philosophy, spirituality, and the paranormal.

Of late, as I became more and more frustrated and dissatisfied with the writing industry, from stem to stern, I found myself picking up the guitar more and songs began to fall out of it again. As I continued to explore my heathen faith, which has been a cornerstone of my beliefs for more than four decades, I found I was writing poetry and verse that expressed those themes more than ever before, that the old voice I had shelved was hungry and eager to assert itself.

This is not to say that I am done with writing horror and occult detective fiction, but just that a large part of my creative self has been neglected for far too long, that the storyteller I imagined myself becoming got distracted along the way. I guess this is a roundabout way of saying you will see a bit more of me moving forward.

I hope to reawaken that part of me that embarked on a shamanic journey long ago but lost the path somewhere along the way. I am eager to explore a hybrid of horror and heathenry, if you will, to realign myself to where I was in the beginning, coupled with the years of wisdom acquired along the way, and to become a more expressive voice in the communities in which I am active.

I leave you with a couple of verses from the first “real” song I wrote, back in 1986 or so…

Shadows are reality
Creeping through my sanity
Everything in darkness
Everything in black
I was born with vision
Mystic intuition
Trip my way through daylight
And never coming back

Flowing through the motions
Drinking magick potions
My mind is now electric
Everything surreal
Trading all my sanity
For a little sanctity
I’m living just for dying
But dying isn’t real

Wyrdtails: A Landon Connors Supernatural Thriller

Posted in All Hallows Read, Occult Detectives, Writing on October 11, 2020 by Occult Detective

Wyrdtails, for you reading pleasure. This one fits the season and is one of my favorites.

occultdetective.com

wyrd2

.:.

I was dressed, after a fashion, as how I thought the deceased would best recognize me — black t-shirt and blue jeans, scruffy jogging shoes, and a red bandana sticking out of my back pocket. I hadn’t really planned it, though it made sense to me after the fact. I just couldn’t be bothered with climbing into a suit. It felt unnatural and pretentious. The day was difficult enough without putting on the accepted uniform of grief. I was confident most of the people in the chapel considered my attire disrespectful, but I was pretty damn sure the deceased didn’t mind.

There was that word again. I mulled it over and rolled it on my tongue. Deceased. As in no longer with us. It had an improper finality to it, I thought. An improper word for an improper occurrence. An improper, and improbable occurrence of a finality. As these…

View original post 5,035 more words

Falling Up Under Down

Posted in Current Events, Writing on April 27, 2020 by Occult Detective

PANDEMIC

It’s been a little over a month since I last blogged. If you scoured my social media you’d find a lot less of me there too. It’s weird. As we have become more isolated, physically, due to the pandemic, I have pulled further away from online interactions.

I find the misinformation and political maneuvering troubling.

Here’s what I believe:

1. We are in the midst of a pandemic.
2. It is easily transmitted from person to person.
3. The death rate is slightly higher than that of the flu.
4. It is very dangerous for people with auto-immune issues.
5. People lack the common sense to act responsibly.
6. The media is doubling-down on fearmongering.
7. America looks weak and Americans look stupid.
8. Governments will use this pandemic to eliminate paper currency, require tracking and vaccinations, and to infringe on our so-called civil liberties.
9. Freedom, like legal tender, is an illusion — an accepted delusion we humans take part in so that urban society continues to function.
10. The only thing that has value is food, clothing, shelter, and entertainment.

This has all been a horrible, awful mess and my heart goes out to each and every one that has lost someone to this terrible illness. I feel sorrow for those who have struggled to recover from its effects.

I am truly sorry for all the small business owners who have had to endure the government implemented shutdown of the majority of our economy.

People really gave the government very little choice. By not utilizing common sense, governments, both local and federal, stepped in to play parent, because people were acting like children.

I get it.

We, the People of the United States of America, willfully surrendered ourselves to the government, looking up and asking them to save us, to give us money and food and medicine, when the power to save ourselves was in our own hands.

We have grown soft. Too few people understand true hardship, true sacrifice and struggle. Collectively, the vast majority of Americans live like kings and queens. Even the ones who bemoan their poverty do so while eating carry-out, watching Netflix on giant tv screens, and surfing the internet on their mobile phones. We are becoming pathetic and it saddens me.

Of course, there are people who really are suffering. People who have fallen through the cracks, who are homeless, who go to bed hungry… But theirs aren’t the voices we’re hearing.

icyrune

Alright, I’ll step down off my soap box.

WATCHING: The Musketeers
READING: The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly Palmer Hall; Amiculus: A Secret History by Horseman & Caracuzzo
LISTENING: Charming Disaster — Spells + Rituals
PLAYING: A Song of Ice & Fire Miniatures Game; Dungeons & Dragons on Roll20

How about some of that entertainment I was heralding as one of the four things that have true value?

I share with you now a song I wrote, to whom it may concern.

Little Lies (Down)

I hear One Eye’s ravens calling
He’s got the old gods out there stalling
All the while the sky keeps falling down
A little slice of heaven’s waiting
But the Norns won’t stop debating
Find it so exasperating now
Falling up under
Down
Sound and fury
Just another hangman’s jury
Little lies we like to tell ourselves

Magic words as loud as thunder
Lift us from the spell we’re under
Leaving us to all just wonder how
The mystery has come unraveled
Shed your skin and astral travel
One last chance to take a final bow
Falling up under
Down
What’s the hurry
Gone so fast it’s too damn blurry
Little lies we take down off the shelf

(♫)
Falling up under
Down
No need to worry
Falling back the shadows scurry
Little lies I like to tell myself

There’s a rune carved on your spirit
That won’t let the trolls draw near it
There’s no time for you to be fearing drow
If the sigil’s true then wear it
Let no man nor beast forebear it
Something only the brave would dare avow
Falling up under
Down
Shall we complete the story?
One last verse in all its glory
Little lies we sing softly to dark elves.

(♫)
Falling up under
Down
Hoarfrost and flurry
Ymir’s breath is so damn surly
Little lies meant for someone else

©2020 Bob Freeman Music

Dreams of Winter: A Tale of the Liber Monstrorum

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing on December 23, 2019 by Occult Detective

Yuletide is full upon us and though we’ve no snow here in the haunted Hoosier heartland, our spirits are still awash in the seasonal glow of Winter.

Being in a giving mood, I offer you, my friends, a short story of mine that you may have missed — Dreams of Winter — featuring some familiar faces, such as Dr. Landon Connors, Sarah Jones, and Detective Ellis DeTripp.

Originally published in the anthology Vampires Don’t Sparkle, edited by Michael West, Dreams of Winter is a favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy.

Dream1

Click on the link below to download the pdf

Dreams of Winter

Bob Freeman’s “Descendant Blog Tour” Schedule

Posted in Writing with tags , on November 14, 2019 by Occult Detective

occultdetectiveadvert

On Monday, November 18, I’ll be a guest of Dark Bites where I’ll be discussing the “scariest investigations” I’ve been involved in during my more than thirty-five years as a paranormal investigator.

I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the benefits of studying ancient myth on Tuesday, November 19 when I stop by Armed with a Book.

For Sheila’s Guests & Review, I’ll be discussing my writing process. Watch for it on Wednesday, November 20.

Thursday, November 21 will find me over at Jazzy Book reviews where I’ll share which movie or tv universe I’d like to find myself in.

On Friday, November 22, I’ll be interviewed for The Book Junkie Reads.

I’ve been offered an open forum on Saturday, November 23 at Sapphyria’s Books. Seeing as how it will be the 130th Anniversary of the first commercial jukebox (11/23/1889 at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco) I thought I might blog about music and its connection to my writing (and paranormal adventuring).

Seventh Star Press has asked me to discuss how much reality I allowed to seep into my writing (Descendant, in particular). Look for it on Sunday, November 24.

The Descendant Blog Tour comes to a close on Monday, November 25 with a visit to I Smell Sheep. Now that’s a blog any true Scotsman can get behind, if you know what I mean. They’ve asked me to list my Top 10 Paranormal Investigations. I’ll do so, but maybe with a twist…

In addition, there will be a number of reviewers posting their thoughts on Descendant throughout the week. I’ll post links to those reviews, and to each of tour stops as they become available.

DescendantCover

Now Available from Seventh Star Press & author Bob Freeman — First Born: The Audiobook, narrated by CJ Gold

Posted in Writing with tags , , , on November 8, 2019 by Occult Detective

Cover 01 First BornI am excited to announce the release of First Born: Tales of the Liber Monstrorum in audiobook format, available now on Amazon.com.

Narrated by the amazingly gifted CJ Gold, First Born collects more than a dozen esoteric thrillers — 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 is also available in Trade Paperback and ebook formats.

Also available in Trade Paperback and ebook formats is Descendant: A Novel of the Liber Monstrorum in a tale that directly follows the events played out in First Born.

%d bloggers like this: