Archive for the ‘Sycamore’ Category

10 years of Felix Renn and the Black Lands

I was updating the Black Lands website the other day when I noticed something interesting — a milestone I wasn’t aware of, but one that I feel deserves a small acknowledgement.

Ten years ago, in September 2009, the very first Black Lands story was published as a chapbook by Burning Effigy Press.

“Temporary Monsters” marked the introduction of Felix Renn, the Toronto PI who works supernatural cases in a world where paranormal has become the norm.

Several more novellas and short stories have followed over the years, some featuring Felix, some introducing new characters — because as I’ve always said, the main character in this series is the Black Lands itself — and they’ve always been my favourite ones to write.

Last year I finally finished the first Felix Renn novel, Sycamore, and I have plans for many more books in the series.

I don’t like to talk about stories that aren’t written yet, or books that aren’t published, but I can tell you there’s a lot happening behind the scenes. I’ve got enough material for a new collection of Felix Renn stories, a collection of standalone Black Lands stories, and I’m about to begin work on the second Felix Renn novel.

I wish I could tell you when these books will see the light of day, but that’s a bit harder to determine. Without getting into the business side of things, all I’ll say is that I’m currently looking for the right agent, one who gets what I’m trying to do with this series, and will support and champion my work. Any writer will tell you this can be a long and difficult process.

But today I’d like to focus on the 10th anniversary of “Temporary Monsters,” and the debut of Felix Renn and the Black Lands.

I’d like to thank Monica S. Kuebler for publishing that little chapbook all those years ago, and the ones that followed, as well as the Felix Renn collection, SuperNOIRtural Tales (and to Mike Carey for writing a wonderful introduction). I’d also like to thank all the writers and readers who have supported my work, and the Black Lands series in particular. The world of writing and publishing can be as dark a place as the Black Lands itself, and you have all been the beacons of light that help show me the way.

I look forward to seeing what happens in the next ten years.

(“Temporary Monsters” is available to read for free online — also as an eBook for Kindle, epub, pdf.)

Sycamore finished

I am very happy and very excited to report that I’ve finished the first draft of my new novel, which is the first book in the Felix Renn/Black Lands series. It came out at 97,532 words, and it’s called Sycamore.

I’ve spent several years writing short stories and novellas about the Toronto-based private investigator Felix Renn, a kind of supernatural Spenser, in a world where the paranormal is the norm.Sycamore is the first Felix Renn novel, and it was such a joy to write.

I am very happy and very excited to report that I’ve finished the first draft of my new novel, which is the first book in the Felix Renn/Black Lands series. It came out at 97,532 words, and it’s called Sycamore. I’ve spent several years writing short stories and novellas about the Toronto-based private investigator Felix Renn, a kind of supernatural Spenser, in a world where the paranormal is the norm.Sycamore is the first Felix Renn novel, and it was such a joy to write. I had forgotten how much I loved writing in Felix’s voice and exploring the world of the Black Lands. I can’t speak to where or when this novel will be published (if it’s published at all), but I can say it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had writing a book. I actually finished writing it on July 30th, and have spent the past couple of weeks giving it a final pass before sending it off to my agent. Being able to read the story as a whole is usually cause for a series of minor heart attacks and spasms of self-doubt, but in the case of SYCAMORE I was surprisingly pleased with how well everything held together. Maybe it’s because I’ve had this story in my head for several years, or maybe it’s because I’ve come some way as a writer in that time. Regardless of the reason, I’m feeling very positive about this book. I love the story, I love the characters, and I love the groundwork that’s been laid down for the rest of the series to come. Huge monster-sized thanks to my wife, Kathryn, who has supported my work from the very beginning, and has been telling me for years, “You have to write the Felix book!” I also want to thank my agent, Christine Cohen, who helped bring me back from the dead, and who’s been looking forward to this book for a long time. I’m very fortunate to have these two incredible women in my corner.I had forgotten how much I loved writing in Felix’s voice and exploring the world of the Black Lands. I can’t speak to where or when this novel will be published (if it’s published at all), but I can say it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had writing a book.

I actually finished writing it on July 30th, and have spent the past couple of weeks giving it a final pass before sending it off to my agent. Being able to read the story as a whole is usually cause for a series of minor heart attacks and spasms of self-doubt, but in the case of Sycamore I was surprisingly pleased with how well everything held together. Maybe it’s because I’ve had this story in my head for several years, or maybe it’s because I’ve come some way as a writer in that time.

Regardless of the reason, I’m feeling very positive about this book. I love the story, I love the characters, and I love the groundwork that’s been laid down for the rest of the series to come.

Huge monster-sized thanks to my wife, Kathryn, who has supported my work from the very beginning, and has been telling me for years, “You have to write the Felix book!”

“Possession” reading and an update

This past Tuesday I travelled to Ottawa to take part in the Chiaroscuro Reading Series, along with Sandra Kasturi and Alison Sinclair. The reading went very well, easily one of my best, and the audience seemed to really dig my story, which was a new Black Lands tale featuring Jerry Baldwin called “Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law.”

Geek Inked Magazine was there to film the event, and they’ve posted videos of my reading, as well as a very favourable write-up.

While “Possession” makes the rounds in search of a home, I’m back working on the Felix Renn novel, Sycamore, as well as a couple of shorter Felix stories for some anthologies. There’s some other cool stuff coming down the pipe that I can’t quite talk about yet, but it’s been a while since I posted an update and I wanted to let y’all know what I’ve been up to lately.

Sycamore

I started writing the first Felix Renn novel today.

One chapter down.

And away we go.

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What are the Black Lands?

The Black Lands is a dimension filled with supernatural creatures that lies next to our own world. This alternate reality is the setting for a series of stories by Ian Rogers.

To find out more about the Black Lands, read the history.