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February 14, 2013

Blog Tour: The Burning Time by J.G. Faherty – Guest Post

Welcome to our Tour Stop for

The Burning Time by J.G. Faherty

presented by Darkeva Book Blog Tours!

Today, we are thrilled to have J.G. Faherty stop by the blog and
talk to us about:

Supernatural & Occult Detectives – a dangerous sub-genre.

The-Burning-Time-mock-cover

 
 
 

An ancient evil has come to Hastings Mills, and only one man can stop it.

Wherever The Stranger goes, evil follows. Wild dogs roam the fields. Townspeople turn on each other in murderous fury. Innocent women throw themselves off bridges. Swimmers disappear, victims of a deadly beast that haunts their waters. And the worst is still yet to come. The Stranger plans to open a gateway to the nether realms and release the Elder Gods to bring forth Chaos on Earth.

Only one man knows the truth, a country mage whose family has fought The Stranger before. But can he defeat his ageless enemy before Hastings Mills is nothing but a smoking ruin and the townspeople become unwilling blood sacrifices to the Old Ones? With only the help of a young woman and her teenage son, he will have to use all of his arcane knowledge to thwart his adversary and prevent the final apocalypse.

In Hastings Mills, The Burning Time has arrived.

add to goodreadsThe Burning Time by J.G. Faherty
Publication Date:  January 18, 2013
Publisher:  JournalStone

Available for Purchase:
amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Guest-Post

Supernatural & Occult Detectives
– a dangerous sub-genre

 

My novel The Burning Time features what most horror aficionados would refer to as an occult detective as the main character. That is, loosely defined, a person who investigates the supernatural. In the case of John Root, my character, he is a small-town, back-country mage who uses his knowledge of potions, spells, and herbal cures to help him defeat evil. The occult detective shouldn’t be confused with the supernatural detective, who might be involved in the same types of investigations but has a major difference: he or she is actually supernatural. For instance, a vampire who fights evil or a werewolf who works on a police force.

I had some trepidation in writing The Burning Time, because the occult and/or supernatural detective sub-genre is getting pretty overloaded. I’m a big fan of it – everything from Manly Wade Wellman’s classic John Thunstone stories to the modern characters such as Anita Blake, Harry Dresden, Repairman Jack, and Jake Helman – but it is in danger of jumping the shark, much like zombie apocalypses or emo vampires. It seems like every week a new book comes out with some sort of crime solving or demon slaying hero, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be part of that, despite having what I felt was a really good story. But I took the chance, and I’m glad I did. I think The Burning Time holds up well, despite the glut of SODs (supernatural and occult detectives!) out there.

SOD, as a sub-genre, goes back as far as the horror genre in general. It has always been popular, and continues to be, despite the fact that it seems like every other horror writer is doing an SOD-type book.

For those not familiar (are there any?), the SODs typically fall into one of these basic categories:

1. The Supernatural Detective. You’ve seen him on TV, followed his exploits in novels. He is the paranormal cop, the monster with the badge. The Private Eye with a taste for blood. Some classic examples include Garreth Mikaelian, Anita Blake, Angel (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Nick Knight. These characters are always police officers or FBI agents or professional PIs who also happen to be something other than human. Vampire, werewolf, zombie – the type of monster doesn’t matter. What matters is they use their supernatural powers to help fight crime, and by being supernatural they also have a knack for seeing when a crime is something out of the ordinary.

2. The Unwilling Supernatural Crime Fighter. Not all supernatural detectives are actually detectives. Some just want to be left alone, but they get forced into things, either by circumstance or by a friend. Examples might be Henry Fitzroy, Saberhagen’s Dracula, or Jack Fleming.

3. The Occult Detective. An ordinary human who might be a cop or some other type of investigator, and who specializes in solving the crimes no one else can solve. Sometimes these people start off not believing in the supernatural but then learn it exists; other times they are part of a supernatural crime team. And sometimes they’re just PIs who get caught up in more than they bargained for. In most instances, they have no magical or supernatural abilities, but they are usually experts when it comes to using a gun or fighting hand to hand. Examples include Repairman Jack, Jake Helman, Vicki ‘Victory’ Nelson, Aloysius Pendergast, and Carl Kolchak. Occasionally, as in the case of Vicki Nelson, the character actually gets transformed into a Supernatural Detective due to a bite from a monster or a spell.

4. The Magical Investigator. This is a sort of combination of the Supernatural and Occult detectives. Typically, your magical investigator is an ordinary human who also has some limited supernatural capabilities; in most cases, it is an ability to do magic of some type. For instance, in my book The Burning Time, John Root can do spells, but the majority of his powers resides in utilizing magical talismans and home-made potions. Harry Dresden is another example of this type of character.

Some characters straddle the line between two types. For example, Buffy Summers is more supernatural than magical, but she’s not a true supernatural being, like a werewolf or vampire, either. And in these types of stories, the heroes aren’t always good: in the TV show Being Human, all three of the main characters (vampire, ghost, werewolf) frequently ‘relapse’ and end up killing someone.

While the sub-genre of the SOD is geared towards creating repeating characters for a series, some writers, such as Michael McBride, have instead gone the other way, putting out multiple SOD novels but using different characters as the SOD.

So that’s my overview of the Supernatural and Occult Detective. In The Burning Time, John Root is my SOD, and he is faced with a situation involving an ancient bringer of evil, a town on the brink of madness, and a Cthulhulian monster lurking in the local river. And things start to get really bad! Before the book is over, there are plenty of dead bodies. I do hope you’ll give it a read.

 

About the Author:

JG Faherty grew up in the haunted Hudson Valley region of New York, and still resides there. Living in an area filled with Revolutionary War battle grounds, two-hundred year-old gravesites, ghosts, haunted roads, and tales of monsters in the woods has provided a rich background for his writing. A life-long fan of horror and dark fiction, JG enjoys reading, watching movies, golfing and hiking with his wife and dogs, volunteering as an exotic animal caretaker, and playing the guitar. His favorite holiday is Halloween (naturally), and as a child, one of his childhood playgrounds was an 18th century cemetery.

JG’s first novel, CARNIVAL OF FEAR, was released in 2010. His next book, THE CEMETERY CLUB, is due out in late 2011. His other credits include more than two dozen short stories in major genre magazines and anthologies.

If you see him at a horror convention, feel free to buy him a Guinness.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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2 Comments

  1. Great post! I think some of this falls under urban fantasy as well? At any rate, enlightening! Thanks! :)

    Julie
    J. A. Huss (@JAHuss) recently posted..BLOG TOUR: The Immortal Circus by A.R. KahlerMy Profile

    [Reply]

  2. LINDA B/HOTCHA1
    2/14/2013

    THANKS FOR THE TOUR. ADDING YOU TO MY TBBL!

    [Reply]

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