Archive for Liber Monstrorum

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

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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.

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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.

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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Imperfections of Sleep (Part 5 of 6)

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2017 by Occult Detective

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Imperfections of Sleep
(Part 5 of 6)

“You’re mad,” Landon Connors said, pacing on the roadway, a stream of smoke rising slowly into the mid-morning sky from the cigarette in his lips. He looked toward his mentor, Sam Hill, who was consuming a smoke of his own and working to loose those muscles that had been magically bound several minutes before. “She’s a construct, or a demon meant to lead us astray.”

“Nope,” Hill replied. “I’d know it.”

“I know it sounds crazy,” the woman in the circle said, “but believe me, Dr. Connors, reality is far more malleable than you realize.”

“She’s right about that,” Hill agreed. He removed a fresh cigarette from the pack in his breast pocket and lit it off the butt of the other before grinding it under his heel.

“My name is Cassidy Martin and I have traveled through space, time, and dimension to ensure that you and Mr. Hill do not interfere with not only what happens this night, but in what is going to happen a few months from now.

“If you rescue me, that is, nine year old me, then everything changes…again. The threads of our reality are perilously thin as it is, and I’m the only one who knows what happened now, because when what happens later..happens, then all this goes away… it doesn’t happen, not like this anyway.”

“Do I need to explain temporal paradoxes and causal loops to you?” Connors, taking a cue from Sam, lit another cigarette. “Retrocausality?” He approached the circle, feeling nauseous the nearer he came. He staggered momentarily, stepped backward and nearly retched onto the pavement.

“That’s because I’m out of synch with this reality,” she said. “Do you understand? It’s why I can’t step outside of this circle. I don’t exist here, can’t exist here. I’m from another… universe or whatever. In a few months, this reality will be erased, writ over by a new one created by Michael Somers.”

“Who the hell is Michael Somers?” Connors snapped.

“”He’s the Lord of Cairnwood Manor, or will be, but then won’t be…” She sat down on the pavement. “It’s so damn confusing.”

“Ya think?” Connors said. He limped over to stand next to Hill, joining him in leaning on the hood of the private investigator’s Caprice. “Sam, help me out here.”

“I wish I could, kiddo,” Hill replied, “but the fact of the matter is, I believe her. At the very least, I believe she believes it, and I’ve got a nose for these things.”

“So, we’re supposed to just let all this happen, just let a vampire run roughshod across our backyard, then, and this is the kicker, then sit back while our reality gets shredded and rewritten?” Connors spat on the ground. “You don’t know me, know us, very well, Ms. Martin.”

“But I do, Dr. Connors,” she said, rising to her feet. “You will save my life, trust me. Just not tonight, nor in this timeline.”

“God damn it,” Connors hissed. “Fine, say you win. Then what are me and Sam supposed to do? Huh? Do you have an answer for that?”

“No,” Cassidy replied. “I wish I did.” She placed her hand over her heart. “But if it were me, I would find someone I loved without question and hold them until the end, because your eyes will open after the fire, but what they’ll see will be altogether different.” She turned away from them, her head hung low. “You just won’t know it, no one will. No one but me.”

“And what if I don’t have someone?” Connors said. He stepped toward her, leaning even heavier on his cane.

“You do,” Cassidy replied.

Sam  put his hand on Connors’ shoulder. “The little lady is right, kid.”

“Look, my time is up,” she said, turning back to them. They could see the tears glistening on her cheeks. “The spell’s wearing off.”

“So that’s it then,” Connors said. “No last parting words of wisdom from the future?”

“No,” Cassidy replied as she began to fade away. “Just… tell Michelle I said I miss her…”

And with that, Cassidy Martin was gone.

to be continued

One Week Till the Release of First Born

Posted in Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2017 by Occult Detective

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…

The ebook for First Born is available for pre-order now, with the actual trade paperback and kindle editions dropping on Friday, July 14 — one week from today.

First Born boasts fifteen stories in all, consisting of a novella (*), twelve short stories, and two illustrated tales (**). All are connected in various degrees. For instance, The Grim Beast of Iaeger (originally published by Michael Knost in Legends of the Mountain State 2) is a prequel to the events in the Wolfe & Crowe Investigation The Hour of the Wolf.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Mourn Not the Sleepless Children
The Devil’s in the Details
The Soul Cages
Ashes to Ashes
Nos Galan Gaeaf
Familiar Territory**
Observance

Ghost of a Chance
The Cabin in the Woods*
Wyrdtails
Strange Magick**
The Grim Beast of Iaeger
The Hour of the Wolf
A Murder of Crows
A Gathering of Shadows

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An illustration from “Mourn Not the Sleepless Children”

I hope you get some semblance of the same feelings from these tales as I experienced whilst writing them. This genre, that of the occult detective, has been my unwavering passion for most all my life.

It has long been my desire to add to the grand tradition, to keep it alive im Geiste, as it affords me the pleasure of playing in the most thrilling of sandboxes imaginable.

Occult detective fiction, whether in a modern context or set within another era altogether, offers us the chance to glimpse beyond the veil, to dissect the greatest mysteries of all. We are beings of mind, body, and spirit, and through these works, and in works to come, I look to examine what these mean, individually and as a whole.

40 Days

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

Cover 01 First Born

First Born has a due date, something akin to 40 days from today. Somewhat fitting, methinks. Shall we count down the days together?

First Born is available July 14th, but why wait? You can place a pre-order for the kindle version now. But if you’re more partial to the trade paperback, well, 40 days and nights aren’t so bad.

The Kindle Edition Pre-Order for First Born is LIVE

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , , , , on May 28, 2017 by Occult Detective

firstbornI am pleased to report the Kindle Edition of First Born is now available for Pre-Order.

I will pretend it is purely coincidental that I also completed a book trailer for First Born today and published it to youtube. The truth of the matter is more akin to my wallowing in a surreal state of synchronicity…

When dealing with subjects such as these, preternatural forces are always at play.

Anyway, check out the trailer below, but be warned —  its default playback is only 144p. You’ll want to increase that to 360p for optimum viewing.

Enjoy.

What stories will you find in First Born?

Posted in Horror, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice with tags , , on May 26, 2017 by Occult Detective

LIBERMONSTRORUM

On the heels of yesterday’s COVER REVEAL, I thought I’d talk a little about my plans for the Liber Monstrorum series and share the table of contents with you.

I anticipate the Liber Monstrorum Chronicles to be at least four volumes: First Born, Descendant, Born Again, and Afterbirth. I may get to a fifth volume, Afterlife, and even a sixth, Transcendent, at some point, but that’s a ways down the proverbial Lost Highway.

First Born and Descendant are written, edited, and with all cover and interior artworks complete. First Born, obviously is very close to publication (within a short handful of weeks) and, I expect, Descendant will be along in late Fall or Winter.

A final draft of Born Again needs to be written, but I am merging three separate works into one cohesive novel, so the heavy lifting has already been done. All that’s left for me is to connect all the dots and rein in some troublesome threads.

My plan is for Afterbirth to be another collection, in a sort of kinship with First Born, comprised of short stories and novellas that occur after the events in Descendant and Born Again. I have several stories ready for this volume already.

Afterlife and Transcendent are kind of loosely floating around in my head, with Afterlife feeling like a novel and Transcendent possibly being five novellas.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Let’s turn out attentions back to FIRST BORN: Tales from the Liber Monstrorum.

Cover 01 First Born

First Born is made up of twelve short stories, two illustrated tales, and one novella. All have been published in one fashion or another in various forms, though many have been reworked here and there. This is the first time they’ve all been gathered under one roof, so to speak.

Here is a list of the stories you’ll find inside:

MOURN NOT THE SLEEPLESS CHILDREN
THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS
THE SOUL CAGES
ASHES TO ASHES
FAMILIAR TERRITORY
NOS GALAN GAEAF
OBSERVANCE
GHOST OF A CHANCE
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
STRANGE MAGICK
WYRDTAILS
THE GRIM BEAST OF IAEGER
THE HOUR OF THE WOLF
A MURDER OF CROWS
A GATHERING OF SHADOWS

I will be posting pre-order information for First Born sometime over the weekend, I believe, so stay tuned.

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