We are huge fans of KJ Charles here at Sinfully, so we were delighted she had the time to pop in and chat to us on the tour for her upcoming novel The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, which is due for release on the 16th June. KJ is also gifting three e-copies of the book, so be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win.
Wild Geese and Ghost Stories
My new book, The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, is a bit unusual: it’s written in the form of ten individual stories that make up the full history of the romance. (There’s a good reason for this: Simon the grumpy ghost-hunter and Robert the curious writer are a sort of occult Holmes and Watson, and each tale hangs round a case or puzzle.)
Almost all the tales are based round English folklore. This is a very old country with a lot of history and some really weird ideas. There are stories that repeat all over the country (the bride lost playing hide and seek on her wedding day, the Black Dog, the king under the hill) and stories that only come up in one place, long winding anecdotes, and snippets that go nowhere with a disturbing, worrying purposelessness.
I don’t want to spoiler my stories in The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal (I included a list of folklore at the end for the curious) but here’s a few examples.
One of the stories features the Wild Hunt. This is a recurring legend: a hunt, rider on horseback and pack of dogs in full cry, streaming across the sky. Sometimes it’s led by the Devil, sometimes by a damned soul, sometimes by Herne the Hunter as deity, and sometimes by Herne in his early form as a murdered forester. But it comes up pretty much anywhere in England with empty skies and wild geese. Why wild geese? Well, imagine yourself alone on a bleak moor with twilight closing in, listen to this noise coming up behind you, and try not to panic.
English folklore also has a habit of seizing on real people and turning them into myths. For example, Sir Francis Drake, the great Elizabethan privateer and sea captain, owned a drum which is said to beat when England is in danger; if it is ever played, Drake himself will return. The last time it’s said to have played was during the rescue of stranded soldiers from the beaches at Dunkirk.
I didn’t want to use Drake’s drum, but I did want Dr Dee’s mirror. Dr John Dee was an adviser to Queen Elizabeth I, a self-declared alchemist who used an obsidian mirror to seek spirits. (Folklore didn’t have a lot of extra work with Dr Dee.) The Gothic novelist Horace Walpole bought Dee’s mirror (or something claimed to be it: Walpole was a few points short of a pentacle sometimes), and it is now in the British Museum. You can go and see it. I’ve seen it. I didn’t see any spirits, as such, just my own reflection, but I figured it would need a bit of ceremony…and that’s what I gave a scrying glass of Dee’s special design in one of my Casebook stories.
I hope you enjoy the book: why not enter the Rafflecopter to win one of three free copies across the tour?
The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
Publisher ~ Samhain Publishing
Due for Release ~ 16th June 2015
Genre ~ Fantasy, Paranormal, M/M Romance
A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.
A note to the Editor
I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.
You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.
So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.
I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.
Meet KJ Charles
KJ Charles is a Rainbow Award-winning romance writer and freelance editor. She blogs about writing and publishing, spends too much time on Twitter, and has a Facebook group for book chat and sneak peeks. Her next book is The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, a Victorian occult m/m romance, coming from Samhain on 16 June.
Three e-copies of The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal, by KJ Charles