Angler In Darkness by M. Wayne Miller

I was gonna wait till the titles were in place and all, but rather than mar it with my name, I thought I’d give you all a sneak peak of M. Wayne Miller’s art for my forthcoming short fiction collection Angler In Darkness.

I love working with Wayne because while the development of my own art skills was arrested somewhere around my Freshman year of high school, I can float him a meager sketch of what I want and he delivers it so close to how I actually see it in my mind it’s uncanny. He may as well be mind melding with me. The late great Norm Rubenstein introduced me to Wayne when he got him to do the awesome wraparound cover for my Van Helsing novel Terovolas. I only sent him a text description, but he absolutely nailed what Norm and I both envisioned.  

Later, I was nervous sending him a sketch of what I envisioned for my story The Boonieman in World War Cthulhu as I didn’t want to offend him as an artist, but he took the bare bones I sent him and just…well, turned it into art. 

Anyway, without further ado….

unnamed

Awesome.

Check out Wayne’s work here.

http://www.mwaynemiller.com/

 

The Big Giveaway Contest

Merkabah Rider 4 coverSaludos amigos!

With the Christmas holiday approaching and me having completed the last of my convention appearances for the year, I thought it’d be fun to clear out a little book stock and give you all an end of the year contest.

Normally I just do the usual first five postings thing, but I decided to do something interesting this time out. Below is an excerpt from the final book in my Judeocentric/Lovecraftian weird western series, Merkabah Rider: Once Upon A Time In the Weird West. I like to include little easter eggs in my books, references to things that have inspired me, links to other worlds and characters in the grand fictional multiverse of the collective consciousness, and Merkabah Rider is full of them. Besides the historical characters who pop up from time to time, in the various books I’ve tied the world of the Rider to among other things, Solomon Kane, King Arthur, Quantum Leap, and Doctor Who.

The following passage contains seven references to various books and movies (a hint: three of the names mentioned are part of one reference). Send a list of what they are and where they come from to emerdelacATgmail.com. It’s an open internet test so it probably won’t be too hard. The person with the most correct answers gets the whole enchilada – a signed set of the complete Merkabah Rider series….so if it’s something you’ve been curious to try and haven’t yet, here’s your chance to get the whole series free of charge.

If multiple people get all seven, I’ll choose four winners at random. First place gets the set, second place gets a signed copy of my latest release, Coyote’s Trail. Third place gets a signed copy of Terovolas. Fourth gets a signed copy of Buff Tea. Take a look at the links on the right, click on the book covers to see what each title is about and read a sample from each, if you like.

In the excerpt below there is also an eighth, bonus reference not to a book or a movie. Name it with your picks and I’ll include something random.

And here’s another thing. Even if you don’t feel like looking all this up/don’t know it/don’t care….from now until 11:59PM Pacific December 19th, just drop me an email and you can have one e-copy of anything I’ve written (that I have e-copies of) abso-smurfly free. Limit one per response/email.

I’ll leave the contest open from now until midnight December 20th when I’ll pick and announce the winners and get ‘em in the mail for you by the 21st.

Here’s the excerpt….

In the Todos Mis Amigos cantina, the jeers and passions rose to a fevered pitch around the starkly lit fighting sand, as the black rooster Zorro rose fluttering and sunk its spur into the red shoulder of Gallo del Cielo. Blood flecked out on the sand and fortunes quivered and changed hands.

Among the shadowed patrons sweating tequila over fistfuls of hard earned money, swirling in the dreamy clouds of cigarro smoke, dozens of dramas unfolded that had no bearing upon the mortal battle of the roosters, and yet were reflected in their combat. Red Headed Slim Reezer pondered the betrayal of his partner Jesse McLaughlin. Young Oscar Diggs swore if the black won he would never set foot in Kansas again. A miner named Richard Wilkins III sipped mescal, guessing if the world were still here after tomorrow, maybe he would see what California was like. Lin McAdams waited for High Spade to return with the beer, and thought about the woman sleeping in his hotel room, wondered whether she could love a man that killed his own brother. Freddie Sykes propped a fresh corpse in the corner, pulling the dead man’s hat over his staring face and wiping his knife on his knee, trying to decide if this would affect the bank job he and Dog Kelly had planned for tomorrow, wondering for the twentieth time why he didn’t just find a señorita somewhere and retire. John Russell watched the barbaric exultations of the Indah stoically, inwardly aghast that he was one of them. A giggling woman passed a little white card back to the bespectacled gringo on whose knee she was perched and asked;

“What means ‘Electricisto y Aventurero?”
—–
Hasta pronto! Good luck, and Merry Christmas.

Terovolas Signing At Dark Delicacies September 28th At 2PM

On Saturday the 28th (my birthday), I’ll be signing copies of TEROVOLAS over at the famous Dark Delicacies bookstore in Burbank, along with JournalStone authors Eric Guignard, Rena Mason, Eric Red, Lisa Morton, and Benjamin Kane Ethridge.

Swing by if you’e in the neighborhood!

terovolascoverMore about the book here.

 

 

Willow Anne’s Water Damage Giveaway

This is my daughter Willow. She’s three years old.

P1030712 (Medium)

A couple of days ago I loaded a box of my books into the back of the old Star Destroyer, on the floor between the car seats of her and her brother, Augustus.

Later, when I went to unload the books I found Willie (I call her Willie, after Kate Capshaw’s character in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – don’t tell her mother), I found the top layer of books were wet. Willow had tipped an open water bottle over them.

“Sorry, daddy,” she said.

terovolascoverWell, so the end result is, I have three copies of my prize winning Van Helsing in Texas novel TEROVOLAS (read all about that right here and here) and two copies of MERKABAH RIDER: TALES OF A HIGH PLANES DRIFTER, the first book in my four book weird western series about a Hasidic gunslinger tracking the renegade teacher who betrayed his mystic Jewish order of astral travelers to the Lovecraftian Outer Gods (read about that here)….that are basically unsellable. The water damage isn’t extensive, particularly to the Merkabah Riders – just some wrinkling to the back pages. The TEROVOLAS (es) took the brunt, though most of the damage is to the lower ends of the pages and not entirely all the way through the book. None of the pages are stuck together or torn, and there’s no real bleeding.

At any rate, I can’t in good conscience sell them or donate them to the library, so if anybody’s interested and doesn’t mind a little personality to their books, send an email to emerdelacATgmail.com with your preference of title, name and address.

First five responders, I’ll ship them for free, signed if you like.

UPDATE: Wow, what a great response! Thanks all, for requesting copies. The water-touched copies are gone now, but if you’ve come late to the party and have an e-reader, let me know and I’ll relinquish free e-copies of either book to all respondents who want one till say, 4PM my time (Pacific US).  – EME

merkabahrider

Published in: on July 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm  Comments (2)  
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Where I’ll Be At WHC

Hey all, this weekend I’ll be at the World Horror Convention in New Orleans pitching the new novel and signing the old ones, so bring your babies to be kissed.

THURSDAY

7PM Genre Mashup Panel, Queen Anne Ballroom –

(from the program description) Hey, you got your horror in my romance fiction! Genre mash-ups aren’t just for sparkly vampires. Horror/noir and Lovecraftian mysteries are all the rage. Science fiction and fantasy fusions are as popular as ever. Dark magical realism is emerging from the depths. What else is out there and where is it going? Join our master mixology panel as they put on their alchemist hats and concoct some wild new genre recipes.

Moderator: Sunni Brock. Panelists: Edward M. Erdelac, Michael Boccacino, Roh Morgan, Robert Jackson Bennett

FRIDAY

1-2pm Signing Copies Of Terovolas at Journalstone Publishing’s table in the Dealer’s Room.

7-8pm – Mass signing of all my books.

And my wife and I will be attending the Stoker awards banquet on Saturday night, then chilling in the Big Easy all day Sunday.

Atomic Interviews #9

Mark Bousquet’s Atomic Interviews #9 features me talking about Merkabah Rider and The Van Helsing Papers. Give it a read here –

http://atomicanxiety.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/atomic-interview-9-talking-the-merkabah-rider-with-ed-erdelac/

Published in: on April 29, 2013 at 7:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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JournalStone Publishing’s Award Winning 99 Cent Weekend

Something from the publishers of Terovolas, my Van Helsing in Texas novel, which is on sale all weekend.

The JS award winning 99 cent weekend is here.  The Devil of Echo Lake, Twice Shy, That Which Should Not Be, Terovolas and The Void are all on sale through Sunday for 99 cents on Amazon.  If you were looking for one of these books, now is the time to buy.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_12/188-2426400-5150666?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=journalstone&sprefix=journalstone%2Caps%2C271

Published in: on April 5, 2013 at 6:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Terovolas Available Now From JournalStone

Available now everywhere from JournalStone Publishing, my latest book, Terovolas being an excerpt from The Van Helsing Papers, and covering Abraham Van Helsing’s incredible 1891 sojourn in Texas following the events portrayed in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Read an excerpt here –

https://emerdelac.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/terovolas-van-helsing-in-texas-giveaway-on-goodreads/

Pick it up on Amazon here –

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_5?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=terovolas&sprefix=terov%2Caps%2C370

Or directly from the publisher here –

http://journal-store.com/fiction/terovolas/

Head to Goodreads and enter for a chance to win one of ten paperback copies.

Got Paypal and want a signed copy? Drop me an email at emerdelacATgmailDOTcom for pricing.

Lastly, starting now, leave a comment below. At midnight on Black Friday, November 23rd, I’ll pick a random winner to receive a free signed copy.

Good luck!

The Next Big Thing

Author Weston Ochse (whose supernatural military thriller Seal Team 666, already optioned for a movie, is due to hit the stands running next month) tagged me in something called The Next Big Thing, in which authors answer questions about their forthcoming works and then tag five other writers they’d like you to know about.

So here are my answers.

1) What is the working title of your next book?

Terovolas.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

In 1997 I came across a collection of papers in a sealed box on a shelf in the basement of the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library. I call the documents The Van Helsing Papers. They were a series of primary source accounts, including the personal journal of the actual Professor Abraham Van Helsing, translated from Dutch by Dr. John Seward. I chose to collect the events of 1891 immediately following those depicted in Bram Stoker’s Dracula as Terovolas.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

Though a nonfictional account, it’s being presented as fiction, in which case I guess you’d call it a weird western horror/mystery.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I think Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula infected me with the notion that Anthony Hopkins is the perfect Abraham Van Helsing. Alexander Skarsgard might make a good Sigmund Skoll. I could see Michael Shannon as Coleman Morris, Robert Duvall as Aurelius Firebaugh, Carrie Ann Moss as Callisto Terovolas, and Sam Rockwell as Alvin Crooker.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Recently released from Purfleet Asylum after suffering a nervous breakdown stemming from the events of Dracula, Professor Abraham Van Helsing bears the remains of Quincey Morris back to Texas and winds up tangling once more with the supernatural, doubting his own sanity in the process.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Terovolas is being put out by JournalStone Publishing.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I compiled it in about three or four months.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Eaters Of The Dead by Michael Chrichton, Nicholas Meyers’ The Seven Percent Solution, The Memoirs Of Wild Bill Hickock by Richard Matheson, and of course Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
When I learned the truth about Van Helsing, I wanted to present this information to the world. I think in a lot of media, Van Helsing is portrayed as something of a fanatic. My research has led me to believe that nothing could be further from the truth. He’s no more a fanatic than he is exclusively a vampire hunter. The real Van Helsing was a man who walked the line between science and faith, reasoning and superstition, really the best of both worlds. He had an amazing career of which the account of Dracula for which he is most remembered, is only a small part. In popular modern fiction he’s most often depicted in a negative light, whereas Dracula has conversely been lionized. This is a travesty that I felt needed rectifying.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s the first of a series of true accounts of the further adventures of Abraham Van Helsing, beginning with a sojourn in Texas in which he encounters shapechangers, cultists, and outlaws. If you need more than that, I don’t know what to tell you.

So next Wednesday, visit the following writer’s blogs to read about what they’ve got in the works, and why I chose them as The Next Big Thing…

 Jeff Carter

Tim Marquitz

Lincoln Crisler

Ted Grau

Greg Mitchell

Beyond The Borgo Pass: The Van Helsing Papers

I, like most of the world, always understood Bram Stoker’s Dracula to be a work of fiction. Seminal in the horror genre, surely, but entirely the product of Stoker’s imagination. I stopped believing this in or around the summer of 1997, when, between jobs and trying to make the rent on a two‐bedroom apartment on Carmen Avenue in Uptown Chicago, I answered a classified ad placed by the University of Chicago in The Chicago Reader for a seasonal position.

This wasn’t academic work, but a reorganizational project of the reference stacks at the university’s Regenstein Library. This still makes it sound overly important though. In effect, I and about ten other part‐timers were carrying boxes to and from the basement under the direction of a perennially bored student intern. It was backbreaking work, and tedious, but ultimately not without its reward.

The Joseph Regenstein Library

In the course of the job, in one of the Reg’s two basements, I happened across a dust‐covered box of unopened packets postmarked from Purfleet, dated 1936, and addressed to the head of the archaeology department.

The label on the box had it earmarked for the library’s Ravenwood Collection, but it had somehow been physically separated and omitted from the catalog. It had sat forgotten on the back of a shelf of totally unrelated material for at least half a century.

I have a curious nature when it comes to old things, and a knack for staying out of the way of supervisors, which was easy in the maze of the Reg with only a disinterested intern to answer to. Though I knew it could possibly cost me my job, I managed to pop one of the manila packets open with my apartment key and shimmy the old yellow papers out for a look on my lunch break, a ritual I would repeat without fail innumerable times on that job.

What I read shook me to my core. I say this without exaggeration.

Dr. Abraham Van Helsing, that stalwart vampire hunter I had seen depicted in countless films and comic books, portrayed by everybody from Peter Cushing to Mel Brooks, was real.

It was like finding the logbook of the Pequod written in Ahab’s hand, or reading Joseph of Bethlehem’s name on a Roman census roll from the Augustan Age.

But the figure that emerged while studying these papers (and from fact checking later among the Reg’s microfilm collections and via long years of independent research), was no two dimensional crossbow wielding, fanatical monster hunter, but a substantial man of letters, a serious academic, a contemporary and associate of Flinders Petrie, T. E. Lawrence, Dr. Martin Hesselius, Madame Blavatsky, Max Muller, and a host of other scholars I (as a woefully undereducated liberal arts student) would only come to know later as I studied the man himself. He pitted his learning against the supernatural not by choice, but by chance,

though his name has become inseparable from that pseudo‐scientific offshoot, that embarrassing cousin of natural science now thought of as ‘paranormal investigation.’

Not only was Van Helsing real, but so was Dr. John Seward, Jonathan and Mina Harker, Arthur Holmwood, and Quincey P. Morris (whose brother’s grave I once visited at the old Fairview Cemetery during a research trip to Bastrop, and whose Bowie knife, the very same one he sank into Count Dracula’s heart, was anonymously donated to, and is still innocuously displayed at, the Autry Museum here in Los Angeles).

It’s hard to prove this, of course, outside of the papers, as most of the major participants in the Dracula affair faded into intentional obscurity, with the exception of Quincey Morris (who died) and Van Helsing himself, whose total eradication from academic record is almost Egyptian in its totality.

But he did live. One of my prized possessions is a 1907 Dutch edition of Arminius Vembrey’s Western Cultures in Eastern Lands, one of Van Helsing’s rare translations, which I unfortunately can’t even read.

If I can confirm the existence of Van Helsing with a little research, then what about the things Van Helsing claimed to have encountered in his travels? Vampires. Werewolves. Ghosts. There are things Van Helsing says he tangled with which would make cryptozoologists and theologians alike faint dead away.

Now you see why I say I was shaken up.

But, you might say, the man spent time in a lunatic asylum. Who’s to say he didn’t write all his memoirs as some kind of therapy while convalescing?

Well, mainly because of the corroborative writings by outside parties. The papers collected with Van Helsing’s journal entries (newspaper clippings, personal diaries, correspondences), some provided by the professor, some by Seward, and some gleaned from my own personal research into primary source documents, bear him out every time. It’s unlikely that Van Helsing’s writings are entirely fictional when they are substantiated by so many people from so many diverse backgrounds and stations.

For me, the world became an exponentially bigger place in 1997, squinting in the dim light at old typeface with the musty smell of antiquity in my nostrils.

I knew I had to continue Dr. Seward’s work, see his ambition fulfilled, and tell the world about Van Helsing. As the forward to this book points out, Abraham Van Helsing’s longtime friend and colleague Seward first intended the initial volume of the late professor’s writing to see the light of day in 1935, seventy seven years ago.

For whatever reason (Seward suggests active resistance by the academic community, though by this time he was himself embittered toward the establishment), he failed to secure a publisher, possibly in the eleventh hour.

Seward continued to pursue the book’s publication for the next five years, soliciting literary agents on both sides of the pond and mailing facsimiles to many of Van Helsing’s former academic associates in the hopes of gaining professional support.

Battersea Park Railway Crash 1937

A succession of personal tragedies hindered his efforts, however. His wife of thirty‐five years was sadly killed in the Battersea Park railway crash of 1937. Then, in 1938, the asylum in Purfleet he had co-founded and administered for close to fifty years closed its

doors, forcing him into a retirement he had long resisted.

You have to admire the dedication of Dr. Seward, who from his writings and personal correspondences seemed to really feel he owed Van Helsing a debt. Seward was one of the parties who willingly provided personal records (in his case, phonographic recordings, mostly pertaining to his patient, R.M. Renfield) to Bram Stoker, which Stoker then used in the publication of his ‘novel’ Dracula in 1897.

Excerpts from Van Helsing’s personal journal were included in that book (translated from Dutch, as are the ones that appear in these papers, by Seward), but among the descendants of Lord Godalming, there is still some question as to whether these pages were obtained with the professor’s consent, or at least with his full understanding that they would be made public. Holmwood himself believed the account compiled by Stoker under the direction of the Harkers was solely intended for the edification of their young son Quincey.

 The Holmwood family, in point of fact, assert that the fragments from Van Helsing’s journal of the 1890 period are believed by them to have been copied by Seward himself during the professor’s stay at Purfleet Asylum, or else by one of Seward’s staff. The reason for this, the Holmwoods claim, was monetary. It is known that the asylum was in dire straits financially at the outset, and that it experienced a substantial economic turnaround in 1898, a year after the publication of Dracula.

As Seward wrote, Van Helsing had been ostracized by the academic world for appearing in Dracula. Even some colleagues who had previously shared in his adventures turned their backs on him publicly when their own reputations were endangered.

Everyone suffered a small degree of embarrassment at the hands of Stoker, of course. Lord Godalming was branded an eccentric, which was sort of inconsequential to an English lord. The Harkers were a private people, not well known in the first place. Being that publication was mainly their idea, and they shared in Stoker’s profits and raised their son comfortably on residuals (under a new surname, legally petitioned for by Jonathan), it was little to them. Dr. Seward, by his own admission, deflected any criticism from his peers by pointing out the fact that Dracula was labeled as fiction, and claimed in private circles at the time to have nominally participated in it as a favor to Stoker, or as a lark. He wasn’t known much outside the psychiatric community, and not well regarded outside of London, at that.

But Abraham Van Helsing, when confronted by his detractors, out of personal honor or perhaps naivety, denied nothing (note these events will be better understood and brought to light in a subsequent collection).

And that wasn’t the end of his exploits, nor even, as I found, the beginning.

Van Helsing, by his own assertion (records are scant), was born in 1834 in Natal, South Africa to Voortrekker Arjen Van Helsing and his German wife, Konstanze Gottschalk. He died in Holysloot, North Holland in 1934 (This can be confirmed. I’ve seen his death certificate.)

In between that time he was a seminarian, a husband and father, a Boer farmer, a scientist, a field scout and interpreter, a medical doctor, a philosopher, an amateur archaeologist, a mystic, a respected lecturer, instructor, and a world traveler.

It took me nearly thirteen years of fact checking and emailing, meeting and compiling (to say nothing of legal wrangling over the authenticity and ownership of the papers themselves) to release the first installment of the Van Helsing papers in accordance with the late professor’s initial wishes.

In the end I was reluctant to do so. My own career after all, has been in novels, and in doing this I risk consigning the professor’s true history to the realm of speculative fiction, just as Bram Stoker did (albeit unwittingly – Stoker believed the papers he transcribed and polished to be works of amateur fiction).

Yet I can only humbly submit the first collection of these documents and ask that the reader overlook the presenter and see the truth within. We are obliged to put out the stories that come to us.

Dr. John Seward’s own efforts at vindicating his friend were cut short on September 7, 1940, when the German Luftwaffe initiated operation Loge and he was killed in the first strike of the London Blitz.

It is my hope that I, in accidentally uncovering these documents and laboring to continue Seward’s work, have been passed his torch, and that in publishing them, I have at last done right by both men.

Terovolas, culled from The Van Helsing Papers (1891) will be out from JournalStone Publishing November 16th. You can get the ebook version right now. An excerpt can be read here.

The book can be purchased on Amazon or directly from the publisher here.

http://journal-store.com/fiction/terovolas/

A FINAL NOTE: I’d like to apologize to readers, but due to an unfortunate mishap on my part, paperback editions of Terovolas will be shipped without a footnote which explains a recurring reference Van Helsing makes to Lucy Westenra’s having wed Arthur Holmwood a day before her death. This in itself, is not a mistake. Yet to be published accounts among Van Helsing’s papers do in fact bear this out, though the event was deliberately excised from Bram Stoker’s novel, for reasons which will become clear when the relevant papers see the light of day.  The blame lies solely with myself, a fiction writer’s first foray into non-fiction.

Mea culpa,

EME