There Will Be Blood Promo Image

Not a cover reveal. . . .

twbb-02-rene-and-ria-promoRelease date is looking like 2017 now.

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The TotenUniverse

No one knows the true barycentre of the TotenUniverse. The band are only part of a wider growing European conspiracy. You can now explore further details of this conspiracy and Alien Noise Corporation’s future plans and releases.


Click the image to see the TotenUniverse in detail. As universes go the image is quite large, and best viewed in landscape mode…


And you can learn more about the future plans for Alien Noise and the different story lines and strands here:

The TotenUniverse

Toten Herzen Malandanti Extract – Rose Pursey

It’s summer, the female solo artists are coming into bud and causing the usual huffing and puffing as they struggle to maintain their relevence. I thought it an appropriate time to unleash an extract from Toten Herzen Malandanti featuring their litigious US nemesis Rose Pursey. In Malandanti, Pursey is suing Dee Vancent for libel and in this scene her attorney has some news for her.

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Some flowers grow quite happily in any soil, but roses require their roots to be firmly planted in a good deep layer of horseshit. And there was no shortage of rich humus as Clarke Rubenstein tip-toed into the Whitehouse Film Studio where Rose Pursey was filming her latest music video.

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Origins of the Malandanti – update

Who were (are) the Malandanti? I came across them when I was researching witchcraft for the second Toten Herzen novel. To understand the Malandanti you must first learn about the Benandanti.

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Benandanti means ‘good walkers’ (Benandante is the singular) and were a group of people from the Friuli region of northeastern Italy in the 16th Century. Their story is rare in that they were tried for heresy by the Inquisition, but survived. Their secret magic brought them to the attention of the Inquisition along with the charges of witchcraft, but when the trial judges heard what the Benandanti were doing they found themselves with a moral and religious dilemma.

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Toten Herzen Malandanti

2014-3d-malandanti____________________

TOTEN HERZEN MALANDANTI
Published 2014
(Alien Noise Corporation)

____________________

The second book of the Totenseries, following on from the turmoil of We Are Toten Herzen.

After the disastrous events in the previous novel ‘We Are Toten Herzen,’ the band are forced to count the costs and the repercussions of their comeback tour. The focus turns to the safety of the recording studio and their first album in forty years. Things can’t get any worse.

But this is Toten Herzen, the dead rock band: murdered in 1977, discovered alive in 2013. Guitarist Susan Bekker wants to sing, antagonising lead singer Dee Vincent whose catastrophic interview in Hullaballoo magazine leads to a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Rob Wallet, the band’s publicist, flirts with insanity when he isn’t flirting with Lena, the seductive former terrorist and leader of a network of covens known as the Malandanti.

The story sets down amongst the isolated mountains of the English Lake District, with excursions to post-communist St. Petersburg and Bamberg in Germany, scene of the 17th century witch trials. Along the way the band are assaulted by an ever growing list of mysteries. Why has a Russian voice coach arrived uninvited at three in the morning? Why are the Malandanti searching for a book owned by Dee Vincent? What is Susan Bekker’s Big Lie? And is the valley pictured in a 14th century painting the source and home of the first European vampires?

Blue hair, black magic, talking sheep, murderous bushes, necromancy, alchemy and leather-clad litigation. It’s all captured on film by a deafening Dutch director in Chris Harrison’s paranormal dark comedy Toten Herzen Malandanti. Book two in the authorised account of the band’s astonishing and some would say unbelievable comeback.

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Available from the following

Barnes and Noble (Nook) – click here

Smashwords (all eformats) – click here

Amazon  (click your country)

UK     USA     Can     Germany     France     Spain     Italy     Netherlands  Australia     Brazil     Mexico     Japan     India

Scribd (epub – note Scribd is a subscription service) – click here

Oyster (epub – note Oyster is a subscription service) – click here

The Author Hot Seat with Chris Harrison

Jane Dougherty Writes

Chris Harrison is my last guest (appropriately enough) in this second round of The Author Hot Seat. On the face of it, Chris’s books sound…weird. Funnily enough though, I can immediately think of at least one person who would enjoy them. Are you listening Jane Risden? Read what Chris has to say and see if you end up as intrigued as I am.

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J: Tell us what the story/your work is about, the setting, the background, and where it takes the reader.

C: The story is called Toten Herzen Malandanti. Toten Herzen are a rock band murdered in 1977, but thirty five years later a down-at-heel music journalist called Rob Wallet investigates the murders and discovers the band are still alive.

He persuades them to make a comeback and in TH Malandanti they’re in the studio to record their comeback album. The first since 1976.

The conceit of the Toten…

View original post 1,905 more words

A lesson in music

Susan Bekker is the de facto leader of Toten Herzen. The others might disagree, but they all wait for her directions. In Malandanti she is learning to sing, but her ambition comes up against Russian composer and unwilling voice coach Dmitri Neved.

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Before the band came into the studio Susan was allowed one hour for her singing lessons. The arrangement worked for now, but one day her vocal ability would become alarmingly proficient and threaten the status quo. The day of judgement, however, showed no signs of arrival, Dee’s reign at the microphone wouldn’t be threatened for at least another month or two, or three. Possibly several years, Neved had spat out in a fit of frustration three evenings ago.

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Reaction to a lawsuit

The trend for vampires in literature has been in stagnation for a while and shows no sign of revival, but vampires still have potential, so long as they avoid daylight and all the sparkly shit that goes with it.

Toten Herzen are prone to a change of pesonality when events don’t go their way, such as the lawsuit brought by US singer Rose Pursey. When news arrives that the litigation has gone against them they go looking for victims:

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The top of Helvellyn was standing room only when the first helicopter arrived. Police were late reaching the summit and the crowds had a grandstand view of the carnage before they were advised to leave along Whiteside or Nethermost Pike, north or south, just don’t look back or down. The rubberneckers lining up on Striding Edge and clustering on the dome of Catstycam soon realised that the proximity of the rotor blades would blow them off the tops and the last thing anyone wanted was to join the broken pile of limbs and torsos at the foot of the cove.

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On borrowed time

In Malandanti Susan Bekker, lead guitarist, decides she wants to sing on the new album. This doesn’t go down too well with Dee Vincent, the lead singer. Throughout the novel the tension betwen guitarist and singer builds in classic Gillan/Blackmore style.

Dee isn’t the first person you’d imagine having a crisis, but in this scene with her old Cat’s Cradle colleague Almer, she let’s rip:

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“You know Susan’s problem is she doesn’t know how to enjoy herself.” Dee shouted above the racket of a stripped down rendition of Kashmir. “Takes life so seriously. I can’t remember the last time she smiled or cracked a joke.”

Two members of Cat’s Cradle found themselves alone in the studio with enough time to play a medley of old songs. All in the name of catharsis. Not that Almer was feeling cathartic, he was the monkey to Dee’s organ grinder, and she was grinding with a ferocity he never heard back in 1972 when it probably mattered. The Explorer screamed every time she dragged the whammy bar to its limit. Every unannounced tempo change brought another pulse of sweat out of Almer until the drumsticks were almost slipping out of his hands.

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Real or Hoax?

I’ve often been asked are Toten Herzen a real band. Well, the person to ask is Rob Wallet, the British music journalist who discovered Toten Herzen alive in 2013. But Wallet is a difficult customer to get hold of.

We could ask Rene van Voors, the band’s drummer, but he’s just as likely to spin you a tale as Wallet. Here’s a clip of Rene in action in Toten Herzen Malandanti:

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The temptation to cheat became too much and Green Gable was reached without the intervening walk. From the top the distant edge-of-the-world coastline was tinted gold by a sunset reflecting off gentle cloud. There was so much to comprehend, so much landscape, so much Earth, but the more he stood and stared, listened and sniffed, the more his attention became drawn by an omnipotent presence.

Sheep.

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A New Double Act

In The Lost Valley journalist Rob Wallet is still being asked to find Peter Miles, the alleged fifth band member who disappeared in 1973. Meanwhile Raven, still hoping Susan Bekker will turn her into a vampire, is growing more impatient by the day as her time on earth runs out (she’s nineteen). The pairing of these two misfits is starting to generate some real comedy episodes to balance the dark themes of the Totenseries. Here’s an early exchange from the first draft.

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The email had an attachment. Raven opened it. The attachment was a brief set out by Wallet. He called it a brief, but it was actually a set of instructions evidently written under duress or in a fit of beligerence.

You will not cause a scene or throw a fit when asked to do something you don’t want to do. You will not play music by One Direction at any time or by any other ‘so-called’ music act. You will not use phrases like ‘life sucks’ or any teenage expression that normal people over the age of twenty five will not understand. You will not make a noise when you’re eating or eat with your mouth open.

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The Contrivance Conundrum

We all like a good story. Anyone who tells you the novel is all about writing is talking out of their earhole. It’s all about story. But even then you can go too far and you end up with contrivance.

The process goes something like this: You have some people faced with a problem, I know a sudden tidal wave appears out of nowhere and washes them towards the edge of that 2000ft high bridge and the only thing they can grab is a man on a bicycle, except he’s going quite fast, but luckily he’s carrying a length of wood on the back of his bike eight feet long and if the person with the longest arms can grab it as they’re swept past they’ll all be saved. Which of course is exactly what happens and they continue with their conversation about who left the front door open.

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Origins of the Malandanti

Who were (are) the Malandanti? I came across them when I was researching witchcraft for the second Toten Herzen novel. To understand the Malandanti you must first learn about the Benandanti.

banner-malandanti

Benandanti means ‘good walkers’ (Benandante is the singular) and were a group of people from the Friuli region of northeastern Italy in the 16th Century. Their story is rare in that they were tried for heresy by the Inquisition, but survived. Their secret magic brought them to the attention of the Inquisition along with the charges of witchcraft, but when the trial judges heard what the Benandanti were doing they found themselves with a moral and religious dilemma.

Continue reading

The Witches Are Coming

Isn’t it typical? You think you’ve come up with a good idea and then someone beats you to it and gets all the kudos. For several months now I’ve been writing the second Toten Herzen novel and thought I had found an opportunity for a spin off series and then I read this article in the Guardian.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/nov/19/first-novel-witches-sally-green-publishers-snap-up

In short, Sally Green has written a novel about witchcraft called Half Bad. It’s her first novel and that is great news for her. I’m not going to dismiss her achievement. But what it means now is that when I eventually get round to writing my novel based on witchcraft the bandwagon will no doubt be packed, standing room only. The television channels will be stuffed with witchcraft series, each one hoovering up every conceivable storyline and plot twist.

So, the purpose of this short post is to plant a flag here and now to say my idea was swirling around between July and November 2013 and is not in any way influenced by the new fad for witchcraft novels.

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