The shadows hold heroes as well as monsters. Men and women dedicated to holding back evil in all its guises, regardless of the cost.
Dr. Landon Connors, created by noted paranormal adventurer and Miskatonic University alumni (go Fightin’ Cephalopods!) Bob Freeman, is one such individual. Connors has battled daemons, devils, shape-shifters and rival occultists with blade, bullet, bell, book and candle in a number of Freeman’s stories.
And, as with last week’s post on Joel Jenkins’ gunslinging occult investigator, LONE CROW, Bob has stopped by the site to share his thoughts on his creation…
I have a confession to make. Landon Connors has been around a lot longer than you might think. In 1985 I was a strung-out college student, living off-campus in a run down shack with my best friend and a drug dealing dwarf he had met in London. Those were some good times. Wish I could remember half of what went down, but I was obsessed with magick and hallucinogenics, and the happy marriage their coupling made.
Anyway, I was doing a lot work on the astral plane back then, and eating my fair share on psylicbin and enough acid to warp ten realities, when I got the idea for a new character, sort of a synthesis of Katherine Kurtz’ Sir Adam Sinclair (The Adept series), Indiana Jones, and Hunter S. Thompson. He was called Ironlung, dressed in a hippy fringed leather jacket, snakeskin cowboy boots, and mirrored shades, and he was a drugged-out, chain smoking modern shaman who battled demons, shapeshifters, and various and sundry other preternatural beasties. Nothing really came of it though, other than a few sketches and some laughs as we passed the bong around our little apartment.
In 1987, and again in 1994, my brother and I revisited him, giving Ironlung a proper name — Solomon Killingbeck. We had launched a small press comic studio and thought he might make for an interesting reoccurring character. He showed up in a single issue of Templar Nights, a whole lot older and world weary. He’d traded in his fringed coat for a full length trench, walked with a cane to support a crushed knee, and sometimes sported a weathered fedora inscribed with Enochian sigils on the inner head band.
Eventually the comic studio folded, having crashed and burned as such things have a wont to do, and I turned to writing novels and short stories. As a lifelong fan of occult detective fiction, delving into that genre was one of my top priorities and Solomon Killingbeck was one of the first things I dusted off and drug back into the light — but I wanted to come at it it from a fresh perspective. By then, occult detectives were experiencing a bit of a resurgence and if Killingbeck was going to stand on his, albeit hobbled, own two feet, he needed to be a bit of a breed apart.
I had envisioned Killingbeck as a bitter, drug-addled Irish Jew, a Kabbalist and Ceremonial Magician to be sure, but also a whiskey swilling hard-boiled private eye who tackled the cases everyone else was afraid of. Thing is, I felt like that had already been done to death.
So, I was essentially taking my ideas for this character and stripping it bare, but I had to stay true to certain elements. I was a new father and so in recreating this character I chose to honor my son, Connor Landon Freeman, in bringing Landon Connors to life. Once I had the name, he was practically a living and breathing person, showing up in short stories, novels, and comic scripts, sometimes as the lead, sometimes as a supporting player. But he was always there.
Dr. Landon Connors, a mid-thirties expert on the occult, a consultant to local and federal agencies as well as to the Nightstalkers, a ragtag group of paranormal investigators who were on the front lines of the war against black magician, monsters, demons, elder gods, and more. He still smokes too much, still has a perchance for indulging in mind-altering substances. He’s a little more Terrence McKenna than Hunter S. Thompson these days, and he’s not so bitter as when first dreamed up nearly thirty years ago, but he still loves a good mystery and he solves them the only way he knows how.
With magick and grim determination.
Landon Connors is a part of me, and in a lot of ways, always has been. Soon, on 12-12-12, I’ll be making an announcement at www.occultdetective.com that very much concerns Dr. Connors. The thing is, I have a lot of fun playing in Landon Connors’ world. I really can’t imagine doing anything else. And I hope that the fun I’m having writing the character rubs off on the people reading these stories.Bob Freeman From the Aerie North of Nevermore December 3, 2012
To date, Landon Connors’ adventures can be found in the novel, Descendant: A Wolfe and Crowe Investigation, which is available through Amazon, as well as the short story collection, Liber Mysterium, which is available via Amazon and Smashwords.
There is also a FREE Landon Connors story, “Ashes to Ashes”, available on the Rookhaven Publishing site.
For Bob Freeman’s complete bibliography, visit: http://authorbobfreeman.wordpress.com/bibliography/