Back at the tail end of 2009, I came up with a character called Charles St. Cyprian. St. Cyprian was Rudolph Valentino by way of Bertie Wooster, with a bit of John Thunstone thrown in for flavor. He was also an occult detective, something I might have mentioned before. Specifically, he was the Royal Occultist.
The Royal Occultist is the man or woman who stands between the United Kingdom and dangers of an occult, otherworldly, infernal or divine nature. Whether it’s werewolves in Wolverhampton or satyrs in Somerset, the Royal Occultist will be there to confront, cajole or conquer the menace in question. There have been many Royal Occultists, and there will be many more, thanks to the strong British sense of tradition, bloody-minded necessity and the ridiculously short life expectancy for those who assume the post.
I suppose the stories could be called ‘urban fantasy’, or even ‘historical fantasy’, what with them taking place in the London of PG Wodehouse and Evelyn Waugh. That’d be the 1920s to you or me. The ‘Inter-War Period’ as historians call it.
While the character was created for and then utterly excised from a book, he and his assistant, Ebe Gallowglass, found new life in a series proposal for a small press publisher. Four stories a year, starring the intrepid duo, were to have appeared in one of several flagship magazines. Unfortunately, only one story appeared before the magazines folded. Luckily, by that time, I’d managed to sell a number of the stories in quick succession. So quickly, in fact, that it still boggles my mind a bit. Since the first (“Krampusnacht”) appeared at the tail-end of 2010, I’ve managed to sell twelve stories one after the other, with more hopefully on the way. I may have mentioned one of these before.
What’s more, folks were talking about the character. I get a few e-mails a week from people looking for other stories starring St. Cyprian and Gallowglass. So, never being one to ignore even a modicum of success without attempting to milk it for all it’s worth, I created a hub site for all things Royal Occultist. The first post went up today. Please feel free to check it out and check it out often, as I’ll be updating it with excerpts from the stories, free stuff and bits of esoterica about the world of the Royal Occultist.