Current/Upcoming Projects – Spring 2020

Hey all, around this time last year I did a post talking about upcoming projects and then never really put out an update. Well, consider this that update! Below are the projects I’m currently working on and a few that are coming out very soon.

A Man of the Mountain

This story has been in the works for almost three years now. I actually wrote the first draft back before Aberrant Literature had even agreed to publish Whiteout. It’s a prequel to Whiteout, and tells the story of Jonas, a man hell bent on maintaining the Bigfoot Legend, and Shirley, the tabloid reporter who sets out to stop him. It’s releasing in three formats, audio drama, paperback, and kindle. The audio drama is releasing episodically on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and just about everywhere else, with the final episode set to release March 3rd, the same day as the paperback. Check out the first episode below:

If you want to pre-order the kindle edition, paperbackl or purchase the full audiobook, you can do so on Amazon.

Downpour

I am currently knee deep in a round of edits from Jason Peters at Aberrant Literature, but we are getting into the final stages of this book! If you don’t know, Downpour is the sequel to Whiteout and sees Nick pitted against some fresh foes in the South American jungle. I don’t have any word on an official release date, but I can say with confidence that it’s coming out this year. Want a sneak peak? Here’s the prologue!

Cryptids Decrypted

A lot of my time right now is also going to producing a surprisingly popular podcast, Cryptids Decrypted. It’s a show where my friends and I break down myths about creatures on the fringe of reality, and I interview guests from the cryptozoological community. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and we’re about midway through our second season. Below is a link to our latest episode on Spotify.

Chadpocalypse

The first draft of Chadpocalypse is complete! I’m about midway through my first round of edits on it, but it’s on the back burner until I complete Downpour. Chadpocalypse is all about Chad, the one lowly bro who knows the apocalypse is coming and is tasked with stopping it. It’s inspired by 80s metal, Constantine, and a host of other weird shit. If you want to read my chapters in progress, I’ve posted most of them to ABCTales where they’ve received some acclaim. I can’t wait to get this one out to the public, but honestly, no idea how that’s going to look or when it’s going to happen. I’ll keep you updated as I know more.

A Woman of the Swamp

Ok, last project and this one is still in incubation. I’ve written a full outline and it’s an exciting story, but I haven’t even put the first chapter to paper yet. Theoretically this will come out some time after Downpour and will serve as an interlude between it and the final book in the Nick Ventner trilogy, Maelstrom. It centers around an amateur necromancer in the bayou who turns evil after failing to raise her husband from the dead, and of course, the monster hunting crew that’s called to stop her.

Mokole-Mbembe – A History of the Mystery

Mokole Mbembe – The One Who Stops the Flow of Rivers

The Congo River at sunset, Democratic Republic of the Congo“The Congo River at sunset, Democratic Republic of the Congo” by water.alternatives is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

This week on Cryptids Decrypted, John and I are talking about a fascinating myth from the Congo River Basin, Mokole Mbembe (pronounced M’Kay-lay Bem-bay, we think). This beautiful beast of legend is a modern-day sauropod that hates rhinos, allegedly scared all the hippos out of the region, and despite being a vegetarian, has a killing streak. Mokele Mbembe’s myth comes from the early 1900s when discovery and display of dinosaur bones was at a fever pitch. At the time, many people still believed Africa to be a ‘dark continent, because that’s how Europeans viewed a lot of things they hadn’t mapped yet. Taking the natural combination of an unexplored land and the public fascination with giant lizards of a bygone era, Carl Hagenbeck cashed in.

That’s right, this guy…

By this point, Hagenbeck was already famous for displaying large wild animals at zoos across Europe, so dabbling in myths was the next logical step. In his book, Beasts and Men, he discussed sightings from the Congo region of a large, dragon-like creature. Unsurprisingly, these tenuous eye-witness reports fueled public speculation, and before long, the cryptozoology community believed there were living dinosaurs hiding in the jungles of Africa.

Over a century later is where we, the crack team of Cryptids Decrypted, come in to discuss whether there’s any truth to this myth. Sure, we might get a little off topic and call on Rob Lowe to come on our podcast from time-to-time, but what else are you going to listen to on your commute? Please don’t say other, better podcasts…

The episode is live now on most streaming platforms, links can be found below. Remember, if you enjoy, share it with your friends and leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts (it’s the only network with ratings).

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mokele-mbembe-a-history-of-the-mystery/id1473505510?i=1000465266218

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1UXTTfr33lsS8ICNfMQ6FQ

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/cryptids-decrypted

All other platforms can be found on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/cryptids-decrypted

Inter-Dimensional Lake Monsters Among Us?!

Well, if that googly-eyed, odd, pipe of a fish isn’t enough to convince you that monsters exist in the deep, maybe my second interview with David George Gordon will! David is an expert in all things cryptid and nature. He’s written several field guides on more traditional flora and fauna, but is especially renowned for his book, The Sasquatch Seekers Field Manual.

In our interview for this episode, we left the mystery of Bigfoot behind in favor of talking about something a little stranger. Cadborosaurus is a mythical sea/lake monster rumored to live off the coast of British Columbia. David has gone on several expeditions looking for the creature, and we cover them all, including the research for his upcoming book on the subject. It’s definitely one of the stranger topics I’ve covered, but as always, David is a fantastic guest and a very entertaining speaker.

As always, this episode is up for free on most streaming platforms (Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and more). You can follow those links or just listen below! Remember, the best way to support the podcast is to share it around if you like it, comment on this blog, tweet at me (@RealMacAshton), or just holler from the rooftops. We really appreciate it :).

A History of the Mystery – The Jersey Devil

This ‘real’ video is legit some of the best evidence for the myth…

On this episode of the critically acclaimed (by about 5 people) episode of Cryptids Decrypted, Ashton Macaulay, Tyler Mitchell, and John Ceccareli break down the Jersey Devil Myth. Now, you might ask, what gives us the right to deface such a legend? Well, as it turns out, the qualifications for expertise are simply owning a microphone and basic Google-Fu!

Jokes aside, this is without a doubt the wildest myth we’ve covered so far and it’s a fun conversation. If you’re interested in hearing about army generals firing cannonballs at mysterious figures in the fog, or a beast just trying to hail a cab, this is the episode for you. As usual, it’s up on most streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. For more locations, check out our Anchor page below.

Writing the Book on the Jersey Devil – Brian Regal Interview

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Brian Regal, a professor in the Science of History at Kean University in New Jersey. While Brian is currently studying the myth of who discovered America, in the past he’s written two books concerning cryptids, creatures that are not proven to exist, and the people who study them. His first book on the subject, Searching for Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads, and Cryptozoology took a critical look at researchers looking for Bigfoot. In this episode, we dive into the topic of his second book, The Secret History of the Jersey Devil to examine one of the most bizarre myths I’ve ever encountered.

So, if you’re into demonic children, goat-horse-bat-devil hybrids, or just want to hear two skeptics talk about cryptozoology, give the episode a listen. I’ve got links to our Anchor page and below, but we are available on all major podcasting platforms, including Apple Podcasts where Cryptids Decrypted currently holds a five star rating 🙂