Every book has a story behind the story of how it came to be written. It may be about a life-long passion, a personal journey, the need to share an experience or knowledge. It may have been fermenting in the brain for years, or sprung fully formed from a blinding epiphany. Whether it be fact or fiction, sometimes the story behind the story is almost as interesting as the published book itself …
I like to think that the series has an instructional element to the stories because there’s such a diversity to the phenomena that some magical explanation is required to trigger the reader’s imagination. Throughout the books the Knights Templar background is emphasised and so we get history, too, as well as magic. They’ve been fun to write and, I hope, fun to read, too.
THE TEMPLE HOUSE ARCHIVE SERIES
I was always a great fan of The Legacy, that Canadian television series from the 1980s, and although the rather bigoted ‘light is right and anything that comes from the shadows is highly suspect’ attitude was irritating it provided great entertainment. What if …The idea festered for many years and there came along New Tricks and again the ‘what if …’ element reared its head for combining the esoteric with modern investigative procedures, together with the multi-casting story-lines of the CSI series, the idea for the Temple House series was born. What if …
If I’m honest the Temple House is pure indulgence – giving the opportunity to bring together all sorts of demons, degenerates and dire doings all under one roof and covering the realms of esoteric, suspense, horror and thriller. Where were these super-heroes coming from? They had to have an authentic and credible historical background. What if …
… the Temple House was founded in 1586 in England during the reign of Elizabeth I as an off-shoot of Sir Francis Walsingham’s recently created intelligence service, inaugurated to investigate the growing popularity of esoteric learning that was occupying the interests of the Elizabethan intelligentsia. For this he recruited the descendants of the Knights Templar. The Order remained surrounded by myth and legend ever since – and drawing on this veritable mine of esoteric knowledge and experience of international intrigue, the Temple House was established to combat ‘evil forces’ of a human or supernatural agency, and those who would use occult power for destructive purposes.
The current members of the Temple House, or ‘the Nine’ as they are referred to in memory of the original nine founder members of the Order, all had to be specialists and magical practitioners in the diverse fields of occultism and its relevant histories. And it wasn’t easy to build up a team that were creatures of the modern world not throwbacks to a bygone age, although they all had a highly developed sense of honour and obligation to tradition.
The first thing that went was the location. No gloomy Gothic exteriors, crumbling castles or dank caverns – the Temple House would be located somewhere light and airy – in a smaller version of my own dream home: Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous ‘Falling Water’ perched on the cliffs overlooking the ocean!
Yes, of course, the story-lines descend into darkness but the characters themselves are modern, forward thinking people who exist as a well-oiled machine. House of Strange Gods conjured up a traditional demon from the Abyss with various different sub-plots including a homicidal link to the past but it also weeded out one of the characters who wasn’t up to scratch and had to be replaced. Realm of Shadow weeded out a couple more as the story-lines acted out the process of natural selection; while Hour Betwixt Dog & Wolf stretched credibility beyond reason. This wasn’t my original intention but as any novelist knows, these things have a habit of developing a life-force of their own and whereas certain characters can’t cope with certain situations in real life, so the flaws are also exposed in a fictional world. They just don’t work! The latest in the series, The Thirteenth Sign deals with a primitive African-cult manifesting in Central London; a haunted house in the West Country and an on-line business for curses by mail-order.
To assemble the cast I used my tried and trusted trick of ‘casting’ – who would I get to play those characters if it were a film (regardless of age) – and to help with the creative process I gave the Temple House its own Facebook page. The page keeps readers up to date on the progress of the team’s latest adventures and arranges special offers on Kindle e-books and discounted prices on all paperback versions ordered direct from the printer. It also gives readers the opportunity to interact with the characters, suggest story-lines for future titles, and enjoy reading the additional information on the background research involved for the next title which, hopefully, will appeal to writers as well as readers.
House of Strange Gods, Realm of Shadow, Hour Betwixt Dog & Wolf and The Thirteenth Sign in the Temple House series by Melusine Draco are published by Ignotus Press UK in both paperback and e-book format. PACT! is currently a work in progress and can be followed on https://www.facebook.com/IgnotusPressUK/
All books in the series can be ordered direct from the publisher in paperback at discount prices -https://www.feedaread.com/books/House-of-Strange-Gods-9781785106392aspx
Or for a short period between 16th-23rd March the e-book version will be available on Kindle for UK£0.99/US$0.95