EDGE MAGAZINE #7

Why such a massive undertaking? Well, as a story teller I wanted to tackle something epic, a saga without all the awkward hiatuses imposed by game play. I was seduced by the freedom of massive, all-encompassing themes and the chance to explore the secrets behind the versions of world histories that we think we know. For decades I had been gathering material on certain personal obsessions that had taken me restlessly into all kinds of obscure areas of research. I had been slowly constructing the foundations for a convincingly cohesive world including concept designs, languages, cultures and real world myths.


The Cappadocian Aengelus (175,000 words, written in 1998 and unpublished), Tomb Raider Angel Of Darkness and The Shadow Histories, all share some fundamental similarities of theme, which is unavoidable given that a distinct unity of passion drives me. Probably even the styles show similarities, although with the Cappadocian Aengelus I was definitely attempting to be more ‘literary’. However they are totally separate creations and universes with their own distinct characters, narratives and colouring. But, as is often quoted, there are no new stories, only innovative ways of reworking basic archetypes and strands of the Heroine or Hero’s quest.


Some of my dominant archetypes and themes are:

 The Conspiracy of secret or Shadow Histories – forces operating within the shadows of visible history. The hidden influences on our lives and the dangers involved in trying to uncover those concealed truths.

 Beings who guide or protect an evolving human race (possibly some form of angel-like entities, possibly not…!)

 Secret societies and groups, ones with privileged knowledge.

 Coteries dedicated to the suppression or protection of the shadow-truths.

 Individuals or groups with arcane or unsuspected skills.

 Individuals with unsuspected pasts or bloodlines.

 Arcane artefacts, weird and occult sciences and unconventional weaponry.

 Lost knowledge, lost processes, lost places, skills, objects, people and powers.

 Multi-layered characters, who are never what they seem at first meeting, often with unsuspected or unique abilities.

 Secrets & megalithic forces within ancient landscapes such as Turkey and Chaco Canyon.

 Growth from innocence into awareness. Elimination, purifying by fire & resurrection; the alchemist’s “Solve et coagulae”.


Being a huge comics and film fan I’m fortunate in that most of my ideas occur cinematically. Great wallops of material just appear, complete, requiring only that I fill in the fine details – and spend hundreds of hours bashing them out on the keyboard of course. Once I saw how The Shadow Histories could become a context for a lot of the material I had been gathering for decades everything made sense a lot more quickly and the world of the hidden heroine, Cody Conmar, began to take on a convincing form. It now has a life of its own.


POSTSCRIPT TO THE ARTICLE Nov 2009.

There are plenty of good reviews of volume one of The Shadow Histories on a variety of websites at the moment and some fans of AOD have been enthusiastically spotting some superficial similarities between the two.

The Shadow Histories Volumes 1 and 2 are currently available for download on Amazon Kindle, see LINKS page.