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.

Cryptids Clashed

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CRYPTID
/ˈkrɪptɪd/
noun
  1. an animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the yeti.

Last year, I had the pleasure of helping James Bojaciuk of 18thWall Productions to edit a series of novellas by some of the finest speculative authors of my acquaintance. ‘Cryptid Clash’ started as a joke on Facebook, and swiftly snowballed into an exciting project – one I’m proud to have been involved in.  Continue reading “Cryptids Clashed”

Daughter of Pnath

A month back, I conducted an informal poll on social media, looking to see what sort of short story patrons of my Patreon were interested in. Sword and sorcery won handily, so, I decided to use the opportunity to revisit one of my favourite characters – Amina Algol.

Amina is a Lovecraftian Mowgli of sorts, albeit one raised by ghouls, rather than wolves. Alongside her monstrous siblings, Arif and Bera, she wanders the strange kingdoms of Earth’s Dreamlands, upholding the laws of the charnel-god, Mordiggian. Amina and co. have appeared in several of my stories, and there’s at least one more forthcoming this year. But for the moment, patrons can enjoy their newest adventure, “The Orphan of Bones”, in which Amina and her kin pursue a cagey pair of tomb robbers across the deserts of Khem, for the low price of a dollar.

If you do enjoy it, be sure to check out the other stories on my Patreon page – including a number which are free to read – and perhaps leave a comment, hit the ‘Like’ button, or even consider becoming a patron.

Nu-World Knockout

18thWall Productions’ Cryptid Clash! continues, and this time out, Gav Thorpe brings the violence with “Conquest of the Nu-World: Ban-Manush Vs. Buru”.  As a newly terraformed colony world goes silent, a team of mercenaries and middle-management set out to investigate. But something is waiting on them. Something hungry…

Edited by James Bojaciuk and myself, Cryptid Clash! pits cryptozoological creatures against each other – and anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the middle – in a battle to the death. William Meikle’s “The Mouth of the Ness: Loch Ness Monster Vs. Kraken” started the series off, and is still available via the 18thWall Productions site, as well as Amazon and its affiliates.

Grab a copy of “Conquest of the Nu-World” from the publisher, or from Amazon, today. And if you enjoy it (or “The Mouth of the Ness”), be sure to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.