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November 13, 2012 – 4:00 am | 7 Comments

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Anton Strout: Part The Second Of The Self- Retrospective of America’s Favorite Lower Midlist Urban Fantasy Author ™

Submitted by on September 19, 2012 – 4:00 amOne Comment


With the upcoming release of Alchemystic, book one of The Spellmason Chronicles, it’s really made me nostalgic about my journey as an author over the past five hears of being in print.  Alchemystic will be my fifth published work, and you don’t get there without learning and loving a few things along the way.  With that in mind, I thought I would share some of my favorite moments, focusing each day on one of the four books in my Simon Canderous urban fantasy novels leading up to the beginning of my new series. With that said, let’s share the warm and fuzzies, shall we?


Deader Still   (Book Two)

The gist:
Psychometry-the power to touch an object and divine information about its history-has meant a life of petty crime for Simon Canderous, but now he’s gone over to the good side. At New York’s underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he’s learning about red tape, office politics, and the basics of paranormal investigation.

It’s been 737 days since the Department of Extraordinary Affairs’ last vampire incursion, but that streak appears to have ended when a boat full of dead lawyers is found in the Hudson River. Using the power of psychometry—the ability to divine the history of an object by touching it—agent Simon Canderous discovers that the booze cruise was crashed by something that sucked all the blood out of the litigators. Now, his workday may never end—until his life does.


What I learned in writing a sequel is that sequels are effing hard.  Nothing quite prepares you for it.  There’s not a class I could go take, so much of my learning was trial by fire in writing Deader Still.  Luckily, I come from the Lost school of storytelling where you plant a lot of seeds along the way, some which you can use to grow your tale and some die on the vine.

New York Comic Con
I love going to conventions.  I love speaking on panels and talking shop, and I love the costumes and fanboys/girls who go, and I thought:  Hey, where better to recruit odd paranormal types than to have a booth at NYCC where the Department of Extraordinary Affairs might find new recruits.  Also, it’s fun to write chase scenes through crowds of obese Spider-men, Jedi’s, and people with elf ears.

Bryant Park
I love setting my books in New York City because it’s a place rich with history.  It’s got old bones, and those bones are creaky.  But it doesn’t take much to twist its real history to one that suits my paranormal needs.  For instance, Bryant Park has traditionally been the home of Fashion Week runway shoes.  But did you also know that long ago Bryant Park was once a potter’s field—a mass grave for the poor?  Now what if you had a malevolent necromancer bent on causing a chaotic spectacle?  Seems like the perfect place for some undead mayhem, if you ask me.

Cleopatra’s Needle
Remember what I just said about New York’s rich history?  Right behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art there is a large hieroglyphic covered monolith in Central Park.  It’s just there in the middle of a little open park area.  There’s got to be an odd story about that, right?  So I used it in the book.  I spent an afternoon actually going to the location to block out a scene for the book.  I ran around with a video camera, mumbling dialogue to myself, and doing chase scenes up and down various paths to get the feel for what I needed to write.  I think it all turns out well in the book, but I got quite a few looks in my mad dashing, even by New York standards.

Next up:  Dead Matter, Book Three of The Simon Canderous series


When not plotting against his mortal enemy Patrick Rothfuss, Anton Strout is the author of the Simon Canderous urban fantasy series for Ace Books including Dead To Me, Deader Still, Dead Matter and Dead Waters.
His new book with Ace Books Alchemystic is the first in the upcoming Spellmason Chronicles and comes out 9/25/12.

He is also the host and curator of content for The Once & Future Podcast, a weekly show that focuses on discussions with other working writers.

His other writing has appeared in a variety of anthologies—some of which include Simon Canderous tie-in stories—including: Boondocks Fantasy, The Dimension Next Door, A Girl’s Guide to Guns & Monsters, Pandora’s Closet, Spells of the City, and Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies, Spells of the City, Boondocks Fantasy, After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar, and the upcoming Human For A Day .

He currently lives outside New York City in the haunted corn maze that is New Jersey (where nothing paranormal ever really happens, he assures you). In his scant spare time, he is an always writer, sometimes actor, sometimes musician, occasional RPGer, and the world’s most casual and controller-smashing video gamer. He also works in the exciting world of publishing, and yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds.

He can be found lurking the darkened hallways of

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