The Seeds of Cain
Published Articles
Some Influences

I've always had an obsession with stories that deal in myth, mythological creatures, the battle of good verses evil, and man seeking his place in a world that he cannot control. While my obsession started early, with the late Martin Boland, Clare historian and head of the Kilkee, County Clare Boy's School taking a group of us Yanks, Dubliners and Limerickans hiking around West Clare telling us tales of Irish lore, it was Karen Mahony, the head of Magic-Realism Press, who would reignite my passion while we were working on her Taroh deck, the Fairy Tale Taroh. The articles herein are articles I have written and been asked to write in the six, seven years since I finished my edit on Karen Mahony's wonderful collection. Some are about the mythological creatures who stalked the seaside cliffs and plains of Clare in Ireland. Others are about the monsters and mad rulers who struck my fancy whilst living and working in Prague in the Czech Republic and travelling around Central Europe. I've published other articles, of course, but my marketing sense leads me to believe that my target audience does not want to read about my editorial experiences nor my travel adventures--even if I am credited with coining the phrase: 'Cesky Krumlov, it's like Prague, but without the prostitutes.' So sit back and delve into the worlds of some of my favorite horror characters, a couple of real-life evil blood-countesses, a haunted Bible, and a few people who made a deal with the devil from which there was no escape. The Seeds of Cain, the novel which brought you to my site is fiction . . .

These stories are real:

The Vampire Princess

Cesky Krumlov has long been considered a living, breathing, working museum. With its location at the source of the Vltava River, and its perfectly preserved Medieval Castle and surroundings, the city is fast becoming the must-see city of Central Europe, tour guides and web sites that push off the beaten path holidays are even going so far as to declare: 'skip Prague, go to Cesky Krumlov.'

But for all her beauty, her perfections, and her well-deserved recognition in many national and international organizations, the city of Cesky Krumlov still carries with it one dark secret from her Medieval past. A secret that has been covered up for two centuries, and one that remains hidden from present day historians and tourists alike. For while both Czech and tourist go to the town to experience art, beauty, sport and history, Cesky Krumlov was and remains the sight of one of the worst desecrations of human corpses in the history of Central Europe. It is a history that many Czechs had never known existed, let alone knew existed in their paradisal town of Cesky Krumlov...

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The Devil's Bible

Its story is something akin to the great fairy tale of Germanic lore, Rumpelstiltskin. A promise has been made that cannot be kept, and desperate and woeful, the promiser's prayers for assistance are met by a dark creature who wants nothing more than a human life. But while the story of Rumpelstiltskin ends with the fairy tale creature ripping himself in two, the story of the Devil's Bible, known throughout the centuries as the Codex Gigas, is a tale that has haunted its owners for centuries, the text bringing death, madness and woe to its possessor...

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The Blood Countess

By present day standards, her life should have been like that of a woman in a Harloquin Romance. Her marriage was a political one that was cheered by the nation and was seen as a merging of two of Central Europe's most powerful families. And not only did her marriage garner the support of an empire, her husband, as well as the kingdom in which she lived, lusted after her. Strong-willed, beautiful, determined, she was a woman who controlled vast territories in warring lands in a time when women were second class citizens.

But while her beauty was renowned, she has, post mortum, been the study of mythologists, folklorists, horror writers, and vampirists and vampirologists for centuries. She has caused nightmares both throughout her life and after her death.She has even inspired defenders, a film director recently making a movie entitled Bathory in which the director begged viewers to ignore the written history of the woman and to see her as she 'really' was. The poorly laid out vision of the revisionists aside, the name Bathory has been fodder for folk tale, myth, and horror novel since the lady, imprisoned in a few rooms in her castle via walled up brick and mortar, died. Why?

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Ireland's Wandering Soul

What would Jack of Western Ireland think? The Annual Bykos in the Czech Republic Invasion . . .

Irish folklore and fairy tales are filled with countless tales of man using wit and cunning over a stronger, larger, or more powerful adversery, the brain seeming to be not only the great equalizer of the island nation's mythology, but the weapon that leads one to get the upper hand and succeed. From the two-foot tall, pot-of-gold hoarding leprechauns outwitting greedy men with solely money on their minds, to the beautiful seal women called the selkie, who long for a return to their oceanic homes and have to combine cunning with beauty to get their skin back and to return to the seas where their disheartened family awaits, it seems as if force and brute strength are wasted attributes to have on the green fields of Ireland, the land seeming to be a place where only the deviously cunning and manipulative can survive...

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An Irish Exorcism in the Kingdom of Bohemia

For a nation that has seen so much conflict, been the victim of so many betrayals and broken promises, and has been laid to waste and been rebuilt, the Czech Republic's history isn't so much haunted so much as it haunts. But even so, while most nations have a history that doesn't seem to die because someone from that period allegedly wanders the area of a major battle, execution, or where an historic event took place, my first foray into the Czech underworld of ghosts and misplaced spirits, that being a two hundred and fifty crown Old Town Ghost Tour way, way, way back in 2003, proved to be a disappointment, the tour seeming to be a near-on word for word, perfectly scripted imitation of the Old Town History Tour, the wandering undead of the Old Town proving to be the same exact historical characters that I had heard about solely three hours before on another two hundred and fifty crown tour....

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