Archive for the ‘Red Equinox’ Category


The next 20 people to buy a copy of RED EQUINOX or BLACK JANUARY in ANY format will receive a FREE download code for the other book on audio. Just forward your order confirmation email to darkscribe@verizon.net to claim your Audible code. If you’ve already read one of the SPECTRA Files books, you can still get a free audio book. Simply email a link to your review.


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Black January was released on Friday. Thanks to all who have picked up a copy, written a review, or helped spread the word on social media!

The question I’m getting most now that it’s out is: “Can I read Black January if I haven’t read Red Equinox first?”

Black January is the second book in the SPECTRA Files trilogy, featuring Becca Philips and other characters introduced in Red Equinox. If you’re just attracted to a book about a team of explorers investigating a house haunted by cosmic horrors, you can pick up Black January and it will deliver a story with a beginning, middle, and end while catching you up on all you need to know about the events of Red Equinox.

That said, if you’re interested in taking a longer journey through an urban fantasy trilogy based on the Cthulhu Mythos, you should probably start with Red EquinoxAs with any series, book 2 contains spoilers for book 1.

Indiebound  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Amazon

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My new novel, Black January, is now up for preorder from JournalStone. The second book in the SPECTRA Files trilogy, this one should also be pretty accessible for newcomers to my Lovecraftian apocalypse in progress. But if you haven’t picked up Red Equinox, why not take it to the beach this summer and catch up?

Speaking of the apocalypse, next Friday I’ll be hosting the Apocalyptic SF, Horror and Fantasy discussion at NECON in Rhode Island with guests of honor Joe Hill, Mark Morris, and other smart folks who like to ponder the end of all things. The con is sold out for full registration but single day walk-in passes will be available.

You can add Black January to your Goodreads list here, and I’ll post links to Amazon, Indiebound, and B&N as soon as we have them.

I started sketching ideas for this book about a year ago in my hotel room at NecronomiCon.  It feels like longer. It came fast in first draft and has been long in revisions, and it feels good to see it all dressed up and ready for readers in Chuck Killorin’s drop-dead gorgeous art.


Black January Cover Medium



Two years after the Starry Wisdom Church unleashed their dark gods in Boston, Becca Philips is trying to put the events of the Red Equinox behind her when Agent Brooks tracks her down in Brazil. Becca has been summoned back to Massachusetts by SPECTRA, the covert agency entrusted with keeping cosmic horrors at bay. Her special perception and skills are requested at the Wade House—a transfiguring mansion of portals to malevolent dimensions.

Becca would like to refuse, but Brooks believes her estranged father may be lost between worlds at the abandoned estate. As Becca struggles with grief and forgiveness, she joins a team of explorers uniquely suited to decode the secrets of the strange house in the black snow. But what secrets do her companions harbor? And who among them will take theirs to the grave?

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Water Street Books chalk signWinter has been brutal here in Massachusetts, but anyone with a TV probably knows that. At our house, the mountains of snow have overtaken the entire property, and digging out the mailbox has become my twice-a-week cardio workout. Between the arctic temperatures, school snow days, and a flu that keeps mutating and bouncing around our family, it has been hard to stay healthy and get any writing done. But the pressure to do just that is back on because I just signed a new 3 book deal with JournalStone!

Red Equinox has been out for a little over a month now and it’s catching on with a wider readership than I’ve seen before. My sincere THANKS to everyone who has bought the book, talked it up to a friend, or posted a review. It helps more than you know and enables me to stay in the game.

In the thick of the blizzards and flu battles, we managed to have a couple of great launch events at my two favorite indie book stores: Jabberwocky in Newburyport and Water Street in Exeter. Thanks to Jill Sweeney-Bosa, Christine Sadowski, Sue Little, and Dan Chartrand for making those a success. Exeter TV 98 sent a cameraman to the Water Street reading, so I might have a video link for that eventually if they bleep my f-bombs and upload it. I read the scene where Becca first encounters Moe Ramirez in the abandoned textile mill. Fun. Here are some pics…


Douglas Wynne reading Red Equinox at Water Street Books.Red Equinox book launch party.Douglas Wynne reading Red Equinox at Jabberwocky Bookshop.Douglas Wynne reading Red Equinox at Water Street Bookstore.Signing Red Equinox at Jabberwocky Bookshop.


Also in the A/V department, I did an interview with Adam xii on Radio BDC last Thursday. You can listen to the audio right here via Soundcloud.


Adam xii and Douglas Wynne


The segment only runs about 15 minutes but we managed to cover everything from the pronunciation of “Cthulhu” to the connection between the Boston Marathon Bombings and the fictional Boston of Red Equinox. And if you haven’t had enough of my jaw wagging about the new book, next Sunday (3/1) I’ll be a guest on the Lovecraft eZine video chat at 6pm eastern with Mike Davis and crew. We’ll be giving away a few copies of Red Equinox to random viewers. Tune in and check it out if you get a chance.

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Narragansett Lovecraft Honey Ale
I am writing this under an appreciable mental strain for Friday evening has arrived and the pressures of dark forces have accrued, but by the time I set down my pen, I shall be buzzed, for I have obtained the amber elixir.

The origins of the potion are shrouded in mystery. The formula is hinted at in the dread Necronomicon: honey from the hives of winged creatures that haunt lonely hills and whisper with voices that buzz in crude imitation of the speech of men. Hops from the meadows that border the river Oukranos where it winds beside the Enchanted Wood on its way to the Cerenarian Sea. Alcohol content calibrated to the mystic numeral seven. A potion shunned by pregnant women, for it is rumored to produce abominations.

The dark satanic mill from whence it came was founded in Rhode Island in the Yuletide of 1890, year of the nativity of our prophet H.P. Lovecraft. Whether or not the prophet himself ever ingested the earlier incarnations of the sacramental brew is a matter of some speculation. However, his writings predict the fate of the potion with oracular clarity.

At the end of Lovecraft’s tale “The Haunter of the Dark,” a superstitious doctor casts the gem of power known as The Shining Trapezohedron into Narragansett Bay, where it is believed to be lost forever. And yet, in the book Red Equinox, we learn that the gem was subsequently retrieved from the depths by descendants of the Starry Wisdom Church and its power once again tapped to fuel their dark rites. So too, the Narragansett brewery was once relegated to the wrecking ball but has since been resurrected to unleash the power of Lovecraft Honey Ale on the world in January of 2015, three days after the publication of the dread tome Red Equinox.

Great power lost, now tapped again.

Coincidence? I think not.

Some believe the potion is the Space Meade foretold by August Derleth, prescribed as a defense against interstellar travel. I hope they are right as I intend to serve small doses of it to the celebrants who will gather to hear readings from the red book at Jabberwocky in Newburyport, MA and Water Street Books in Exeter, NH on the evenings of January 30th and 31st.

The elixir, difficult to obtain, now occupies a glass upon my desk: a deep amber red reminiscent of the lost gem, topped by lacy golden foam. It flows smooth as the sea into Innsmouth harbor, bringing a scent of sweet honey and herbal overtones. And yet there is an underlying bitter note—a darkness befitting its origins—that courses through the sweet bouquet and lingers for a moment inspiring one to ponder the fathomless icy reaches between the stars.

I have acquired 24 canisters for my congregation. I may need more, for having sampled one; I am tempted to consume them all.

Narragansett Lovecraft Ale page

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Becca photo of fractal tentacles
I’m trying to find my way into the next book, playing around with opening lines and paragraphs. Beginnings set the stage and influence everything that comes after because they set the tone for both reader and writer. Stephen King says opening lines are invitations. William Gibson compared them to handshakes or keys.They introduce us. They open the way.

And yet, sometimes, when writing the first draft, it’s more important to just kick in the door, any door, and get into the story. You can always figure out where the main entrance is once you’re inside. I did that with my latest novel. Scrapped the first chapter in draft two and found a new way in.

A handshake. A key. A fractal?

Let me suggest that the opening line, or paragraph of a book can be a kind of fractal. I don’t know if this would work for other writers, but it’s something I’ve noticed in my own work.

In Red Equinox my main character discovers fractal tentacles surfacing in the walls of abandoned buildings–images that are at first only visible in her infrared photography. It got me thinking about the nature of fractals and how (sort of like holograms) the part contains the whole. The smallest pattern at the tip of a fractal repeats and expands so that when we pan out and take in the whole, we see that same shape writ large.

Could the opening of a novel contain the fractal signature, the DNA if you will, of the whole story?

I think maybe I’ve intuitively done something like this three times now. Since I’m only really qualified to analyze my own work in this way, I hope you’ll indulge me a quick look back at those openings.

Billy Moon didn’t know exactly when he had sold his soul. There had been no pact penned in blood, no dusty crossroads. Maybe it happened that night on the bridge, the night he met Trevor Rail. Maybe his soul was tucked away in one of those paragraphs of legalese he had skimmed over hungrily in his mid-twenties—his eternal spirit leveraged against mechanical royalties and recoupable advances in a five-point font. I sold my soul, he thought, and it fit. Like a perfect chorus summing up the verses of his life, it rhymed with the rest of him.
The Devil of Echo Lake

Billy Moon, a troubled, confused, burned out rock star is searching his failing (maybe repressed) memories for his identity, and the conclusion he reaches in that first paragraph is the fractal tip of his story, the shape of his past, present, and future. He is a man fighting to reclaim his soul.

There were at least three good playgrounds within a short drive of
the Ocean Road apartment, but on the day Desmond Carmichael
lost his son for a terrifying ten minutes, he had chosen one farther
away, the one they called the Castle Playground. It wasn’t Lucas’s
favorite, but the days when the boy would argue for a favorite
anything were behind them by then. Desmond figured that when a
child loses his mother at the age of three, pretty much every other
preference takes a back seat. He knew that he wasn’t Lucas’s
favorite either.
Steel Breeze

In Steel Breeze Desmond, a grieving widower wracked with guilt and regret, is about to enter a living nightmare in which he races to save his son from a pair of serial killers. It will take a few chapters for his life to spin out of control, but his grief and fear of further loss are all there at the moment we meet him, a fractal fingerprint on his character with ripples flowing into both the future and the past.

Now we come to Becca Philips, the photographer at the center of Red Equinox.

Death has a way of calling us home, and when it does we put on
our best. Becca Philips hadn’t been to Arkham in years, hadn’t
worn a dress in almost as long, and now here she was, stepping
off the train and feeling out of place in both.
Red Equinox

I hope you might feel like you know her already after just two sentences. At least a little. She has left her home town but has been pulled back. She’s an escapee, but what was she running from? She’s a bit of a tomboy. Maybe she’s an outsider in more than just this situation. She’s uncomfortable but rising to the occasion.

And the story to come will continue to challenge Becca to “put on her best” in the face of death.

So there you have it: fractal paragraphs. Your mileage may vary.

* * *

Red Equinox is out now. You can read about the influences and writing process behind the book at Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds and John Scalzi’s The Big Idea.

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With just one week to go until Red Equinox drops, you can now read the first two chapters at Tor.com. Tor is my favorite hub of geek goodies, so I’m thrilled to get a ride on Stubby the rocket! I hope you’ll head over and give the story a chance with your Saturday morning coffee. And if it hooks you, why not pre-order the book at Amazon? Thanks for checking it out.

Red Equinox Excerpt Douglas Wynne at Tor.com

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