Friday, September 28, 2012

Sgt. Janus Replies #7

Caine asks:

“What other famous individuals have you come in contact with on your journeys?”

Sgt. Janus replies:

“Your question seems to imply that I myself am a ‘famous individual,” but I assure you that I have never sought out nor am interested in fame or notoriety. If anything, I am perhaps infamous in some circles…

“Allow me to tell you a brief story, though, to answer your question. A few years ago I was asked to come to the house of a wealthy man who was, among many other things, a collector of art. I was astonished by the length and breadth of his collection and, upon seeing my interest, the man insisted that he give me a tour of the many paintings he owned. We walked past Michelangelos and Van Goghs and Cezannes and even a Degas or two, until we approached a small work at the end of one hallway. Pausing before it, the man indicated the signature on the painting. I looked closely to see that it was a Monet, one of his lesser-known achievements.

“The man then looked at me and explained that the work was the only Monet he owned and that he fervently wished to acquire more, but ‘the demmed things are too demmed elusive.” I told him that I was blissfully ignorant of such things and I was more interested in exactly why he had called me to his home – surely it was not to visit his art collection? He harrumphed and explained that he was quite certain that he had somehow acquired a spirit with the painting that hung before us, and that it was the lingering shade of Claude Monet himself. Before I could respond to this claim, the man urged me to contact the spirit and ask if it would not care to produce a fresh work or two for him. In other words, the art collector believed he had a line on wholly new Monets – exclusive to him and potentially worth a neat fortune.

“I told him that my profession as a Spirit-Breaker was to rid homes of ghosts, not parlay with them for a continuation of their earthly works, but the man insisted and I conceded that the exercise might prove valuable for future study. I asked to be left alone in the hallway and once my wish was granted, I asked the spirit for guidance on the matter. After several attempts, the spirit informed me that, to the contrary, he was not Claude Monet at all, but a simple painter of moderate skill who produced small works in his spare time. In life he was actually a chimney sweep, but in the afterlife, well, he had found some kind of fame…at least in the art collector’s eyes. Could he possibly go on without my ‘spilling the beans’?

“The lesson, here, I believe, is that fame is in the eye of the beholder. We are all giants in our own minds and we are also too often too easily blinded by the reputed fame of others. Still, better a famous artist in death than a simple chimney sweep in life…and my abject apologies to the real Claude Monet - REJ”

All content © Jim Beard 2012. Please consider purchasing a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER on AMAZON.COM.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sgt. Janus Replies #6

Armando Rivera asks:

”Upon encountering a spirit of unknown origin, is it more appropriate to withdraw posthaste, or venture to engage the phantom in polite conversation?”

Sgt. Janus replies:

”Firstly, I must state that beyond honesty, politeness is always the best policy. Now, more importantly, young man, I take it from the wording of your question that you feel within you the desire to communicate with spirits yourself – I must warn you that doing so will open you up to all manner of troubles if you are not prepared for such untoward contact. Before diving into a situation where a spirit could potentially be hostile, I would always err on the side of caution and call in a professional first. Granted, yes, you may have met up with a poor soul who wants only the singular solace of human company, but you may also just as easily encountered a vengeful shade whose only goal is to vex the living and extract as much revenge on them as possible from beyond the grave. By taking this all into consideration, I believe you will see that the choice is an easy one: do not go it alone – REJ”


All content © Jim Beard 2012. Please consider purchasing a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER on

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sgt. Janus Replies #5

Lee Houston Junior asks:

“How do you feel about the depiction of other ghost hunters, both real and imagined, within today’s various media outlets?”

Sgt. Janus replies:

“I’m afraid that my work leaves me little time for entertainment or other such pursuits and I cannot speak fluently on the various books and plays that concern others of my vocation. I must steadfastly concentrate on my clients and their troubles, lest they continue to be assailed by the forces of the supernatural and the psychical world. If there are such literary examples of my fellows, I must admit I remain fairly ignorant of them.

“That said, I did once take in a performance of a short film produced by Mr. Thomas Edison called ‘Frankenstein,’ which depicted scenes of an alleged supernatural nature. I found it to be quite hard to swallow and I cannot imagine such themes will ever come into prominence on the so-called ‘silver screen.’ The Unknown is simply much too challenging an entity to ever be portrayed with any semblance of accuracy in such a medium - REJ”

If you would like to pose a question to Sgt. Janus, please post it here or on Facebook.


All content © Jim Beard 2012. Please purchase a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER on

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sgt, Janus Replies #4

Ralph L. Angelo Jr. asks:

“At what age did you realize you had an affinity for the supernatural?”

Sgt. Janus replies:

“It is well-known and stringently documented that children and animals possess a high-degree of sensitivity to the Unknown. I first encountered a spirit at the tender age of eight-years-old when a tutor of mine – my parents insisted on private schooling though I would have preferred to be among more of my youthful peers – one day sat me down and explained in no uncertain terms that he was deceased and had been for at least twenty years.

“An event such as that is bound to either break a person or set them on a path towards their destiny. For me, it was a revelation, not only of how dull my senses were at the time, but also in the nature of the Universe and God’s unfathomable mysteries. I sent the poor gentlemen on his way, another first for me, and my parents began to look for another math tutor - REJ”


All content (c)Jim Beard 2012. Please pick up a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER at AMAZON.COM.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sgt. Janus Replies #3

Ralph Grasso asks:

"How often does one run into ectoplasm?"

Sgt. Janus replies:

"I assume, good sir, that you refer to those of us who make such things our business, not the general populace. If I and the others in my profession are doing our jobs well, the average man on the street should find that he is inundated by spirit material to a lesser and lesser degree as time marches on.

"For myself, it will vary. I may have several cases in a year's time, perhaps anywhere from six to a dozen, but the next year may only encounter the supernatural twice or even three times at the most. Interestingly, I don't believe there has ever been a study that has explored the rate of ghostly occurences in relation to times of the year - food for thought for an enterprising young psychical student.

"Let us also be clear as to the exact nature of ectoplasm. In Shudboldt's 'Musings on the Threads of Planar Construction,' he describes ectoplasm as the "blood of the beyond." In other words, he saw the substance as necessary for spiritual "well-being," the fluid, if you will, that makes their "life" possible. I do not disagree, but I have long believed that the definition needs to be expanded to not only include a blood component, but also a skin, muscle and organ comparison. That is to say that ectoplasm, to my mind, is the foundation block of spiritual existence, not just that which allows for its locomotion and "health," but the actual timber from which it is constructed - REJ"

If you have a question for Sgt. Janus, please post it here on the Spirit-Blog or on Facebook.


All content (c)Jim Beard 2012. Please pick up a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER at

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sgt. Janus Replies #2

Bob Kennedy asks:

"As a retired U.S. Army Engineer, I am curious to know in what branch of the military you served, and your job specialty."

Sgt. Janus replies:

“Robert, that is a valid question, but as loathe as I am to disappoint a fellow veteran I will be able to tell you precious little of my service. You see, the file on my entire military career has been sealed for the past several years and is accessible only by those at the highest levels of the service and the government. I myself am bound by law to not divulge any details that may be found in it, including those of which you inquire.

“Above and beyond that, the final days of my service were marked by personal tragedy, a private matter of which I am sure you would understand and sympathize with my reluctance to speak of it. Suffice to say that I was given an honorable discharge and I look back on the bulk of my service with honor and pride. I also hold no ill will towards any of my fellows or superiors. If you wish to pursue the question further, though I beg of you not to, you may contact Col. Drew Montaine at Fort Temper and address the matter to him. Perhaps, as a former military man yourself, he may be able to offer you that which I cannot – REJ”

If you have a question for Sgt. Janus, please post it here on the Spirit-Blog or on Facebook.


All content (c)Jim Beard 2012. Please pick up a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER at

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sgt. Janus Replies #1

Ron Fortier asks:

“Why did you choose such a dangerous career?”

Sgt. Janus replies:

“My good man, there are days that I ask myself that very question. But, in all seriousness, it came down to the old adage, ‘the job is often a dirty one, but someone must take it on.’

"After many arduous years of para-psychical research I realized how few of us are in tune with the worlds beyond the world and, in turn, completely defenseless against its more egregious injustices. Once I discovered my own abilities in this regard, that of being able to not only see the forces of the supernatural in play, but also divine solutions to their abatement, my path was set. I could no more walk away from it then I could divert the wind or change lead into gold. It is my duty, and my honor, to help those who cannot help themselves against spirits who would make our mortal lives a living hell – REJ”

If you have a question for Sgt. Janus, please post it here on the Spirit-Blog or on Facebook.


All content (c)Jim Beard 2012. Please pick up a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER at

Friday, September 14, 2012

"Ask Sgt. Janus"

Well, I’m stunned.

Folks, last night, at the stroke of midnight, I received a telegram.

From Sgt. Roman Janus of Mount Airy.

If that in itself wasn’t so amazing – the sergeant writes very, very little himself, save for the occasional volume of psychical research – I found the contents of the telegram to be even more amazing.

It would seem that my good friend the Spirit-Breaker is open to answering questions from my readers.

After perusing his message, I quickly realized what an incredible opportunity this presented for those of us still on the mortal plane to inquire into Janus’ profession, which, admittedly, is one which lies beyond the veil of normalcy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance that I am very happy to offer to you, dear readers, and I hope you will take full advantage of it.

All that will be required of you is to post a question, one per day please, for Sgt. Janus either here on the Spirit-Blog or on Facebook. The man himself will make his selections from among the questions – he regrets that he may not be able to answer them all – and I will in turn post his replies both on the Blog and on Facebook.

You may ask the sergeant almost anything, of any topic, but he begs your kind indulgence by asking questions of a serious nature only and none whatsoever pertaining to the events told of in the final story in SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER entitled “The Unfinished Record.” He regrets that stricture, but hopes that you may understand and sympathize.

So, have at it, Spirit-Breaker fans – compose your inquiries and let’s hear them!

All content © Jim Beard 2012. Please purchase a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER on

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sgt. Janus Returns

So, what has the good sergeant been up to lately, you may ask?

Plotting his triumphant return, of course!

I'm just now starting to turn my thoughts to the sequel to SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, which is tentatively entitled SGT. JANUS RETURNS. Here's what I know at this moment about the book:

1) It will be published by Airship 27 in 2013, hopefully in the first half of the year.

2) It will, hopefully, feature interior illustrations once again by Eric Johns and, again hopefully, a cover once again by Jeff Herndon. I will endeavor to put the band back together again!

3) It will be eight tales, like its predecessor, but each story will have the same narrator, unlike its predecessor. I've gotten some fantastic feedback on my use of multiple narrators in SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, but believe me when I tell you that the set-up of SGT. JANUS RETURNS demands a narrator who'll stick around for the entire, incredible story that arcs through its pages. If all goes well, and there is a third volume, the multiple narrator style will return.

4) It will...ahh, that would be telling. Forgive me, my friends, but SGT. JANUS RETURNS will be both recognizable as the kind of Janus adventures you may have enjoyed in the first book, but it will also be different. Fear not! A status quo of a sort will be established by the end of the eight tales, but the telling of it will involve a new angle on Janus' world, one I hope will thrill you as much as it thrills me now just thinking about it.

5) It will have ghosts. Ohhhh, yes; it will have ghosts.

6) It will be written, for the most part, in January of 2013. I say "for the most part" because the first story has already been written and needs only a bit more fleshing out. Or would that be "ectoplasming out"?

That's about all I can say right now, chums. I am sorely in your debt for your kind indulgences to Sgt. Janus and me over the past few months and I sincerely hope you will also indulge in the Spirit-Breaker's return. He'll be looking for you, as will I.

Oh, one last thing: I mentioned that the multiple narrator style will return in the third Sgt. Janus volume? Well, you might even see mutiple authors...

Cue Evil Laugh and fade out.

All content (c)2012 Jim Beard. Please order a copy of SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER on