Tonight I have the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Joshua M. Reynolds. He’s another author featured in all three of the LOTMH volumes and one of my very most favorites.
Josh is the writer of Royal Occultist Charles St. Cyprian and his assistant, Ebe Gallowglass, both of whom are irresistible in their own way, and I must highly recommend following their adventures by clicking the link provided at the bottom of the interview.
And so, it is only fitting that we begin on that very topic:
MB – You may not feel comfortable answering this, but if you are open to speculation, who do you believe to be the current holder of the office of Royal Occultist?
JR – Brian Blessed. The reasons should be obvious.
MB – Exactly! His 1980 portrayal as Prince Vultan was as good an audition as any! Good times, and good call.
Somewhere, Pat Rothfuss is stroking his beard in jealousy…
Anyway, ever had a ghostly occultist-like encounter of your own?
JR – Oh the stories I could tell about the things I have seen.
It sounds like the chorus from a bad country song, but it’s true despite that. Coffins full of blood and black dogs loping under a silver moon, hungry houses with wide open doors and whispering, black-eyed ladies at the other end of the empty train car. I’ve been on the edge of scary stuff—Charles Fort territory, you know—hearing the stories from friends-of-friends or reaching the spot as the echoes fade.
But a proper encounter? No, never had one of those. By the time I get on the train, the ghouls are getting off. By the time I hear the sinful titter, the vampires have scarpered. But I’ve got a good imagination, and sometimes that’s just as bad.
MB – That was a good bit of foreplay without much payoff. Consider yourself on notice for the rest of the interview.
Now, If you HAD to tattoo the face of a writer on your body, who would it be and where would you have it done?
JR – What—deface this pristine temple of human perfection? Thank you, no. But if I had to, it’d be Jorge Luis Borges, because if you’re being forced to do it, do it classy.
As for where, that is equally obvious – Caio Tattoo in Rio. He’s the only one I would trust to get it right.
MB – Ahhh, where would you get it done…I see what you did there. But I’ll give you credit for answering with Borges, and I smiled when you mentioned Caio. Many a monster hunter has spent a hard earned nickel in his studio, for certain. And speaking of exotic locations…
Have you ever visited the Catacombs under Paris?
JR – I have been to Paris, but not to the Catacombs. The Louvre was creepy enough, thanks. That place eats people, you know. Shells them like shrimp and snacks on souls. It’s a recognized mental disorder. Look it up.
MB – I see. So you have a fear of the Catacombs…
(So do I – anyone that goes there is obviously crazy.)
Back to more important matters: the best monster kill scene in movie history?
JR – The climax of the Horror of Dracula—Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing vs. Christopher Lee’s Dracula in the brawl for it all, including crossed candlesticks, table-vaulting and flying tackles. A close second might be the windmill scene from the climax of The Brides of Dracula—Peter Cushing again, this time using a windmill to kill David Peel’s Baron Meinster.
MB – That answer puts you right back into good graces here at the campfire. Right on.
Now, taking a turn towards current events, is it too soon to crack jokes about naked pictures of the royals?
JR – Nah, I crack jokes about ‘em even when they’re clothed. Then again, I crack jokes about a lot of things, so maybe I’m not the best guy to ask.
MB – For better or for worse, I’m counting your answer as official:
YOU MAY ALL NOW CRACK JOKES ABOUT NAKED PICTURES OF THE ROYALS.
Personally, I’m relieved. I’ve been holding back for days.
NAME THAT TUNE – List your top 3 monster hunting songs.
JR – Ooh, tough one. My Top 3 Monster-Killin’ Songs changes on an hourly basis, but at the moment, in no particular order, they are:
Just missing out on the third spot is “Vampire Lake” by the Builders and the Butchers.
MB – On a very serious note, what are your thoughts on the new Lego “Monster Fighters” toys, and do you think it is possible that a toy manufacturer knows more than they are letting on?
JR – My initial thoughts are “Yes, please.” and “Will you buy them for me?” That said it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Lego were in on the Secret History of the World, and that their products weren’t simply some form of primary colored Lemarchand’s Box, waiting to be clicked together in the proper shape to awaken the gibbering nuclear chaos at the heart of existence.
Still, those are some damn fine looking play-sets, I must admit.
MB – Yes, they are rather rakish. And to answer your question of “Will you buy them for me?” – that would depend entirely on photographic proof of Jorge Luis Borges, if you catch my drift…
PIMP MY RIDE – What is your ultimate monster hunting rig?
JR – Why, the answer is right in front of you, dear fellow—Charles St. Cyprian’s black Crossley 20/25hp, of course!
That bit of automotive ingenuity has survived being stomped on by angry Celtic gods, a savaging by werewolves, an airborne assault by a daemonic avian entity and, most recently, a thorough crushing in the coils of a monstrous worm.
But if I can’t have the Crossley I want KITT from ‘Knight Rider’, because it’d be efficient to have both my snarky sidekick and my transportation be one and the same.
MB – Well, I guess someone was bound to drag The Hoff into this sooner or later. At least you didn’t answer “The General Lee” because then we would have had to devote an entire page to a discussion of the merits of cutoff jean shorts…
*Takes a deep breath and stares into the distance*
I’m back. If my Kickstarter makes enough to fund my Monster Hunting Traveling Agency, which hunt would you absolutely want to go on first?
JR – Hmm. I’d have to say it’d be a toss-up between hunting down the Beast of Bray Road or my hometown horror, the Lizard-Man of Scrape Ore Swamp.
MB – You know, it’s funny that you bring up the Beast of Bray Road. I’m in the middle of reading Linda Godfrey’s latest, and I had a stray thought the other day about how cool it would be if I could get her to do an interview. I’m going to take this as a sign that I should try.
I’ll also admit that I have no idea how the “short URL” works. Pity that.
No matter – I’d like to thank Josh Reynolds for spending time with us this evening.
Josh, would you be so kind as to provide links so that everyone may enjoy your excellent storytelling?
JR – Stop that, you’re embarrassing me!
I kid – you keep right on doing that…
My personal blog, where you can find out what I’ve written, I’m working on, what I’ve got coming out, and what I think about things: http://joshuamreynolds.wordpress.com/
And, for the folks who’ve enjoyed the St. Cyprian and Gallowglass stories in Leather, Denim & Silver, The Trigger Reflex and Use Enough Gun, well, you’re in luck because there’re plenty more where those came from! You can find out about those, as well as more about the shadowy world of the Royal Occultist and even read free stories at: http://royaloccultist.wordpress.com/
MB – There you have it, folks.
As stated before, you could spend a lot of money on books and not read better that the adventures linked above.
And please feel free to pass mention this interview (and the others) along because you never know when the information might save a life.
You also never know when Flash Gordon, Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazard cross paths with Caio, the famous tattooist from Brazil and Linda Godfrey, the world’s leading authority on upright canids.
Seriously, you’re welcome to try and top that, but we all know it’s not going to happen.
*drops mic and walks off stage*