East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Occult investigators

I am sure I wrote in the past about how much I would have liked to write a series about a paranormal detective or an occult investigator. The sub-genre has a long and well-established tradition, and there’s a few excellent books out there, and quite a few series worth checking out.

Of all the collections out there, one of my favorite is probably Mark Valentine’s The Black Veil & Other Tales of Supernatural Sleuths, that Wordsworth Classics published in their line Tales of Mystery and the Supernatural. The stories in the volume are old – most of them are Victorian or Edwardian – and from lesser-known authors, but that’s part of the fun. A quick check on Amazon reveals that the book is no longer in print, and a copy can be had for 268,99 euro, plus postage. And to think my copy is here on a chair, under a tin of cookies…

But as luck would have it, in the end I did write not one, not two, but three (hopefully) series about supernatural detection.

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Kickstarting Holmes and his Occult Colleagues

I am very pleased to announce that the kickstarter for Belanger’s Books new anthology, Sherlock Holmes & The Occult Detectives is now live, and seems to be going quite nicely. The books are coming, and by backing the kick, you can get them at a special reduced price, with some added extra perks thrown in

The massive two-volumes anthology will collect 21 new stories featuring the Great Detective and a small army of his unusual, eccentric and occult colleagues, from Carnacky to Hesselius to Van Helsing, and many more – including my very own Miss Valerie Trelawney, in The Adventure of the Manchester Mummies.

Because we all know that Holmes does not care for the supernatural, but there are cases when, if you eliminate the impossible, you still need the help of a specialist in things that go bump in the night.

The Kickstarter offers many perks and extras for those that will feel like putting a higher figure on the plate, in the form of a number of other collection of Holmesian apocrypha.

Check out the page of the Kickstarter for details.


Dreaming up a new series (because rust never sleeps)

I was talking with some friends, a few days ago, of how much The Avengers (the British TV series, not the guys in spandex from Marvel) had an impact on my life. It was the vision of the classic Steed & Peel seasons back when I was around 8 that made me a committed Anglophile for life – and so everything, from my desire to learn English to my spending one year in London as a student, stems from there.

My interest for spy stories and a certain brand of strange, surreal adventure certainly owes a lot to The Avengers (and to The Prisoner).
I believe my attitude towards women was shaped (also) by an early crush on Mrs Peel, and if I keep writing stories about couples bickering, chattering and working together as partners in crime, it is certainly because of The Avengers.

Here I should note that when I was a kid we did get an awful lot of British TV series, and those shaped my tastes and left a huge impression: The Avengers, The Prisoner, The Persuaders, UFO, Space 1999, Children of the Stones…
It was good being kids back then, and a lot of the imagination sparked by those shows filtered somehow in what I write.

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A way point, and new projects

aquariusThe first half of the first draft of my new novel is in the hands of my editor, while I hammer out the kinks in the second half.
The going is good.
I like the story, I like the characters, and I’m writing about good ideas in a way that I like.
Nice and smooth.

As it usually happens when I’m very busy doing a lot of things, nice ideas start popping up almost everywhere, and it feels really bad to put them on the backburner, or to bury them in my tiger-striped notebook, waiting for a moment to work on them.

So, while my science fiction novel is rounding the half-way buoy and my steampunk game is getting in shape, I’m setting aside two other ideas, not knowing when I’ll be able to work on them. Continue reading