Right from the start, I never constricted the TableRappers stories to merely a series of novels – there is far too much possibility to ignore!
Some stories simply do not lend themselves to entire novels, while some do not deserve to be tucked away within the pages of something so very much larger.
Without giving too much away (though, those of you who have been following since 2008 will already know), Dr. Matthew Keynes, the central protagonist of the Persistent Spirit story, became an obsessive, almost professional debunker, ghost-hunter and investigator-of-strange-happenings. First from 1895 to 1898, and then again from late 1902 until… well, that remains to be seen.
[aside]I have a large, complex spreadsheet to organise all this[/aside]
Initially with his associate, the then Constable, Merrick, they exposed fraudulent mediums, uncovered the causes of strange noises, unmasked the perpetrators of all manner of supernatural occurrences, and, now and then, encountered the genuinely unexplainable and the positively deadly. Each time, one of the investigators involved would assemble a Casebook File detailing the experience and Keynes would file it away, numbered and dated based on when the investigation began.
At this time, only a relative handful of Keynes’ Casebook Files have been uncovered – 46 thus far. The total number is as yet unknown, and some may never be discovered. Case No.1, December 1895, in particular remains a mystery. Persistent Spirit itself is recorded as Case No. 124, dated 8 October 1902, and marks an important milestone amongst those records.
Weaving tangled webs
The Casebook Files will be released between the planned novels, in no particular order. Some will date back before 1902, others after. They will include new characters, some who are introduced in the novels, and a few real personalities from the period. (I’d love to tell you about one such real character, a very well-known name, but I’m determined to keep quiet for a while, longer!)
What I find most enjoyable, is weaving these shorter stories within the broader, larger stories contained in the series of novels. Each one has its place in understanding the broader world in which the characters play their respective parts, as well as the characters themselves.
Some secondary characters who appear, or are mentioned in Persistent Spirit, for example, also turn up in one or more Casebook Files. And one particular incident – Inglebrook’s Pastor, Case No. 155, 23 April 1903 – forms a historic preamble to an entirely separate, stand-alone, modern-day horror novel I have been planning to write for some years.
As you might imagine, I have a large, complex spreadsheet to organise all this (no, you’re not getting a peek at it!).