The Mark of the Wolf is a book about six teenagers who are suddenly and involuntarily initiated into a hidden world monsters and the supernatural. The story is set in Lawrence, Kansas, 1998. The Satanic Panic has died down in most of the country, but lingers on in Middle America even as the New Age and Neo-Pagan movements continue to grow.
The action of the story begins when a young woman is attacked, in front of her entire church community, by what everyone thinks is an oversized dog. Convinced that the attack was otherworldly in nature and that she is now cursed, she recalls the whispered accusations of witchcraft within the school, and seeks out those accused in ironic and desperate hope that those rumors are true.
The coven she imagines is not what she finds. They are not sallow-skinned, richly dressed maniacs, but rather mismatched misfits largely indistinguishable from the rest of the student body. Nevertheless, she begs them for aid. Despite deep reservations, they promise to help her.
That promise goes about as badly as you would imagine, or otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a story.
WITH JUST 50 HOURS TO GO IAM SWEETENING THE POT
All backers pledging $10 and above will get a DRM-free PDF copy of the novel in addition to all other rewards, AND a set of five occult themed desktop backgrounds in addition to the rewards they have already been promised.
The Mark of the Wolf, and the world in which it is set, is written for all the outcast and the alienated. It is for those who remember the 1990s and 2000s with as much horror as nostalgia. It is written for people who loved the monster movies of the 1980s and 1990s that asked questions about what it means to be human, and came back with uncomfortable answers.
These characters, this novel and the stories that have grown from it, have been with me for most of my life. The first version of the story was penned when I was in Junior High, one of the first short stories I ever completed. I began the first draft that might be recognizable to a reader of the finished book in 2006.
Inevitably, the book reflects a lot of my own experiences: growing up alien in a Midwestern town that thinks of itself as radically liberal but really isn’t. I was an RPG nerd and an openly practicing Pagan and a deeply closeted queer, and the dying echoes of the Satanic Panic had a profound effect on my view of the world and my place in it.
Equally, this book, its sequels, and their spin-offs, are shaped by my academic, literary, and media influences: Homer and Euripides, Aleister Crowley and Mary Greer, Bart Ehrman and Howard Zinn, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the X-Files, HP Lovecraft and Clive Barker. It is my desire to both build on the tropes of the urban fantasy and supernatural horror genres, and to re-root them in folklore and literature and genuine magical practice, and to ground them in the historical and political world in ways many authors eschew.
The Mark of the Wolf will be the first book in a series I’m calling The Book of Secrets. The series is currently projected to be six books, of which the second and fourth books fifty thousand words each are already written. The series will follow these seven characters, and the friendships and rivalries they develop along the way, from August 1998, where The Mark of the Wolf begins, all the way to 2005, where their climactic battle will shake the foundations of the world.
The first of the spin-off stories, my novellas Bad Trip and Ozark Mountain Nightmare which introduce readers to the broader Mundus Occultus are already available for sale on Amazon. Bad Trip traces the origins of my characters back to 1968. Ozark Mountain Nightmare follows their legacy to 2018. The ever-expanding stories of the Mundus Occultus stretch back to human origins and past our present day. I want desperately to share them all with you.
People who chose to back me at either the Paperback Plus or Hardback Plus levels will be able to chose from a gallery of occult-themed art prints, such as the one below.
Risks and challenges
The Mark of the Wolf is already written. By supporting this Kickstarter, you’re not paying for a year or even a month off the grid so I can write: you’re covering the costs of publication and promotion. Backing this project at the $20 level is preordering a paperback copy of the novel, with an exclusive first-printing cover. At the $35 level, you’re preordering a hardback. Shipping is included, and if everything goes according to plan, you’ll have your copy in hand in May.
I only need a hundred people to back me at the $20 or $35 levels to manifest this novel in the world.
You, my fans and investors, risk only that the process of publication will take longer than I anticipate: that you might receive your copy in June or July, rather than in May.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)