Thursday, June 11, 2015

Guest post: Second Time Around by Paul K. Ellis

Today we present a special post from author Paul K. Ellis, who was a fellow contributor to the Dirty Magick: New Orleans anthology from Lucky Mojo Press!  We'll be presenting a full interview with Mr. Ellis later this summer on the podcast!

Second Time Around
By Paul K. Ellis
It’s a little more difficult the second time around. I mean, sequels right? Occasionally, you’ll get the greatness of The Empire Strikes Back, but mostly it’s more like Duke Nukem Forever; a good idea that failed upon meeting reality. It begs the question:
Why did I write a sequel?
Just so you know, I deleted a bunch of pretentious sounding foo-fa-rah. Oh, I waxed eloquent! The truth is, I don’t know why I wrote a sequel. Jack just strode in from the rain, parked himself in my head, and started humming Sinatra. How lucky can one guy be?
When I get asked to describe the Dirty Magick series it’s with questions like “Is it mystery?” “Is it fantasy?” I get ugly looks when I say, “Yes.” In the simplest terms it’s “At the crossroads of urban fantasy and noir; Mean Streets…Dirty Magick!” I do that in my announcer voice. I just have fun saying that. Seriously, genre mashups can be tricky, but this concept works, and works well. Otherwise, I don’t think Jack would have returned for a visit.
My story picks up with Jack back in the bayou after the events of The Winds. (Said events available as a free podcast here [].) The trick became how I get Jack from LA to NOLA, and how to do it in such a fashion that reading the first story isn’t necessary?
Ah, the beauty of detective story. Each episode is a new case! That’s great, except Jack isn’t a detective any longer. It was at this point that Jack lit up a Camel (unfiltered), blew out a plume of smoke, and growled something about nothing driving you crazy like family.
I had my sequel.
It’s a going home story about a guy who never wanted to go home. A fellow who burned too many bridges. A guy who…I see the pretension is worming its way in again. Okay, Sinatra, Camels…got it.
I have a fascination with the Cajun culture. This is brought on in large part through food. My father worked for Reynolds Metals, and spent time at their Lake Charles plant. He is an outgoing personality and would come home with wonderful tales of the people he met, and their recipes. Curiously, many of these were more like guidelines than directions. “Stir it until it looks right” or “Put in pepper until just before your eyes water.” Those recipes were stories in themselves.
Glass Darkly draws on the Southern Gothic heritage of New Orleans, and I treated it like a gumbo; adding a little magic of Aga Baba, a dash of the haunting of Julia the mistress, the mirror of Myrtles Plantation to taste, and spicing it up with The Baron. After all, you can’t have a New Orleans ghost story without adding a little voodoo.
Does Jack escape his past? Does he get the girl? Will he untangle himself from family? Dirty Magick: New Orleans is available now at Amazon, and has fifteen fantastic stories, including Glass Darkly. You won’t just get Jack, you’ll get fourteen more fantastic fables. It’s the alliteration, isn’t it? Too much?
Anyhow, read! Enjoy! Have fun!
Paul is more than passing strange and can be found on Facebook [], Twitter [‘], and lurking about his own site [].

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