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One Sheet for The Ghost Box

One Sheet for The Ghost Box

by Mike Duran · 18 comments

“Reagan Moon & The Ghost Box” is straight-up Urban Fantasy, PG-13, noir-ish, romance elements, pulpy, in the vein of Dresden Files and Sandman Slim. This is a standalone novel, with serial possibilities (Reagan Moon and the Eye Ember, Reagan Moon and the Crescent Bungalow, etc., etc.).

 

Reagan Moon & the Ghost Box

By Mike Duran

Mired in despair at the passing of his girlfriend ELLIE WELLS, paranormal reporter and bona fide skeptic REAGAN MOON is hired by a reclusive tycoon to investigate the events surrounding Ellie’s death. When a blind medium seemingly contacts Ellie’s spirit, Reagan is warned of a supernatural cataclysm about to be unleashed upon Los Angeles. After he returns to find the medium murdered, he is trapped in an unstoppable series of events. Apparently, throughout the city, mediums are turning up dead.

And Reagan Moon is now the prime suspect.

As Reagan dodges the police, his investigation leads him to rogue researcher MATISSE and his unpredictable shape-shifting daughter MAIKOA. The ex-Jesuit believes that he can thwart an approaching apocalypse by housing occult arcana, cataloging it in a lead-lined underground warehouse he calls the Asylum. By acquiring some of the world’s most renowned occult antiquities, Matisse hopes to stave off the advance of the SUMMA NURA, an ancient council of celestial beings seeking to prey upon humanity. Matisse eventually reveals to Reagan his most prized discovery: Rival’s Curtain, a crystalline visor that allows one to see into the spirit world.

When Reagan’s eyes are opened to the invisible world around him, not only is his agnosticism dashed, his mission is made clear. Through the magical visor, a carefree guardian angel named BERNARD, reveals that a vast confluence of wraiths and disembodied spirits are being summoned against their will. Ellie is among them. Bernard traces this phenomenon to Spiraplex, a high-tech, futuristic pleasure center built by billionaire brain researcher SOREN VOLDEN. Apparently, the magnate has more than money on his mind. Using genetics, nanotechnology and robotics, Volden is seeking to create a massive Ghost Box, a conductor to the spirit world, and open the way for the Summa Nura. However, Matisse unknowingly possesses the one object to complete Volden’s Ghost Box: the legendary lightening rod from the Tower of Babel. And Soren Volden will go to any length to acquire it.

Reagan is forced to begin the most dangerous investigation of his life; he must stop Volden and free Ellie’s spirit in hopes of thwarting the advance of the Summa Nura. Led by Bernard and Maikoa, Reagan seeks to infiltrate Volden’s headquarters and disarm the Ghost Box before it can be christened. But all the street-smarts in the world can’t prepare Reagan Moon for the choice that lies ahead of him. For not only is Ellie’s body being held in a cryogenic state, she is now symbiotically bound to Volden. Reagan cannot defeat Soren Volden without sacrificing the love of his life. And when Volden proves to be something other than human, no sacrifice on earth can stop him.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kessie September 5, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Well Mike, I’m officially hooked. What’s the release date on this?

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Mike Duran September 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Kessie, because we’re aiming general market, we’re waiting to shop the book until it’s finished.

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xdpaul September 5, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Make it so. Seriously, just let ‘er rip.

I’ll give two further minor comments, take them as such:

1) The union of the opening grief over Ellie to the climactic decision/opportunity regarding her is important to me.
2) Matisse’s Asylum – how about a repurposed old missle base in Arizona , instead?

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Mike Duran September 5, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Ha! Love the missile base idea. This one’s in the L.A. warehouse district, originally designed as a nuclear shelter during the Cold War, a potential hideaway for Cal Tech nerds, military brass, and scum politicians.

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Christian September 5, 2012 at 8:28 AM

Not sure about the name ‘Bernard’ for a guardian angel but I’m loving the rest. The story sounds very intriguing, I’d snap it up in an instant. I don’t know if this is intentional, but your one sheet reads like something in the vein of C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength, and his unfinished piece – The Dark Tower or even Charles Williams’ body of work.

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xdpaul September 5, 2012 at 9:05 AM

Bernard is a great name for a guardian angel. Goofy and heroic. The historical St. Bernard was a learned and staunch anti-pagan, and then you have the giant mountain rescue dog with the dual reputation as both cartoonish and stalwart, and finally it is Capraesque (“Clarence,” anyone?).

Of course it is also memorable. It could have been “Hank” for me, but I think Bernard is a stroke of something…either genius or just a plan old stroke. Something I want to watch go down, in any case.

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Jessica Thomas September 5, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Do we find out why the mediums are being murdered?

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Jessica Thomas September 5, 2012 at 9:27 AM

“Mired in despair at the passing of his girlfriend ELLIE WELLS, paranormal reporter and bona fide skeptic REAGAN MOON is hired by a reclusive tycoon to investigate the events surrounding Ellie’s death.”

Also, who is the reclusive tycoon, and why does he care?

And…what’s special about Ellie? Is she targeted by Volden for a specific reason or do Ellie and Reagan fall into all this by happenstance?

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Mike Duran September 5, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Jessica, those are all important questions I’d answer in the story. I can only cram so much into one page!

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Jessica Thomas September 5, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Good deal. Just checkin’ ;)

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Jill September 5, 2012 at 6:03 PM

This is the kind of book that all depends on how it’s written, how the story is told. It could be really great–I love noir.

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Christian September 6, 2012 at 12:49 AM

I don’t know. The premise automatically makes the story good, quality writing just elevates it to something great!

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Jill September 6, 2012 at 7:40 AM

I don’t agree. I’ve read books in this genre, and they often seem kitch to me because they are all about their coolness/cool ideas. By this genre, I mean paranormal noir. Maybe kitch isn’t the right word. The writing must be both good and sincere to path muster, but I’m sure in Mike’s hands, it’ll be great.

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Jessica Thomas September 6, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Except the fact that I’ve not read this genre :) I agree on all your points, including the last one.

The coolness/cool ideas are important to me, but without proper style and characterization the “stuff” can come across cheesy…which is fine if the author is aiming for that type of feel (which some authors are, and I can appreciate that too).

Not an easy balance to achieve. I’m struggling to achieve it in one of my stories right now actually. I think I’ve got it, then four weeks later I read it, and one scene or another jumps out at me and screams “Cheese Ball!” Then I blush. :( *sigh*

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Christian September 6, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Honestly, you do make a point. Maybe I should’ve clarified myself. An average novel with this premise would hook me more than other books of an average quality.

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Katherine Coble September 6, 2012 at 8:47 AM

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t write in the spec Fic genre nor do I know many editors who make purchase decisions therein.

Saying that, I don’t know if this one-sheet is accessible enough to a casual reader. There are a lot of esoteric terms which I’m sure make sense once you’re in the world of the story but on first pass is a lot of new information to hurdle.

I’d also change the opening line from passive voice to active voice. You want the reader to connect automatically with your central character. In a one-sheet that first line is crucial
for building that connection.

Also–Matisse becomes Matissue at one point.

As far as Urban Fantasy goes it sounds like it could work overall.

Third change I’d propose is to ask how wedded you are to the name Volden for your Big Bad. Because I know agents and editors who’d pass on the spot for that alone. Too close to Voldemort.

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Bob Avey September 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Sounds pretty cool, Mike

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