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 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

Coming Soon – Writer Interviews

Hello folks,

Now something tells me we may regret doing this, but in an attempt to procrastinate just a lil bit longer while we polish off the book we’ve come up with the slightly sadistic brain wave of doing a bit of a random interview with each other. To be honest I’m not sure if this is going to end up being more of attempt to send each other up for a wind up rather than a helpful insight for an audience but hey ho worth a go!

In the meantime here’s your chance to throw some Q’s in yourself. So if there is anything you’d like us to ask each other just click on the post and leave your question in the comments box at the bottom and who the question is for and we’ll tag it on for your enjoyment 🙂