Happy new year to you all!
2019 was a fantastic year for me. I had three new publications come out. Here’s a quick run-down of them in case you missed them.
Children of Cain – A Vampire Omnibus was a collection of the vampire stories that I had previously published across my first three short story anthologies. It collected together for the first time in one place all the stories of the Children of Cain who exist and interact with Sam Spallucci’s universe. There were the three tales set in the modern day concerning newly created vampire Dave Nichols and his mother the regent Nightingale. Alongside these there were three in the Wild West centred around the reluctant heir to the empire, the gunslinger Claw and the ill-fated relationship that he develops with a young orphan boy. Then there were two contrasting stories centred around my favourite pair of construct hunters: Tigress and Scorpion. One saw them out on the tiles and hunting down their unsuspecting prey whereas the other showed us a more vulnerable side to their relationship.
Songbird was another Children of Cain based book. This novella centred around the vampire Nightingale. It tracked her last few weeks as a human, suffering at the hands of a sadistic employer, through to her rebirth and rise to regent of the shadowy figures that await the Divergence and the rise of Kanor.
Finally, Needs Must received an outing as an eBook. Originally part of the anthology All Things Dark And Dangerous, this very popular short story tells the tale of Odd Bod, a human-eating creature down the bottom of a well who has to venture up into the world above when his food source dries up, only to encounter something far more deadly than himself – a little red-headed girl.
So what of 2020? Well the big news is that the next Sam Spallucci book Troubled Souls is now in the editing stage and, all being well, should be published late spring. Like Casebook and Shadows of Lancaster, this new outing for Lancaster’s investigator of the paranormal will take part over five interconnected cases as Sam tries to come to terms with the fallout from Dark Justice.
The Case of the Cherokee Checkout sees Sam reluctantly drawn into the spectral happenings at a new supermarket which has apparently been built on a Native American burial ground. Quite an achievement for Lancashire! During the investigation, he encounters Craig Shaw, a local author who has written a book about the Bare Lane Butcher, a serial killer in Morecambe from the 1800s. Not only this, but photographic evidence puts Sam right at the heart of the Victorian killing spree.
The Case of the Distressed Demoniac has Sam called in to try and cure a teenage girl from what appears to be a demonic possession. However, things aren’t quite what they seem and, what’s more, a certain shadowy figure who haunts Sam’s dreams begins to take a far from healthy interest in the occult goings on.
The Case of the Time Travelling Tea Room sees Sam and Spliff transported back to a Victorian Morecambe which is in the grip of the murderous hand of the Bare Lane Butcher. As they try to solve the case and find a way home, they team up with detectorator duo, Mulberry and Touchstone who have leapt from the pages of Peter Cakebread’s novel The Morecambe Medium.
The Case of the Dabbling Dominion involves more time travel as the dominion Mister Tibbles whips Sam and Alec back and forth through points in history (and out of history...) as the diminutive angel tries to force the hand of Sam’s mysterious lodger and get him to accept his destiny. Be prepared to find out what really caused the destruction of the Indus Valley civilisation!
The Case of the Bare Lane Butcher is the final of the five connected tales and sees Sam rooted firmly in the present as the Victorian serial killer seems to raise his ugly head in modern day Morecambe. As Sam hunts down the murderer before they can kill someone close to him, he struggles with continued appearances from Kanor, before things finally come to a head.
So, have a great 2020. Continue to watch this space for more details as and when they are announced and remember: The Divergence Is Coming!