East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Yet another Valerie

What’s with me and the name Valerie?
I do not know – but I know a lot of Valeires have turned out in my stories through the years. Indeed, the female lead in my very first “good” work, back in 1989, was called Valerie. And maybe it was the Quarterflash song of the same name, but I doubt it.

Anyway, Valerie Trelawney debuted in society this morning, as my Patrons in the Five Bucks Brigade received the third story in the Seven Lives project – a short called The Case of the Inkmaker’s Daughter. The character will have a more public debut later in 2020, when a second story, celled The Case of the Manchester Mummies, will be published in a big fat anthology together with the work of many writers that are better than me.

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A few nights with the Ace of Wands

tyrantking1A few nights ago, for the usual reason that I was suffering from one of my bouts of insomnia, I went browsing on Youtube, looking for something interesting.
In particular, I was looking for episodes of a very old British TV series called The Tyrant King, that I saw as a kid and which is part of those many shows that influenced my growth (or lack thereof), it being a mystery/espionage story featuring a T. Rex.
I was able to find very little on Youtube, but through a succession of links and cross-references and spurious serendipity, I discovered Ace of Wands, which is something I am sure some old friend mentioned twenty-odd years ago, but here I am now, and the series had been keeping me company these last few night. Continue reading


A story in search of its place

I might need a little help here, so suggestions are welcome.
Last April I wrote a story, in about a weekend. It was a one-shot horror story set in New York in the 1930s, but as I usually do when I write shorts, I designed it to work as the first in a series, should the characters meet the fancy of the readers.


I wanted to do something in the vein of the old pulps, but also more modern, closer to our modern sensibilities.
Straightforward but quirky.
So, it was a one-shot “with possibilities”, and it was intended as (possibly) the first outing of my very own occult detective/monster hunter, the extremely reluctant conjurer Steve Davies, a.k.a. The Mysterious Doctor Wu Yang1Continue reading