Black Jack

Final6x9-200x300Hey Horror Addicts, On this season of the horror addict’s podcast we will once again be having an audio drama that will be running season long. Starting with episode 111 you will be able to hear Dan Shaurette’s story Black Jack. Dan is a  staff writer at horroraddicts.net and his story Black Magic ran during season 8 of the horror addict podcast. Black Jack will be a full audio production with multiple voices and sound effects that you won’t want to miss. To get a feel for what to expect from Dan’s story I asked him a few questions about his work:

What is your story about?
Without giving away too much, the story is about Jacob Springer and his investigation into who killed his mother. It is set around the murderous reign of terror committed by Jack the Ripper in Whitechapel, 1888.

What inspired you to write it?
While writing Black City, my current novel in progress, I created Jacob Springer initially as a throwaway character, but he wasn’t too keen on that. He’s a bit of a rogue, you see. So as he became more involved in the story, I gave him a back-story, which evolved into this tale, Black Jack. Much like the side bits I discovered while writing Black Magic, it was the discovery of butchered bodies dumped in the Thames River and around town that are not (usually) attributed to Jack the Ripper. These killings started about a year or so before, occurred during, and lasted a year or two after Jack’s ripping spree took place. They made headlines, usually being blamed on Jack, but the police kept them separate while investigating because they were a different style of mutilations. It was the story of a victim who was unnamed at first, but later called “Fairy Fay”, that gave me the core of the tale.

5791268Who are some of the voices who will be in it?
In addition to Emerian Rich who brings voice to three different characters, my good friends and local podcasters Jack Mangan and Dani Cutler were roped in to help. Murdo Morrison and Mat Weller who voiced MacGillivray and Black in Black Magic are back. I also worked with Lucie Le Blanc again, who provided the voice of Abby from my Masters of Macabre story a few years back. She directed me to contact the phenomenal Veronica Giguere. Rounding out the cast are Pete Lutz, Sean Young, Glenn Hibburt, and Ted Wenskus, all of whom answered the call online for voices, and each and every one has been a pleasure to work with, and I hope to work with them again.

What can we expect in upcoming episodes?
Fairies, demons, and serial killers, oh my. Oh yes, there will be blood and gore. Gee, I hope this is the right place for that.

What do you like about this time period?
Especially this time period, the one dominated by Jack the Ripper, I find it fascinating researching the life and time of these people. Whitechapel was a piss-poor place to live back then, and the Ripper was a truly frightening killer. It was a dark and horrifying time and the mystery of who Jack the Ripper really was lingers to this day. In this story, I advance my theory as to who the Ripper might have been — had they been assisted by some supernatural elements, of course.

Is it related to your story Black Magic or Lilith’s Love?
Black Jack is a direct prequel to my novel, Black City, which Black Magic was a parallel story to. In Black City, Jacob Springer teams up with Matt Black and Andrew MacGillivray to find out who is killing women during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. If my stories were compared to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, these would be two stand-alone origin stories with Black City being The Avengers. With that analogy, Lilith’s Love is like one of the Spider-man movies — it came out a long time ago and you know the stories are connected somehow.

How long did it take to produce an episode?
Once everyone turns in their recorded lines to me, it takes me at least a week to edit everything together with sound effects and music to make one episode… which runs less than 10 minutes.

Will you eventually turn this into a book?
Yes, just as I did with Black Magic, I will edit and publish Black Jack. Then I have to finish up Black City before I go insane. You know, again. After that, I have so many more stories to tell, I promise, you haven’t heard the last from the Black Books.

 

For more information on Dan check out his website:

http://dan.shaurette.com/

Advertisements

Black Magic by Dan Shaurette

Final6x9This season of the horror addicts podcast includes something a little different. Starting with episode 85  the podcast includes a continuing story by Dan Shaurette called Black Magic. Black Magic is an 11 part full audio production complete with sound effects and voice actors.

Black Magic takes place at the World’s Columbian Exposition that was held in Chicago during the summer of 1893. At the event there has been a violent attack by a mysterious creature. Supernatural detectives Matt Black and Andrew MacGillivray have been investigating the disappearance of several people, primarily women and it looks like the case may be related. These two men are used to dealing with strange creatures because of their off-again-on-again relationship with the Supernatural Affairs Department  which they helped create during the Civil War.

The case also draws the interest of former journalist and friend L. Frank Baum. While following the case he witnesses magic that few have experienced and is inspired to write an American classic.

Black Magic is meant to be a prequel of sorts to a novel Dan is writing called Black City. The story for Black Magic takes place after Black City but Black Magic is the first appearance of Matt Black and Andrew MacGillivary who will be the stars of Black City. Dan describes Black Magic as The Dresden Files meets The Parasol Protectorate.

IMAGE002I asked Dan how he chose the time period  for Black Magic, he said his first novel, LILITH’S LOVE, is set in Phoenix, AZ in 1993. It revolves around a character named Donovan who becomes a vampire, but it is also discovered that he had reincarnated from 1693, with other incarnations along the way. BLACK CITY and BLACK MAGIC are prequels to that and are set in 1893 because he wanted to flesh out what his incarnation from 100 years prior would have been like. As for the setting, 1893 was full of potential all over the globe. It was the Victorian era and in America we played host to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. As Dan became enamored with steampunk and weird westerns  he felt the setting was ripe with possibility, where science and superstition could be found together.

The inspiration for BLACK MAGIC came from several events he discovered in his research on the Expo. The first was about a Midway attraction of a tethered balloon that safely took fairgoers up and down throughout the day. On Sunday, July 9, 1893, the balloon was wrecked by a mysterious funnel cloud that appeared on what was a peaceful day in Chicago. The other key inspiration was discovering that author L. Frank Baum lived in Chicago and was a frequent visitor to the Expo.  Baum was inspired by the famous White City of the Expo to create his own Emerald City in the land of Oz. It took just a twist of artistic license to ponder what if Baum had witnessed the twister taking down the balloon ride at the Expo. This lead to the idea that other strange events and characters might also have given Baum ideas. Thus BLACK MAGIC has a witch and wizard, emeralds, magic lands, and more.
Once Dan picked the year 1893 to work with, he began researching everything he could about America in 1893.  One book in particular he used as a primary resource was THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by Erik Larson. This is a non-fiction narrative, one that weaves the historic achievement of the building of the Expo with the murderous reign of terror perpetrated by Dr. H. H. Holmes. Holmes built a macabre “castle” which he opened to renters as The World’s Fair Hotel mere blocks from the Expo. He lured in the throngs of vulnerable tourists, many of which it is believed he killed. In both cases, Larson’s book describes American ingenuity at its most glorious and most heinous. The fact that most people today have never even heard of Holmes is what probably captured Dan’s attention the most.
I also asked Dan how Matt Black and Andrew MacGillivray started working together. He said the two met during the Civil War. Matt Black was there at the start of the war (lying about his age as he was only 16) and Andrew MacGillivray was a young doctor working  during the war and saved Matt’s life. Matt came very close to death, and as a result he had disturbing visions. Mac realized they weren’t just the delusions brought on by pain, infection, and laudanum. They teamed up and uncovered sinister beings at work in the battles. They also found vampires feeding on soldiers on the battlefield. They went on to help create the supernatural affairs department which was the first secret service established. Its primary function was to combat the threat of supernatural forces like vampires, ghosts, demons, and the like.
To find out more about Black Magic go to: mattblackbooks.com or check out dan.shaurette.com.