Dr. Harper Paget, mythologist, descended from an ancestor who was falsely accused of being a witch and burned at the stake, continues the struggle of his ancestors against the dimension traveling, shape-shifting entities who can take on the images of creatures in our world (lamiae in ancient Greece and kuntilanak in modern Indonesia). More insidious than ghosts, they can haunt apartment buildings, campus hotels, movie theatre buildings, and even the clinic where Harper is having stitches put onto his face. The characters we see here, exploring a dark and mysterious place, discover that not everyone is who they appear to be. Friends and loved ones can be taken over or killed and nowhere are they safe. That is the premise for the paranormal realm as explored in three novels I have posted on Amazon-Kindle as e-books, what my brother Sam has titled the DARK JOURNEYS TRILOGY.
The first novel, which takes place in Atlanta, is DARK NEIGHBORHOODS, is where these shape-shifting creatures have arrived to stop Harper with his research about them and to take over a world that humans have not taken care of. The second novel moves to China where Harper, teaching at a Chinese university linked to his own university in McAbee, Illinois, finds himself facing doppelgangers of people that he knows -- including another Chinese teacher who becomes his love interest. Harper not only requires face surgery after one attack in a crowded dining hall but becomes crippled by another attack which requires his using a cane for the rest of the trilogy. When he moves to another university in NE China, he moves into a campus hotel that turns out to be haunted by these seemingly indestructible, shape-shifting creatures. This hotel definitely has DARK CORRIDORS.
The third novel, DARK JOURNEYS, begins in China but moves back to the US, to a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River where Harper spent his days as a child. Here in Warrick, he is joined center stage by other characters, each with their own complicated personal issues, to fight the entities that threaten to take over the town. He learns of a vortex created by these dimensional-traveling entities which transports his Chinese lady friend to a closed movie theatre in Warrick owned by his friend Corey Braedon. She, however, arrives in the town in the past when Harper is a high school student. Switching places with her is a local young lady who is sucked through the same vortex from Warrick back to China. So . . . the situation is becoming intense and almost incomprehensible for Harper and his friends.
As it is, Harper is not finished once the triology reaches its concluson. He returns in the fourth novel which takes place, as does DARK CORRIDORS, in China. This horrifying tale which becomes part of the DARK novels is titled THE CURSE OF THE LAMIAE.
I first used the term "horror" to describe the DARK JOURNEYS TRILOGY, but I learned that, even though a large fan base reportedly exists for horror, others are turned off by -- or frightened of -- the genre, maybe because of gory films showing up at the cinema these days. In China, many of my students confused the word "horror" with "horrible," and often wrote the latter when they meant the former. When I thought about it, I realized that horror was really a limiting term for the three works. So I now prefer "paranormal." We'll see what happens. The DARK JOURNEYS TRILOGY was given that name by my brother Sam, who is also responsible for book covers two and three -- the sepia-tone images and the lettering. I took the photo for the first book cover and the lettering was done by Aaron Gardner and Don Blair.
The photo and design for the novels OF TIME AND THE DREAMER, FROM HERE TO ATLANTIS. CIRCLES AND REALMS are my own. This is likewise true for the non-horror/non-sci-fi novels FORBIDDEN VOICES and FOREIGNERS AND EMPERORS.