Reader Mailbag #5

On Twitter, @schafecast asks:

How is it going?

‘s going fairly well, actually. I’m surprisingly busy for this time of year, even accounting for a six month old daughter and an imminent change of scenery.  I’ve got a collection of short stories coming out in a few weeks, Doug Bradley (of Hellraiser fame) had some nice things to say about my contribution to The Wicked and the Damned in a recent interview, and the new projects I’m working on are both financially and creatively rewarding.

So, all in all, things are good.

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.

Meteor House Sale

This month, Meteor House is running a sale on my Wold Newton novellas, Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows and Phileas Fogg and the Heart of OsraBoth are authorised sequels to Philip Jose Farmer’s seminal steampunk novel, The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, following Fogg’s adventures in the aftermath of his famous eighty-day trip.

The sale runs until March 16th, but supplies are limited. If you haven’t had the opportunity to grab either of these, now might be your last chance!

Reader Mailbag #3

@BrownDog400 asks:

AOS Question: Among the GodBeasts, there are a number of who are the progenitors of some of the realms species. Is there a GodBeast progenitor for Horses? Or would there be one GodBeast for Horses, Pegasuses, Unicorns and other equine species?

Interesting question. There very well could be.

I can imagine a monstrous figure – a Sleipnir or Uchchaihshravas – sprung from the ocean of stars to gallop endlessly across the realms. A being that moves so swiftly, those who observe it see only a flickering shape, resembling the Uffington White Horse.

Where its hooves touch the ground, mountains are thrown up and valleys dug. It is not always so large, swelling or shrinking according to the path it travels. Maybe it changes shape, depending on the realm. In Shyish, it is a ghostly titan, heralded by thunderous hoof-beats; in Azyr, it is accompanied by hurricane winds and booming thunder; in Aqshy, it draws a hot wind in its wake, setting fire to the dry grasslands.

Regarding its status as progenitor, perhaps the first horses sprang from its blood and sweat, shed in some ancient battle or trial. Maybe the gods tried to tame it, and in doing so wounded it, causing the great beast to shed its blood as it raced across existence, and thus spread the various species of horse to every corner of the Mortal Realms.

I think that’d be pretty cool, myself.