Friday, October 16, 2020

Guest Blog by Anton Strout - Home, Creep, Home, or Returning to a Fan Favorite World

Please welcome Anton Strout to The Qwillery. Anton is the author of the Simon Canderous series, the Spellmason Chronicles, and many short stories. Speaking of short stories, Claw & Order, a collection of stories from the Department of Extraordinary Affairs (DEA), is on Kickstarter now! 

I love the DEA! I may even have a DEA baseball cap and more. My recommendation - check out this wonderful collection on Kickstarter!

Home, Creep, Home, or Returning to a Fan Favorite World 
-Anton Strout

The first ever book that featured Manhattan’s underfunded and (mostly) secret paranormal protection agency, The Department of Extraordinary Affairs, hit shelves way back in February of 2008. That would have been my first published novel Dead To Me, which means I had probably conceived of the DEA around 2005. That original original series covered about four books and nearly a dozen anthologies, but it was the years 2008 to 2012 that really defined who the Dept was, what it stood for, and most importantly, did the good guys have the budget for a wide range of monster repelling holy symbols.

The Kickstarter for my latest collection, Claw & Order, brings together all the stories related to those paranormal events in the Manhattan of my Simon Canderous and Spellmason Chronicles series. And hopefully with enough funding, we’ll be seeing brand new stories set in their shared world, too.

People ask what it’s like returning to the world of the DEA, but in my mind, I never left. It’s how I built the Department within the world of the books in the first place. Deep below the Lower East Side Lovecraft Café front, the secret agency has a sprawling haunted archive called The Gauntlet which collects and records paranormal events in the greater metropolitan area, so even if I wasn’t writing something in the main series, there were always stories popping up that built upon that deep paranormal history. Even now, my mind imagines Simon & his detective partner Connor working the Graveyard shift, filing another case file they somehow managed to live through without succumbing to a new silver allergy or aversion to garlic knots at their favorite Little Italy eatery. 

Evil never rests, and the forces of good at the Dept don’t either. They couldn’t possibly, what with barely being able to keep up with the backload of paperwork. 

Claw & Order allowed me the opportunity to descend the ancient staircase to those archives once more, and Kickstarter gives me the chance to see who wants to come along and revisit that creeptacular world with me. It will dictate the future of the Simon Canderous series, specifically, and ultimately the fate of the Department of Extraordinary Affairs itself. Can you see them, dear reader, getting ready to hit the streets of haunted Manhattan? Gathering potions, and arming themselves with spells, retractable steel bats, and snacks! The wicked never rest, so neither has the Department. Won’t you come along? 

Come explore USA Today bestselling author, me, and my world of magic and mayhem with tales featuring: 

- A young NYU student trapped in a modern-day fairy tale with only a red hoodie to help save the day 
- The secret history of Ben Franklin, Necromancer
- The Department’s underground archival library known as The Gauntlet, and the bookwyrm that resides within 
- The origin of the Belarus family gargoyle who is the basis of The Spellmason Chronicles 
- A celebration of Lupercalia in NYC, complete with demonic cherub drowning! 
- A fae enchantress bent on revenge against an ancient foe—in a way only she can 
- The impromptu paranormal pet detective adventures of alchemist Caleb Kennedy 
- A glimpse into Simon Canderous’s previous life as a psychometric art thief and his first encounter with psychotic redheaded menace Mina Saria 
- A romantic birthday date night with Spellmason sidekicks Rory Torres and Marshall Blackmoore, including polearms, liches, and real housewives 
- Simon Canderous takes on an early case with the Department as he desperately tries to impress his ghosthunting partner high atop a skyscraper with a haunted castle penthouse 
- A Lovecraftian tale of horror that begs the question: who chooses the chosen ones?

Come. We’re dying to have you!


About Anton

Fantasy and science fiction author Anton Strout has given readers equal shares of chills and laughter since the first book of his Simon Canderous paranormal detective series, Dead To Me, came out from Penguin/Ace Books in 2008. He continues his tales of mayhem in Manhattan with his second series, the Spellmason Chronicles, as he treats readers to the story of a girl and her gargoyle, and explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and love with his trademark snarky twist. He's also the host of The Once and Future Podcast, where he talks about writing, games, and other nerdy stuff with some of today's most popular speculative fiction authors. His latest project is CLAW AND ORDER, a collection of his short fiction and more, now on Kickstarter!

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @antonstrout  ~ The Once & Future Podcast


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