Sequels, Prequels and Interquels

Be careful, the note said, for I had found a phantom. Albert Price had been known across Europe for the past fifty years, although if he were real or a legend, no one knew. – The Alchemist of Rome

When your main character has lived for centuries, are your books sequels, prequels or interquels?

The Alchemist of Paris and The Alchemist of Rome – plus some coffee rings on the table, evidence of the many cups of coffee consumed during writing!

The Alchemist of Paris is set in 1820, and centres around a mysterious scientist called Albert Price. In one scene, he tells the heroine, Elise, that he had lived in Rome many years before. After I finished the Paris story, I began to wonder. What had happened to Price in Rome? Who had he met? Was there a villain who had pursued him – a bad alchemist, the opposite of Price?

Sequel – a story continuing or expanding from an earlier work but complete in itself (Lord of the Rings Trilogy; Twilight Series)

Prequel – a story describing events prior to the story

Interquel – a story describing events that takes place in a period between two other books

The Alchemist of Rome is therefore the sequel and the prequel to The Alchemist of Paris. It tells the story of Albert Price’s time in Rome in the 1760s – the era of the Grand Tour when European aristocrats were re-discovering the ancient world, and the elixir of life seemed entirely believable.

Being immortal, maybe some of Price’s acquaintances survived until this day. Perhaps a modern-day tourist would meet one of these immortals, and cross paths with some other characters from The Alchemist of Paris.

I hope readers can read the books in any order, as they are both complete stories.

Now I’ve finished, I realized three of my characters, Albert Price, Elise and Antonio, lived in England in the 19th century. Another sequel (or prequel or interquel) is forming in my mind – a gas-lamp mystery called The Alchemist of London perhaps?

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The ebook of The Alchemist of Paris is on sale for 99 cents until early next week.

Cover Reveal – ‘The House of Lost Shadows’

 

Cover Design by adipixdesign.com

Cover Design by adipixdesign.com

I’m very excited to reveal the cover for ‘The House of Lost Shadows’, a supernatural thriller set in the 1920s.

In 1926, the brilliant and charismatic film director, Karl Niemander, began work on his last picture, The House of Lost Shadows. Beset by troubles, he headed north to the Baltic coast to shoot the final scenes with his two stars, and a loyal cameraman. None of them were ever seen again.

Two years later, Grace O’Hara, an intrepid young reporter from Chicago heads to Berlin to find out what happened. Was Niemander a conman or genius? A fraud or a mystic? A true spiritual seeker or a murderer? As the sun rises over Berlin, Grace will hear a tale she will never forget.

If you are in the US, for a limited time, you can get a copy from Amazon here for 99 cents.

 

“Midnight in Dublin” – new cover reveal

 

Midnight in Dublin - cover design by adipixdesign.com

Midnight in Dublin – cover design by adipixdesign.com

 

Here is the amazing new cover for “Midnight in Dublin” created by Adriana Haganu at adipixdesign.com.

“Midnight in Dublin” is a supernatural thriller with magical realism elements, set in Dublin, Ireland. Here is the plot:

When Lizzy James flies to Dublin, all she wants is to forget her worries and have a relaxing weekend. But the mist-shrouded streets hold many memories from the carefree summer she spent as a student in the city, and she cannot shake off the feeling that something is unfinished. The past grows stronger when Lizzy receives a message from an old friend, the annoying and glamorous Alice, who has gone from one dazzling (and surprising) success to another since college.

But perfect Alice has a guilty secret – on their last night in Dublin seven years ago, Alice swapped destinies with Lizzy. The deal ends at midnight that very night.

Lizzy has no choice but to join Alice as they race across the city, unravelling the past and confronting their supernatural pursuers. Their fates entwined, the girls have one night to put things right and restore destiny to its proper path. If they fail, not only is their destiny and happiness at stake, but Lizzy’s very soul. Will what was meant to be, finally be? As the hour draws near, anything can happen at midnight in Dublin.

I need you! (If you’d like to be a book reviewer that is). If you’d like to read “Midnight in Dublin”, or know someone who might, please send me an email at mcdulac5 at gmail dot com so that I can send you a free review copy in return for an honest review on Amazon and Goodreads.

“Midnight in Dublin” is a short read at 51 pages.

24. New Years Eve

On an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, not far from the international dateline, a young man was sitting on a white sandy beach.

He shielded his eyes as a tall slender girl walked across the sand toward him.

“So how are you feeling?” she said, sitting down.

“I keep thinking I could have done more.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll take over soon,” the girl gazed confidently across the turquoise blue sea.

“Okay, now you have to listen to this – it’s important,” he said.

The girl rested her chin on her knees and smiled dreamily.

For the next few hours, the boy told her all the things he’d seen in the last year, all the things he tried to do, and all the things he wanted to put right. The sun slid below the horizon and the island was lit only by the stars overhead. Gradually the hour of midnight approached.

“It’s time,” the girl’s eyes flashed with fear and excitement.

“Here it is,” the boy said, handing her a glowing ball, “Be careful with it.”

The girl took the ball and her heart soared.

“You look as excited as I was, a year ago,” the boy shook his head, “I didn’t believe the guy before me, just as you don’t believe me. We always think we can change the world.”

“Your job is not over. We still have twenty four hours together,” she whispered, sliding her arm through his.

The girl, the spirit of 2015 and the boy, the spirit of 2014, soared into the sky and over the invisible dateline, as they began their New Years Eve journey, cradling the precious new year between them.

*   *   *   *   *

Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2015!

Fictionbynumbers

An exercise in micro-fiction – stories which run from zero to twenty four

For the whole series, click on the ‘Flash Fiction’ menu!

© 2014 M. C. Dulac

23. The Perfect Age

I had a Christmas story, but didn’t post it in time – I will have to post it next year. So for number 23 in the “Fiction by Numbers” series, here’s another short and sweet piece from the vampire underworld…

*  *  *  *  *

She’d read somewhere that twenty three was the perfect age.

At twenty three a person was said to have financial independence, health, love, and hope for the future. At twenty three, so it was said, a person had found their path.

Of course life is never like that. There can be wars, depressions, upheaval and rebellions. Youth can be lost to plague or worry or fear. Life was just a matter of finding your time, and seizing it.

Evangeline liked being twenty three though. She liked the smoothness of her face, the glossiness of her hair and the lightness of her step. She liked how she could wear the latest fashions and how she had the assuredness of the young.

The eternally young.

As Evangeline gazed into the sky over the city, a pang of sadness stuck her heart. It looked so different from when she was alive.

Evangeline was a vampire, and she’d been twenty three for some time now…

Fictionbynumbers

An exercise in micro-fiction – stories which run from zero to twenty four

click the Flash Fiction menu for more!

© 2014 M. C. Dulac

21. The Bet

As the year nears its end, here is the 21st story in the “Fiction by Numbers” flash fiction series. This week, a deal with a supernatural twist…

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“What’d you bet?”

A drop of sweat ran down Matt’s face. What was he betting? His home, his life, his family’s future?

How had it come to this? He looked around the barroom, at the silent patrons sitting in the dark corners, and then at the man opposite him – Willy O’Hara, moneylender of last resort.

“I said,” Willy was shuffling a deck of cards, “What do you bet?”

Matt could think of nothing except Lily, his five year old daughter, and how she’d cried after the kids at school teased her about her battered shoes. Then Tim thought of the final letter of demand he’d received from the landlord, threatening to evict the family in a week’s time.

“All I’ve got.”

“All you’ve got?” the moneylender grinned, “let me look into your soul.”

Willy O’Hara’s eyes were pale blue, and his skin translucently white. The room had a stale musty smell, like dead things. It was at the busy intersection of two highways, on the outer edges of the city centre. The bar was like something from a different era of history, not Sydney in 2014. The whole place creeped him out. Tim had no idea it would be like this, when they’d told him to come and see Willy.

“Look at me straight,” Willy said. He gave Tim a piercing stare and nodded, “Not everyone gets out of here,” he said, dealing out the cards, “It’s up to me to decide if they do.”

The strange patrons came closer, as the game of 21 began.

Tim wanted to run. Instead, he picked up his cards. He raised his brows. He had a damned good hand.

Keep a poker face, he told himself.

Round after round, the cards added up to the magic number, beating Willy every time.

Willy eventually pushed across all his earnings, enough to clear all Tim’s debts. Enough for him to by Lily new school shoes, hell, enough to buy a new car to drive her to school.

“Take it,” Willy said, “Get your family out of trouble. I told you I see into your soul. If it’s selflessness, then, maybe I let you leave. But if it’s not -” he stared at the silent patrons.

Tim picked up the cash. He fled the bar, certain never to return.

*  *  *  *  *

Fictionbynumbers

An exercise in microfiction

18. Signs

This week, an ominous tale….

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The signs had been read years before.

The astrologers and the soothsayers, the readers of runes and the oracles in the mountains, all reported the same thing.

18.

The king had sat in his throne room musing on the meaning of this sign. Over time, he began to believe that the dreaded event would occur in the eighteenth year of his reign. As the year approached, he summoned his advisers again. They re-read the signs, and each of them, came back with the same message.

18.

18.

18.

The king spent nights brooding on this. He knew he was a feared man, and that his throne could be usurped at any time.

It was then he realised his young and popular nephew, loved by all the people for showing the fair-mindedness of his father and the kindness of his mother, was about to reach manhood – the age of 18.

And so, on the 18th day of the 18th year of the king’s reign, the king had his nephew executed in the city square.

As the boy lay dying, a strange cloud obscured the sun.

The people, who had suffered so long under the king, felt anger brimming in their hearts. The execution of the boy was too much for them, and one by one, they raised their weapons, and rushed the castle.

Thus the king ignored his own warning. For it had all been written by fate – the number 18 was to be his downfall.

Fictionbynumbers

An exercise in micro-fiction – stories which run from zero to fifty

click the Flash Fiction tag for more!

© 2014 M. C. Dulac

Speaking of spooky stuff, “Four Ghost Stories” is still only 99 cents on Amazon. What does Tony, the London financier, find at the bottom of the garden, when he moves to the English countryside? To read more about Tony’s discovery and other scary stories, click here!