The Same River Twice
You can't go home again. None of us can.
There's a quote by Heraclitus on the ever changing nature of the universe. "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man." But he said it in Greek so it probably sounded cooler.
We grow, we change and the world changes with us. We make choices for good or ill, we move forward and leave things, people, places behind. We deal with the consequences. Sometimes it's the other way around.
For all its urban fantasy trappings, that's what my novel DEAD THINGS is about. In it the protagonist, necromancer Eric Carter, a rare breed of mage in a world where magic is kept hidden from the "normals" as much as possible, left his life in Los Angeles behind to protect the people he loved. When he's forced to return the people he left have moved on without him.
It's an old story, but so often it feels like a cop out to me. The Prodigal Son returns and everyone celebrates his wasted life. He doesn't have to atone beyond, "Sorry. My bad." At least he's back in the fold, right? He's repented, returned into the traditions of his family where everybody wants him to be. He's learned the age old lesson: Don't step out of line. No harm, no foul. All is right with the world.
In real life all is not right in the world. Our choices leave a mark. There are ramifications to the things we do.
Eric Carter is not the Prodigal Son. No one celebrates his return. No one wants him back. Least of all himself. He's sure as shit not going to toe the line. His return causes more problems than it solves, casts a light on the things he's done, the person he's become. The damage he caused by leaving in the first place, the damage he causes by trying to fix it.
He's stuck with those choices, just like we all are.
And like all of us he has to struggle to figure out if maybe they were the right choices all along.
DAW, February 3, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 256 pages
He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He's turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course.
When he left LA fifteen years ago, he thought he'd never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him.
But now his sister's been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why.
Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it's the patrion saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who's taken an unusually keen interest in him.
Carter's going to find out who did it, and he's going to make them pay.
As long as they don't kill him first.
City of the Lost
City of the LostDAW Trade, January 3, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 224 pages
Cover and illustrations by Sean Philips
Joe Sunday’s dead.
He just hasn’t stopped moving yet.
Sunday’s a thug, an enforcer, a leg-breaker for hire. When his boss sends him to kill a mysterious new business partner, his target strikes back in ways Sunday could never have imagined. Murdered, brought back to a twisted half-life, Sunday finds himself stuck in the middle of a race to find an ancient stone with the power to grant immortality. With it, he might live forever. Without it, he’s just another rotting extra in a George Romero flick.
Everyone’s got a stake, from a psycho Nazi wizard and a razor-toothed midget, to a nympho-demon bartender, a too-powerful witch who just wants to help her homeless vampires, and the one woman who might have all the answers — if only Sunday can figure out what her angle is.
Before the week is out he’s going to find out just what lengths people will go to for immortality. And just how long somebody can hold a grudge.
https://www.facebook.com/NoirAtTheBarLa). He has also written essays on Los Angeles politics and crime for the website LAVOICE.ORG (http://lavoice.org) and the true crime blog LA Noir (http://la-noir.blogspot.com).
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What: One commenter will win a signed copy of Dead Things from Stephen Blackmoore. US/CANADA ONLY
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