How the Will Castleton Stories Got Started…

Posted: November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

by David Bain

You may freely copy and repost or reprint this article as long as all links, the above byline, this note, and all following text remains unchanged.

This is a note I added to all the ebook versions of the existing Will Castleton stories just before the publication of DEATH SIGHT, the first Will Castleton novel in December 2012, explaining the origins and background of the character.

Dear Reader:

I hope you enjoyed this Will Castleton adventure. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve finished one of the four stories currently available in ebook format. Obviously, Will travels a long way – physically, mentally and spiritually –  between the events detailed in “Island Ghosts”, “Samantha”, “The Bridge” and “Nighteyes”.

I’m excited to announce that the first full-length Will Castleton novel – DEATH SIGHT – is coming out on or about December 4, 2012!

I wrote the original four Will Castleton stories  back in the early 2000s for small press magazines and anthologies.

The first, “Island Ghosts”, came pretty much out of nowhere and was simply an exercise in speed, movement and suspense. It appeared in a Future Mysterious anthology simply entitled DIME – a collection of hard-boiled private eye stories. Thank you, Babs Lakey, for taking a story that technically didn’t even feature a private eye! But Lakey apparently saw potential in Will Castleton, and, eventually, so did I.

The first two Will Castleton novels, DEATH SIGHT and GREEN RIVER BLUES, both take place before the events detailed in “Island Ghosts.” DEATH SIGHT details the accident that led to Will’s becoming psychic – with a serial killer, a ghost from a cold case murder, some very nasty bikers and a fugitive apprehension that goes very, very wrong all thrown into the mix. GREEN RIVER BLUES involves Will investigating a series of devastating murders in his hometown, as well as the confrontation which leads directly to the little vacation highlighted in “Island Ghosts.”

But back to the short stories, if you’ll indulge me for a moment. After writing “Island Ghosts,” I hadn’t thought much more about Will Castleton until an editor friend asked me for a story to include in an anthology about ghost hunters. I thought Will would be perfect. So I moved him forward in time a bit and wrote “Samantha.”

The third and fourth Will Castleton novels – MENGER (featuring the fate of a certain orally-fixated, nefarious, burn-scarred bad guy known to readers of my crime/horror novel GRAY LAKE) and RUNNING – both currently little more than outlines, further explore Will’s coming to grips with the spirit world and his move from U.S. Marshal to private investigator. In these novels and beyond, we’ll fill in events merely hinted at in “The Bridge” (the only one of the original Will Castleton stories not written specifically at an editor’s request, it was accepted by a small press mystery magazine) and, in time, we’ll see Will combat the cosmic enemy of whom we see only the first vestiges in “Nighteyes” – a story which, though it doesn’t feature any form of the word “vampire,” was originally published in a collection of stories about vampire hunters.

I foresee myself spending a lot of time with Will Castleton – maybe to the tune of a dozen or so novels, maybe more – Robert B. Parker started his Spenser novels when he was my age and wrote forty of them! However far we get to go together, I’m thrilled to be writing Will’s extended story, seeing him through the long haul.  I officially welcome you along for the ride!

Thanks again for reading!

Dave Bain


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