Welcome

Hello and welcome to our humble little blog for ‘The Masonic Plague’.

Now you’d be forgiven for believing this to be some sort of fashionable new disease that is mercilessly spreading its ways across Europe but in actual fact this is simply a book. Albeit a very brutal, graphic, twisted and at times somewhat controversial book. The kind of book that you sit down and read and think ‘Hmm I’m feeling just a tad bit uncomfortable here, I know what, think I best take me a little swig of tea and read just a little bit more… Oh my God!’

Yes I think it’s fair to say this is not a book you would want your children to read, and maybe not your parents either, well not unless they were quite liberal in their tastes. Yes, maybe it should come emblazoned with a big fat 18 and overs sticker and maybe there’s the odd group of people out there that would rather burn this book in protest than read it over their evening cocoa. Still this was not ever a book that was designed to be timid. Me and co-author Anthony D. Redden had one simple premise in mind when we embarked on this project all those many moons ago and that was simple. To create the darkest, most surreal, uncomfortable horror novel we could possibly concoct, something that would be action packed, emotionally charged and unforgiving in its delivery.

Now after many years of toil and many sunken pints during our creative meetings the book is now complete, or at least Part One is…

But now here comes the hard part. We have a book, quite a large book in fact and we now face the challenge of getting the glorious monster published and well quite frankly this is where we find ourselves treading a little water.

You see between us we may have self published a fair few novelettes and a small pile of Dark Poetry collections thick enough to support the odd wobbly table leg but we’ve never attempted to get a whole novel published professionally and well this is the challenge we face.

Now we know that due to the nature of the content and the niche in which our creation rests that this is going to be no easy task, made even more difficult due to its rather beefy size of over 100,000 words, however to say we believe in the book is a monster of understatement and we are going to do everything in our power to make this dream a reality, especially as we already have Masonic Plague Part 2 along with several sequels all planned out for future consumption.

So this maybe all well and good but what is this blog all about? Well that is simple, we have no idea what we are doing and figured we would use this outlet as a way of communicating our thankless struggle. A step by step guide of how to/not to get your book published with every misguided decision, brutal set back and joyous development laid out for you to witness in all its bloody glory.

Join us for the ride, impart your advice and experiences and please find it in your heart of hearts to plough in your support to see this book in print and we will both be eternally grateful, we may even make you a nice brew for your troubles.

I thank you.

Jon

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-1666-

‘Sir, your wife is dead.’

There was a brief moment of contemplation before Dr Judas Richter replied.

‘Which one?’

The leather-aproned butcher lifted a forefinger up to the doctor before he discreetly leaned back to cast a glance down the row of makeshift straw beds that lined the length of the dirty underground chamber. He counted the beds in his head until he got to the one where his assistant stood apprehensively awaiting an order.

‘Number eleven, sir.’ he announced.

There was a moment more of silent contemplation before the doctor sighed.

‘Make sure she’s been fully drained and then dump her in the pit with the others.’

The butcher nodded his understanding before scurrying off to join his assistant. The room in which the recently deceased woman lay was a long underground tunnel that had been worked into the foundations of the wooden three-storey building that stood above it. The tunnel system was large and deep and spread beneath pretty much the entire row of houses and shops that stood along the lane. The work had been done over the last seventeen years with the assistance of Thomas Farriner, who owned the building and dutifully played his part as Deacon for the London branch of Mason’s out of the Mitre Tavern near St. Paul’s Cathedral. He stood beside Dr Richter in a leather tunic and pale billow-sleeved shirt. His shoulder-length brown hair, dirty from the ash and smoke coming from the fires, was tied back in a ponytail. He was clean-shaven, like all the best gentlemen of the age, and with his thin moustache he was reminiscent of the King himself. He was lowly within the order he served, but he had high ambition and took great time to present himself as someone of standing. Dr Richter was Farriner’s superior in every sense of the word. He ran the local Chapter House and came from a family of actual breeding and wealth. He had arranged with Farriner to facilitate the construction of the underground chamber beneath his shop that now housed the doctor’s equipment and other resources which he used for his experiments. The Doctor was well-known within the Royal houses and colleges of Europe as a learned Physician, having studied under the most highly-respected medical men of the time. However, his penchant for the darker arts and ‘blood magicks’, as he would put it, would have been scorned by even his most earnest of followers within the order. His lust for arcane texts and rituals required him a place of secrecy and discretion, which Mr Farriner’s establishment afforded him. Despite this, Richter continued to keep Farriner at arm’s length, and at every opportunity reminded him of his place.

‘Thomas,’ Dr Richter addressed him nonchalantly, ‘Go wake your daughter and get her to make me some tea.’

Farriner nodded obediently before climbing the ladder back to the surface to do his master’s bidding. When he had left the chamber, the doctor fastened shut the overhead door and slid across the handle lock, trapping his subordinate out of the way – away from his moment of glory, not wanting to share it with anyone, especially a commoner such as Farriner.

The chamber in which Richter stood contemplating the next adjustments to his experiment was a large hollowed pit beneath Farriner’s shop. It sank twenty feet beneath the surface and measured another twenty feet in width. The ceiling was supported with large wooden timbers that stood upright, acting as strong pillars. Off the chamber was a long low-ceilinged tunnel in which had been erected two dozen beds, though nothing more than stables with piles of straw upon the floor. Upon these beds were manacled women of varying ages and states of health. Some as old as thirty, some as young as twelve. All were dressed in soiled rags of clothing and all were heavily pregnant. These were what Dr Richter referred to as his wives, and depraved as even he knew his harem was, they were all integral to his experiments. Each woman had a mask tied around their head which covered their mouth. The masks were being fed subduing fumes from a communal pyre upon which a mixture of herbs and rocks to Richter’s own special recipe were being heated. The fumes were enough to subdue each woman and keep them in a state of placidity that Richter required for them to be compliant to his procedures. Unfortunately, several of his wives had now died within the last two hours and the doctor was feeling a need to speed up his work should he wish to achieve what had been an accumulation of twenty years preparation. Not that they meant anything to Richter; he held no emotional ties to any of the women that lay intoxicated and pregnant within his harem. The methods of entrapment for that many women were relatively easy, especially for someone with money, but keeping them alive and in relative health to bring a child through to full term whilst keeping their presence secret was an altogether bigger task. One which the whole Farriner family had been well reimbursed to perform. This was the second time Richter had attempted what he considered the epitome of all his years of research. He had had one goal in mind ever since he had come into possession of an ancient manuscript; a manuscript that had been passed down through the centuries amongst members of the most secret and elite societies around the world. As the text had changed hands, so had it grown in its complexities and accumulated knowledge. The one underlying goal always the same – immortality. The earliest sections of the book were so old and worn that little remained of them but flaking papyrus. However, the original texts had been translated into numerous languages and inscribed with side notes and hypotheses as each fresh mind contributed to its legitimacy. Millennia of forgotten knowledge lay within its aged and withered pages, pages that Dr Richter himself had amended following his own experiments. However, his own breakthroughs or failures he had kept separate and secret to himself. The theories he had regarding how to extract and develop a working serum he had kept to himself, forever cautious of prying eyes and light fingers, even amongst his closest colleagues. Each owner of the manuscript – the sacred bible of knowledge, the book of life – had replicated the ancient rituals within, each time adjusting and adapting to perfect its methods. Magic and science merged together to create a perverted amalgamation of the two, trying to successfully recreate the ancient knowledge of unknown origin. Whatever the true source of the text was of little importance to the women now laying in an induced state of intoxication within the secret chamber beneath Farriner’s bakery. Each woman was integral to Richter’s endeavours. He required the amniotic fluid from the unborn foetus of his own children in order to complete the serum; the text had been clear of that from the side notes and detailed hand-drawn diagrams. Richter’s first attempt at creating the serum had shown promise. However, it had been clear that the amount of fluid he required was substantially more than he had first anticipated. It had taken him years to reach this point, so much planning and preparation that the thought of another failure now was not something he was going to allow. The timescale of this experiment had already been dragged forward due to the closing network of suspicion and the dreaded presence of the plague, which was mercilessly picking off the weak and frail and had a certain penchant for raising the number of cases of stillborn. Richter had already lost three wives this past 48 hours and by the morning he anticipated them all to be dead, and for him to be reborn as an immortal. This was a near certainty in his mind, so he had prepared the grand machine for one more attempt. This was to be his night of triumph.

There was only one way in and out, and the only light down in the laboratory was that provided by the lanterns and the ominous glow that emanated from the wet-cell batteries that Richter had constructed as per instruction from the book. A ladder rose from the entrance chamber up to a covered trapdoor in the rear warming room of Farriner’s bakery. The harem of pregnant subjects was housed in a corridor that led from that chamber and that included a crudely dug deep pit into which bodies and trash were disposed of. Richter’s wolf-hounds patrolled this chamber, sniffing the foulness coming from the women and eagerly lapping up their sweat as they moved from one to the next, as if they were licking salt from overfed pigs ready for slaughter. In the corner was a wooden cage, the contents of which were for Richter the closest he had come to achieving his goals thus far. A male chimpanzee had been the subject of his first experiments. Not wanting to risk his own life nor giving immortality to some other man, he had chosen instead to use a chimpanzee that had for a time been an attraction at a small travelling circus visiting London from the Far East. Richter had arranged for its liberation and kept it secretly in his laboratory beneath Farriner’s bakery. The first experiment had been very similar in methods as the one Richter had planned for himself tonight; however, amendments had been made for failings that had previously occurred. The animal sat within its cage in the dark. A painted sign upon it simply read ‘Greyson’ – a reference to Richter’s childhood manservant. The chimpanzee rocked back and forth upon his haunches, fingers curled around the bars of his cage. He was shaven bald, and his long spindly arms looked like mere bone, skin and sinewy muscle. His teeth chattered as he quietly mumbled to himself. There were numerous bullet holes in Greyson’s torso and hundreds of razor blade scars ran the length and breadth of his body, each having healed sufficiently to have stopped bleeding. However, the scars remained. The chimpanzee should have been dead, but he wasn’t, and this was the success that Richter wished to build upon. The doctor’s dogs knew to keep their distance. The inner chamber was the third and final room. In this main room was the grand machine with which Richter planned upon making history. It stood nine feet tall and was constructed from wood with reinforced trimming and braces, with various canisters cast from metal. Tubes and piping made from animal bladders and tar-coated fabrics snaked from the machine, creating paths between its various chambers. There was a furnace burning ferociously beneath the machine, creating steam that was driving a paddle system with a vicious speed. The wet-cell batteries sat all around the base of the machine, glowing luminescent as the acid contained within reacted with its casings, creating an electrical current that titillated the wooden circuit breakers that prevented the flow of current to its final destination. In the centre of the machine sat a large metal sphere, crude in its production yet sitting proudly as a centrepiece element of the mechanism. A smaller metallic sphere sat within a custom-made cradle just in front of the larger sphere. Two metal-lined constructs sat either side of the machine. One resembled a coffin, upon which a metal slab had been placed upon rollers that slid in and out of the cadaver. The second construct was a large container above which a line of pulleys and a large funnel fed into it. Richter placed the sacred book within a lead chest and secured its lid; his own additional research he folded and tucked back within a leather pouch that he tied with a buckle. He placed this beneath the lead box before removing his shirt and boots.

‘Let’s get this done, yes? Hook up my wives!’

The butcher and his assistant looked up from their chores to nod acknowledgement of the doctor’s orders. They pulled out the syringe from the stomach of the dead woman and pushed her drained corpse into the pit. They then carried the bucket of fresh amniotic fluid and placed it next to the machine.

‘Bring number one, up front with me. She can be the primer.’

The two butchers removed the shackles from the woman lying upon bed number one. They dragged her over to the machine and strapped her into a harness that they used to suspend her in the air using the pulleys. She dangled, belly down, roughly five feet in the air. Her head hung loose; she was deep within the grips of a drug-induced paralysis.

Richter removed the remainder of his clothing and wandered naked toward the machine. He lay down upon the metal trolley before tying buckles around his ankles. He then picked up the syringe that lay next to him and introduced it into his forearm, into the vein, then lay down. The syringe was attached to a thin line of bladder tubing which ran directly to the machine. He then placed his hands by his side, awaiting assistance. Soon enough, the butcher appeared and buckled the doctor’s wrists down. The butcher’s silent assistant grabbed the bucket of fluid and, lifting it high in the air, he poured it into the vat beside the hanging woman.

‘Fill it! Come on, hurry!’ Richter screamed at his servants.

The two men skipped over themselves back into the harem, where they systematically between them grabbed large syringes that hung by each woman’s bedside. Whilst one held the women in position the other rammed the syringe deep into their motherly bulges. The aim of their actions was to secure a feeding line between the protective sack of the unborn child and the awaiting tank of the doctor’s grand machine. When the lines had been secured to the twenty remaining women, the men came back to ‘number one’. They pushed her, and she swung as the arm that suspended the pulley dangled her over the doctor lying naked in wait, until she hung just a foot above him.

‘Come on, hurry up!’ the doctor shouted, his anticipation rising.

A gesture, and the butcher’s assistant ran to a small walking wheel into which he climbed. The structure was made from wood and allowed its occupant to walk within it, permitting the wheel element to revolve. This would systematically run a pressured squeeze along the accumulated feeding tubes that led from the women to the machine. The faster he walked, the faster the wheel turned, creating a suction effect that began to suck the very life’s fluid from all the women at the same time. The feeding tubes eventually began to spurt the amniotic fluid and blood into the waiting vat of the grand machine.

The butcher removed a small three-inch blade from his apron pocket and used it to quickly remove all the clothes from the woman until she hung naked and drooping above the equally naked doctor.

‘Do it! Do it now!’

With that command, the butcher proceeded to slit the woman’s stomach open in one long, quick slice. The pressure exerted upon her stomach meant that no sooner had the blade pierced the skin than the woman’s body seemingly ripped itself apart. There was an immense eruption of blood, guts and fluids that poured like thunder down upon the doctor. He opened his mouth and strained up to meet the bloody shower. The woman did not scream; she didn’t even respond other than involuntary shudders as her body evacuated itself of organs. From within the muscle and bone of her innards hung the legs of her unborn child. The butcher quickly rammed a fist deep into her birthing cavity and grabbed hold of the baby. He yanked it hard until it broke free from its sanctuary. He then tossed the small body onto the floor where it was met with the steely snapping jaws of the doctor’s hungry dogs. The doctor himself was writhing amongst the woman’s entrails and afterbirth, but most importantly the fresh birthing fluids that had until seconds before been keeping Richter’s unborn child alive. He lapped up the warm juices with his tongue and wriggled within his restraints.

‘Now! Start the machine!’

The butcher pushed aside the limp, dangling carcass of the woman and then proceeded to push the trolley upon which the doctor lay. He slid upon the roller until he had almost disappeared within the gaping mouth of the cadaver. The butcher then flipped up the metal end and shut the doctor in entirely. He then went to the other side of the machine, where the vat of amniotic fluid sat, and turning the tap, he released its contents which poured through the tubing and filled the metal coffin, pushing its way through the syringe into Richter’s own bloodstream. The doctor continued to scream his commands from within the metal tomb.

‘Do it! Do it!’

The butcher, anticipating his superior, made his way to the switch that would remove the wooden block that held back the current from the wet-cell batteries. When the command came he pushed with all his might, releasing the wooden slat. The whole machine crackled into life. The initial surge of current was enough to blow the butcher clean across the room, frying his hands to a crisp and setting him on fire. The maniacal laughs of the doctor from within the metal coffin soon disappeared as he became submerged within the flood of fresh amniotic fluid, a cocktail of the combined building blocks of life that until moments before sat within fleshy sacs protecting the precious beginnings of new life. The butcher’s assistant, having seen what had become of his superior, leapt from the treadmill and went to the front of the grand machine as he had seen the butcher do before and pulled the lever that released the smaller of the metal spheres from its clamps. The ball began to rotate upon a central pin. The grinding whirr it made growing louder and higher-pitched as the ball span faster. The butcher’s assistant then went to the second control panel and pulled the awaiting lever. This one released the current that had built up in the machine and introduced it into the birthing chamber the doctor lay within. The charge of electricity shot like lightning to the metal casket, immediately covering it in a net of electrical current and static. A charged arc of blue light connected with the butcher’s assistant and he began to fry beneath the burning hot charge of the machine. His mind was instantly destroyed, yet his body remained rigid and held firmly onto the lever of the machine. Quickly the man’s flesh crackled and split and as his flesh began to shrivel and his fat ooze out through the splits in his skin, it caught light and he began to burn like a human candle. The metal casket began to judder and shake as the current running through it began to peak uncontrollably, rattling upon its hinges. Suddenly the end of the casket blew open and the machine spewed out the contents prematurely, like a birthing cow. The doctor slipped from the trolley, no longer restrained by its shackles, and his bright red-raw body slapped the floor like the meat he had been reduced to.

Hearing the commotion from underground, the baker and his family were all trying to gain access to the locked laboratory to no avail. They hollered and called but nobody could hear them. The doctor’s dogs were going wild, frantically trying to escape the inferno that was erupting in the main chamber. Even their great hunger was replaced with another greater priority, that to survive. They ignored all the tasty fresh raw meats on offer and began feebly trying to ascend the ladder to the ground above.

Amongst the horrors that were occurring, one scream outdid them all; that of the doctor. He unceremoniously clambered to his feet, using the machine for balance. He stood weakened and freshly baked. His skin was red-raw, and he had been made devoid of any body hair. He stood, in agony and covered in an oily marinade, in a triumph of sorts. The screaming made way for laughter as he thanked God he still breathed air. Then the silent butcher’s burned corpse crackled and popped, and he fell away from his charred hands, which remained squeezing tight to the machine’s lever. The butcher’s body exploded upon impact with the floor, his burning remains setting alight the fluids that had poured from out of the machine’s birthing chamber. Instantly the room was awash with fire. The doctor himself went up in flames and burned in such an intense inferno that his maniacal laughs soon turned to screams of fear and pain. Had the machine worked? Had he endeavoured to crack the code for eternal life? Right now, he sincerely hoped not as he frantically attempted to extinguish himself. He bounded into walls and patted himself down, but the flames stubbornly remained. The pain was excruciating yet he could see no yield in their torment. He could feel no wavering in his consciousness or existence. He remained, in total agony, alight in some damned freakish fire. He was alive but the never-ending fuel of the devil’s own fire. He screamed and ripped at himself but remained an unquenched burning pyre. As he staggered through the chambers he ignited anything he touched until everything was alight. The comatos beds, the butcher and his assistant, even the doctor’s dogs shrieked and howled as their bodies went up in flame. The grand machine had failed, like so many machines before it. The amended designs were not the answer. The book itself was safe within its lead case, yet the very building around it was quickly losing its strength. As the fire lapped and ate the wooden beams and struts, the floor above began to collapse and drop through the cavity beneath.

Greyson shrieked from within his cage as he too caught fire. He hammered the bars until they loosened, and the cage fell apart. He immediately began to run frantically around the chambers, howling in agony, but possessed of the same inability to die as his creator. The flaming body of Dr Richter finally managed to find the ladder which led to the surface and as he climbed, the flames jumped and licked the locked trapdoor. The wood was eaten by the fire’s heat and a desperate arm burst through the hatch, grasping at the surface. The Baker and his family backed away, looking on in terror. The Farriner’s maid screamed and fainted on the spot. The Baker gathered his children to him and they bravely made their escape from the fiery monsters emerging from their yard.

Screams began to echo through the side streets and alleyways of London as the fire spread like the bowels of hell erupting. Families left their homes and fought to get to safety. Men ran to the Thames to gather water with which to quench the flames, but it was all in vain. The fire was too great, and it was to consume everything in its path. Amongst the siren calls and early morning screams, reports of wild beasts and hellish creatures running frantic amongst the flames confirmed in everyone’s mind that the devil himself had sent his minions to smite old London town.

1666 is Coming!!!

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It’s okay, we haven’t taken complete leave of our senses just yet. We realise 1666 has technically gone, and to be fair it’s passing was not even that recent, but still rest assured 1666 is still coming!

Let me explain…

Masonic Plague for those of you who do not already know is set in 1890’s London, but the origins of it’s tale reach far far back, way before then.

So as a little teaser for the upcoming book. We are shortly to publish the short story ‘1666’ on here, for FREE, as a sweet little taster of exactly what you may come to expect from our beloved little monster.

So forget 2018, Royal Weddings and upcoming news reports of alien landings. Make way for the good stuff, because 1666 is coming!!!

 

Writer Interviews Take 2 – Mr Jonathan Martin

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Okay here goes, 10 questions I will randomly pull out of the ether with which to gain some much needed insight into the mind of poet, scriptwriter, vodka swigger and co-author of The Masonic Plague, Mr Jonathan Martin.

Q1. You drive all night through pouring rain, the country lanes illuminated only by moonlight and the your own headlights. You pull off down a disused and overgrown track until you arrive at an old house. The house is run down and clearly hasn’t been occupied for decades, however you see up in the highest attic window of the house a candle burning upon the window sill. You manage to barge the front door open and slowly make your way through the old house. Cobwebs and dust covering you as you make your way up the rickety wooden staircase. You reach the landing and step across creaking floorboards until you reach another set of steps that lead up to the attic where you saw the candle. Opening the door you see the room is empty except for a large wooden trunk in the middle of the room. You unlatch its old rusted lock and with a mighty heave you swing open the lid to reveal to your horror … what?

The complete works of Abba and everything ever made by The Spice Girls

Q2. If the world were to end in the next 6 hours, what would you spend that time doing?

Unfortunately I probably can’t type my exact answer here but rest assured it’d be noisy, sweaty and pleasureable.

Q3. If you were given the opportunity to spend one night partying VIP style with any celebrity (living or dead) who would it be? where would you go? and what would you do?

Now if this was just getting to know and talking to a person I’d have to say Ayrton Senna everytime as he’s my absolute hero of all time. But you, you naughty man, said the dangerous word partying… So with that in mind I’d probably go for Aerosmith in the mid to late 70’s. As for where I’d go I think that’d probably be ‘to hell’ and as for what I’d do well that’s easy with the stuff they got up to I’d ‘probably die’!

Q4. Author that has perhaps influenced you the most in your own writing and why?

Probably without doubt your good self, as without you this monster would never of even have been devised!

Q5. Do aliens exist? And have you any experiences of probing?

Aliens definitely exist, I believe we have one in the White House right now. Though clearly that’s a rather inferior species which will hopefully be shortly eradicated by a severe bout of chicken pox. As for probing… well there was this one time… at band camp… Fuck No!

Q6. In your opinion what are the best 5 horror movies you have ever seen?

Oooh this is so tough and I’ll probably be heavily judged and criticised for these choices but hey I’m deranged, I’m allowed to make bad choices so you can all lay off, lol!

1. The Entity – Spooky, freaky, disturbing and pervy all in one!

2. Poltergueist – That Tree and that Clown have a lot to answer for.

3. Bram Stokers Dracula – It’s Dracula and I always had a thing for Winona Ryder

4. An American Werewolf in London – Awesome and it has werewolfs, I love anything wolfy.

5. Donnie Darko – Slightly weird but very watchable, it’s a Mad World.

Q7. Not a lot of people will know this, and it isn’t giving too much away in the book, but you were responsible for the creation of one of the Masonic Plague’s main protagonists and all round man in black Sir Maxton Silas. What I would like to ask and I’m sure the people who are reading this would like to know is, if this book were to be made into a film (or TV series I wouldn’t be fussy), who would you ideally see playing this big role and why?

Oooh that’s a tough question… to be honest I’m not entirely sure but I’d imagine Russell Crowe could bring a very interesting edge to the role. One thing is for sure though, anyone that has ever played a mildly nice vampire in any tv show, anywhere, ever would have to be immediately ruled out, no softies allowed on this one!

Q8. Books I have read suggest that reoccurring nightmares of your own demise could be your traumatised mind remembering how you have died in a previous life, have you ever had reoccurring nightmares and what were they about?

When I was a small lad (probably around the age of 8ish) I did have re-occurring dreams of a tanker that sank. This happened every night for several days, getting more intense until after just shy of a week a tanker actually sank just as I saw in my dream. I find if I have reoccuring dreams about anything they usually happen, saying that its very rare this ever happens these days, I hardly ever remember dreams.

Q9. It can be a painfully solitary and unsociable life as a writer, the biggest difference between a successful and unsuccessful writer being the brand of vodka they drink, but what I am always interested in knowing because I’m nosey like that is, when you are busy tip tapping away upon your keyboard what can you see? I’m talking, which room? computer or laptop? Pen and paper? Do sticky notes cover your wall? Are you facing a window? Do you have music gently playing in the background? Or do you write better whilst out and about? In a cafe perhaps or the local seedy strip joint? What is the environment like that enables you to do what you do?

Erm I feel I should probably answer such a long winded and effort filled question with something exciting and dramatic that will excite you to your core and make you tremble. But erm well to be honest, more often than not I write in silence in either my bedroom or my lounge and usually tap away on a laptop, though I sometimes write notes on my phone and have even been known to audio record parts of the story while driving to and from work (hands free of course). However I can reveal that Chapter one of the new book was actually mostly written in Dahab, Egypt, on a beautiful sunny day while staring out across the Red Sea.

Q10. The celebrity encounter you mentioned in question 3 is now the focus for this last question. Write a short 4 line poem about the night spent with that celebrity.

The dwarfs were all on fire and naked women all around,

With body parts gyrating to the blissful moaning sound.

An alcohol fuelled night of passion, no inhibitions to be found,

Steven made me do it, we’re all now straddled, gagged and bound!

 

Okay now that’s out the way I best get on with something really productive like making a good strong brew and dunking a biccie!

Rest well

Jon

Now over to the Professionals!!!

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Hello,

Do you smell that? That ever so uncomfortable and musty type smell. The kind you get after a particularly potent curry while making a noise befitting a certain ass hole of a US president?

Well that smell is gonna be wafting its way around here for a little while over the next month or so as the book has finally gone in for a professional edit and proof read. Though just a little bit nervous Mr Redden and myself are very excited to take a step closer to getting our little monster out in the big wide world to fend for itself and upset the odd bishop or two.

The talented Mr Alex Davis is doing us the honours of scything his way through the many pages of terror, gore and various unpleasantries and we are happy to announce that nowhere in the deal do we become responsible, in any way, for any of his medical bills in the event he doesn’t come out the other end unscathed 🙂

Anyway we should get the book back by the end of May so until then it’s full speed ahead on book 2. Chapter 3 is currently being written while both Chapters 1 & 2 have already had a minor re-work and edit, so I think its fair to say we think we’re on the right tracks now.

Anyway I think that’s enough ramblings for now. Time for a cocoa and some shut eye. Thanks for your friendship and support and as always…

Rest well!!!

Jon and the Grumpy Dwarf

Okay so we may have got a little delayed!

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Okay well yes the book should have been edited and probably published by now but I kinda got bit by a travelling bug, ended up getting a lil spiritual in Peru, took a trip to Stonehenge and then figured I needed to see a Pyramid or two so I may have got a wee bit distracted… However this has all been worthwhile. It has helped revitalise some new and twisted ideas that I’m sure will be incorporated in books to come, and more importantly it has spearheaded the writing of ‘The Masonic Plague – Book 2’. Yes we are already 2 chapters in and its rolling nicely… but back to editing!

With a little luck our final pass will be completed by the 10th May 2018… We’ve identified a guy to go through professionally and help get it ready for publication and we may even have an idea or two surrounding a possible publisher but we’ll give more away on that at a later date. In the meantime hold on and hang fire… because we all know good things come to those who wait…  😉

Sleep well me darlings…

Jon

Writer Interviews Take One – Mr Anthony D Redden

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Well as promised here is the first of the weirdly imagined Writer Interviews to give you a better opportunity to get to know the authors of the Masonic Plague just that little bit better. I must admit this has turned out just a tad bit more deranged than I even imagined it would so get yourself set with a nice brew and a biccie and enjoy the lunacy of my co-writer and best bud Anthony D Redden.

Thanking you.

Q1. So Mr Redden as a sick and disturbed writer what would you say is your favourite fish and why?

I’m not entirely sure where this line of questioning is going, and I can honestly say I was neither expecting this as an opening question, nor have I ever been asked it before. I have a feeling that somewhere hidden in there is an underlying question that you will judge me on, but whilst I fail to identify it I shall simply answer cake. My answer is fish cake. I guess that is cod, but then you can never know for sure. I like it because it tastes nice, whilst in general I’m not a huge fish fan. However, and you may or may not know this, but I am pretty much terrified of whales. I know not technically a fish but lets be honest, they are kind of big fish. I’ve had a lifelong fear of massive sea creatures, specifically whales, but come to think of it I guess sharks also or in fact anything with the potential to eat me. More specifically though is the deep rooted fear of being cast adrift at sea and whilst bobbing along helplessly upon my raft or even worse, not on my raft, having a whale swim up to me. Just the knowledge that the big brute was there is enough to shift my bowels. Refer to the scene in Castaway with Tom Hanks and that is pretty much my worst nightmare. So although, that actually is the complete opposite answer to what you asked, my answer is fishcakes because they are as far removed from being afloat at sea surrounded by whales as possible.

Q2. As we all know when Walt Disney wasn’t courting young men and trying on strange glass slippers he was an avid horror fan. With that in mind which one of the 7 Dwarves would you be and why?

Okay I did not know that. I really must brush up on my Disney. I actually have a biopic at home that I’ve been meaning to watch for ages. Anyway, if I were to be one of the 7 dwarves I guess it would have to be grumpy. I am pretty much grumpy all the time. Not for any particular reason I think, except that the world is crazy and everyone in it is also crazy and they all drive me crazy with the crazy things they do. I don’t really like people as a rule, they do odd things that I find a constant struggle to deal with. So grumpy, although I am pretty much tired all the time also, so sleepy would come a close second.

Q3. Do you believe in ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night? Any strange experiences you’d like to share???

I do not believe in ghosts because they do not exist. That is what my logical and rational mind says. However I have seen a ghost. So go figure that one out, because I can’t. I have a creative colourful imagination which allows me to imagine all sorts of ghostly things and the afterlife and ghosts are a favourite of mine to tinker with. However I have not yet seen or heard anything that would allow me to believe such things are real. As I have said though I believe I have seen a ghost, maybe not even one but many, however one in particular encounter has stayed with me for years. Pull up a chair and put the kettle on and I shall impart my tale. Many years ago, whilst I was living in Bath, I worked in a 5 storey care home. Whilst on a sleep-in shift and during a period of half-sleep just as I was struggling to nod off, I suddenly became aware of a presence. The presence didn’t feel malicious or evil in any way, in fact it felt reassuring and loving. However, I also became aware that I could not move. I was lying in my bed and began to panic that I could not move, I couldn’t speak or call out, I couldn’t wriggle free. It was as if my whole body had become paralysed and all I could do was stare unblinking at the ceiling and scream in my head. This feeling soon passed as I realised that despite being incapacitated I was not actually scared. It was a weird feeling of being trapped yet safe. I could sense something in the room with me though, something floating. Out of the corner of my eye or could it have been in my minds eye? Either I suppose it didn’t matter, it was like continuing to see even when you cannot physically see beyond your line of vision. But a black smokey figure was floating above me and to the side just out of sight. The image is clear even now, even though I may have never actually seen it, but I saw it in my mind. The figure was a small baby dressed in flowing gown that floated and spread like smoke. The figure didn’t speak but I could sense exactly what it was communicating. It said for me to calm down, to not panic and to not be scared. That it was watching over me and it was with me. That it would always be with me and that it would guide and protect me. At that point I spoke in my mind that I was scared and it backed away and then dissipated. I then after a long amount of staring at that ceiling realised I could move again. Now I’m sure so many people would take elements of this story and rip it to shreds and quote all kinds of psychiatric mantra and theory, however I took from it what I have. To me it was real. As real as anything. Whether it actually was or not I don’t know. But it was weird and scared the crap out of me and haunts me to this day. This is just one of a few incidents that have left me questioning my own beliefs about the afterlife. This one felt the most personal though.

Q4. What’s the most unusual/frowned upon thing you’ve ever done in a graveyard?

I’m afraid despite spending a fair amount of time in the cemetery, I don’t really get up to much in them. I’ve spent many an hour taking photographs and visiting loved ones, however nothing that would really be frowned upon. I once had a family picnic in a cemetery amongst the headstones. The kids thought it was great and it was very peaceful. However I think the thing that creeped me out the most whilst in a graveyard was when the two of us were out late one night trying to capture some evp and other such things. When we eventually got home to examine the recordings, we found what I could have sworn were otherworldly voices trying to communicate. However after a briefly sleep, we found those voices to no longer be on the recording. Weird.

Q5. Within the contents of the book there is a rather graphic scene involving a little person, not a child but a dwarf. Is there some sort of latent fetish going on here that you might feel the need to share?

no.

Q6. Bearing in mind that the plate of custard creams has now safely been removed from the room. What is the scariest experience you’ve ever had?

The scariest experience I ever had was when my youngest son fell and cracked his head whilst at a school disco. We took him to A&E as a precaution but en-route he began to lose consciousness and couldn’t speak. I know parents can be overprotective and perhaps over-dramatise what’s occurring but it genuinely scared me because I felt powerless and could do nothing. He ended up being absolutely fine though.

Q7. Favourite horror movie?

Wow. That is a hard question. I have spent a life watching horror movies and they are by far my favourite genre of film. To narrow down a favourite is impossible because there are so many different types of horror movie that I love for different reasons. Okay I shall make this easy on myself and write a list of 5 horror films I love. That way I get to include all sorts. This is in no particular order, just as they come to mind.

  1. The Thing. 1982 version with Kurt Russell. Absolutely brilliant.
  2. Saw. 2004. This film for me defined a new era of horror film making.
  3. 13 Ghosts. Both the 1960 and the 2001 version. William Castle is amazing.
  4. The fall of the house of usher. 1960. I grew up watching the old late night movies. This one starring Vincent Price was one of my favourites.
  5. I really liked the films Insidious 1 & 2, although they need to be watched back to back in order

for them to really shine. I think they work really well as a 2 parter.

Q8. It is a well regarded fact that writers tend to enjoy a tipple or two to encourage the creative juices to flow, what is your personal tipple of choice?

I have found over the years that my taste buds have changed and along with it what I can drink and stomach. Most recently I have found that I don’t actually drink much alcohol at all, and what little I have hasn’t always agreed with me. I think age brings with it longer hangovers and killer headaches. However, saying that I do like a Jack Daniels and coke. Or a nice bottle of red wine. The occasional lager is acceptable also. To be honest it really depends what kind of mood I’m in and whether I feel up to it or not. I find alcohol tends to enhance my current mood whatever it may be and as I’ve mentioned before I tend to be fairly grumpy, so that’s not a great mood to enhance. Grumpy x 2.

I find now though that if I’m writing away as I do sometimes, I am fuelled almost completely on coffee. I do like coffee and probably drink in excess of 6 mugs a day. Sometime substantially more if I’m doing the day job.

Q9. What is the silliest thing your imagination can come up with to do with a banana?

I once began writing a story that I named ‘Space monkey and the electric banana’. I have no idea where I was going with it or indeed what the monkey would do with the electric banana, but I’m sure it was all innocent, however that title has remained in the back of my mind even now maybe 20 years later. So maybe the silliest thing I could do with a banana is not write a story about it. Or maybe that’s the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Maybe one day we will find out.

Q10. As an opportunity at revenge for the questions directed at you today. Divulge a strange/embarrassing or simply unusual fact about your co-writer Jon Martin?

Okay, despite the fact that there is a list as long as the night is dark of strange/embarrassing things about my co-writer Jon, I shall share one very unusual and yet almost beautiful fact about him. He was born one year to the very day after my brother died. Maybe not a significant fact, but nether-the-less it has always made me feel close to him in a brotherly way, like there is some distant connection between his appearance and the leaving of my brother. I imagine their spirits high-fiving as they passed each other on their journeys, almost like a tag team.

 

Anyway that’s enough procrastination for today, I must now get back to editing the damn book.

Tony

 

Touching base…

I find myself upon foreign ground here. I’m so used to waffling away on my own small island of a blog that it’s quite a treat to have rowed the little boat over to this blog in order to deliver my thoughts of the day. As Jon has so very eloquently and colourfully explained this is the blog dedicated to the ‘Masonic Plague’. Well not so much the book but rather the writing of the book. Today I have found myself reading through edited versions of Jon’s chapters in a final push to complete this first round of edits. The book itself is finished – kind of. This meaning that we have written pretty much everything that needs to be written for this first instalment. After having gone back through each chapter and smoothed them over, a few continuity issues were highlighted. After some conversations and head scratching these issues have been added to the list of to-do things that decorate my desktop memo board. As soon as I get the opportunity I will be back on it and get them sorted. Once all the basics have been addressed, we will be compiling all the chapters together into one big manuscript. This will allow us to then format consistently throughout the book. Then I guess further read throughs and any final bits of polishing and smoothing out.

Life and all its bits and bobs have been prioritising my time recently, but hopefully I can get things back on track now. Full of vigour and focused.

If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Masonic Blog, well what are you waiting for?

More to come very soon.

Tony