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.

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.

Reader Mailbag #2

@FoxOfWilliamSt asks:

do you have a favourite chaos god?

Not really. From a writer’s standpoint, they all have interesting aspects worth exploring.

have you read Scourge of Fate by robbie?

Not yet! But I’m hoping to do so soon, once I work through my to-be-read stack.

hypothetically speaking who would win in a fight Balthas Arum or Knossus Heavensen

As with every ‘who’d win’ question throughout history, it depends on context. Why are they fighting? What’s at stake? Who struck first? Are they in their right minds? Where is the fight taking place? Most importantly, who does the writer need to win?

But since coming up with all of that requires me to write a short story for free, I’m afraid you’re out of luck. Sorry!

which is your favourite chaos space marine army

I don’t have one. Space Marines, Chaos or otherwise, aren’t really my bag. If I had to pick…Emperor’s Children, I guess? I’ve read enough about them to have some affection for their utterly broken way of existence.

Reader Mailbag #1

Amelia Gradt asks:

Do you accept fan art for your stories, and if so do you have a safe/secure means for fans of your work to send their art? I’ve seen some artists upload to twitter/tumblr but for non-twitter/tumblr users are there any other methods? I’d love to send you some Fabius art. Thanks!

I do accept fan art, but regrettably the only methods available at the moment are Twitter and Tumblr. I’ve considered setting up an email account for fan-mail, fan art and the like, but unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to it yet – and probably won’t for a good while yet.  You could try sending it to me via Facebook, if you like – I’d love to see it!

That goes for all fan art, really. I love seeing readers’ interpretations of my characters. Nothing makes my day more than to see that what I wrote inspired someone to create art of some sort. So if you have some – feel free to shoot me a link on Twitter at @JMReynolds and/or Tumblr at @occultdetectives.

#AskJosh

Last week, I mentioned that I’d be opening the floor for reader questions here. Well, today is the day. So…if you have questions for me, relating to my work, now is the time to ask them. You can do so either on Twitter, using the tag #AskJosh, or in the comments of this post.

As questions come in, they’ll go into the mailbag. I’ll then select one at random and answer it here once a day, once a week or once a month, depending on the volume, and my schedule. Fair warning, though – some might not get answered immediately.


Note: To those of you who’ve already posted questions in the comments of the previous posts, don’t worry. They’ve already gone in the bag, so no need to post them here. 

Twenty Questions

So, in the past there has been a plethora of ways in which a curious reader might ask me a question, including Ask.fm, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Tumblr, et cetera. There was even a page on this site. Unfortunately, having too many options is just as bad as too few. In the interests of being a bit more efficient with my time, I’ve decided to consolidate my efforts. To that end, I’ve decided to start up a new regular feature here – the Reader Mailbag. Continue reading “Twenty Questions”