Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Spirit-Breaker (or Three) in Your Future

More than a month after its release, SGT JANUS RETURNS seems to be going over well with readers, which please me to no end and turns my thoughts to the good sergeant’s future. Here’s a little about what Spirit-Breaker fans can expect from the next few Janus projects.

Following SGT. JANUS SPIRIT-BREAKER and SGT. JANUS RETURNS, the third volume will be entitled SGT. JANUS ON THE DARK TRACK. With Roman Janus back in the saddle again, he’s eager to get back out in the world and revive his chosen profession: eliminating ghosts. But, in the middle of a long journey, he gets a bit more than he bargained for when a cunning, willful spirit materializes and forces the sergeant to seek a path that will surprise and shock even him. The third book will return to the multiple-narrator style of the first volume, but with its own twist. If all goes well, SGT. JANUS ON THE DARK TRACK may be out by the end of 2014.

Because the future is always in motion and no one, not even myself, can be assured that Janus will survive that adventure, the fourth volume will take a look back into the sergeant’s formative days. SGT. JANUS: THE GHOST OF A YEAR follows a young Roman Janus over the course of twelve months, at a time in his development when he was at his most spiritually vulnerable and gathering the experiences he’d need to become a worthy Spirit-Breaker. SGT. JANUS: THE GHOST OF A YEAR will also utilize the multiple-narrator format, but again with a flavor all its own. Expect the fourth book some time in 2015.

In addition to the next two full Sgt. Janus books, I will also be supplying a Janus tale to an upcoming Airship 27 anthology called THE OCCULT DETECTIVES. I was honored and thrilled to be invited to contribute to the collection, and decided to re-visit the online Sgt. Janus tale “The Lost Wife of Thomas Tan” and expand it to twice its original length - in effect, it will be almost a new story. If you’ve read it here in its serialized form on the Spirit-Blog, you’ll find that the longer version will be enhanced with new characters and new situations. There is no set publication date for THE OCCULT DETECTIVES, but I’ll give a shout when it arrives.

One more thing while we’re here: it seems that the narrator of SGT. JANUS RETURNS, Mr. Joshua Hargreaves, has been receiving good marks from readers and a small interest has begun to grow to perhaps see him in his own adventures. As I said before, the future is always in motion, but if this idea intrigues you, well, let me know somehow, either here or on Facebook. I have a few thoughts on how to pull it off, but I must be assured that further tales of Joshua would be welcome.

All content © 2014 Jim Beard

You may find the first two Sgt. Janus books and all my other literary projects on my AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE.


  1. There are a bunch of precedents for giving supporting characters their turn in the spotlight. Look no further than "Marvel's Agents of Shield" these days.

    And in print there are a number of examples. A few of the early stories of the Saint focused on his friends and associates with the lead character playing a relatively minor role.

    Nero Wolfe's Inspector Cramer soloed in the novel "Red Threads." IIBC, Doll Bonner, a female PI who sometimes worked for Wolfe also got her own full length case.

    After he retired from the police force Ellery Queen's fictional father solved the case known as either "November Song" or "Inspector Queen's Own Case."

    I'm sure there are many more.

    1. Indeed.

      If it happens, it will happen differently. No sense in duplicating the sergeant's motifs and styles. If the spirit truly takes me, we may yet see "The Adventures of Joshua Hargreaves," but only if it rolls out with its own flavor.

      Many thanks for the feedback, sir!