Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sgt. Janus Wants to Hear from You...with Spirit!

So, as SGT. JANUS RETURNS takes shape and some of his dark and mysterious origins begin to crystalize, I have a few questions for all you Junior Spirit-Breakers out there. If you would, either drop me a comment here on the Spirit-Blog or wherever you saw the link to this post.

Deal? I promise that your comments will prove very helpful to me as I move forward with the the new book.

1) What aspects of Janus' past are you most interested in learning about in SGT. JANUS RETURNS and why?

2) Would you say that learning anything at all about his past will make you enjoy his stories more, less, or about the same?

3) Do you enjoy ghost stories with benign spirits? Or do you like your ghosts adversarial?

Okay, that's all I got! Let me know what you think!


  1. Knowing more about his past adds layers to his character and makes for a more interesting read.
    I like the idea of adverarial ghosts, but I tend to be an action/adventure kind of girl. :)

  2. Thanks for responding, Nikki! There'll be a good deal of action in the new book...Janus-style, of course :)

  3. 1. Perhaps some of his earliest cases. While he was still learning the ropes. I'd love to know a bit about his education in the realm of spirit-breaking.

    2. Stay away from specifics in his military service. If you want to reference specific battles, or something that happened in a battle, okay, but part of our friend Roman's charm is his mysterious background. Too much takes away from that.

    3. I like my ghosts any way I can take them. Creepy spirits in a cave, disgusting green blobs in hotels, whatever you've got.

    1. @Coffee Joe:

      Apropos of nothing in particular: would your nom de net happen to allude to that of a Brazilian horror-movie icon?

    2. I had no idea such an individual exists. I am a diner and coffee junkie, and that's a nickname several of the waitresses gave me years ago, as my first name is Joe.

    3. Brazil's iconic cinematic boogeyman is a character known as Zé do Caixão ("Coffin Joe" in English releases) whom some horror fans believe may have influenced Wes Craven in the creation of Freddy Krueger; the spooky subject matter under discussion here may have primed me for such an association.

  4. 1. A vote for some earlier cases here as well.

    2. About the same. Though I am curious as to how he got that house...

    3. Benign would be interesting, I think. It might also be interesting to read a story where JANUS is the adversary and the ghost is the hero.

  5. Apologies if I'm a bit late to the party...

    1: I like your decision in Volume 1 to plunge directly into the action, without first laboring through an origin story. (This somewhat parallels the early Doctor Strange stories--another favorite of mine; Ditko and Lee devoted the first few stories to establishing this mysterious and otherworldly character at work before getting around to his origins.)

    (There is admittedly one detail I'm curious about: an NCO-And-A-Gentleman (in the class-charged British sense of the latter word--and he does own that vast rambling house) would seem to be something of an oddity--how exactly did that come about?)

    Add my vote to Josh Reynolds' and Coffee Joe's for some earlier adventures.

    2. I'd prefer the gradual and sparing leaking of backstory to a straightforward origin story.

    3. Variety by all means: antagonistic spirits, along with benign, wronged, and just plain confused ones. Not all hauntings are by revenants of the dead (you've pitted Janus against at least one demon); one category of apparition I haven't yet seen him deal with, and one abundantly referenced in Victorian and Edwardian occult literature, is artificially created spirits--thought-forms. (The occultist Dion Fortune* deals with this topic at considerable length in Psychic Self-Defence; Fortune describes how a rival occultist harrassed her with apparitions of black cats, culminating in a specimen the size of a panther, and how she herself once accidentally extruded an astral werewolf as an embodient of her rage, and had to reassimilate it. Perhaps a young Janus may have had to clean up after himself in similar fashion?)

    *Also the author of the Dr. Taverner novels, which I've unfortunately yet to read; Fortune hinted at adventures she herself had had in the service of an "Occult Police" force.

    (If you're wondering where I popped up from all of a sudden, I attended your reading and bought your Sgt. Janus book at Pulpfest in Columbus a couple weeks ago; I was the one in the turban and safari vest.)

    1. The party's always going. But leave your body and soul at the door...

      (Thank you for your support! All sales are appreciated!)

      1. Stay tuned. There may be something akin to an explanation in SGT. JANUS RETURNS...though remember, it's never stated where exactly the stories take place.

      2. I agree. You will get it in bits and pieces, a puzzle with some assembly required.

      3. The thought is appreciated. I'm betting Janus has had encounters with such, but that we simply haven't heard about them...yet.

      4. There is no #4! (cue spooky Theremin music...


  6. The party's always going. But leave your body and soul at the door...

    I return the earworm you implanted--with interest: this magnificent fanvid syncs the Oingo Boingo classic in question to footage from THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and CORPSE BRIDE:

  7. Now there's a can of worms...