Reader Mailbag #4

@Psyker_Scum asks:

A few for now:

When working for an established IP, what is the process for making a pitch?

Depends on the IP. Most publishers have their own process for pitching. It might take the form of an elevator pitch via email, and then a full write-up later. It might be more involved, requiring meetings, either in person or via Skype.

Once, I pitched a story to an editor over a beer or twelve and had a contract the next morning when we sobered up.

Favourite joke or reference you’ve hidden in a story?

See, I have a bunch, but I hate spoiling them. Maybe the Frankenstein reference in Fulgrim: The Palatine Phoenix, but only because I’m surprised it made it past the editors.

Are there/we going to see some Royal Occultist stories featuring St Cyprian’s predecessors? Or perhaps Gallowglass when she’s inherited the role?

Yes to both! There are in fact a few stories about St. Cyprian’s predecessors available. There’s a story about the first Royal Occultist, John Dee:

  • “A Tiger’s Heart, A Player’s Hide”Shakespeare Vs Cthulhu, Snow Books, 2016; The first Royal Occultist, Dr. John Dee, and his assistant, William Sly, investigate a mysterious plague afflicting the playhouses of London.

There are also a few stories about Thomas Carnacki and a younger St. Cyprian:

  • “Monmouth’s Giants”Carnacki: The New Adventures, Ulthar Press, 2013; Thomas Carnacki makes the acquaintance of one Charles St. Cyprian as they investigate ghostly giants in Guildhall. 
  • Hochmuller’s Hound”Blood Trails, Emby Press, 2014; Thomas Carnacki and his assistant, Charles St. Cyprian battle the monstrous Hound of Mons.
  • “The Charnel Hounds”, Patreon Backer Story #5, 2017; Thomas Carnacki and his assistant, Charles St. Cyprian confront an infestation of ghouls in the trenches.
  • “Dead Men’s Bones”Kaiju Rising, Ragnarok Publications, 2014; Thomas Carnacki and his assistant, Charles St. Cyprian join forces with an American ghost-breaker to battle a giant made from the corpses of fallen soldiers.

There’s a story about Carnacki’s predecessor, Edwin Drood, coming soon:

  • “The Disagreeable Bridegroom”Their Coats All Red, 18thWall Productions, TBA; Edwin Drood and his apprentice, Thomas Carnacki, investigate a peculiar haunting, involving the East India Club and a debt generations in the making.

And there’s a Gallowglass story, set in the 1950’s, forthcoming in the next year or so:

  • “Unquiet in the Earth”, Sockhops & Seances, 18thWall Productions, TBA; Ebe Gallowglass and her assistants investigate ghostly giants and government conspiracies in a Cornish village.

I’ve also got an Aylmer Beamish/Edwin Drood story, tentatively titled “The Flesh Engines”, that I’ve been working on off and on for a while. I’m hoping to get it finished this year, schedule permitting.

End the debate: What is the best cryptid?

The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp, obviously.

Nobody works in a vacuum, so was there anything in particular that influenced your writing in 2018?

Honestly? The imminent birth of my first child. That’s the sort of event that develops its own gravity – all things begin to bend towards it. And now that she’s been born, all things still bend towards her. She has rapidly become the centre of my universe and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.