Monday, January 28, 2013

Interview with Author Joshua M. Reynolds

Today we have a very special guest--author Joshua M. Reynolds! I first learned of Josh's writing when we shared page space in last year's occult detective anthology A Cat of Nine Tales. I read his story "An Ounce of Prevention" and was introduced to his delightful occult detective characters Charles St. Cyprian and plucky (and sometimes psychotic) sidekick Ebe Gallowglass. It was a rollicking good time that instantly reminded me of Robert Downey Jr.'s turn as Sherlock Holmes--only with monsters. I was hooked on St. Cyprian's stories and Josh's perfect blend of wit, thrills, and horror. I have stalked him on his site for awhile and have read through his Nightmare Men series of short essays that highlights occult detectives of the golden era of pulp fiction. Since meeting Josh, he has been very supportive of my own writing efforts, even letting me take the talking stick for a guest post at his blog, and it's a real treat to have him here.

Now, without further ado!

Greg Mitchell: Welcome to the blog, Josh! I look through your resume and you have quite the extensive one! Where did you get your start? Take me back to the beginning of your career.

Joshua M. Reynolds: The beginning of my career is lost in the mists of the distant past; like, Y2K-distant. The early entries on my resume are a sort of ‘best guess’ kind of thing. I wrote between twenty and thirty stories a year, and sold around half of them, but only bothered to keep track of about half of those.

I didn’t really intend to be a writer, y’see. At least not a professional one; so I didn’t think it mattered what I’d sold as long as the check cleared, or the contributor’s copy arrived. The idea of reprint rights, or collections or somesuch, just plain did not occur to me. I was a strict 9 to 5 man, paychecks and time-clocks and employee assessments.

It was a hobby at first. That’s my excuse. By the time I realized that I could do it for a living, that it was a viable career-choice, I had lost most of the floppy disks that held those first fifty or sixty stories. Somewhere, I imagine an ex-girlfriend has a set of floppies held together by rubber-bands, and labeled ‘My Stories’.

I don’t even remember the title of my first story…

GM: What were some of your inspirations growing up?

JR: Whatever I’d read or seen last, honestly; I was a bit of a sponge. If I’d read Chandler, it was Chandler. If I’d just finished Lovecraft, it was Lovecraft. If I’d been watching Thundercats, or Ducktales or reading comic books, that was the sort of thing I scribbled. But, the author who always inspired me--and still does when I need to refresh the well, so to speak—was Manly Wade Wellman.

Wellman wasn’t the writer who convinced me I could write, but he was the one who made me want to write. Whenever my drive to write begins to wane, I turn to Wellman. Whenever I’m having trouble with a story, or in danger of missing a deadline, I read Wellman.

GM: It’s easy to see from your non-fiction Nightmare Men series (which I adore), that you have a long standing fascination and appreciation of that loneliest of crime fighters: The occult detective. As a fan, what was your first exposure to that subgenre of horror?

JR: I’m glad you enjoy reading the Nightmare Men. I enjoy writing them, myself. My first exposure to the concept was William Hope Hodgson’s “The Horse of the Invisible”, featuring Carnacki the Ghost-Finder, in a YA anthology called ‘Ghastly, Grim and Gruesome’. The idea of somebody investigating a haunting, Sherlock Holmes-style, was a bit of a revelation to my tender eight year old self.

I spent the next year hunting down the other Carnacki stories. And from there I hunted down Blackwood’s ‘John Silence’ stories, and, in a belated moment of revelation, realized that Manly Wade Wellman wrote stories about, like, five different occult detectives. By the time I stumbled on Seabury Quinn, I had become a fan of the subgenre in all of its diverse forms and variations.

GM: So, let’s get down to it. Charles St. Cyprian: The Royal Occultist. For those at home who don’t know who he is, who is he?

JR: Well, let’s see…simply, Charles St. Cyprian is Rudolph Valentino by way of Bertie Wooster, with a bit of Manly Wade Wellman’s suave occult investigator John Thunstone thrown in to spice things up. As the Royal Occultist, St. Cyprian, along with his (slightly murderous) assistant, Ebe Gallowglass, is the first, last, and only line of defense between England and various dangers of occult, demonic, divine or otherworldly nature.

GM: What was the inspiration for St. Cyprian? How did he come about?

JR: He had quite a few inspirations, as far as that goes. I’m a fan of characters like John Thunstone and Jules de Grandin, who tend to confront the supernatural with cold steel and hot lead, rather than magic or supernatural abilities. I’m also a Wodehouse fan, and I like the dynamic he perfected, with a semi-competent protagonist and his much more intelligent sidekick/servant. Combine all of that with an abiding love of the old Avengers television show (John Steed and Emma Peel, not Captain America) and stuff like Adam Adamant and the Wild, Wild West, and, hey, presto, you’ve got St. Cyprian and Gallowglass.

As to how he came about, well, originally he was a secondary character in an early draft manuscript that eventually went on to become my 2010 novel, DRACULA LIVES (which is still available from Pulpwork Press, btw). The novel, as originally conceived took place in the 1920s, and saw St. Cyprian confronting a resurrected Dracula and the satanic cult that had done said resurrecting in a Sax Rohmer-esque sort of story that culminated in an extended homage to the film ‘Horror Express’, set on the Orient Express. The book changed between that draft and the final published version, becoming less Sax Rohmer and more John le Carre, and St. Cyprian got cut out entirely as the novel moved from the 20’s to the 90’s.

That same year, I was approached by an editor to propose a series of 10,000 word stories for a new magazine. I dug the character back up, proposed the concept, and wrote a few stories and then, after the first one had been published, the magazines changed direction, and the series was put on hiatus. But, by then, I’d managed to sell a few shorter stories with the characters to other markets, and…well, a few more since. People seem to like the character, and I enjoy writing stories about him, so it’s worked out for the best, I’d say.

GM: You have over a dozen St. Cyprian stories in print through various anthologies. What was the first St. Cyprian story you wrote?

JR: The first St. Cyprian story I wrote was “Sign of the Salamander”, but the first one that people read was “Krampusnacht”. You can read an excerpt from the former here: and the latter, in its entirety, starting here:

GM: What keeps you coming back to the character and his mythology?

JR: I’m a big fan of series characters, occult detectives or otherwise. I like the idea of multiple, one-off stories, featuring the same character, scattered across anthologies and magazines, like a bread crumb trail for intrigued readers. That sort of thing just appeals to me—I can’t say why. It’s simultaneously formulaic and yet, somehow, exciting.

Too, there’s the whole ‘occult detective’ thing. And, over the course of fourteen or fifteen odd stories I’ve become fond of St. Cyprian and Gallowglass. I *enjoy* writing them—their banter, their mishaps, the inevitable, yet sudden way they wreck their car or burn down a house. I get a kick out of St. Cyprian going head-to-head with cosmic horrors armed only with pluck and an erroneous belief that the mystic sigil he’s carrying will protect him, and Gallowglass’ brave (yet terrifying) assumption that if you fill something with enough bullets, it’ll pack its bags and go bother the French.

GM: Any long term plans for St. Cyprian’s future, or are you taking the series one story at a time?

JR: It’s a little from Column A, and a little from Column B. I take the series one story at a time; it’d be easy to give in to my urge to capitalize on a good thing and write dozens of stories, but unless there’s a market for them, or a commission, there’s not a lot of point.

BUT, I do have long-term plans. There’s a hub-site: and the requisite Facebook page: There might be a print collection in the works and some of the earlier stories are getting reprinted this year as well. Too, I’m pondering offering e-book mini-collections (consisting of, say two or three stories) at a later date through the site.

I got plans, basically. Not good ones, or even effective ones, but I got ‘em.

GM: Do I have any hope of reading a full length St. Cyprian novel in the future? If not, lie to me anyway.

JR: Actually, there is. I’m working on the (hopefully) first St. Cyprian novel, tentatively titled BEASTS OF BLACKHEATH. It’s a bit of an origin story, with added were-panthers.

GM: Hey, you had me at were-panthers.

JR: I talk more about it here, if anyone’s interested:

GM: What’s next for you?

JR: Well, right now I’m hard at work on my next book for Black Library, and then, I’ve got to write something-something and after that it’s something else. Oh, and more St. Cyprian stories, of course!

GM: Certainly! Thanks for taking the time to hang out. Any parting words? Where can people find you and throw large sums of money at you for your books?

JR: Thank you for having me! As to parting words—I hear that ‘Coming Evil’ series is pretty awesome. Y’all should get that.

GM: I heartily agree. There are links to your immediate right. Hurry.

JR: The easiest place to find me is where you can find an up-to-date list of my works, with handy-dandy links to where they can be purchased for monies.

And if you’re interested in learning more about St. Cyprian and Gallowglass, you could always check out, which features links to available stories, news about forthcoming ones and even some free fiction!

Special thanks to Josh for stopping by and thanks to you all for reading!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Interview with Author/Artist Bob Freeman!

Today we're continuing our coverage of The Coming Evil tie-in tale, Lengthening Shadows, the all-new e-novella that sets up my upcoming novel Dark Hour. Last week, I talked a bit about the thoughts that went into writing Shadows, but today I'm turning the spotlight on author/artist/paranormal investigator Bob Freeman. Bob's been by the blog before. I'm a huge fan of his work and he's been gracious enough to provide two covers for me: the first being my zombie short story Flowers for Shelly, and the recently released Lengthening Shadows. Last time Bob was here, we talked at great lengths about his writing, but Bob's wearing his artist hat today as we talk about comics, art...and, well, some more writing :p

Greg Mitchell:  Welcome back, Bob! You’ve been busy since the last time you stopped by the blog, having released not one, but two Occult Detective comic book issues, worked on A Cat of Nine Tales anthology from Rookhaven and, last but not least, started your own publishing imprint with Caliburn House! What all have you been up to?

Bob Freeman: Too much, I dare say. As you mentioned I recently started my own publishing arm, Caliburn House, where I’ll be releasing my back catalogue of novels (Descendant, Shadows Over Somerset, Keepers of the Dead) as well as new material soon after. It’s been a lot of work, and there have been some missteps along the way, but it’s exciting to be in the driver’s seat of my career as opposed to feeling like a passenger for the past few years.

My primary focus will be occult detective stories, especially those concerning Dr. Landon Connors, but I also have a sword and sorcery novel in the works (albeit with an occult detective slant). Truth be told, I’m leaning toward a different approach to my writing, shifting to a greater emphasis on short stories and novellas, but with a serial mindset — stand alone stories that have subplots that connect to a larger narrative and mythology.

I’m also dabbling in tabletop board games and pen and paper RPGs, and some paranormal non-fiction.

Like they say, there’s no rest for the wicked, and I’m more wicked than most ;)...

GM: I am forever grateful to you for providing some killer cover art for two of my projects, now. As long as I’ve known you, art has been a part of your storytelling magic bag. I gotta ask, what came first? Drawing or writing? For me, I had hopes of being a comic book illustrator for the longest time before I realized that the breadth of my stories exceeded my rather limited drawing ability.

BF: I’m a storyteller, be it through words or pictures. I think that’s the deep root of it. My passion lies in writing, though. The art thing is a hobby, something I like to do. Writing is more of a have to proposition.

GM: What were your biggest art influences as a kid? Any particular imagery that stands out as a “I must devote my life to this” kind of moment?

Bob's art from Occult Detective Illustrated, on sale now!

BF: I was (and am) really into comics. The first artist that jumped out at me was John Byrne, whose career I’ve followed since Charlton’s Doomsday +1. I spent a lot of hours tracing his stuff. I especially loved his work on Iron Fist, his runs on X-Men and the Avengers, and his Fantastic Four was really mind-blowing.

But the artist that punched me right in the face and who I credit with being the single greatest influence on me, in many ways both as a writer and artist, was Frank Frazetta. Frank poured so much emotion into his paintings and his draftsmanship was really unparalleled. I cannot impress upon you how much his work meant to me, how much it still does.

GM: What comics are you reading nowadays? And, dare I ask…Marvel or DC?

BF: Hellblazer is my favorite book right now. Of course it’s being canceled in favor of a new Constantine series beginning soon. I’m a big fan of the entire Hellboy Universe of books from Dark Horse, particularly B.P.R.D. IDW’s Locke & Key is phenomenal. Will be sad to see it go. I’ve been picking up several of the Marvel NOW relaunch, even though I feel burned by the DC New 52 line. It’s a rough time to be a comics fan in a lot of ways these days. I was primarily a Marvel kid growing up, but the industry has changed so much. Sales are abysmal and everything is event driven. Thankfully I have a huge personal collection and I can sink into nostalgia, revisiting stuff like Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night, or Son of Satan whenever the mood strikes me.

I will say this though, I will buy anything written by Cullen Bunn. His Oni Press book The Sixth Gun with Brian Hurtt is spectacular and I’ve really enjoyed his work for the book two as well. I can’t recommend his books highly enough.

GM: No doubt! I just discovered The Sixth Gun last November and have been picking up the trades. It's a great, fun monster book. 

Let’s take a look at your own comic featuring Landon Connors. I’ve very much enjoyed his previous outings in comic book form. Any projection date on the next issue of either Connors series?

BF: Occult Detective Illustrated was something I put together while waiting for pages from Chris Wilson, my collaborator on Oddfellows Serenade. I had thought of making it an ongoing series, but unfortunately the sales don’t really warrant it. It’s kind of a niche thing, so instead I’m going to publish it online as a series of serials on my website once The Parker Brothers: Father Knows Best serial is complete.

 Page 16, Oddfellows Serenade Issue 1

I really wish I could give you a firm date on the Oddfellows Serenade graphic novel. The artist is working on the final pages and then I have to format and letter them. I’m hoping we’ll have it ready by October, but I’ve had similar thoughts before. We’ve been at this for over three years now. There’s an old saying, “Some spells when cast take their dear sweet time to become manifest, and wizards are seldom known for their patience.” Well, this is one wizard whose patience is wearing mighty thin. 

GM: I subscribe to your blog and it’s always a treat to find a new post in my Inbox. One of the things I love most about your posts is your frequent trips down Memory Lane. As do most monster fans, I’m sure, my strongest monster memories are firmly rooted in my childhood. I love experiencing your childhood—and others—and find a deep kinship in hearing about what it was like for others who first discovered the macabre at a young age. I’ve often reflected on why I love monsters and the like so much—often on this very blog. But now I turn the tables on you. What drew you to writing and drawing your monstrous tales? What lured you to studying real-world occult and lore? What’s the draw for you?

BF: The heart of it, I suppose, lies in my Arkansas roots, and the folk tales and legends my family brought from there and elsewhere, and those discovered in my native Indiana. I loved to hear scary stories as a little guy, and some of my earliest (and fondest) memories are of me hiding behind my dad’s recliner while he watched late night horror movies hosted by the incomparable Sammy Terry.

I was not your “normal” child. I stumbled upon magical tracts that had belonged to my great grandmother, most notably Unseen Forces by Manly Palmer Hall, and had a firm belief in the supernatural at an extremely young age. By nine years old I was sneaking out of the house and spending the night in the cemetery just up the road from where we lived.

When other kids were reading James and the Giant Peach, I was reading books like Sybil Leek’s Book of Curses, Hans Holzers’ Ghosts I’ve Met, and Francis King’s Ritual Magic. When they were playing Mouse Trap at sleepovers, I was pulling out the Ouija Board.

GM: Thanks for stopping by to hang out. Always a pleasure. Any parting words?

BF: There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel truly blessed. I have a wonderful family, the best friends a guy could hope for, and an outlet to express myself creatively. We live in an age undreamed of. Our only limits are those we set upon ourselves.

In closing, I want to thank you for being such a huge supporter of my work. I have become a huge fan of yours and I wish you continued success. You’re a breath of fresh air, my friend. It has been an honor and a privilege to know you and I look forward to us working together again in the near future.

GM: Thank you so much, Bob. That means a lot :)

That does it for another interview. Next up in the queue, we'll have another author familiar to occult detective fans--Joshua M. Reynolds, who will stop by for an insightful talk. In the meantime, drop some dollars and pick up one of Bob's books, will ya? We writers got families to feed!

Monday, January 14, 2013

"Lengthening Shadows"--Commentary

In case you missed it, last week I released a brand new tale set within The Coming Evil Trilogy. Lengthening Shadows is an e-novella set between Enemies of the Cross and Dark Hour. It sets the stage for that final book in The Coming Evil Trilogy--due to hit the market in February 2013. So, here we are for a commentary on the new story. However, because Lengthening Shadows introduces many concepts that will be explored in full in Dark Hour, I'm saving the commentary on those aspects for Book Three's commentary.

There is one thing that Lengthening Shadows has that marks it as a unique entry in the saga--the inclusion of The Arbigast Group.

An early roster of the Arbigast Group appeared in my short story "Flesh and Blood" found within the pages of The Midnight Diner Vol. 3. The Arbigast Group is my answer to the grizzled monster hunters--a not-so secret passion of mine. I get a thrill at the idea of a group of guys getting together for the sole purpose of hunting evil. I've always imagined what kind of brotherhood might exist in such a group, facing nightly terrors that the world refused to believe in. I imagined it would be a life of quiet sacrifice and no glory--save for the moment you were slaying some unthinkable creature.

More specifically, the Arbigast Group, and its inclusion in The Coming Evil Trilogy, was informed by two sources: John Carpenter's Vampires (based on the amazing John Steakley novel Vampire$) and that Schwarzenegger flick End of Days.

The leader of the Group--Jon Arbigast--is a thinly veiled homage to James Woods in Vampires. He's crude, loud, a bit egotistical, and a drunk. But, at the heart of him, he's a man who loves his team and would gladly die for them. I'm pretty sure Vampires was a flop at the box office and pelted by critics as being misogynistic. I suppose some of the latter criticism is warranted, but there is such a tenderness that Woods adds to his tough guy monster hunter that really left a lasting impression on me. I wanted to create a character like that to explore. Being knee-deep in my Buffy obsession at the time, it was refreshing to see hunters struggling to win. I had become so used to a hunter who barely had to fight to defeat a hellborn foe--and always had a cutesy comeback, to boot--that it was quite shocking to be reminded of how "blue collar hunters" had the harder battle. These guys had to rely on their teammates and their quick thinking and every inch they gained in the war against vampires was won only with blood and tears. I wanted to write hunters like THAT, not like Buffy.

Years passed. 2003 rolled around and I was looking to break into writing for the Halloween film franchise--ironically enough, also a John Carpenter movie. I wrote a script that saw a group of mercenaries--either originally built by Dr. Loomis or inspired by the wild-eyed bogey chaster--hired to hunt down Michael Myers. I even pitched it as "John Carpenter's Vampires meets Halloween". This team was called The Loomis Group. I made a lot of contacts that year in the Halloween machine (which would eventually lead me to write "White Ghost") and knocked on Dimension Films' door in order to pitch it. But, things fell through, no one returned my calls, and the script languished. Same old story. I was pretty bummed, even though looking back, I can already tell that my super action movie take on a Michael Myers movie would have probably ticked off quite a few diehard fans. Perhaps, then, it's better it didn't get made. Nevertheless, I really liked the concept and I liked the characters. Seeing as how I'm not a guy who likes to let a good idea go to waste, I started thinking about turning this script into an original story and bringing this group to life in an original work.

However, I couldn't very well call them "The Loomis Group" anymore (Well, I guess I could, but I didn't want to). I was aware that John Carpenter took the name "Loomis" from Hitchcock's Psycho. I decided to return to that source and mine Psycho for another name. Ironically I turned to the closest thing to a "monster hunter" you could get in the movie--that of private investigator Milton Arbogast, coolly played by Martin Balsam. I spelled the name phonetically, though, making for a one-letter difference. After giving the characters a name-change, I had a handful of gunslinging spook killers, but no one to pit them against.

I said my other inspiration for the Arbigast Group came from End of the Days. Now, I've only seen that movie once, and that was in the theater on opening weekend way back in 1999, but I remember that I did not like it at all. Back then, I was just starting to formulate the early versions of The Coming Evil in my mind, and it struck me that a big muscle guy with lots of guns and a mean snarl wouldn't do a lick of good against the Strange Man. The entire point of the Strange Man was that he had to be fought with faith, so, early on, I had the question of what would happen if the traditional Hollywood tough guy went toe-to-toe with my monster. So, after 2003, it finally clicked that I could bring in my Arbigast Group into The Coming Evil Trilogy.

The results are found in Lengthening Shadows.

That idea rotated in the back of my mind for a number of years, until I finally brought the Arbigast Group into the first manuscript of Dark Hour. But, honestly, I had so many things going on in that draft and was well over 200 thousand words (Enemies of the Cross was 120k for a point of reference) that I had to cut something. So, I took all the scraps from Dark Hour, re-fitted them, and produced Lengthening Shadows--a prequel tale.

Still, though, I struggled just a bit with whether to bring the Group into the world of The Coming Evil. Now understand that practically everything I write "fits together" into a single mythology. From Rift Jump to The Coming Evil to most (if not all) of my short stories. So, from the moment I first wrote the Group in "Flesh and Blood", I knew they were connected, but I hesitated on making that connection blatant. Why? Because the Group hunts various kinds of monsters, but I wasn't sure how open my Coming Evil readers would be to the idea that more supernatural creatures than the Strange Man existed in this world. The Coming Evil is rooted very firmly in a Christian worldview, and I was aware that most of my readers also adhered to such a view. How would they feel about me dropping in werewolves, vampires, and the like into their belief structure? Especially since I couldn't give the "Coming Evil explanation" for werewolves and vampires in this book, due to time constraints.

I essentially had to drop the bomb that traditional monsters were real without giving any explanation for them at this time. I wasn't sure how that would go, or if I was going to stretch the bounds of believability in the fictional universe I had created. In hopes of diffusing the tension a bit, I was careful when describing the things that Arbigast faces not by their traditional names, but by the somewhat vague description of "ghouls, ghosts, phantoms, things in the closet, things under the bed, flesh eaters, dead walkers, blood drinkers, savage man-beasts, unnatural predators, everything people feared as children and grew up to laugh at, before they discovered they were real".

I thought this would suffice to get across the idea of the things Arbigast faced without having to get TOO specific. Ideally I'd like to continue writing Arbigast stories sometime in the future, and then I can get more into the specifics of my versions of the classic monster mythologies. We shall see.

There is, at the moment, one other short story with ties to the Arbigast Group slated for publication and that's "Divide and Conquer" coming soon in the Monsters! anthology. That story also connects the Group to my other monster-chaser character Vinnie Caponi: Urban Mythologist who made his debut in last Halloween's A Cat of Nine Tales occult detective anthology. Could there be a full-length Arbigast Group novel in the future? Honestly, I'd love that, but at the moment, my plate is full enough for two Greg Mitchells. I need to clear that away before I'd be able to dive into such a project. But the Group definitely has more stories in them, and it would be great to finally cut loose and just write about some denim-clad gunslingers traveling the American backroads, blasting away every kind of monster I can think of. Sigh... Only time will tell.

Thanks for sticking around for these end notes to Lengthening Shadows. I hope everybody checks out the e-novella. It's available for $2.99 at Kindle and Smashwords. And most importantly, be here in February when we release Dark Hour!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Coming Evil: Lengthening Shadows--Now Available!


Look what came out today, just in time for Elvis' birthday?

I'm happy to announce that Lengthening Shadows--the brand new e-novella nestled within The Coming Evil Trilogy--is now available in all ebook formats! Hit up Kindle or Smashwords to download a copy for your platform of choice for $2.99.

Lengthening Shadows is an original tale that serves as an "inbetweenquel", bridging the gap between The Coming Evil, Book Two: Enemies of the Cross and the trilogy's final installment Dark Hour, headed your way in February. Shadows sets up some of the new characters you'll meet in Dark Hour, as well as laying the groundwork for that final tale. Think of it as an extended prologue, to get you ready for the trilogy's mind-shattering conclusion! Mind-shattering, I tells ya!

Buy your copy today, and stay tuned to this blog as I'll write up a couple posts about Lengthening Shadows, leading to the release of Dark Hour. You won't want to miss it.

The Resistance Has Begun.

Rebellion is in the air as the demonic visitor known as “The Strange Man” begins his takeover of Greensboro. Promising prosperity and hiding his true identity, the creature adopts the name “John Graves” and makes himself at home in his position as the town’s new mayor.

It is a time of sedition as former pastor Jeff Weldon and a small band of faithful warriors plot to overthrow the hellish regime. By day, they carry on in their quiet lives, but at night they venture into haunted Greensboro on dangerous missions. A war is brewing in the town’s shadows as even the remnants of the Committee—the original conspirators who helped pave the way for the Strange Man’s arrival—now plot to betray him, hiring a group of hardened mercenaries to kill the monster once and for all.

In the middle of the conflict is Annie Myers, still reeling from the grim fate that befell her older sister Rosalyn. Annie’s blossoming faith is put to the test as she encounters a new and fearsome monster on the outskirts of Greensboro who is taking control of the skies.

As the Dark Hour draws nigh and the shadows lengthen, it becomes all the harder to determine who is friend and who is foe, and if anyone will survive the battle to come.

"Lengthening Shadows", an original e-novella, serves as the bridge between "Enemies of the Cross" and "Dark Hour", Books Two and Three of "The Coming Evil Trilogy".

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 is upon us. 2012 was a very busy year for me, writing-wise, and 2013 is already shaping up to be just as hectic. My New Year's Resolution for 2013 is to whittle down my projects so that, by 2014, I might just work on ONE novel at a time. ...Or maybe two. But hopefully no more of this seven novels at once nonsense. I need a break. I've got a certain story that I want to tell (no, I won't tell you what it is yet :p) and I want to be able to give it my full attention. Beyond that, I'd like to just rest and enjoy life for a little while.

Having said that, here's a quick rundown of what you can expect from me in 2013!

--Coming up in the next couple weeks will be the release of my e-novella, nestled in between Enemies of the Cross and the final book in the trilogy (see below). The e-novella is called Lengthening Shadows and introduces a new element to The Coming Evil mythology--that of the hardened monster hunter. The Arbigast Group--my gang of gunslinging monster killers from my short story "Flesh and Blood" in The Midnight Diner--will be moseying on in to Greensboro to see what they might do about this Strange Man spook. I've been dying to bring these guys into the story, proper, so it'll be fun to see what kind of trouble they might get themselves into. But more on them and that closer to the e-book's release.

--In late February/March, the trilogy will be complete as The Coming Evil, Book Three: Dark Hour will be released by Splashdown Darkwater. Everything has been building to the final moments in this book and I am on pins and needles to share it with you all. I shed many a tear writing this final story and count it as one of the most personal and heartfelt things I've ever written. It is going to be epic.

--In December of ye olde 2012, I turned in my first draft for my Unofficial Timeline to Back to the Future for Hasslein Books. In the months ahead, we'll be editing through that and hopefully have that released to you sometime this summer, depending on how fast we can put this thing together. If you've seen the Back to the Future Lexicon that's already available (and if you haven't, you need to buy it right now), you'll know that this is a massive endeavor, but, I think, worth every penny.

--I'm working on the sequel to last summer's release Rift Jump. The book is tentatively titled Sara's Song and wraps up the story begun in Rift Jump quite nicely, I think. It's going to be a very dramatic send-off of this story that's meant a lot to me growing up. The characters of Michael and Sara have been with me since I was a young teenager, and this is, in many ways, my good-bye to them. There could be more Rift Jump books in the future, but if not, Sara's Song will definitely bring about a tearjerking conclusion that will, hopefully, leave you as satisfied as I feel writing it. There are quite a few surprises in store for you in this book, so go buy Rift Jump now and get all caught up!

--In addition to that, I've finished a new occult/crime novel and am in the process of shopping that around to different publishers. If you've read my story "Metamorphosis" in Rookhaven's Cat of Nine Tales anthology last Halloween, then you've already met one of the main characters, Vinnie Caponi: Urban Mythologist. More on this project as it develops.

--I still have two short stories that will be released in the coming months. One about a bigfoot!

--Somewhere in all of that, I'm also slated to write the next installment in author Frank Creed's technothriller Underground series! It's a tremendous responsibility to write in another's universe and I take it very seriously. I can't say much about the book, at this point, except to say that it will feature Big Hoss Dupree, the character I created for Frank's Underground anthology released last year. I really have a soft spot for the grumpy Ex-Communicator and look forward to telling another tale. If you've yet to get started on Frank's series, you've got three books to catch up on! Start with Book One: Flashpoint and get to reading! It's a wild ride through a futuristic cyberpunk world, perfect for fans of The Matrix and the Shadowrun RPG.

So that's what I'm working on right now. Also, once Dark Hour is released, you can look forward to my usual coverage, including interviews, maybe a blog tour, as well as commentaries, and a soundtrack for your listening pleasure as you read the concluding chapter of The Coming Evil Trilogy. I hope to see you all every step of the way.

Happy New Year. May you make the most of it, tear down the walls, and seize your dreams--but also take time to enjoy the ones you keep close.

I'm exhausted just listing all these projects, so I'm giving myself the night off to order in a pizza and watch Quatermass and the Pit!