Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Update: Ozark Sharks! Infernal City!

It's that time again. Summer is upon us and, with summer, comes a bevy of new sharksploitation movies for Syfy's annual Sharknado Week. Last year I was fortunate enough to contribute Zombie Shark, writing its screenplay. But this year, there's a new finned menace in the waters. I present to you...

OZARK SHARKS!


This was a fun one that I had the opportunity be involved with in the early stages of pre-production. I helped develop the project, writing its first draft and later serving as Associate Producer. Marcy Holland came in and did a super job making the script her own, but still very much honoring what I originally put in there, and I am forever grateful to her for that. She rocks. As with Zombie Shark, this one is directed by Misty Talley--the first woman director of one of these Syfy Channel Original Movies we're told! Pretty awesome. She does a killer job (no pun intended) and the cast is great, bringing together some of my favorites from my previous two scripted Syfy outings (Snakehead Swamp and Zombie Shark), as well as some talented fresh blood.

I hope you check it out when Ozark Sharks hits on the Syfy Channel, Thursday, July 28 at 8PM Central.

What else is going on? So glad you asked. I'm doing my final edits on my next novel, and hope to release it very, very soon. It's coming along and I'm anxious to see what you guys think of it. In the meantime, behold the cover!


Artwork Not Final

Expect a full reveal/synopsis in the weeks ahead, but Infernal City tells the story of a City that, quite literally, eats souls! This one has been in the works for awhile now and it's very much a return to the themes and "flavor" of my The Coming Evil Trilogy, that no fan will want to be without. I liken the new book as a first cousin to The Coming Evil, so keep checking back here as we get closer to its anticipated (at least by me) release.

In the meantime, Ozark Sharks!

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Keepers of the Dead"--An Interview with Bob Freeman

Mornin'.

Today, we've got a new interview with Bob Freeman, real-life paranormal investigator and writer of occult tales. Recently saw the release of Bob's new book from Seventh Star Press, Keepers of the Dead, the second installment in his Gothic horror Cairnwood Manor saga.

I always love having Bob stop by, so let's jump right into it:

Greg Mitchell: Bob! You’re back! And with the second novel in the Cairnwood Manor series: Keepers of the Dead. Tell us about it. 

Bob Freeman: Thanks for having me, Greg. Keepers of the Dead picks up a few months after Shadows Over Somerset and the stakes are much higher. Michael is just settling into his role as the alpha of the Cairnwood Pack when his whole world gets turned upside down and he is drawn into a conflict with a sinister cabal intent on raising a demon that’s been locked away in the belly of Rosslyn Chapel for centuries.

All the main cast is back for this one, plus, I hope, some interesting new faces.

GM: It’s funny; in preparation for the release of Book Two, I went back and re-read Shadows and kept thinking, “This is classic Bob Freeman.” You’ve got a Gothic Scottish mansion/castle in the Indiana heartland, with witches, werewolves, vampires, secret societies, occult detectivery (new word), and Conan-esque swordplay. It’s a very unique blend of a sort of “horror high fantasy” crashing into Small Town, America. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and it’s pretty exciting. In our last interview, you talked about the real-life inspiration for the kernel that became the Wolves of Cairnwood, but when it came time to start putting pen to paper, what were some of your inspirations for crafting this surreal fantasy world? 

BF: Nick Mamatas and I had a chat at a convention a few years back and he said the biggest mistake almost every first time novelist makes is dumping everything they have an interest in into that first work.

Shadows being my first, I can honestly say, guilty as charged.

Dark Shadows' vampiric patriarch Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid)
I grew up obsessed with Universal Monsters, Dark Shadows, and The Night Stalker, and I read more than my fair share of gothic paperbacks as a kid living in rural Indiana. I discovered Lovecraft and Howard at a young age, and later was really into Katherine Kurtz’ Adept series. And, obviously, I’ve always had a fascination with the occult, its practices and practitioners. I think if you tossed all of that into a blender, mixed in my love for local history and folklore, a smattering of everything from William Castle to Terence Fisher, and Dan Curtis, plus a little Highlander and the gods only know what else that my primal brain has latched onto and you get the whole insane Cairnwood Manor saga.

GM: As it was with Shadows Over Somerset, I believe this is the second edition of Keepers of the Dead. Anything new to discover inside? 

BF: Well, it had a tighter editorial hand, a couple of name tweaks here and there, and prettier packaging, but the story stayed the same.

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a major rewrite of the whole thing, but, it really is a kind of time capsule of who I was at the time, what kind of writer I was, and to alter it too much would disrespect that.

GM: I can understand that. I went through a similar process when reworking my Rift Jump stories from the original high school days to the "real" version. Trying to change it, while also keeping it true to who you were back in the day. 

So, you’re working on the next Cairnwood Manor book at the moment, correct? Is that the final one? What can you tell us about it—or is that a secret? 

BF: Without giving anything major away, Shadow of the Wolf has time-travel, alternate realities, and what I hope are surprising guest appearances by characters from some of my other works in store.


The story takes place roughly 15 years after the events in Keepers, but also spends a fair amount of time in the 1880s. There’ll be plenty of hairy action, romance, and swordplay, with, I hope, more of a gothic atmosphere.

Oh, and more magic. And electric light...

GM: That all sounds fantastic. I'm totally on board for that ride. And what of your other projects? I know you’ve got to be working on, at least, five other things right now, ha. Are we still looking at a revival of your paranormal investigators Wolfe & Crowe? What’s your signature creation Landon Connors up to these days? 

BF: I’m working on Shadow of the Wolf, of course, plus an occult detective fantasy novel, and a weird western, but my mind is constantly drifting into Landon Connors/Wolfe & Crowe territory. I just can’t help it.

I would love to find a publisher who was as interested in Wolfe & Crowe as I am. I still consider Descendant my best work to date.

As for Dr. Connors, he’ll be appearing in a month long serial on my website, occultdetective.com, throughout February, if the gods are willing and the creek don’t rise.

You know me, Greg, I’m a storyteller at heart. The medium isn’t as important as the story itself and I’m always looking for ways to get that story told in some fashion or another.

Readers are such a small audience and I’d swear 80% of them are writers.

GM: I'd believe that.

BF: I’m always looking for some way to get my stories out there. I recently adapted Mourn Not the Sleepless Children as an audio drama being produced by Openly Gamer and I wrote an episode for one of their upcoming ‘actual plays’.

I really dig the idea of cooperative storytelling. I’ve been playing RPGs for almost forty years and I’ve tried my hand at developing occult detective themed board and roleplaying games and could really see me heading even further down that rabbit hole.

GM: I would be remiss if we didn’t talk about your son, Connor. He’s got a new book out, as well—his debut! That’s gotta be great as a father, right? Spill the details, man! 

BF: Obviously I couldn’t be more proud.

Connor is home schooled and, when he was ten, my wife Kim and I decided to add creative writing to his curriculum. Well, he up and ran with it, creating Jonny Spencer and the Black Lich of Ashrock Earth.

His new project, Word Hollow, is a sort of midwestern gothic fantasy, with demons, werewolves, monster hunters, talking birds and cats, and more.

GM: Nice!

BF:He’s a very creative kid and he and I spitball ideas every day. I really am one lucky guy.

GM: One of the things I love talking with you is inspirations. What shows, movies, books, games has got you excited these days? 

BF: There’s so much great stuff out there:

In comics there’s Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott’s Black Magick, Tim Truman and Tomas Giorello’s King Conan: Wolves Beyond the Border, and Rich Douek and Brett Barkley’s Gutter Magic to name just a few.

I’ll continue to preach my love for the Lovecraft-inspired tabletop game Elder Sign. It has two expansions, Unseen Forces and Gates of Arkham, with a third coming out soon called Omens of Ice. What’s great about it is you can play it as part of a group or all by your lonesome.

I’m digging the X-Files revival and Lucifer on Fox, Syfy’s The Magicians, and the CW's run of superhero fare is must-see-TV at our house — Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. A friend of mine turned me on to a show out of New Zealand called The Almighty Johnsons that is absolutely absurd, but I couldn’t help but watch. It’s about these four brothers who are, it turns out, reincarnated Norse Gods.

What else? If you haven’t seen Crimson Peak, you bloody well should.

GM: I know, I know. That's on my list, when the Blu-Ray hits. I'm sorry to have missed that one in the theaters.

BF: I’ve been reading mostly bad paranormal non-fiction here lately, unfortunately. I get sent a lot of review material and most of it just isn’t up to snuff, you know.

I’m really hungry for a really great occult detective novel or a collection of short stories that goes above and beyond, something different and unexpected.

GM: Thanks, Bob, for coming out. Now I’m off to read more of Keepers of the Dead—now available in print and Kindle!

BF: Thank you, Greg. It’s always a pleasure.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Look Ahead

Happy (belated) New Year!

It's been forever since I've posted on here, mostly because I've been hard at work on a number of upcoming projects. Not only that, but I've been, frankly, trying to live my life a little. It's possible to have too much going on, and I was knee deep in that territory for the latter half of last year. So this year, I'm taking a bit of break. Still working, but these days I'm working more on my personal projects rather than "for hire" work--though there's some of that thrown in there, too.

So what's coming up?

First off, I'm pleased to announce that I have finished the manuscript to my seventh novel. Still have edits to do and then there's the question of what to do with it after. I've published my last three books on my own, without much success, to be honest. But I love the creative control and the freedom. Plus, with publishers becoming even more exclusive because of the increasing financial risk of publishing anyone who is not Stephen King or George RR Martin, I'm not sure where to turn. But that's all upsetting business stuff to worry about later. Right now, I'm focusing on just the simple joy of telling (and completing) a story. I don't want to say too much about it just yet, but what can I tell you about the next book? No title yet, as it keeps changing, but this is a story that I've been trying to tell--in one form or another--since 1998. In many ways, it's a return to my Coming Evil roots--simple people fighting off incomprehensible evil. It involves a City that devours souls, and centers on Quinn, a thuggish "Retriever" who makes sure that, well, let's just say he makes sure that the dinner doesn't scramble off the plate. It's a noir-type story, rife with monsters and a very faith-driven fight of good versus evil. Also, it fits squarely into my larger mythology. In fact, this book is the concluding chapter of my current "concept trilogy" that consists of HITMEN: Four Tales of Magick, Monsters, and Murder, and the Rift Jump duology. Together, they pull back the veil on the world introduced in The Coming Evil Trilogy, showing that the threat presented by the Strange Man has its roots in something much more cosmic. And that tasty morsel leads into my next announcement...

I've officially broken ground on the next Coming Evil novel. Still waaaay too early to say anything about that yet, but I've had this story in mind for many, many years. There are seeds of it sprinkled throughout The Coming Evil, and even more of its foundation is laid in the aforementioned "concept trilogy". I'm super excited about it, but nervous, as well. The Coming Evil has always been very special to me and I want to be extra careful to handle its continuation properly.

In other news, I've also had the opportunity to help develop another Syfy Channel Original. I'm buried way back behind the scenes on this one, but it's always fun to be involved in these creature features. Definitely can't talk about that one yet, but I'll be sure to keep you posted as the premier draws nigh.

Finally, my fellow Star Wars contributor Edward M. Erdelac and I have co-written an essay on that beloved saga to be included in Sequart's upcoming book A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Exploring Star Wars Comics. Very thankful to be included in this alongside other reputable Star Wars fans and authors. I think it's going to be pretty neat. Look for that later this year.

That's what I've been up to. I know I started this blog with saying that I wanted to be less busy, but, believe me--this is less busy for me :)

And, no, this won't be the last you hear from me for another six months. Coming up in the days ahead, I've got an interview with my buddy, paranormal investigator and author Bob Freeman. He's got a new book out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Welcome to the Future

It has been a long time since I've been on this blog. In honor of Back to the Future Day, I wanted to take a minute and express my thoughts on this day, my own life, and--of course--the future.



I remember when I first saw Back to the Future II on home video and first witnessed Marty McFly heading to the far-off mystical date of October 21, 2015. I was just a little kid then, and never thought much about 2015, or where I would be in my own life by that point. In fact, as I grew up a diehard BTTF fan and watched the Trilogy on repeat for hours and hours--even as I spent nearly three years of my life writing a comprehensive guide to the chronology of the series (it's now on sale, go buy it)--I STILL gave very little thought about my own future, particularly what my life would look like on that date.

So, here we are: It's October 21, 2015. It is The Future.

This isn't where I thought I would be on this date, but I don't mean that in a negative light. For the most part, I have a great life. A steady day job, a happy marriage, great kids. Things are pretty great on that front.

But on this date, I'm also dealing with a lot of grief. Not even three months ago I unexpectedly lost one of my dearest friends, Zachary Malcolm to complications following a stroke. We talked a lot about this day, about the famed future as foretold by Back to the Future. We planned to be there together. And he's not here. I'm struggling with that a lot. Especially with this being Halloweentime, which was our time. Our time to revel in gothic Hammer Horror movies and talk about costumes and decorations and that most wonderful night when the monsters come out to play. He's not here, but I still feel him in the October Wind.

This has also been a time of great searching for me, in terms of my writing. Trying to figure out who I am as a writer. Who do I want to be, moving forward?

As I said, I always expected October 21, 2015 to just be a regular old Wednesday, but as it's turned out, this has been a very big day. Doors have been closed in my writing life--at least for the moment--while others are now widening with new possibility. No, I don't have any projects lined up--but that's the beauty of it. For the first time in YEARS, I have a clean slate. I have no stress, no deadlines, no commitments. I've been given an opportunity to enjoy my great life a little bit. To write for me. For fun, for awhile. Some things I hope to publish, others are just for me and my family to enjoy. But I've got that freedom now. I've been doing a lot of soul searching for the last few months--ever since Zach died. I've been lost, guys. And I've prayed that God would show me some direction. Throw me some clue as to what path I'm supposed to be on.

Today, He has. It's all come to a head on this day, of all days, October 21, 2015. For the first time, my future feels unwritten and I'm not scared about that. I'm hopeful, and I'm excited, and I know that God is not through me and that, together, we are not through with this writer's journey. I don't know where it's going to lead next, but that's okay. Where we're going, we don't need roads.

So I'm embracing my future, ready to push through and see what's beyond that time barrier. In the immortal words of Doctor Emmett Lathrop Brown, "Your future is whatever you make of it. So make it a good one."

I intend to.

--Greg Mitchell
October 21, 2015: The Future

Monday, July 13, 2015

Zombie Shark--July 20th!


It's official! My second SyFy Original Movie, "ZOMBIE SHARK", is bloodying up the waters this coming Monday, July 20th at 8 PM Central Time! Don't miss it!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Look! Up In the Sky!


I'm pleased to announce today that the MONSTER anthology (seriously, this thing is gargantuan) Superhero Monster Hunter: The Good Fight is now live on Amazon from the fine folks at Emby Press! Right now, you can feast your eyes on the digital copy, with a hard copy soon on the horizon.

An original pic of Light Sphere I drew back in '97, I think

My short story "Red Fog" is included in this mammoth text, featuring my own superhero creation Light Sphere. I've spoken about Light Sphere and his creation before on this very blog, but I created the character way back in junior high in the early '90s when the X-Men were really cooking. Seriously, the comics were back in vogue and there was the new FOX cartoon (which totally blew my mind). "Mutants" were all the rage and I jumped in with my own variation on the concept, but I wanted something with a bit of a twist. In Light Sphere, I created a character whose greatest strength was his greatest weakness--he had the ability to blast energy from his hands, but to do so without wearing these special mechanized gauntlets, he'd fry his arms to crispy husks. It's a severe limitation and, I thought, would make for an interesting predicament. Or, at least I did when I was thirteen.

I wrote and drew (re: traced) two whole issues of Light Sphere back in ninth grade or so, in the back of my classrooms while I was supposed to be learning something. Then, after that, Light Sphere got stuffed in a shelf and forgotten until about 2012 when I resurrected him, gave him a fresh polish, and included him in my multidimensional cosmic horror romp Rift Jump. He showed up to duke it out with my main protagonist in that book (another comic book character I created later in high school--Michael Morrison) and, like any good superhero yarn, the two slugged it out before becoming friends and allies.

Since then, I've had fun crafting new stories for Light Sphere. Late last year he tangled with a very strange lycanthrope in Lion's Share Press' anthology Metahumans vs Robots. Most recently, Light Sphere made a return in my brand new novel Rift Jump II: Sara's Song!

Needless to say, the guy's making the rounds and it's been a real blast playing with this character after so long and telling his stories after all these years. As for "Red Fog" in particular, it is my homage to the classic Batman/Dracula series of graphic novels: Red Rain, Bloodstorm, and Crimson Mist. Those things were a revelation to me when I was a teenager, combining Gothic horror and the noble plight of the superhero. I hope I've done that style of story justice, as well as adding my own spin on the material.

Check out Light Sphere battling vampire hordes in "Red Fog" collected in the pages of Superhero Monster Hunter: The Good Fight! And now I leave you with this:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Release Day--"Sara's Song"!

The wait is over.

Available today is my new release Rift Jump, Volume Two: Sara's Song--the concluding chapter of the Rift Jump duology! As always, the book is available in print, Kindle, and other ebook formats.

Folks, this has been a crazy ride. I knew when I wrote the original Rift Jump that I had one more book in me to wrap up Michael and Sara's trip across the multiverse, but Sara's Song has really surprised me. For starters, this is the longest thing I've ever written, and it is jam-packed with adventure, heartache, cosmic horrors, and explosive action--and the stakes have never been higher. All of existence is in danger of being eradicated, and our two favorite dysfunctional teenage runaways are at the very heart of it.

What was perhaps most surprising to me is that this book also lays the groundwork for the entire uber-mythology that encompasses most of my work, including The Coming Evil Trilogy. Trust me, you'll never look at the little town of Greensboro the same after reading this! It's all setting up for where I would like to take The Coming Evil series in future books.

So enough of the sales pitch. Go out and pick up your copy today. Here's the cover and synopsis. And, if you're behind on this series that spans space and time, you can also buy the recent Rift Jump: Revised and Expanded Edition and experience the journey from the beginning.


About the Book:

For over a year, Sara Morrison has been living a life she never dreamed possible. Rift jumping across parallel dimensions with her husband Michael, who is on a quest to battle the Rage, and their adopted son Toby, who possesses superpowers of his own, Sara has experienced wonders beyond belief. But she can't help but feel inferior to Michael as he saves the day time and again, and Sara longs for the chance to shin on her own.

When Michael and Sara encounter a cosmic storm that is shattering the worlds within the multiverse, Sara begins to uncover devastating truths about her past, her foretold future, and her connection to the reality-devouring storm. In order to overcome her own frightful fate, Sara will have to make a harrowing journey across the worlds and into the very heart of hell itself, before the multiverse falls to total darkness and her family is lost forever.