Dawn of the Psychonaut

Greetings Connoisseurs of Chaos,

It’s been nearly three weeks since my last post. I had hoped to bring you news of the Psychonaut a week ago, but the gremlins of e-book formatting had other things in store.

If the launch of a book could be likened to a birthing process, then Psychonaut required forceps, epidural and eventually  a caesarian section! But it was worth the wait. It may have come kicking and screamimg into the world but arrived it has.

If you are a subscriber, then you will already have received a link for an advance copy of the novel. If you’re not a subscriber, then what are you waiting for? Fill in the signup form in the side-bar or pop-up and not only will you be ushered into the esteemed ranks of my Connoisseurs of Chaos, but you’ll also receive a free horror e-book. What’s more, I’ll include the link to my new novel as well – all for free! But don’t delay, the offer of a free advance copy will close on May 1st.

The actual launch has now been fixed as Friday 20th May. It will be available exclusively on Amazon Kindle and Kindle unlimited. Needless to say, I’m pretty pumped up about things.

So, here’s how you can help me out. You’ve got about four weeks to immerse yourself in the world of the Psychonaut before the book launch. It would be highly zarjaz of you to post me a review on Amazon to help the launch go with a bang. I’ll give more details about this at the beginning of May.

If you haven’t cottoned on to the Psychonaut yet, then here’s the blurb:

How would it change your life if you knew what everyone else was thinking? Merrick Whyte has used such a talent to profit from the world of high finance and business mergers. He puts it down to psychology, the study of body language and good background research. 

But the game is about to change. Someone is seeking his skills for a different purpose – one that leads him into the clandestine world of the occult.

After falling foul of the law, he learns that discerning between friend and foe is not an easy task, especially when reality gets turned upside down. As he discovers the true extent of his psychonautic talents,  he struggles to keep his enigmatic girlfriend, Lotus from being sucked into a conflict that spreads to Eastern Asia.

In an apocalyptic convergence of events, only Merrick and his Outcasts stand between a powerful enemy and the ultimate prize – dominion of this world and the realms beyond the Gateways.

So, it’s a tale of Dark Fantasy and the Occult, but it’s also got thriller and horror elements  as well. Just think of a hybrid between Stephen King, Clive Barker and Ray Bradbury.

If that hasn’t whetted your appetite enough, then I’ve another treat in store. One of the main foes of the Psychonaut is a guy called Sarlic, and I was invited to speak with the Ukurum henchman prior to the release of the book – and here’s what he had to say:

I was granted a unique audience with Sarlic, one the Psychonaut’s main antagonists and top lieutenant in Jagur Shamon’s Order of the Ukurum. He met me at Shamon’s mansion at an undisclosed location in the South-East of England. I had to sign a gagging order and the following transcript has been heavily edited. Nonetheless, the life of a modern occultist was revealed in significant depth.

Sarlic - Psychonaut

He met me in a drawing room looking very much like a top model or film star. He was wearing what were obviously top of the line clothes and smelled just as exotic. I would describe his features as sculpted, handsome in a Greek way and utterly flawless. His eyes glittered from a face framed by tumbling, fair locks that reached to his shoulders, and had a way of boring through you, such that it was quite difficult to meet his gaze throughout the entirety of the interview.

His PA went over the parameters and limits of the interview while Sarlic just sat there quietly and watched. Although nervous, (this man has a reputation) I launched into my questions immediately. After all, we only had an hour or so.

Tom: Greetings Sarlic. I’m glad to have this opportunity to meet you. I’m all too aware that you don’t normally give interviews; but then, with the publication of the Psychonaut imminent there’s going to be a lot of attention on you. I’m hoping you’ll share some of your background, personal philosophy and your ambitions within the occult order known as the Ukurum.

Sarlic: Ninety three

At this point, I thought he was initially testing his microphone (the interview was being filmed)

Tom: I beg your pardon?

Sarlic: You aren’t familiar with the Thelemic greeting?

Tom: Ah, you mean the numerology attached to the words Agape and Thelema?

Sarlic: That’s right. Love and Will. Using  isopsephy, you can assign a numerical value to the Greek letters that make up these words – both are 93.

Tom: Fascinating. Well, I’m glad we got that one sorted out. So, I guess the first question on my readers’ lips would be about your raison d’être. You’re openly bisexual and are big on S and M. In fact, you have pride of place in the opening scene of the book – appearing even before the main protagonist, Merrick Whyte.

Sarlic: You just had to mention that ******* didn’t you.

Tom: Many apologies, but the book is named after him isn’t it? I mean the novel would perhaps have a slightly different audience if it was called ‘The Sado-Masochist.’

Sarlic: I see you share the same vulgar humour with Whyte. Take care, you don’t want to irritate me.

Tom: No offence intended. I mean, I wouldn’t like to end up like the guy you meet at the start of the book!

Sarlic: Ah yes, the prey. I didn’t spend nearly enough time with him.

Tom: I get the impression he didn’t share this view.

Sarlic: As you can probably guess, his feelings were irrelevant to me.

Tom: Okay, but wasps? I mean, what kind of pleasure do you get from that?

Sarlic: I will attempt an explanation, but I’m unlikely to be able to convey the complexity and depth of my interest in pleasure and pain – at least to persuade you, that is.

Tom: Try me, I’m all ears.

Sarlic: Very well. One thing you should appreciate from the outset is that my senses reach far beyond those of a typical jaded one.

Tom: Just for the benefit of the readers, Jaded ones refer to the ‘ungifted’ population at large. Is that correct?

Sarlic: It’s a working definition, yes. But back to your question, I savour the extremes of emotion. When a being, (and I’m not just talking about humans here), experiences pure horror; they express it in their faces, their utterances and their secretions. My olfactory senses detect subtle shifts in sweat composition, pheromones and other body fluids.

Tom: So, in that respect, you share a talent with Merrick Whyte?

Sarlic: You’d have to ask him about that. But getting back to the original question, when you have such a heightened state of awareness, as I have, the euphoria is intoxicating. I even thrive on my own pain. You see, my particular predilection is not pleasure OR pain, but both together. The ultimate sensory experience would consist of a buffet of emotions elicited in myself or my fellow participants.

Tom: Participants or victims?

Sarlic: You could categorise my first interactions with subjects on a dominant/submissive basis, but some find that the encounter opens a doorway to a world of experience they relish. I constantly seek out new participants to play with, in the hope they will open themselves up to further sensory experiments.

Tom: It sounds almost clinical.

Sarlic: There is a science to these encounters, yes, but I prefer to think of them as a maestro conducting an orchestra. The experience is like a composition containing subtle mixtures of conflict, ecstasy, melancholy, agony and euphoria. It is one of my talents to improvise the score to these tableaux. If the piece is performed with passion, then the experience is quite transcendent.

Tom: These orchestrations you speak of, they almost sound like drug-induced fantasies. Have you ever taken recreational drugs?

Sarlic: Countless times. Although, the most intoxicating pharmaceuticals we manufacture in the Ukurum labs cannot be obtained from any secular operation or transaction.

Tom: I take it you’re referring to magick?

Sarlic: Yes, the most potent of which is sex magick.

Tom: Let’s move on to that. Fairly early on in the story, the reader is subjected to a fairly sordid scene involving you, Jagur Shamon (your master) and a woman of considerable sexual prowess. The liaison seems more than just a tryst, it comes across as a sacrament.

Sarlic: That’s precisely what it is – not sordid at all. The energy and body fluids created in these liaisons contribute to what my master calls the Great Work.

Tom: Can you tell us more about that?

Sarlic: Not really. Such things are sacrosanct and esoteric. Suffice it to say, the power reaped from the perfect liaison reaches across worlds.

At this point in the interview, Sarlic is gazing at me in an unsettling way and breathing in deeply. I’m quite sure he’s taking in whatever chemicals I have given off and savouring them. I suggest he takes me on the guided tour of his master’s sanctuary just to break the heady atmosphere. The interview resumes after a fascinating journey through Shamon’s abode.

Tom: Phew, that was quite something. Do you have a licence for those monstrosities?

Sarlic: Necrolytes? I don’t think any jurisdiction has laws that cover them. But then, I think you’ve gathered that we don’t recognise secular laws.

Tom: Quite. Yet I have signed a non-disclosure agreement concerning what I see here. I take it your Ukurum laws are enforced?

Sarlic: With superlative efficiency.

Tom: Okay, let’s talk about the relationship with Jagur Shamon. It’s more than a master – servant arrangement, isn’t it?

Sarlic: Absolutely. I have been under his tutelage since an early age and there’s very little he doesn’t share with me.

Tom: Including his bed, I understand?

Sarlic: Like I said, we share just about everything.

Tom: I’m curious about this. He’s clearly a powerful individual, yet he adopts a more passive role in your physical relationship.

Sarlic: I can see you find this amusing, yet we are talking about something that is sacred. It’s clear you don’t understand the nature of Jagur’s authority, or indeed the nature of Ukurum.

Tom: I must admit you’re right. What exactly is Ukurum anyway?

Sarlic: It’s the name of our Syncretic Order, but it is more than that. The nearest I can get to describing it is as a force of nature, if you will. It isn’t exactly living, but it is a created entity. In millennia past it found its expression in myriad forms, but it’s modern incarnation is Jagur Shamon himself.

Tom: So, he’s what, indestructible?

Sarlic: Not yet. But once he completes the Great Work, he’ll certainly be unassailable. That is all I will say on the matter. You can reveal this information in your book if you like, but the secrets of the Amorphic chambers you saw will have to remain off limits to the general public.

Tom: I understand. I think I’ve got time for a couple more questions. You have quite a few talents, some of which you have described already. But your résumé made mention of offensive arts and weapon skills. Are you ex-military?

Sarlic: (laughs derisively). I’m very much a full-time member of Jagur’s battalions. We don’t just use conventional weapons. I, for example am quite skilled in the use of the ka-nang.

Tom: Sounds exotic. What’s a ka-nang?

Sarlic: There’s one on the table behind you. Take a look.

At this point I was permitted to pick up a metal throwing disc. It was about six inches in diameter and had a serrated edge. When I tested the teeth of the weapon it was clear that it could flick a lot of damage.

Psychonaut - Throwing discs

 Tom: You’ve used this in anger before?

Sarlic was very evasive at this point and chose not to answer the question directly. But he left me in no doubt he was prepared to wield the vicious looking weapon. It was also disconcerting to feel his steely eyes on me again.

Tom: Well, I think that just about wraps the interview up. Thanks for your time, Sarlic. You can be sure my readers will be fascinated with these insights you have given. Just one thing to end with – you clearly operate in a grey area on the margins of the law. Don’t you worry about karma?

Sarlic: The Eastern concept? I dismissed that notion many years ago. The only thing of import is the will. I make no attempt to explain an act performed according to True Will. There is nothing more holy.

Tom: No come-uppance for such an antagonist, then?

Sarlic: Your readers will just have to read the book, won’t they?

~~~

Look out for my next post, which will feature another video blog.

Excelsior,

Tom

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