Hell Week 2018 – Lady Gemini/Andrew Weston

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Who are/were you?

I am the Lady Gemini, Daemon Grim’s newest Hell Hound. In life, people knew me as Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d’Armont, (l’ ange de l’assassinat) – or simply, Charlotte Corday – the assassins angel. Born 1768, in France to a minor aristocratic family, I was executed by guillotine while still only twenty-four years old for the murder of Jacobin leader, Jean-Paul Marat.

Who is your ‘lover’ in Hell?

Though it’s unrequited, I’ve fallen for my boss, Daemon Grim. A bit of a sticky dilemma as he’s only recently lost his soul mate, Strawberry Fields, who he destroyed utterly in self defense.

Love in hell, isn’t that a contradiction? How does this work?

In a nutshell? It doesn’t! Not for the damned masses, anyway. But now I’ve risen to the ranks of the elite, I’ve been told I may express my desires in any way I see fit . . . so long as it’s away from the public eye and knowledge of such freedom isn’t bandied about for all and sundry to hear.

Many of the denizens of His Satanic Majesty’s realm have a curse – what is yours?

Though I have a nubile form, exquisite grace and speed, and am extremely athletic, I’ll never be beautiful again. Before my elevation, I complained once too often and am condemned for all eternity to wear a face of two distinct halves . . . as you can see in my picture.

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It makes smiling quite a chore, I can tell you. (And helps explain the ingenious name I’ve been labeled with)

Who are your friends/allies here?

I have very few, but they all count. After my fall from grace, I became an assassin of some repute throughout all the levels of infernity. That put me much in demand, at the cost of acquaintances. Regardless, since my inauguration into the Ancient Disorder of Hell Hounds, I’ve gained the closest thing you can get to family, and am determined to protect that treasure with all my strength.

Describe your home/environment in Hell.

I live in a suite situated on one of the top floors of Black Tower, in what you mortals would call the Tower of London. Here in the underverse, we called that ancient edifice the Den of Iniquity—or the Den for short. As with your topside version, it’s located at the center of the sprawling slum that was Olde London Town. By hell’s standards, it’s abject luxury. But we’re expected to get results. If not, well . . . what happened to the previous Lead Hound – Nimrod, and the former Chief Inquisitor – Strawberry, serves as a stark reminder how easy it is for the most privileged of the damned to fall again.

Hell covers all eras and technologies, there are many hells within Hell. How have you adjusted to this strange world?

I’ve been very lucky. As an assassin, I was allowed access to all sorts of weaponry and technology, and I didn’t really have to pay a diablo. Those who commissioned my services often footed the bill for the gadgets I needed. Gadgets I got to keep as part of the successful conclusion of a contract. Needless to say, that involved travelling to some of the remotest, most backward parts of the underworld. I got used to it pretty quickly. And when I became a Hell Hound? Wow! You ought to see the crazy stuff we have hidden away in the dungeons here at the Den.

What is/are your greatest fears here?

To fail. I’ve witnessed firsthand what happens to the privileged elite who do.


Author Spotlight

Name and bio.

Andrew P. Weston

Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.
As creator of the critically acclaimed IX Series, and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds, (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell universe), Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, and the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers.
When not working, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects and supporting charities. He also writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

Tell us about your story for this edition.

In The Devil’s Trull, Daemon Grim and the Lady Gemini travel to the Kigali homeland, Ki-gal, in search of information pertaining to the machinations of two of the biggest thorns in the flesh ever to cross the Reaper’s path: the infamous scientist, Nikola Tesla; and the renowned composer, Frédéric Chopin, who it is feared have trespassed upon Kigali territory in order to further their revolutionary aspirations.

Along the way, they discover just how ingenious the diabolical duo have been in fomenting rebellion, and how too the Sibitti have been at play, sowing seeds of doubt and mayhem in preparation for their final play against latterday hell’s most potent champion.

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen?

It was twofold really. My contribution to the shared universe involves leapfrogging my individual novels regarding Daemon Grim’s adventures with the anthologies. This story is a natural progression of a bigger picture. However, it gives me an opportunity to peel open a particular juicy segment of Daemon Grim’s personal life. As fans of Satan’s Reaper will know, he recently lost two of the closest souls to him: Nimrod – his best friend; and Strawberry – his long-time lover.

Their relationship had been rather complicated in the events leading up to The Devil’s Trull. Because of Grim’s inability to bring all the fugitives from injustice to heel, Satan had punished Grim. Firstly by denying him a corporeal form, and secondly, by stripping him of the privilege of intimate contact with the only one he has ever loved. Grim couldn’t even touch Strawberry without her suffering the fate of the masses – who succumb instantly to the Reaper’s “death touch.”

At the end of Hell Hounds (the novel preceding this particular anthology), Grim was forced to execute both Nimrod and Strawberry, actually obliterating them from existence. So he’s hurting. Not only does he have to contend with deep personal anguish and hurt feelings, but he’s battling to hold his head above water against an ever-increasing tide.

Gemini is the only suitable candidate he could find to offset the shortfall in his ranks. And sure enough, because of her own demons, Gemini has also been denied the comfort of companionship too. Just look at her face! In such a close-knit, high-pressure environment – one in which Daemon Grim has been returned to his devilishly handsome pseudo-human form – romance was bound to blossom.

And of course, the phantoms of past relationships and failures loom large . . . compounded by the fact that Tesla and Chopin seemed determined to stick the knife in. And of course, there are the Sibitti. . .

How did you become involved with this project?

Like everyone else, I was invited to write by Janet Morris a few years back. And I haven’t stopped enjoying myself since.

What are you currently working on?

I’m just rounding off the third and final book in the Author’s Cut version of a new supernatural action-thriller series – The Cambion Journals (The Rage of Augustus; The Kiss of the Succubus; and – just completed, The Embrace of the Incubus). I can’t wait to find out what people think of the series, as Augustus Thorne is bound to be popular with the ladies.

Name the last two books you’ve read – tell us about them.

I’ve not long finished Cruiser Dreams by Janet Morris, and Convergence, by Matthew S. Cox, in collaboration with J.R. Rain.
The blurbs for the books are as follows:

Cruiser Dreams. . .

She is heir to an empire beyond all imagining, where interstellar cruisers have become increasingly sentient and man’s role among the stars is transformed.

In this epic of political treachery, interstellar security, human passion, and artificial intelligence, Morris continues the saga of the fiery girl Shebat, stolen away from a decaying and primitive Earth to be the adoptive heir to the Kerrion Empire. Moulded to serve the designs of the Kerrion state, Shebat instead becomes the harbinger of change sweeping the civilized stars.

Against the chaotic background of simultaneous social and technological revolutions, Shebat finds that the man she loves is her implacable enemy, that the man she reluctantly married is perhaps her single ally, and that her space-faring cruiser may be her only true friend.

***I really enjoyed this story, as it explores the minefield of human relationships and especially – if it can be imagined – the relationship between man and machine . . . ‘machine’ with an ever-evolving artificial sentience. If you want to find out more, see my blog for a more in-depth review. It’s a truly thought-provoking read. ***

Convergence. . .

Intrepid reporter Solstice Winters has spent most of her life halfway between normal society and that of her magical parents. However, when getting caught between two worlds becomes more than metaphorical, being able to summon light or open locks might not be enough.

Neither her love life nor her professional life are going anywhere in a hurry. Her boyfriend is successful and handsome, but she constantly has to compete with his job for affection. At thirty-two, she works as a photojournalist for The Spiritualist, a small paper dedicated to magic and the supernatural―that most people regard as a tabloid. Desperate for that ‘one break,’ she’ll do almost anything to get that big story and get into a ‘real’ media outlet.

Years of always not quite fitting in begin to make sense after an error at a particle physics laboratory alters the dimensional alignment of the world, strengthening magic and revealing an unexpected truth to Solstice: She’s not even human.

*** This was an entertaining little journey into relationships of another kind. Magical beings are suddenly appearing all over the Earth, and Solstice doesn’t even realize she’s one of them until it’s too late! Of course, she ends up in the middle of a monumental mess that makes her wish that ‘big story’ she’s been after all her life would just go away. Fun. Down-to-earth. And thoroughly entertaining. ***

If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite?

I like Daemon Grim’s quote: “Your life has been a stage, and hell is the curtain call.”


Cover Reveal and Book Spotlight – Lovers in Hell (Heroes in Hell) – Historical Fantasy/Fantasy/SharedWorld/Hell Week

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Only fools fall in love, and hell is filled with fools. Our damned lovers include: Christopher Marlowe and Will Shakespeare, Napoleon and Wellington, Orpheus and Eurydice, Hatshepsut and Senenmut, Abelard and Heloise, Helen and Penelope, Saint Teresa and Satan’s Reaper, Madge Kendall and the Elephant Man, and more . . . — all of whom pay a hellish price for indulging their affections.

Shakespeare said “To be wise and love exceeds man’s might,” and in Lovers in Hell, the damned in hell exceed all bounds as they search for their true loves, punish the perfidious, and avoid getting caught up in Satan’s snares. In ten stories of misery and madness, hell’s most loveless seek to slake the thirst that can never be quenched, and find true love amid the lies of ages.

Featuring stories by:

Janet and Chris Morris

Nancy Aspire

Joe Bonadonna

S.E. Lindberg

Michael E. Dellert

Michael H. Hanson

A. L. Butcher

Andrew P. Weston

 Lovers in Hell on Amazon UK

Lovers in Hell on Amazon.com

HELL WEEK 2018…. Coming soon…. so get your pitchforks ready.

You have been warned.

Dirty Dozen and Returning Author Interview – Andrew P. Weston – Sci-Fi

#Dirtydozen #Meetanauthor #Scifi

Name: Andrew P. Weston

Please tell us about your publications.

My publications have been produced with the guidance and support of the team at Perseid Press and as you will see, I tend to favour themes with a science fiction, fantasy and paranormal bent.

The science fiction slot is filled with the IX Series, detailing the trials and tribulations of the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome who marched into the mists of Caledonia in circa 100AD and were never seen again. Needless to say, they didn’t just disappear, and the series has grown into something of a gem.

The trilogy is comprised of the following books: The IXExordium of TearsPrelude of Sorrow. (Just released, get it while it’s piping hot!)

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The fantasy paranormal niche is nicely filled by the exploits of Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim. His adventures are told through a series of anthologies and full novels incorporated within Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe.
The novels are: Hell BoundHell Hounds – (and Hell Gate out in the Fall of 2018 – stay tuned).

The anthologies that leapfrog the novels are: Grim – Doctors in Hell, Pieces of Hate – Pirates in Hell, and later this year, Devil’s Trull – Lovers in Hell.)
If you want to stay with the flow of Daemon Grim’s evolution, it would be best to start with Doctors in Hell, and then go on to Hell Bound; Pirates in Hell, followed by Hell Hounds. Do you see? Each of the anthology pieces is a complete short story in itself, but it also adds substance to Grim’s overall adventure.

What first prompted you to publish your work?

The challenge! There’s a well-known maxim that states we all have a book inside us. But how many actually sit down and do it? How many dedicate themselves to the uphill marathon of putting all those thoughts and ideas into a coherent mass, from which you have to pick out the nuts and bolts of an organized tale that grips and entertains? I nearly gave up a good half dozen times on my first book. But I’m glad I persisted … because now I can’t seem to stop.

What have you found the most challenging part of the process?

Now I’m progressing? Being too picky. When I write the first draft and complete my running edits, I’m paranoid about not repeating the mistakes I made in my first few manuscripts of overusing certain ‘descriptive’ words or expressions.

I can’t help it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which makes me my own worst enemy when it comes to relaxing and letting things roll naturally. (The amount of hair pulling and fist clenching that goes on in my house would entertain the most avid WWE fan).

However, I’m addressing that particular challenge and hope to grow my hair back soon.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’?

I think it’s true to say I plot by the seat of my pants!

My readers will know I do plan things out rather meticulously before I start writing, especially during the world building stage. The same goes when it comes to the story arc. I like to chart the course I intend to follow so I can prepare sub-plots and mini-arcs along the way. You know, those little side-stories that keep the reader engrossed. However, I’ve learned NOT to stick rigidly to plan. Some of my best, most heartrending scenes came to me ‘mid-type.’ And when I went with those spur-of-the-moment ideas and allowed them to expand until they were interwoven into my concept…? Well, I think my stories have been enriched in every case. (Mac McDonald’s death in The IX being one such panster moment. Originally, he wasn’t destined to die, you see J ).

How influential is storytelling to our culture?

Nowhere near as influential as it should be.

I was very fortunate growing up, my mother would read to me every night before bed, and my father was always making weird and wonderful tales up with which to regale me. Whether it was written or no, I remember how I lived what I was listening to, imagining in my head what the monsters looked like, the creatures in the forests, the undersea caves full of treasure, etc. Storytelling stimulates the mind – in both the speaker and listener – and encourages a world of fantasy in ways mobile phones and iPods never will.

Which authors have influenced you the most?

Stephen Donaldson: for his use of descriptive prose. (and a darn good story-arc).

Tad Williams: for writing in a way that involves you in the most incredulous adventures as if they really could be a part of everyday life.

Neil Gaiman: Because it’s Neil Gaiman and I don’t think there’s a topic in existence he can’t turn into a weirdly, wonderful marvel that will hold you spellbound to the end.

Edgar Allen Poe: He inspired me to bear my dark soul in poetry, and damned the consequences.

What is your writing space like?

Think of what a gaily decorated and fully-laden Christmas Tree looks like after playful kittens high on catnip have been let loose on it for a while, and you won’t go far wrong.

Tell us about your latest piece?

I’m just concluding the Author’s Cut edition of Kiss of the Succubus, book 2 of the Cambion Journals. This particular series is being completed in tandem with the first Guardians trilogy. Both were debut works I completed as I broke into the business and I’m ensuring to give them the attention they deserve. I can’t wait for readers to meet these characters – especially Augustus Thorne. (You’ll see, ladies. You’ll see.)

What’s your next writing adventure?

I’m still thinking about it. Once the Author’s cut versions of the Guardian Series and Cambion Journals are out the way, I have the foundations in place for several projects: Something from the IX world – most likely a prequel; the completion of the second trilogy from the Guardians universe; new adventures within the Cambion multiverse; the further exploits of Daemon Grim; and a brand new untitled project set in a dystopian future.
I know…so much to do, so little time, and only one pair of hands!

What is the last book you’ve read?

The Artisans of Albia trilogy by Cas Peace. (It comes as one book you see…a cunning ploy) I really do recommend it. It’s great fun to read and will definitely pique your interest in the follow-ups. (I know I’ll be reading them)

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

No. True readers love real books too much. The smell and atmosphere in a bookshop can’t be replaced. This subject reminds me of a wonderful little one-liner the actor Stephen Fry said to an interviewer who asked him a similar question. His reply ran along the lines of…”Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”

Isn’t that awesome? And it makes a powerful point, doesn’t it?
Yes, I enjoy ebooks and the ease by which you can buy them online. But buying and reading them that way will never usurp actually holding the real deal in your hands and feeling its cover, the texture of the page, the smell of the printing process and the ambience of a shop. Heaven.

Is there a message in your books?
Always. The thing is, spotting them.

Some are tongue-in-cheek. From the very beginning, I’ve sprinkled cross-references to my other works in each novel. Little phrases here and there. A name, a title, a term of endearment or address. (Here’s a good one – when The Rage of Augustus, Book 1 of the Cambion Series becomes available, see if you can spot a direct nod toward ME – Andrew P. Weston, author). I’m there if you look carefully. And no, I’m not talking about my name on the cover. J

Apart from that, I do like to include some form of real-world moral or ethical dilemma within my story arcs that helps the reader appreciate, “What if?” What would I do if I faced that predicament? Would I be as restrained? That strong? That determined? Or would I simply take the easy course and go with the flow?
Again, they are there if you look, and each of them are specific to the story arc in question.


Links to Prelude to Sorrow

Amazon UK


Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpaul.weston



Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and criminal law graduate, he is the creator of the internationally acclaimed IX Series and Hell Bound & Hell Hounds (novels forming part of Janet Morris’ Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.


Good Cop/Bad Cop Interview – Daemon Grim & The Angel Grislington #Fantasy #Paranormal

#Meetacharacter #fantasy #Heroesinhell

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Name of characters: Daemon Grim & The Angel Grislington

(Short intro about each of the characters.)

Daemon Grim: Satan’s Reaper of souls and Pack Leader of the Hell Hounds (His Infernal Majesty’s Ancient Disorder of bounty hunters) and the Inquisitors (Royal interrogators).

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The Angel Grislington.
Captive cherub of the Most High, taken prisoner during the final battle at the Time of Sundering. (Current unlawfully at large within the realms of latterday hell).

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Q1 Daemon, why are you on this adventure? 

I’ve got to track down the angelic retard sat opposite me. He seems to think he can abscond from unlawful custody with impunity and spread his holier than thou platitudes without repercussions. Think again sucker!

Q2 Grislington, who is your nemesis? Why is this?

That misguided fool on the opposite side of the table. If he’d just let me be, I’d while away my time among the masses without drawing attention to myself. This is hell, after all, and there must be plenty of things to keep an inquisitive chap occupied while he decides what to do in the long-term?

Q3 Daemon, at your final showdown what are your plans (promise we won’t tell)?

I don’t care if you do tell? In fact, I want you to shout it from the rooftops, because when I do catch up with this…this shiney whitey, sitting on a cloud all day yanking his own chain tosspot, I’ll rub his face so far into the dirt, he’ll be spitting out dog turds for what’s left of his incredibly short lifespan.

Q4 As an angel of God, it’ll be interesting to see how you’d define a hero?

 My dear, that’s an easy one to answer. A hero is anyone who has to listen to Grim’s infernal rhetoric for more than a few minutes at a time. Honestly, could you think of anything worse? “I’m gonna cut you up – kill you – give you one hell of a Chinese burn for daring to do the slightest thing that doesn’t fit with Lucifer’s petty prince of darkness politicking.” Blah, blah, blah…For goodness sake, change the record. Can’t you think of anything original to say?

Q5 Daemon, you work for the Prince of Darkness. So how would you define a villain?

 Anyone who dares question the tenets by which I lead my unlife. As the pack leader of the Hell Hounds, we are bound by ancient decree to always be guided by the Laws of Lucifer, and to protect and defend his most despicable doctrines. We will pursue all enemies of the state – without mercy – throughout the length and breadth of the Sheolspace continuum until they are brought to heel and subjected to injustice’s purifying scales.

Q6 Grislington, why do you think Daemon is on the path he or she is?

 Because the poor boy hasn’t really got a choice. He has serious daddy issues that require the pandering of a constant urge to seek Lucifer’s approval on absolutely everything; from what he thinks to how he acts; who he sees and where he lives; he can’t even take a dump without fretting it might not fit into his regimented, regulated little world. Hand on heart, his path is leading him right down the toilet, but he’s too blinded by a false sense of loyalty to see.

Q7 Daemon, what are your feelings about God’s holy angel?

I don’t have feelings. I don’t experience love or hatred; joy or remorse; hope or despair. I’m merely possessed by the overwhelming, overriding urge to detach his head from his scrawny body and present it on a platter for my Dark Father to use as a toasting cup…a very small toasting cup. Perhaps something for pre-dinner aperitifs?

Q8 Grislington, where will you be 10 years from now?

I haven’t really decided yet. I might stay and savor the dark delights the damned have to offer or I might reach out and try for home again. It all depends if I can collect my wits – and my wings – from wherever it is they’ve been scattered.

Q9 Daemon, why should readers believe YOU are right?

Because as everyone in the underworld knows, I never lie. And I promise you, I’m gonna castrate this dick from the neck down the first chance I get.

Q10 This final question is to you both. Do you have anything you’d like to say to each other that you may not get the chance to say when you meet?

 Daemon Grim: Not really, I’ll let my scythe do the talking.

The Angel Grislington: Good luck with that…Remember, I’m not just any old angel. I’m a cherub of the holy court, and unhinged or not, I just might surprise you.


Hell Week 2017 Day 3 – Andrew Weston/Charles Vane


And here we are again, today there are ‘marshmallows’ – although don’t ask what they really are as the Undertaker gave me the bag to share….

Today the Infernal Interview Service is pleased to welcome Andrew Weston and his character Captain Charles Vane.

*That is NOT a marshmallow…. passes bag sideways quickly*

Character Spotlight

Who are/were you?   Tell us about your life before you came here, and after.

My name is Captain Charles—Allweather—Vane. Born in 1680, I was a pirate operating out of the notorious base at New Providence in the Bahamas known as the “Pirates’ republic”, after the British abandoned the colony during the War of the Spanish Succession. Originally from England, I preyed mostly on English and French shipping, and was most active between the years 1716 – 1719.

My ship – the Ranger – was one of the fastest brigantines in the water, and I was feared throughout that region as a cutthroat, and torturer – even amongst fellow pirates. (What can I say, I had my bad name to think of).

Sadly, the Ranger was wrecked in a storm in February 1719, and I was washed up on an uninhabited island in the Bay of Honduras – a lovely spot for its scenic beauty, sunbathing, and lack of beach vendors.

Eventually, a ship arrived but, unfortunately for me, it was commanded by an old acquaintance and former buccaneer Captain Holford who had turned tail, accepted a pardon, and who now refused to honor the pirates code. Holford actually refused to rescue me from the island, stating:

“Charles, I shan’t trust you aboard my ship, unless I carry you a prisoner; for I shall have you plotting with my men, knock me on the head and run away with my ship a pirating”

Although his statement was spot on, it still stung a bit, and the cheeky swine threatened that he would be back on the island within a month, and if he found me still there, take me back to Jamaica to be hung.

Lucky for me, another ship soon arrived and none of the crew recognized me, so I was allowed on board. Unluckily, that turncoat Holford met with this same ship at sea. The captain of my rescue ship was a friend of Holford’s, and he invited Holford to dine with him. While there, Holford saw me working aboard and informed the captain who I really was. The captain immediately relinquished me to Holford, who locked me in his hold and turned me over to the authorities in Jamaica.

My reputation had earned the disdain of pirates, royal mariners, and the public at large, and they all wanted me to rot in gaol before being executed. At my trial, numerous witnesses testified against me; so I saw little point in trying to argue.

When it was my turn to present my defence, I called no witnesses and asked no questions. I was found guilty on March 22, 1721 and sentenced to death. On March 29, 1721, I was hanged at Gallows Point in Port Royal, and died without expressing remorse for my crimes. After death, my body was hung from a gibbet on Gun Cay, at the mouth of harbor at Port Royal, as a warning against piracy. Bloody cheek…but at least I got a suntan.


Why do YOU think you’re in Hell?

I really haven’t a clue as I was such a lovely chap. I’d take my enemies for long walks off a short pier. I treated my acquaintances like the treasures they were…(usually buried under six feet of earth – map not included), and I used to feed their parrots on highly concentrated laxatives.
Who are your friends/allies here?

Apart from my hand-picked crew, I don’t keep close to many. The unlifestyle doesn’t lend to it. I do however, have a few well-connected associates. The best of these is none other than Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim. After I volunteered my services during the Doctor Thomas Cream fiasco, he kept me and the Lone Ranger II on a retainer, and has put some good business my way.

Besides the Reaper, the only other acquaintance I bother with is Roger Crossbones – aka, Jolly Roger – one of the craziest mariners undead, and an intelligence representative of The Commodore (Leader of the Pirate Lords)

Pirates – is that a word you resent?

Ha! Here in Hell, it’s a badge of dishonour. You have to be particularly despicable to be part of our ranks.

Hell covers all eras and technologies, there are many hells within Hell. How have you adjusted to this strange world?

By staying up with the times. Most of my compatriots use old style vessels. I mean, what’s the point of that. I received my first commission from the Reaper because I made use of what was available. The Lone Ranger II isn’t a galleon, a brigantine, or any form of sailed vessel come to that. She’s a hermetically sealed, pressurized, Hell-Cat 6000 super cruiser, powered by three Cerberus aqua-jet diesels, giving her a round range of nine hundred and thirty nautical miles, and an average cruising speed of fifty-two knots. Without her, the journey we undertake in the adventure you’ll read in “Pieces of Hate” took hours instead of the usual three weeks.

I don’t even look like a traditional pirate anymore, as I prefer to wear Trident storm fleece coveralls, thermal sailing boots, and my ever present bulletproof and backstabbing resistant lifejacket.

How do you define ‘piracy’?

What life in hell is all about in a nautical setting.

Describe your home/environment in Hell.

I live aboard the Lone Ranger II. It saves on redecorating and having to cut the lawn. My cabin has all the latest mod cons, and whenever I feel like a change of scenery, off we go. Fun point: the ship herself has a specially designed brig we can open to the waves whenever we feel in need of a bit of a spring clean.

What is the WORST thing about being here?

The rum. It tastes like urine distilled through sweaty socks…on a good day. And the grog? I’ve sampled vomit that possesses more body and refinement. I’m sooo pleased to have met the Reaper, as he pays for my services in goods. I get a case of Diabhalvulin 18 every time we complete an assignment.

Erra and his Seven – what’s going on there then?

I stay well away from them. And I’m glad to have had the Reaper with me on the one occasion I have bumped into them. VERY glad. You’ll find out why when you read the story.

What are your best tips for surviving in Hell?

Don’t drink the water. Don’t carry an organ donor card (The Undertaker isn’t exactly choosy about you not needing them). Avoid hellfish and other sea foods. Stay indoors between dusk and dusk. And never, ever, take a taxi. They literally do cost an arm and a leg.

What do you miss most about your old….life?

Women, rum, and clean jackets…In that order. Oh, and watching people die. It really is a pain seeing people you’ve gone to all the trouble of murdering getting reassigned.


Author Spotlight

Name and bio.

My name is Andrew P. Weston. I’m a time-travelling author from the future, hiding a dark and mysterious past, who currently finds himself kicking his heels in the present.
I live on a small island in a medium sized house with a large amount of cats.

Tell us about your story for this edition.
For Pirates in Hell, my story is entitled: Pieces of Hate
It follows on from Hell Bound in that Grim is dispatched by HSM to recover something of high value. What that is, you’ll find out, but needless to say Grim has to forge dense, man-eating jungles, icy mountains, death-dealing mazes. And he has a little run-in with the Sibitti too.

What inspired you to use the character(s) you’ve chosen?

As I mentioned, they’re characters I already use within Daemon Grim’s related adventures as Satan’s Reaper. Janet and I thought it would be a novel idea to incorporate each mission he undertakes – get it? – into the shared universe by overlapping them with the anthologies. So far, it’s working like a bad luck charm.

Writing for a shared world is challenging, how do you meet that challenge?

There are no short cuts; you have to do your homework. You need to find out what you can and cannot do in a broad sense, (what are the rules by which the universe operates? What are its limits? How far can you stretch the boundaries, and under what circumstances?)
Having done so, I feel it’s important to make an effort to regularly engage with “other” characters. For example, Grim is building quite a rapport with individuals that “belong” to other contributors – The Undertaker and The Sibitti in particular – so it’s essential to know the Modus Operandi of those other damned souls and how they act and react under given situations. Once you’ve done all that, you then have to wear two hats, as it were, and incorporate their style into the thread of your own work. A challenge, but well worth the effort when you see them combining into a greater whole.

What are you currently working on?

I’ve just started the third of the Daemon Grim’s novels, Hell Gate. It will conclude his first set of adventures, and reveal a little bit more about his origins.

If you could pick any quote about Hell which would be your favourite?

The underworld is now your stage, and I am your curtain call: Daemon Grim

Which 10 books would you save to keep you sane after the apocalypse? (Only 10 allowed).

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Lewis Caroll – Wonderfully eccentric characters depicting satire, allegory and parody as seen through the expert eyes of a child.
  2. Nineteen Eighty-Four: George Orwell – a dark and gritty tale on morality gone wrong and what lies beneath the surface of society.
  3. The Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe: Edgar Allan Poe – a fantastic collection of mystery and the macabre from the pioneer of the short story.
  4. Frankenstein: Mary Shelly – One of the most celebrated horror stories of all time. Imitated, but never rivalled in its depiction of true horror and suspense.
  5. The Lord of the Rings: J. R. R. Tolkien – what’s to say? A true classic originally written as the first volume of a two-piece epic (The Silmarillion) Truly awesome.
  6. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Robert Louis Stevenson – An epic tale exploring the struggle between the good and evil that resides inside us all.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird: Harper Lee – A superb insight into dilemmas that still afflict society today. Prejudice, class, equality, courage & compassion. A masterpiece.
  8. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever: Stephen Donaldson – A truly astounding fantasy penned by one of the greatest wordsmiths of our time.
  9. The Da Vinci Code: Dan Brown – An excellent escapade. Part mystery & suspense – part thriller & conspiracy exploring alternate religious history. Thought provoking.
  10. Dune: Frank Herbert – A landmark SF novel and first true space opera, years ahead of its time. The spice must flow…

What do you think are the top three inventions/discoveries in human history and why?

Earl Grey tea…for the taste. Flatulent free underwear…for the smell. The Spouting Pyramids of Geyser…for the sheer spectacle.

EXCERPT from your story.


Sure enough, I stumbled out of the gloom, and was greeted by the repulsive embrace of Paradise. Its vapid rays punctured the thick swathe of clouds above us in multiple places, making it appear as if heaven was casting searchlights down through the veil in an attempt to expose our dark deeds. The temperature dropped considerably, and I noticed we were now on a narrow, frost-encrusted ledge that terminated after a few yards in a sheer drop into an abyss.

I turned a slow three-sixty.

Behind us, the jungle stretched away. Extending off into the distance on either side of us, its fringe followed the curve of a vast, doughnut-shaped plateau that looked as if it might encompass the massive, snow capped cluster of mountains in the middle.

I allowed my far-sight to skim the precipice for a few miles in each direction.

Yup! A perfect circle, exactly as Chopin described it in his note. I must admit, I’m impressed. He’s been unusually candid. Not that it’ll do him any good when I catch up to him.

Far, far, below us, a river of molten metal filled the bottom of the chasm in lurid yellow light. It churned and boiled as it flowed by, and spat vast gouts of magma high into the air. A welcoming stench of brimstone wafted up from the depths.

The relief of a huge, shrouded, profile had been carved into the cliff face opposite us. Something about the way it had been rendered struck a nerve.

I recognize that image from somewhere…

A fragile splinter of ice jutted out from our position to span the intervening gap. Of course, it was inevitable that our path would lead across it. Dripping profusely from the thermodynamic savagery raging below, the bridge stank of sorcery and disappeared into the cavern represented by the wide open jaws of the edifice. I eyed the crossing dubiously, and I was grateful it was out of reach of the eruptions, for it didn’t look sturdy enough to withstand a wet fart, let alone the weight of our entire party all at once.

The breaths of my companions fogged the air, and steam rose in swirls from half a dozen heads as their sweat rapidly cooled. Mumbles of discontent began to percolate from the crew. As usual, Low was complaining loudest of all.

“What in Satan’s…?” He looked around himself in horror. “Where in the blazes are ye’ taking us, Reaper? This place would freeze the balls off a brass monkey. I thought ye’ were chock full o’ tricks that would help us get past stuff like this? Why aren’t ye’ helping?”

“Oh, I am, believe me. As you’ve just witnessed, there are strong enchantments about us, just waiting to go off. You didn’t know they were there, because you’re mundane. But I did. I can smell the theurgy lingering in the air. Taste it in the essence of the rock forming the massif in front of us. You think things have been bad because you’ve had to make a bit of effort? I suspect that the moment I use my abilities, all heaven will break loose. So, if we’re going to fight off badness knows what, I’d rather do so knowing I wasn’t merely exchanging the frying pan for the fire, and that I’d gotten my hands on our prize first.”

“And just what is this prize?” he countered, hands on hips once more. “What’s so precious about it, anyway?”

“I’ve told you before. I’m not at liberty to discuss details. But rest assured, it is something His Infernal Majesty has craved for a while now. And all those involved in helping him realize its possession will be suitably rewarded. You especially, for he understands we would not have been able to navigate the Flux without the Compass.”

“Reward be damned! Can I rub it between my fingers? Count it? Feel the weight o’ it within my purse? Pay my crew?”

“As I’ve already promised,” I stalked forward, and nodded toward the main peak, “Help to acquire this one thing Satan desires, and all your worries will become a thing of the past. Your entire crew won’t ever need to work again. And remember the bonus. Anything else we find inside is yours.”



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Pirates in Hell cover

Hell Week 2017 – Pirates in Hell #fantasy #sharedworld #heroesinhell

Welcome to Hell Week 2017 – brought to you by the Infernal Interview Service, the Library of Erana and with kind permission of Perseid Press.

The twentieth book in the much-acclaimed Heroes in Hell series brings us pirates, plagiarists, monsters, heroes and villains and, of course, the shared world of Hell.

Spotlight on Hell – check out the link for further details.

So what poor souls are joining us for this?

Joe Bonadonna, Seth Lindberg, Andrew Weston, Michael Hanson, Rob Hinkle, Larry Atchley Jr, and Janet and Chris Morris bring us their characters and their time.

So, dear minions…. er readers… pull up a pitchfork, get the marshmallows out and watch out for those pesky demons.



Pirates in Hell cover

Book Spotlight – Pirates in Hell #Fantasy #historicalfiction #heroesinhell

Arrgh! Shiver me timbers *whatever the hell that means….

The latest Heroes in Hell anthology has been blown by a Hellish Maelstrom onto these shores. Hell Week 2017 will be along in good time but for now here’s a taster.

Perdition Goes Viral As Floods Overrun Infernity!

From Perseid Press:

Avast, ye readers! Here be Pyrates! Feast yer eyes on the cursed treasures before you! Hoist the skull ‘n’ crossbones! Walk the plank with hell’s sorest losers! Join the damnedest buccaneers and privateers ever to sail infernal seas. The depths of hell chill the boldest sinner as damned souls learn why the deeper in hell you go, the colder it gets.

Come on down: Join us in the depths of hell where a few of our damnedest writers break every rule of perdition, resulting in longer stories overflowing with torment. Amid more horrific punishments than ever, only a few survive Satan’s cruellest purges, while hell’s bowels runneth over.

Janet Morris, Chris Morris, Nancy Asire, Paul Freeman, Rob Hinkle, Michael H. Hanson, Joe Bonadonna, Andrew P. Weston, S. E. Lindberg, Jack William Finley come together to bring us piratical hellish adventures.

Shakespeare denounces plagiarism but learns what’s in a name when Marlowe takes the blame, as Satan pronounces a penance built for two. Not even eleven flayed Rameses have a dry place to stand when blood overruns the Vile’s banks and Hatshepsut confronts history’s worst pirates, while Howard Carter seeks to loot yet another tomb before Germany’s Haeckel can take the credit.

Attila the Hun and Admiral Nelson square off until the Iron Duke and Napoleon brave an expanding lake to take the tide at its flood.

Daemon Grim, The devil’s Reaper, heads for Skull Island on His Satanic Majesty’s most infernal service to quench his taste for blood money, hell’s truest treasure.

Jason and the Argonauts find that piracy in hell isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as Medea proves you can’t teach an old witch new tricks.

Elliott Ness and Frank Nitti tangle with Hell’s Demon Minister of Copyright Enforcement, who insists that the price for musical copyright violation be paid in severed heads, including the head of King James I of England, but not even decapitation can still those wagging tongues. Doctor Frankenstein and Quasimodo swashbuckle on a voyage through Hades, searching for a way out of hell, while the Fairbanks boys and Errol Flynn capture a real vampire on film, showing that hell’s damnedest actors are never ready for their close-ups. Fleet Admiral Ogle and his nemesis Bartholomew Roberts quest for a mythical bottle of wine which may prove once and for all that damnation is just a test of faith. Kit Marlowe loses his Rose while Shakespeare finds out that a cold day in hell isn’t merely a turn of phrase. Grace O’Malley, pirate queen, and Strongbow, 2nd Earl of Pembroke confront the Vilekings with the help of Shaka Zulu, but not even Brendan the Navigator can help the ghostly Children of Lir.


Pirates in Hell cover

Dirty Dozen – Author Interview – Andrew Weston – Fantasy

#Authorinterviews #fantasy #dirtydozen

For the first of the new format of interviews, I’m pleased to welcome back Andrew Weston.

Please tell us about your publications. I’m very happy to be with Perseid Press. In my relatively short time with them, I’ve managed to produce two trilogies. (Yes, I’m a bit of a workhorse driven by an unquenchable fire).
The first is a science-fiction saga – The IX series – detailing what really happened to the legendary lost 9th Legion of Rome who marched into the mists of Caledonia in circa 100AD and were never seen again.
That trilogy is comprised of, The IXExordium of TearsPrelude of Sorrow.

The other trio form a fantasy adventure following the exploits of Satan’s Reaper, Daemon Grim, and are incorporated within Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell universe.
So far, I’ve completed Hell BoundHell HoundsHell Gate.

In addition to the main novels, I also contribute short stories to that same Heroes in Hell universe. (Grim – Doctors in Hell, & Pieces of Hate – Pirates in Hell).
Although each short story is a complete tale within itself, they form part of – and actually leapfrog – the novels to ensure a level of continuity that adds a spicy tang to the characters and plot.

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? I’m a bit of an anomaly.

People familiar with my working process know I plan meticulously before I start writing. I’m a detailed world builder, moulding a depth of history and culture into the places I create so I have them at my fingertips, ready to call on when the need arises. I usually plan out where I’d like my story to start, and the route the plot will follow in order to reach my goal.
However, I have a vivid imagination. When I’m writing, I have all sorts of things bubbling away inside my head along with the actual work in progress. Sometimes, this triggers fresh ideas. I’ve learned to let those new eruptions take me where they will with delightful results. (Some major characters have lived or died on the basis of “going with the flow”).
That’s why I’m glad of my world building stage. I use it like a bank vault of plot points and extra details I can turn to if things need to change…with interest J

If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat? Good question. I had to think long and hard on this.
If you’re going to spend time with a “familiar stranger” you’d want it to be someone who is as appealing as they are refreshing. Someone you could instantly relate to and have fun with, yet still be blown away by their quirkiness. That narrows the field down quite a bit.

So, I’d choose “Hatter,” from Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass.
As for food, that’s easy.
We’d have to wet our appetites with an aperitif of tea,

Lots of it, strong and hot, both for Hatter and for me.

Then for starters, I think, Wonderland mushrooms would have to follow,

Though the risk involved, as you know, would be rather hard to swallow.

The main course would be simple, yet crafted to entice,

Poached Rabbit stuffed in its waistcoat, upon a bed of rice.

Extravagance would follow, for then we’d greet our sweet,

Unbirthday cake in layers bright, the perfect festive treat.

And what finer way to end this, very important date,

Than by sharing a final cup of tea with my crazy madcap mate.


How do you deal with bad reviews? I read them whilst medicated in the off chance they might contain something constructive – as sometimes, they do – and then I use those little snippets to improve my writing.
Sadly, I usually end up having to drink gin until I’m intoxicated and morbidly depressed before crying myself to sleep on an absorbent pillow.

Sort these into order of importance: Good plot – Great characters – Awesome world-building – Technically perfect.
I would approach this exercise as if I intended to construct a wall.
My foundations would have to be in place first. That means the world building phase kicks everything off. Once you have something on which to work, you need a picture in your mind – or on paper – of the dimensions of the wall. I think that nicely describes your plot. Then you need the right materials. Queue your characters.
As for technical perfection? I know I’ll probably knock a few noses out of joint when I say this, but …I’ve read hardback copies by current world-renown – megabucks – authors from all 4 of the “big” houses and found them sprinkled with spelling, and in a few cases grammatical and constructive errors.
But, that’s just part and parcel of the editing process. Nobody will ever produce a perfect manuscript.
On a similar point, I’ve read some self published works that lacked proper editing. (And clearly so). In many cases, it made me grind my teeth. HOWEVER, there have been one or two instances where I’ve enjoyed the world, the plot and its characters so much I didn’t let the technical glitches spoil my enjoyment of a great story.

Push come to shove? Give me a choice between a good, technically perfect story and one I know is great – though littered with errors – I’d choose the one I’d enjoy most. I don’t get the chance to simply read for fun all that often, so I wouldn’t want to waste the opportunity.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? As my readers will be aware, I complete an absolute shedload of research before putting pen to paper. And it’s all topic-specific.
(Hot off the press. I’m already researching certain factual, scientific and esoteric aspects to a story I won’t be writing for another four years yet. What is it? Aha…you’ll see…)

And to the wildest subjects? That’s difficult to define, as it will be dependent on each person’s perspective. I’m not easily shocked, so it might be better just to list some of the subject I’ve dipped into for storylines:

I have delved into the rituals involved in demon possession and exorcism; sex rites of Incubi and Succubae worshipers; psychic, sexual and physical appetites of supernatural half-breeds such as Cambions.
I’ve also researched some of the world’s most notorious serial killers. By comparing their backgrounds, home environments and the external stimuli they were subjected to over time, I’ve learned something about the behavioural triggers that motivated them to act in the way they did, and how each one evolved their own respective modus operandi.
Not particularly wild, but diverting nonetheless.

How influential is storytelling to our culture? Sadly, I think it’s becoming less and less influential as the techno-age advances. Too many modern-day parents tend to leave things to gadgets when they should be giving their kids the most important, most essential thing required for their development: time.
That’s a great pity. I could read and write before I went to school, but that was down to Mom and Dad spending time with me.
Mom was the reader, she’d get my favourite books down off the shelf and we’d go through them together. But Dad was the master storyteller.
I grew up in a haunted house, and my parents soon realized that the spooky goings on didn’t faze me all that much. So, my Dad would make up the darkest, most macabre and twisted bedtime stories imaginable. I loved them!
The only downside to that is…I can’t watch horror films. They’re just too darn boring. I’ve only ever seen one thing that sent a little tingle along my spine.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? The Silver Surfer.
When I’m awake, I try and turn strange dreams into reality, and my thoughts are often floating through the vastness of space, imagining what’s out there. When I’m asleep, I’m fishing for fresh ideas that come to me in a kaleidoscopic rush of warped details. But to be able to experience all that – and more – for real? To be able to roam the cosmos at will and witness every aspect of its grandeur in minute detail?
Yes please…I’ll be there, a fellow traveller cresting the next intergalactic wave on his journey into…?


What is your writing space like? Think chaos space meets the results of an antimatter explosion, and you’ll be getting close. It sounds messy, and it is…But I know where everything is, so I don’t let my wife touch a thing.

What’s your next writing adventure? My next venture involves the completion of an “Author’s Cut” version of my debut novel and related works. I cringe when I look at them now, as my method has developed and matured into quite a distinctive writing style. I much prefer being able to express myself using rich and descriptive prose that paints a vivid tapestry of the world in which each story is set. Injecting my true voice into the Guardian and Cambion series will hopefully make these stories shine in the way I know they can.

What is the last book you’ve read? American Gods by Neil Gaiman,
I’m really taking to Gaiman’s writing. He’s so obviously quintessentially English that I can guarantee a good helping of afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches with every portion of his work. And yet, he has a universal appeal that will engage just about anyone at every level of reading.
American Gods is superb, a road trip across the bridge spanning old world and new; a place where myth, legend, nightmares and dreams come together on a smorgasbord of dark and dreadful delight that will leave you as disturbed as you are fascinated. You think you know all there is to know about gods? Think again.
And how better to expose their double-dealing ways than by revealing the never-ending cycle that keeps them in power?
As I say, a great story into which Gaiman manages to inject his morbid, warped sense of humour. (My kinda guy).

How important is writing to you? I can honestly say, I get twitchy if I don’t write or do something creative every day. It’s the same when I go to bed, as I invariably start making up new stories and plotlines, only to go to sleep living them out.


Website: http://www.andrewpweston.com/

Blog: http://andrewpweston.blogspot.gr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WestonAndrew

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andrewpaul.weston



Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.

An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestselling IX Series and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.


Character Interview Thirty-Five – Gul Shani

Tell Us About Yourself
Name: Gul Shaní – but you may call me Shaní

Age: Isn’t that a lady’s own business?
Please tell us a little about yourself.

I was born on Arden in the year AE 12-322, to Mithélan and Crissel. Although a scientist by nature, my flair for politics led me into government service once I’d reached my majority. After three terms in office, I was elected to the Senatum – the ruling body of homeworld and our dependencies – and eventually, I became Deputy Magister and speaker of the House under Gul Sariff. (A great honor, for it is one of the highest offices a dignitary can hold).
Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. Someone who would look at ease in your…Area 51?
Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why?  Upon my emergence from the Arc – the great DNA storage repository fashioned to sustain our race through adversity – I became enamored with one of the leaders of the human-hybrid community who helped guide the refugees from Earth through the most difficult years of the siege, Deputy Commander Mohammed Amine.
Although quiet and reserved, he is not afraid to speak the truth. Working amongst politicians all my life, that’s a rare prize, let me tell you. Even when carrying a heavy load, he is polite, gentle and kind, and bears himself with dignity. What’s more, Mohammed displays a profound respect for others and their beliefs that makes him a most appealing man.
I haven’t worn down his natural reserve yet…but I will:)
Do you like animals? Do you have any pets/animal companions? Yes, I love allorans. I believe you call them horses on Earth? Growing up, I was fortunate in that I got to ride quite a lot, and loved ranging far and wide on alloran…or horseback, as often as my duties at the Senatum would allow. One, a mare I called, Soulsea, was especially dear to me, as she displayed an independent spirit, yet was fiercely loyal. I was there the day she was foaled, and she remained my constant companion for many years until the advent of the Kresh…or as you call them, the Horde.
Do you have a family? Tell us about them. My mother and father, Mithélan and Crissel died during the Kresh rampage across Arden hundreds of years ago. My brother, Banor, was in the military, and died during the war that tried to prevent them from reaching Arden.
Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behavior? How do you think it influences you? My fondest memories of childhood are the years I spent among the rolling hills of Selán, close to Genoas. My parents owned and managed a large stock-farming enterprise, you see, and although the business involved the selective breeding of both commercial and farm animals, allorans were by far my favorite. I spent many hours in the saddle as a young girl, riding the woods and sweeping grasslands which surrounded our estate, savoring sights and sounds too many of my classmates living in the municipality rarely got to enjoy. It made me realize how privileged I was to have such things, and sensitive to the characters of the creatures I met during my forays, deep into the forests.
I suppose you could say I inherited a free and open spirit from the friends I made in those woodlands, a spirit that has helped me form a special attachment to the world I serve.
As to influencing me now?
That inner fire makes me a formidable adversary on the Senatum floor. Although I’m a natural diplomat, I’m not swayed by the petty politics and party sniping carried on by many in the Senatum. Our world and its needs come first, and my commitment to Arden’s needs has made me the bane of those who don’t have their priorities right.
Like Mohammed, I’m not afraid to speak the truth, and would rather face differences and problems head-on, instead of ducking and diving all the time.
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.
I’m rather handy with a mastig – what you would call a whip. Growing up in the country, we were often plagued by ropillos, (a small rodent with leathery wings that had a macabre taste for carrion, blood, and animal manure. An unsavory combination that meant their bite often spread infection through the herds and flocks they plagued). Originally forest dwellers, the flying pests started to infested the warm, cozy shelters we constructed to house our animals. As they migrating into new habitats, ropillos became a nuisance because they would chew through almost anything to get at materials suitable for nest-building. If you killed them, their carcasses would only attract other of their kind, so we developed mastigs, flexile, thirty-foot long whips with a little electric stunner in the end that would put the fear of god into our fluttering little friends and scare them away.

Tell Us About Your World
Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. As you are aware by now, Arden is a planet on the far side of what you call the Milky Way galaxy, one of five in our solar system.

Starting at Soleíl – our sun – there’s: Issander, Arden, Danobe, Vesta, and finally, Ladesha.

Arden itself is incredibly beautiful. She’s half again as big as your Earth, and is blessed with breathtaking mountain ranges that graze the sky in pink and cobalt hues, and forests so vast, you’d think they were purple-green oceans.
It wasn’t always like that, of course, especially at the dawn of our civilization, but as we reached the Age of Enlightenment – (AE) – eight thousand years into recorded history, we marshaled our resources, colonized the stars, concentrated our numbers within self-sustaining cities, and began the process of restoring our planet to the glory it possessed at its birth.
It’s a wonder to behold: Seven major conurbations – Rhomane, Cumale, Floranz, Locus, Genoas, Napal and Elan – surrounded by sweeping grasslands or pristine snowfields. To better serve the needs of our culture, we spread our population centers across all four of our main continents. We have other cities, of course, but none serve the function that the major metropolises do.
Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behavior. At the dawn of our race there were many different religions. As time passed and we overcame the divisive influence those beliefs seemed to cause, we came to a better understanding. However, illumination wasn’t achieved until we began to dip our toes into the endless reaches of space.
At its height, our empire was vast and our technologies world-shaking. The further we delved and the more we searched, the more evidence we unearthed at how structured the Milky Way and the entire universe seemed to be: From the tiniest quarks and leptons; to the infinite reaches of the heavens; the clusters of galaxies; superclusters; megaclusters; and mysterious shadow-energy everywhere, holding everything in place. Simply put, we discovered everything seems to be connected. When you look at those various marvels to scale, each look like the inner workings of an ultra-cosmic brain. A big clue, for we came to view such synchronicity as evidence of design at play. And with so much evidence of design, somewhere out there must be its designer.
You don’t walk down the road and find a simple brick wall miracling itself into existence do you? And with something so much more defined, so intricate as our bodies, our brains, our world, we began to entertain the notion that, perhaps we shouldn’t scoff at the idea such things of grandeur and complexity wouldn’t form by chance either.

We call our Creator, Pherôn, a he/she/it who views all life as sacred.


Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Because of my work, I tended to spend much of my time in the forums of many of the inner colonies. When on Arden, I traveled extensively between Kirban, Viléth, Orianne, and Asten, the major continents. (That’s why I looked forward to my breaks in the country so much). However, all that came to an end when the Kresh outbreak began.

Now? As you know from Exordium of Tears, I’m one of the crew aboard the Avenger class dreadnaught, Shadow of Autumn, on a mission to the Verianda Nebula where the Kresh outbreak arose. What happens there waits to be seen.
Name and describe a food from your world. That has to be brégvan, a vegetable that looks much like a red cabbage from your world on the outside, but appearing much like a tomato inside. It’s spicy, crunchy, high in vitamins and can be eaten raw, mixed in with a salad, or hot as an accompaniment to a meat dish.
Having sampled some of the rare delicacies to have survived the transition from Earth, I would say the only way to describe its taste, is a combination of mild chilli-chicken and lettuce? (But I’m told, lots of things taste like your chickens?)
In any event, it’s one of my favorite foods and is simply divine on picnics.


What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) From what I’m told, you are already aware of the fact that our government is similar in many respects to something you once possessed on Earth when the Roman Empire held sway?

The Senatum is a governing institution representing homeworld and all thirty colonies. Senatum comes from the Ardenese word – sentia – which holds connotations of  “elder” and “experience”. Thus, you get an idea of an assembly of older, worldly-wise individuals with the maturity and experience to represent the people from a more balanced vantage point…(If only, eh?)

We are voted into office via elections, and then hold our positions for several years. Distinguished by long, ivory colored robes clasped at the shoulders by bronze brooches, we are divided into two broad houses: Those who serve through political acumen and those who are better suited to scientific pursuits.

Politicians hold the honorific, Gul, and are identified by a purple border along their collars and cuffs. Scientists are addressed, Psi, and posses blue trims. (Thus my name, Gul Shaní)

Now, chief amongst us is First Magister Sariff. You know this because of the gold pins adorning his vestments.

Directly under him are the heads of each division. Chancellor Calen, for the scientists, and Consulan Pulígio, for the politicians. Both of them are recognized by their silver clasps. However, you might note that I also possess silver brooches? That’s because of my rank, Deputy Magister, identifies me as Sariff’s second. He has the weight of thirty-one worlds to contend with, and cannot be everywhere at once. I, therefore, speak with his authority on all but the most serious matters. Indeed, during the normal course of the Senatum, it is I who control the floor and the debates that rage back and forth, therein.

It requires a calm mind and a steady temper. Although at times I wish I had my mastig to chivvy some of the diehards along in their longwinded deliberations.

Our most significant task was to function as the peoples’ representatives, and see to it that the law and governance of our communities were administered fairly through a tiered system of administration.
Does your world have different races of people? If so do they get on with one another?
In the far distant past, we certainly did. But by the time we’d reached the age of enlightenment, national borders were dotted lines consigned to history. The betterment of our species as a whole became the overriding focus, so, within a few thousand years AE, there were very few genetic reminders of our ancient origins. That usually surfaced in darker eyes – we tend to possess a uniform aquamarine, topaz blue coloring – and as you might have noticed, Ardenese people display a predisposition toward blonde or auburn hair. Now and again, a dark-haired individual does pop up, and the ladies especially are in awe of someone who, to them, possesses the ultimate fashion accessory.
Name a couple of myths and legends particular to your culture/people. I believe an individual called Elvis came to live on one of our colonies after his time of Earth had finished? But I might be mistaken.
What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? Before the fall, it was extremely sophisticated. By the use of applied science, we had eradicated disease and infirmity; revitalized barren worlds; could create matter from focused thought alone; cross vast distances in the blink of an eye; mimic life a wide variety of forms at the nano-level; and render the densest objects negligible by warping the very fabric of their texture to our will.
Thankfully, I’m not a materialistic person, so I don’t miss some of the comforts I used to enjoy…If anything, I miss my horses more than anything.


Within your civilization what do you think is the most important discovery/invention?Forewarned is forearmed. So, without question, the rip-space drive theorem that allowed us to do away with faster than light travel, and concentrate instead on folding hyperspace. Before its invention, the shortest distance between two points was a straight line. Rip-space did away with that by tearing through spacetime and connecting both departure and arrival points simultaneously. Almost instantaneous travel. Unfortunately, we now know of the mutagenic effect the release of such energies caused. Nonetheless, it was a magnificent achievement, and allowed us to expand into the stars and explore strange new worlds. One day, I hope we’ll be able to iron out the traps hidden within its matrix…then who knows what might happen.

Thank you for having me along, it’s been most entertain, discovering more about the customs and practices of people from other worlds. I do hope we get the opportunity to chat again some day J




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Author notes:

Book(s) in which this character appears plus links

Exordium of Tears


Amazon UK:


Author name

Andrew P. Weston
Website/Blog/Author pages etc.





Review – Hell Bound – Andrew Weston

Review – Hell Bound – Andrew Weston

Devilishly delicious

5 Stars

There is conspiracy afoot in Hell and Lucifer isn’t happy about it. He is, after all, the master of deceit and this particular intrigue is not of his doing. So who does he sent to fix the thorn in the satanic side? Daemon Grim, Satan’s own Reaper.

Hell Bound is set in Perseid Press’ shared world of Hell –which is dark, twisted and witty –   and Weston’s novel weaves in spectacularly to the series, although the reader need not have read the anthologies. This is a great introduction to a complex, delicious, and devilish world, and a way to meet some of the regular character such as the Undertaker.  Locations include the Hell equivalent of Paris (Perish) and London – which is a den of iniquity comprised of Victorian, modern and medieval, and those wicked denizens who once stalked the world above do so in the underverse.

As you’d expect from this writer and this world the book is an intelligent read – with layers of wit and plots which wend and weave like the layers of Hell itself. Treachery, politics, murder, errant demons, lost and forbidden artefacts, and to compound it all Erra and his Sibitti trying to undermine the very foundations of hell itself. Satan is not having a great day.

Daemon Grim is not a good guy – but then again he is Satan’s servant and fiercely loyal. He’s also something far more than human; something hinted at all the way through, and not-quite-revealed, with teasers which, I’m really hoping mean another novel from Weston and Daemon.  Daemon is wicked, he is unrelenting and he’s dark-hearted. This is NOT a book filled with happy endings, or heroes defeating the bad-guys. These ARE the bad guys – although for all that they are compelling and heroic in their own way. Dark anti-heroes and fallen idols battle to survive, to serve and to sever in a deeply complex, wonderfully created afterlife – one in which the citizens get what they deserve, even when they don’t realise they deserve it. Sin incarnate.

Dr Neill Cream – one of British histories particularly nasty serial killers; arrogant, evil and unrepentant he seeks to bring down the dark prince and further his own terrible agenda. In league with a troubled Chopin, a man seeking love in a place where love cannot exist, and Tesla – brilliant and misunderstood scientist – who once again wants the world to adore his work – and produces wild and dangerous genius. These three together (sort of) with a whole host of pirates, low lives, parodies and infernal inmates bring a heady mix of characters, some who invoke pity and some who certainly do not.

In conclusion this a clever read, with well-crafted characters, and a complex plot which is full of surprises which will keep the reader guessing and wanting more.