The Eidola Project
An Eidola Project Novel Book 1
by Robert Herold
A gothic version of the X-Files. The Eidola Project is a 19th century team of ghost hunters who become ensnared in a deadly investigation of a haunted house.
They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a young sideshow medium, and a traumatized Civil War veteran, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses. Will any of them survive?
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Excerpt from The Eidola Project:
Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.
“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.
Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.
Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.
Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.
Moonlight Becomes You
An Eidola Project Novel Book 2
Excerpt from Moonlight Becomes You:
Doc Curtis fought for every reserve of strength and managed to quicken his pace. He could hear them shouting behind him and dared not look back, fearing it might slow him just that much more.
He made it through the field and emerged onto a rough access road running between the cultivated land on one side and the woods on the other. The doctor dashed across the dirt road and through the weeds and scrub bordering its opposite side. The trees stood twenty yards ahead. He would make it, find a thick trunk to hide behind, and fire a warning shot. If he could drive them off, it would be best. If not, he would do what needed to be done. Life had reduced itself to its most basic terms: kill or be killed.
Just five yards from the trees, a gigantic black beast bounded from the woods and landed before him. The doctor skittered to a stop, and his feet went out from beneath him. The creature stepped closer, looming. Its eyes glowed red, and the skin around its muzzle drew back, revealing a mouthful of sharp canine teeth.
The Klan had come at him in two directions, the doctor realized.
He raised his pistol and fired into the snarling face above him.
Totem of Terror
An Eidola Project Novel Book 3
The Eidola Project, a team of 19th Century ghost hunters, have been tasked with trying to stop a deadly shapeshifting demon attacking the native people of La Push, on the Washington Coast. The team brings their own demons with them, in the form of drug addiction, a werewolf's curse, and being in mourning from the death of a loved one. Can they rise to this new challenge, or will they face they same grisly end as the shapeshifter's other victims?
Excerpt From Totem of Terror:
“Mother!” Kitichid’s voice sounded almost seductive. The girl put her arms around her mother’s head in a childish embrace. Kitichid appeared to whisper in Taka’s right ear as a look of puzzlement and pain came over Taka’s face.
The old shaman ran up and grabbed the girl’s hair, wrenching her head back. A loud popping sound filled the room as he broke the seal around Taka’s ear. Saliookcha let go of his wife and child in shock as a fountain of blood and gray matter spewed from his wife’s ear. Taka’s body collapsed inward upon itself, looking like a withered husk as it fell to the ground.
Check out Robert's other new release!
Witch Ever Way You Go
A Friday the 13th Story
What inspired you to write this book?
The Eidola Project series began with a story I wrote about for my junior high school English class. The teacher loved the story and had me read it to the class. I was hooked (but it was a long time until I found my way back to making it a novel). Years later, a tv writing guru, Larry Brody, suggested I try writing novels as a way of breaking in. It turns out I really like writing novels and plan to stick with it.
first chapter of Totem of Terror, my newest novel, was
originally a short story I wrote for a college class many years ago.
The teacher had us read our stories to the class. He asked how long I
had worked on it. I told him I couldn’t say, because I had revised
it something like twenty times. He looked at me and said, “You may
have what it takes to become a writer.”
The lesson from all of this is don’t throw away your stories and ideas. They may well be useful to you later!
What can we expect from you in the future?
I just completed a novella titled Witch Ever Way You Go. I’m working on the sequel to that. I also plan to start another installment for the Eidola Project Series, either the fourth in the series, or a prequel. I have ideas for both. I also have an idea for a YA or middle grade fantasy/adventure novel. I also have a novel I wrote long ago and shelved. I may dust it off and see what I can do with it.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I have a prequel in mind for the Eidola Project Series and I’m also considering a side story about Monique, the witch who has been plaguing Nigel. (Several readers have requested that!)
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in (Name of book)?
Totem of Terror is the latest installment in the Eidola Project Series. The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of supernatural investigators dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are William James, a real person who was the father of psychology in America and was also fascinated with the supernatural, Annabelle Douglas, his assistant and second in command, Edgar Gilpin, a brilliant African-American physicist, Sarah Bradbury, a sideshow medium with real powers, and Nigel Pickford, a traumatized Civil War lieutenant who also has supernatural abilities, but is suffering under a witch’s curse. Each possesses unique strengths and weaknesses.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I read a marvelous nonfiction book, Ghost Hunters, William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death, by Deborah Blum. The book chronicles James’ study of the supernatural and his eventual conflict with the head of the American Society for Psychical Research. I imagined that this was a catalyst for James to start his own organization and my books chronicle their adventures.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
William James was a real person, a Harvard professor and father of the study of psychology in America. He was also an avid investigator of the supernatural. Annabelle was a character in a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Gilpin was totally made up. Sarah Bradbury’s last name is one of my favorite writers. Nigel Pickford was a young Confederate lieutenant in the Civil War. His last name is similar to Pickett, who led the infamous offensive during the Battle of Gettysburg. In Totem of Terror, the Indian agent was a real person, but his family and the experiences that befall him were largely fictitious. I hope his descendants, and those of William James, will forgive me.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I can’t tell you without spoiling it for you!
Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?
Annabelle Douglas is an intelligent, strong-willed woman whose mother has recently died. She began the group with William James and is second in command.
William James is a real figure from history. He was a brilliant professor of psychology at Harvard and was really into investigations of the supernatural.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
Eidola is a Greek word for ghosts. The group began to investigate reports of the paranormal. However, they have begun to encounter all kinds of supernatural creatures.
Moonlight Becomes You is a pun on the werewolf theme.
Totem of Terror has the group traveling across the country to the Washington Territory. The bulk of the book takes place among the native people on the NW Coast.
Who designed your book covers?
Debbie Taylor. She’s done a great job!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. The book has already been through many drafts and represents my best effort.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I do a lot of research in the writing of my books to bring the past to life. I aim to make the books believable so that when supernatural elements are introduced, they seem believable too. I address a lot of the social ills of the time, including prejudice, drug abuse, and sexism—issues that still plague us today. Many of the nonsupernatural events in the books really happened.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Joseph Gordon Leavitt would make a great Nigel. He has a broad range to his acting and I think he could make an excellent cad but with a wounded soul.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Eat your veggies!
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I always come up with an ending first, so I’m in the driver’s seat and know where we’re headed.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
My books have won a number of awards, as seen on my website https://robertheroldauthor.com
If you would enjoy a gothic version of The X-Files, then The Eidola Project series is for you!
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have a book that I wrote many years ago that I’m thinking of dusting off and reworking. I’m going to hold off on the title for now.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Is there a graveyard scent?
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend, and numerous other stories, novels, and screenplays. Matheson successfully straddled all those mediums. I would be interested in any tips he might have. (Note: After writing this, I went onto YouTube and found several interviews where he does just that!)
The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)
As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)
He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.
Ultimately, he hopes his books give you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.
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