In this month’s blog, I’ll be chatting about my forthcoming book, Sam Spallucci: Troubled Souls which, all being well, should hit the shelves in August this summer. The fifth book in the Sam Spallucci series, I’ve been asked loads of questions regarding it, so I thought this would be a good time to deliver some answers for those who are hungry for their next dose of Lancaster’s beleaguered investigator of the paranormal.
When is Troubled Souls set?
This next set of adventures is going to be set straight after Dark Justice and will deal with the fallout in Sam’s life, both professional and personal, that he suffered at the end of the last book. It will take place over about three weeks, bridging the festive (or not so festive) season and will climax in the new year.
Is this book a single storyline or a set of separate cases?
The easiest answer to that is probably, “both.” There are five cases in total: The Cherokee Checkout; The Distressed Demoniac; The Time Travelling Tearoom; The Dabbling Dominion and The Bare Lane Butcher. However, there are two strong over-riding arcs: one regarding Sam’s relationships with the supernatural beings that continually interfere with his life and the other being the Bare Lane Butcher, a serial killer who Sam tackles first in Victorian and then in modern-day Morecambe.
Is it true that you will be using characters from another author’s book?
It is indeed! I am delighted that Peter Cakebread allowed me to use Mulberry and Touchstone his detectoratorsfrom the fabulous Morecambe Medium. I read the book a few years back and fell in love with his style and, as I was reading it, wished that I could use the loveable detectives in one of my stories. I originally bounced the idea off Pete a couple of years ago and he gave me the go ahead. He was the first person to read the finished story that they appear in (Time Travelling Tearoom) and was delighted with the finished product.
Is there a real-life character appearing in Troubled Souls?
Sort of. There is going to be an author called Craig Shaw making an appearance as a researcher in the Bare Lane Butcher. He is actually based upon a good friend of mine, author Craig Hallam (click here for his blog). Craig loves all things Victoriana and Steampunkery, so I couldn’t resist using a character based upon him and he jumped at the chance to appear.
Will there be reappearances from characters in Sam’s universe?
Most definitely! I think it is safe to say that it is crammed full of readers’ favourites. As the cover art shows, Sophia plays a very central role as do her little travelling companions. Mister Tibbles, the familiar of Boom Box Betty will reappear in Tearoom and Dominion, causing chaos as he interferes with Sam’s life. Alec, Grace and Spliff will obviously be around as will a new love interest for one of them. I’m delighted to have DCI Jitendra Patel back in The Bare Lane Butcher where he enlists Sam’s help in hunting down the modern-day serial killer. Perhaps most excitingly though, two of Sam’s phantasmagorical nemeses will finally appear in the flesh: fallen seraph Lucifer and bringer of the divergence Kanor. I don’t want to say too much (spoilers and all), but the scene where Sam finally gets to meet Lucifer has to be possibly my favourite scene in the whole series so far.
Are there any new characters?
Off the top of my head, there are two new faces that we can expect to see again. The first is a ghost who is haunting a local supermarket whilst dressed as a Cherokee chieftain. He turned out so well, that I shall most likely use him again in a few books’ time. The second is a police officer by the name of Becks Mullen. WPC Mullen is driven and ambitious and will first appear in Bare Lane Butcher. Passionate about what she does, she will be butting heads with her ordered boss and will definitely be a character to watch when she reappears in Bloodline.
Is there going to be a Kickstarter for Troubled Souls?
I was very nervous about holding a Kickstarter for Songbird, but it was a resounding success, raising funds for the publication process and introducing new readers to my books. So, most definitely yes, there will indeed be a Kickstarter.
As well as the varying levels of backing which will give you access to artwork and books, there will also be two levels which will let you actually appear in the book! At one level you will have the chance to be named as a victim of the Bare Lane Butcher and on the highest level, you will actually have your name used for a speaking character in the book (before being brutally murdered of course).
All details will appear on my Kickstarter campaign which should launch in June. Here’s the link to my Kickstarter profile. Make sure to follow it to get more details as they are launched. I will also be posting updates on my Facebook page and in my Facebook Group, so make sure to subscribe to those and keep your eyes peeled!
After Troubled Souls, what will be next?
I have already started on the next two novels, Bloodline and Fury of the Fallen.
The first of these sees the Bloodline of Abel descend upon Lancaster. It will tie together all the little Easter eggs that I have been laying down since Shadows of Lancaster (I hope you’ve been watching carefully…) and will follow on from the three prologues from the anthologies Mourning Has Broken and Hide Not Thou Thy Face (this book is due out later on this year). Again, not wanting to give spoilers, but tears will be shed as there will be death and heartache…
Fury of the Fallen will follow on directly from Bloodline and will have the fallen angels Asherah and Asmodeus interject themselves into Sam’s life. Sparks will definitely fly.
Well, I think that is all for now. I had better get back to causing chaos in Sam’s life.
Take care, stay safe and remember to look for what is lurking in the shadows…