New Release // Castle Damijana

Castle Damijana

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1357: Pedro of Portugal dug up his dead mistress, made her queen, and forced loyal subjects to kiss her hand.

Billy makes a zine that no one reads, and puts it round London. At night he searches for 7 of 9 sex tapes and tries to understand fourth-wave feminist theory. Life stays like this until he gets an e-mail from ‘D’ in Ljubljana, asking him to come to stay. He thinks she’s a nut until she sends him eight grand in spending money. Off he goes, to Ljubljana, to Metelkova, to the outskirts of the city, to a castle on a snowy hill, to Damijana and her typewriter. One of them is a sociopath, can you guess which?

Plot-wise, it’s similar to the Star Trek DS9 episode where Jake Sisko gets yellow energy sucked out of his head by Meg Foster while writing his masterpiece, but this one’s set in Slovenia and is better.

Cover done by the legendary Soren who can be found/hired on corpsehaus

Note: this is a rewrite of an old book I wrote called ‘Ljubljana Witch’ – that one was around 40,000 words, this one is bordering on 100,000 so if you’re one of the few who read the original and thought it was a bit short, you’re in luck.

You can buy it on bookdepository

Horror problem: how should a character react to a witch?

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This is a problem that’s pretty easy to solve in real life as there are no real witches. Or as far as I know there are no real witches.

Evidence for real witches = they’re real so they have to hide, unless they want to be burnt or tortured by the CIA. They wouldn’t do magic in front of people, it would give them away. If they’re evil, the first time you saw a witch would also be your last, so no one is left alive to talk about them.

Evidence against: no one’s ever filmed an interview with a witch. There are no videos of witches doing magic on youtube or dailymotion.

Actually, there are people who call themselves witches in the real world and on the internet, just like Willow from ‘Buffy’. Actually, Willow was different, she really could do magic [Floating pencil! Floating bag o knives! Floating skin of guy called Warren!]  and she wasn’t evil either [except the last 4 episodes of Season 6 – but that wasn’t real evil, it was just black eyeballs and evisceration of someone who deserved it + shooting red energy into a totem pole]. But there are people who study/preach witchcraft and would call themselves witches, so the name itself is not unreal in our world.

A few years ago I got cursed by a witch. Obviously, it was someone I knew on the internet, not real life, but she was real enough to type e-mails so it still counts. After one of many arguments, she said I was toxic and then cursed me for making fun of Anubis, the God of Death [from her perspective, I suppose it was justified, though I still claim I wasn’t making fun of Anubis, I was making fun of the character in my book who was making fun of Anubis. That’s my official defence anyway. I might have convinced myself the wrong way, I’m not sure. It’s hard to know if you’re wrong when arguing on the internet, mostly because the other person is usually calling you toxic, which makes it a lot harder to actually listen to or respect what they’re saying].

But, far as I know, she was a real witch…in the sense that she worshipped Satan and believed in the power of spoken curses. And I was pretty anxious for about a week after I got the ‘curse’ e-mail…I didn’t go outside much, I didn’t go anywhere at night, I checked four times before crossing the road when I did go out, I looked up every now and then to make sure a crane wasn’t doing something dangerous above my head… Continue reading