Viper Investigations (Fragment Alpha-11)

Note: Intended to be read after all three parts of the Creswood Mysteries series.

“What do you mean it’s over?” Stolas complained. “I thought you brought us here because we had a new case to investigate.”

“I never said that. I said there’s a case I’d like you both to help me review. It just so happens to be a case that’s already been closed.”

Detective RR had called his subordinates, Stolas and Ash, into the office on an ordinary Saturday. Viper Investigations typically solved cases Monday through Friday with work occasionally spilling over into the weekend. Neither Stolas nor Ash were currently working on any cases so they hadn’t expected to receive a call from their boss out of nowhere. Neither of them were particularly busy so they showed up like loyal employees according to RR’s request.

Stolas was eager to get back to work, as was Ash to a certain degree, so they both felt misled when RR started giving them the details.

“Is this old case one that we worked on?” Ash asked.

“No. It’s a case that was closed long before any of us were born. I was investigating something else when I came across the records of the Lockwood case. Entitled Shadow Puppet Mysteries in the archives, it seems to involve something I’m interested in.”

“I’ve never heard of it. How long ago was it closed?” Stolas asked.

“From our perspective, about 90 years ago.”

“Did something important happen back then?” Ash asked. “90 years is a long time. I can’t imagine it’s a personal case for you like Creswood was.”

“Take a look at this,” RR said. He handed a page from a dusty file folder to Ash. His subordinate scanned the paper for a few moments before looking up with a serious expression.

“This can’t be the same though,” Ash said. “Even if it is, they’ve got nothing to do with one another.”

There was a very loose connection between this old case, Shadow Puppet Mysteries, and the Creswood case they had been working on a few weeks ago. The connection was tenuous at best so Ash dismissed it. RR wasn’t so certain that it was something to be dismissed so easily.

“Well, let’s find out together. It could be nothing or it could be something.”

“Hey, don’t leave me out,” Stolas complained. “What’s going on? I don’t know anything about any shadow puppets.”

“Then let’s start the story,” RR said. “August 1st, 1910. A mansion in a forest just outside of town.”

Coming October 25th… Shadow Puppet Mysteries’ First Performance!

RMV Mysteries Thoughts

The structure of Creswood Mysteries is something that I’ve previously said that I am very proud of. Originally,  the concept for Creswood was to create my largest series to date. It was because of the delay with Memory Blood 2 at the end of 2014 that I wondered if it might be more fun to release it as a quick short story. In doing so, I discovered my preferred style for writing and serializing mysteries.

In the future, I think the RMV Mysteries series will continue like this. Right now I’m thinking of the plot for RMV Mysteries #2 which you can think of as a spiritual successor to Creswood taking place in a new location with a new cast of characters.

Today I’d like to take a little time to discuss my ideas for the future and to reflect on what I’ve done so far.

With Creswood, the mysteries were never too difficult. The goal for the first part was to create something that was solvable with all the clues presented. The detectives were a little too efficient in their investigation though and ended up leaving many of the misleads and traps ineffective by the end of the story. With those out of the way, the path to the truth became far easier to traverse.

Due to this, I gave out the identity of the culprit in the sequel, Creswood Fantasies, and left only one core mystery remaining in the finale Creswood Illusions. While giving away so many answers wasn’t the original intention, I’m very pleased with how the story developed and I wouldn’t change it one bit.

As a natural reaction to that, I would like RMV Mysteries #2 to swing in the opposite direction and be more mysterious and more difficult.

The advantage to releasing these stories in the current format is that I can make them available for free. And if they’re available for free, I can make the difficulty any level that I desire. The stories will still be fair and solvable, but the challenge can potentially reach insane levels of difficulty without making readers feel like they’ve wasted their money on something unsolvable.

As always the mystery will be solvable and by the end the difficulty will be reasonable, but who knows what challenges may appear during the journey to that point…

The title and the premise for RMV Mysteries #2 have already been decided. The core plot is being developed and when that’s finished I can begin revealing the details and when you can expect to read it.

World of Velorus (Fragment Alpha-9)

By now you’ve probably heard my name many times.

If not, I would enjoy meeting you. None exist in the World of Gods who do not fear the name Velorus. I have my former apprentice to thank for instilling fear of me into even the newest gods.

Beloved Gwendolyn, dressed in white. She used to be a monster. I trained her to be like me. I showed her that gods are free to use humans as they please. The first world she created, Creswood, was truly beautiful. It had a simple elegance to it with a few intriguing murders.

Then she began feeling pity for the lesser beings. These creatures are nothing more than our creations. They are no different from the characters in a book or the personas of an actor upon the stage. They are not real. They are short-lived unless we give them life. So I do not understand why she pities them.

To claim that their lives are valuable and that they exist independently of us is foolish.

Gwen, you have your own apprentice now. Reyskaw. You’ve asked me to stay away from him. Could it be that you have fallen in love with him? I destroy gods regularly and you’ve never once asked me to save any of them. I’ve looked at the world that he comes from. There he was considered to be the founder of magic. Impressive. Perhaps not love, but admiration? I’ll make you reveal your feelings to me one day.

Reyskaw Valen. A figure of interest to myself as well. I have heard the name Reyskaw Marcosius Velorus and seen it within the Alpha Fragments that float through existence. What connection does that man have to me? And what of the other one called Marcosius?

There is a theory that one day we will all be joined together as one being.

I doubt such a thing is possible.

 

I reign supreme over the World of Gods. None can challenge me and there exists no being whose power I need to absorb. Even the legendary Marbles are surely nothing but fictions to give hope to the lesser gods that they may one day defeat me.

I am a tyrant and a monster. I am a creator god. For a while I have remained asleep, but the time for me to wake may be near. I look forward to our reunion, Gwen. And to Reyskaw, I look forward to our first meeting.

I wonder what the Alpha Fragments will say when I have destroyed you?

To be continued March 14th, 2016!

Creswood Illusions Coming Soon

The third and final part of Creswood Mysteries is nearly finished!

On January 29th, the full story will be released for free here on the site. There’s a lot that I want to say about this short story, but I should wait until it’s been released first. As with the first and second stories in the series, this next installment will provide more detail about the world of Creswood and offer more hints towards the truth.

For those that enjoy logic puzzles or just the atmosphere of the series, please look forward to the release at the end of the month. Of course I would also be happy if you attempted to solve the mystery as well.

Writing Update: Good Progress Edition

This week I came up with some cool new ideas for Creswood Part 2 that have pushed me into the second half of the story. The difficulty level is climbing and I’m hoping to think of even more difficult tricks to include. It’s tough writing tricks for a story that’s already been “solved”, but that’s part of the fun of this extra super difficult scenario.

Speaking of which, I’ve decided to make both Creswood Mysteries and its successor available for free at the end of the month! You’ll be able to purchase the Kindle or iBooks edition for 99 cents if you choose, but if you’d rather not spend the money then feel free to stop by and get both for free. The final story will also be made available for free, but I might also gather all three stories and publish them together as Creswood Collection or something like that as well.

There’s not much else to say this week, but just to summarize my current plans:

End of April 2015 – Creswood 2

Summer 2015 – Memory Blood 2

Winter 2015 – Creswood 3

2016 – Memory Blood 3 and 4 (end of the series)

Writing Update: April 2015 Begins Edition

It’s time for a fun announcement and a not so fun announcement.

Memory Blood 2 is being pushed back to this summer in order to allow for more quality assurance time. While I’m capable of finishing the writing by the end of this month, it’s important to have others read it and have ample time to provide feedback and so the release date will be sometime in August with pre-orders beginning a few weeks before that. While I apologize for the delay, I guarantee that this book is going to be something truly special and so I thank you for supporting me and waiting a bit longer.

In the meantime, Creswood Part 2 will be released at the end of this month and made available for FREE! This second part of the story is like a bonus high difficulty scenario and should be very enjoyable for both people who solved Creswood Mysteries and those who didn’t. The spotlight will shine on information that had only been previously hinted at and will feature some fun puzzles to solve as well and some puzzles that might just break your spirit and make you question everything. Maybe.

I’m transitioning into a new writing schedule as well that should result in releases of the highest quality from here on out. I always believe in the quality of my books, but there’s also always room to improve and I think it’s nice to give books some space before they’re published so there’s time to focus purely on quality rather than rushing to meet a deadline. The delay of Memory Blood 2 is part of this transition and if things go well then Memory Blood 3 will be out at the end of the year as well which will hopefully make up for the delays up until now.

Thanks for your understanding again and I’m really excited to share the new stories I’m writing with you!

Writing Update: Mid-December 2014 Edition

It’s about time for a new Writing Update now that Creswood Mysteries has been announced. As of now, the story has been completed and I’m working on balancing and tuning the mystery over the next 2 weeks leading up to the release before the end of the year. Official story info and a release date will be coming soon, but I need a little more time to prepare so your patience will be appreciated.

When I set out to write my debut mystery novel, I initially wanted to make it super difficult to solve because that would be a lot of fun for me. However, there’s plenty of time to write super difficulty mysteries in the future… so why not start out a little easier? The balancing of the hints is not yet completed but I think there will only be a mild amount of difficulty in the Creswood case which means that more than a few people should be able to solve it outright and most people should have some good guesses by the end.

This was a quick project, so it’s only the length of a short story and that also makes it easier to re-read so I’d like to ask my readers to try their very best to solve it. Unlike a standard mystery novel, there’s no solution at the end but a solution shouldn’t be necessary. The mystery becomes solvable quite early on and more and more hints are presented afterwards that will help with figuring things out.

Even if you can’t solve it, it should still be fun and that’s what excites me about this work. The appeal of a mystery novel is the mystery and I think I’ve created something quite fun and lighthearted despite the fact that people get murdered. If you haven’t read something in this style before you’ll probably only understand after you’ve read it but I guarantee it will be worth the 99 cents that it will cost!