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I was updating the Black Lands website the other day when I noticed something interesting — a milestone I wasn’t aware of, but one that I feel deserves a small acknowledgement.

Ten years ago, in September 2009, the very first Black Lands story was published as a chapbook by Burning Effigy Press.

“Temporary Monsters” marked the introduction of Felix Renn, the Toronto PI who works supernatural cases in a world where paranormal has become the norm.

Several more novellas and short stories have followed over the years, some featuring Felix, some introducing new characters — because as I’ve always said, the main character in this series is the Black Lands itself — and they’ve always been my favourite ones to write.

Last year I finally finished the first Felix Renn novel, Sycamore, and I have plans for many more books in the series.

I don’t like to talk about stories that aren’t written yet, or books that aren’t published, but I can tell you there’s a lot happening behind the scenes. I’ve got enough material for a new collection of Felix Renn stories, a collection of standalone Black Lands stories, and I’m about to begin work on the second Felix Renn novel.

I wish I could tell you when these books will see the light of day, but that’s a bit harder to determine. Without getting into the business side of things, all I’ll say is that I’m currently looking for the right agent, one who gets what I’m trying to do with this series, and will support and champion my work. Any writer will tell you this can be a long and difficult process.

But today I’d like to focus on the 10th anniversary of “Temporary Monsters,” and the debut of Felix Renn and the Black Lands.

I’d like to thank Monica S. Kuebler for publishing that little chapbook all those years ago, and the ones that followed, as well as the Felix Renn collection, SuperNOIRtural Tales (and to Mike Carey for writing a wonderful introduction). I’d also like to thank all the writers and readers who have supported my work, and the Black Lands series in particular. The world of writing and publishing can be as dark a place as the Black Lands itself, and you have all been the beacons of light that help show me the way.

I look forward to seeing what happens in the next ten years.

(“Temporary Monsters” is available to read for free online — also as an eBook for Kindle, epub, pdf.)


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