Scorching hot action

The latest, greatest and sort-of-tied-to-a-date-est collection of new pulp adventures is here! In the proud tradition of its Christmas and Halloween Specials, PulpWork Press proudly presents the 2018 Summer Special!

Granted, summer isn’t so much a date like December 25 or October 31 as it is a season, but my story “Strike Down the Sun” is focused on the summer solstice itself, which should come as no surprise since it is yet another rip-roaring case file from druid-reared private eye Kellan Oakes.

Break out the SPF 50, grab an ice cold beverage, and enjoy! The Summer Special is available now at Amazon – and if you click over there between now and August 19, you can download the Kindle version FOR FREE!

Updated to add: The giveaway period has ended, but the collection is available for a mere $3.95 on Kindle, and if you happen to be a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, it’s still free for you!


Leafing through the past

The creeping, choking vines have unfurled their black tendrils, pushing open the gates of DEATH’S GARDEN!

This anthology from LVP Publications contains both short stories and poems, including my short story “Green Growing Things” which you may remember had its genesis in an attempt to write for a specific anthology call, as I detailed in this post. I’m not sure what I can say about the tale that I didn’t divulge earlier, but just in case you’re avoiding that post for some reason, here’s the highlights: it is yet another entry in the continuing adventures of everyone’s favorite druid private eye Kellan Oakes, it was written as a pulpy horror story in which Kellan faces off against an adversary with extreme botanophobia, it sheds a little more light on Kellan’s unusual childhood, and it even delves into Kellan’s love life, such as it is. Mystery! Monsters! Romance! This one has it all!

You can pick up a copy for your library from Amazon right now. Don’t be left behind on the tour through Death’s Garden!

Card-carrying membership

If you’ve ever perused the mini-wiki on this site devoted to Kellan Oakes, you’ve run across the name-dropping assertion that my fictional creation is part of a “proud literary tradition of occult detectives”. In theory, this could be up for debate, as matters of official taxonomy often are. But as of today, I have a splendid piece of evidence supporting my side of the argument, to wit that a Kellan Oakes story has appeared between the covers of OCCULT DETECTIVE QUARTERLY. Behold my bona fides:

“One of the most important new fantasy magazines of the decade.” – Black Gate Online

The fourth issue of ODQ is now available and contains, among other tales, “Abduction in Ash” written by yours truly and starring Kellan Oakes, who takes on a missing person case and finds himself once again at the wrong end of some nasty, gnarly forest folk. To pull back the curtain a bit, this is a story I wrote quite some time ago, when the Kellan Oakes series started taking on a life of its own and I was doing research into creatures of legend to find likely pegs I might hang stories on. I wound up digging into some fairly obscure corners, and I can only hope that I ended up doing justice to the original lore.

Feel free to judge for yourself – you can obtain your own copy of Occult Detective Quarterly #4 right here!

Convergent visions

I’m at the point where it’s still extremely gratifying and exciting to see a publisher go to the trouble of obtaining the services of an artist to illustrate one of my stories, particularly when said illustration turns out to be GORGEOUS:

This artwork is the handiwork of Russell Smeaton, who pretty much rules. It is intended to accompany my forthcoming Kellan Oakes tale, “Abduction in Ash”, appearing in the fourth issue of Occult Detective Quarterly any day now! The interiors of ODQ are black and white, so this will become a grey-toned rendering in the magazine, but I’m delighted to present it in glorious technicolor here.

Considering that Russell and I had never met before, and he had only the text of the story itself to work with, I think the manner in which he was able to capture something frighteningly close to my own mental constructs is phenomenal. I hope the story itself will live up to what’s promised here – watch this space for an update on the release soon!

Investigators of the transmundane

Somewhere around the middle of 2016, an announcement was made of the intention to launch a brand new periodical of short genre fiction: OCCULT DETECTIVE QUARTERLY. This appealed to me on a number of levels, mainly as a fan who enjoys reading stories about square-jawed heroes facing off against the supernatural, and as a writer always happy to see a new potential market for my own work. I’d feel a certain amount of both consumer enthusiasm and professional gratitude for any new venture whether its focus were pure robots-and-aliens sci-fi or throwback sword-and-sorcery fantasy, but Occult Detective Quarterly was particularly welcome because, of course, my recurring character Kellan Oakes is a private eye who regularly tangles with figures from druid lore and other magical, mystical spheres; he is, by very definition, an Occult Detective.

ODQ, as it has since become affectionately known, released its first three issues over the course of 2017 (the cover to #3 pictured above), with more to come in 2018. And I’m exceedingly pleased to say that there will be a brand new Kellan Oakes story appearing in one of those 2018 issues, schedule TBD and further announcements to come when final decisions are rendered. But in the meantime, much as I plugged Weirdbook for its own sake before it was possible to obtain an issue with my work therein, I am eager to signal-boost for ODQ, thusly:

THE MAGAZINE: Here is a link to Doomed Meddler Central, where you can find more information about the publication’s mission statement and also make use of links to the various issues available on Amazon.

THE ANTHOLOGY: ODQ also has a Kickstarter campaign running right now for a 300 page anthology, Occult Detective Quarterly Presents, featuring stories similar in subject matter to the magazine’s regular contents but more expansive in length, if that’s your cup of tea. The campaign is nearly over but to my way of thinking this is the ideal time to throw in: the project is fully funded, so you would basically be pre-ordering the book (and potentially subscribing to the magazine for 2018 as well, which again, will guarantee you a new story of mine in due time), and your backing would help achieve the stretch goal of fully illustrating the anthology.

Re-animated matter


They said it couldn’t be done, but they’ve done it again! Following up on last year’s premiere excursion into unholy pulp terror, the PulpWork Press 2017 Halloween Special is now available!

As usual, you can locate this year’s offering at Amazon. If you can restrain yourself, the Kindle edition will be available for FREE download for everyone between October 27th and October 31st. I am dead certain, however, that you will want to get your very own hard copy at your earliest opportunity – which is right now!

Once again I’ve stirred into the cauldron a brand new adventure of Kellan Oakes, this time in a throwback adventure from his pre-P.I. days. I’m stitched together in this exquisite corpse with Tom Deja, Josh Reynolds, and Joel Jenkins! Whether you’re in the mood for tricks or treats, the PulpWork Halloween Special is coming for you!

Creeping up

The most glorious time of the year is here, and that means we are drawing ever nearer to Halloween, and another PulpWork Press Halloween Special! The finishing touches are being put on the 2017 edition of the spooktacular as we speak, so it’s not quite time to reveal the availability details or the full cover … but I can provide a sneak-peek:

And since I’m not fully into hype mode for the anthology yet, allow me to indulge in some Real Talk: as you no doubt are aware, my druid private eye Kellan Oakes made his literary debut in the pages of a PulpWork Press Christmas Special. This will mark his fourth appearance in a holiday special from PulpWork, in addition to stories in CheapJack Pulp and other forthcoming projects to be announced soon. I have been posting recently about one of those on-deck projects recently, and my efforts to craft a Kellan Oakes tale which came in under a specified word limit and followed a classic pulp formula (see this entry and this one for details), all of which I think were worthwhile efforts. But I confess that one of the things I really enjoy about writing for the PulpWork holiday specials is that there are very few constraints in terms of either word count or style or subject matter beyond the obvious themes of pulp and whichever season is being celebrated. As a result, my PulpWork stories about Kellan tend to be a bit looser and shaggier, and this year’s is no exception. Sometimes it’s rewarding to follow the rules, and sometimes it’s gratifying to let it all hang out. Words to live by, I reckon.