Blog, Previews, The Devourer

Preview: “The Devourer”

Excerpt of Chapter XXI

Despite the darkness, Mercedes sensed the demon stagger. His granite resolve was cracking at last.

‘…to refuse my nature as I have done, is to deny justice. A crime in itself. Yet to obey justice is to confess myself to be an abomination. A criminal…’

The shadows, the faces; they shot past, faster and faster, as if caught in a maelstrom. Too near, the water of the ghostly Seine gurgled a promise of relief. Mercedes recognised its call, and knew to fear it. The demon’s dark currents had quelled her fire. Now she scrambled to clear the tumultuous thoughts that threatened to pull her down, into the abyss of his corrupted mind. She clawed at every shadow that was less black than the rest, but her fingers

Blog, Character Interviews

Cat Fox: Interview with A Kalbrandt Psychic

The Author Interviews. This week: Catherine ‘Cat’ Fox, the agent responsible for the Kalbrandt Institute archives file F/44197/FCT as featured in Book I: Hauntings.

Cat Fox Interview psychic

When I meet Cat Fox outside the café, her long black hair and ditto leather coat make her instantly recognisable. She arrived just before I did, she says, and quickly finishes her cigarette before we head inside. I ask her what she wants to drink.

“Just a quick coffee,” she says. “Black, one sugar. I’m off to the airport in half an hour. Catch my flight to Montreal. They called me in to investigate a haunted office building.” She doesn’t know much more than that. “The less I know, the more accurate my work,” she explains. “That’s why I make it a point not to be briefed beyond the absolute essentials.”

While we wait at a corner table for our order, I launch my first question.

You’re a psychic at the Kalbrandt Institute. How did you end up there?

Articles, Blog

Of Love Stories And Corrupted Fairy Tales

Guest Post by Cael Kalbrandt

love stories cael kalbrandt valentine's day

The Roots of Romance

Bursting the pink bubble of our modern concept of romance takes us back into time. To Europe in the 12th and 13th century AD, to be precise. This is the time in which the stories of King Arthur appeared: the heydays of noble knights, fair ladies, minstrels, and the celebration of platonic devotion to one’s One True Love. The time of courtly love at its purest.

Or so we like to believe. A closer study of aforementioned minstrels crashes that party but good.

Articles, Blog

Reading: Experience By Proxy

reading experience by proxy

From the instant a toddler recognizes its first letter, we bombard the poor child – and its parents – with the importance of reading. Yet for every child that takes to reading readily and early, there is one that can’t sit still during a bedtime story and rather plays with toys instead of staring at squiggly symbols in a row.

Once these kids grow an appetite to venture into the world of comics, they are told to put down that ‘trash’ and read ‘proper books’. To drive that point home, their school system will force them for years to read classic literature far beyond their interest and comprehension.

Which is a terrible shame. Not on those youngsters, but for them. Because if their repulsion of reading persists, they miss out on far more than a handful of books.

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Where Has The Horror Gone?

In the age of mass media, horror enthusiasts needn’t go to a bookstore or cinema to get their fix. And for once, it’s not the Internet that is to blame.

horror

A Dying Fire

Every day and every night, the syndicate news channels spew one horror story after another. There is enough drama to satisfy our every craving for fear and terror. And should the world fail to be on fire, the news writers add drama to whatever is happening with a few choice words: calling a collision a “car accident” doesn’t turn any heads, but “disaster” still gets a response.

It’s no secret that we are desensitising at an alarming rate. Hundreds get killed in a natural cataclysm, yet we shrug and check our Facebook status. News outlets desperately try to fan the flames of this dying fire by using ever more superlatives, but fact remains that the number of people who give f*** all about anything is dwindling faster than ever before.

You can only fan a flame so many times before it starves.

Horrific Methods

Unfortunately, the horror side of the entertainment industry feeds off that same dying fire. The audience isn’t scared – or even mildly uneasy – unless they care. Unless they empathise with at least one of the characters and their situation. The artists’ job is to make them care. Feed the fire, as it were.

But that has become an uphill battle in all media.