Hello! Mrs Albert Baker here, otherwise known as The Last Witch Of Pendle. Obviously there is no Pendle any more, since The Chronic Agronauts utterly destroyed it with treacle and sprats, but I’ve set myself up quite nicely here in Lancaster, running this little soup kitchen for the street urchins. There certainly are a lot of them and I’m always looking for helping hands to cook up and serve something delicious!
Helping me this morning is author Madeleine Holly-Rosing! Thank you so much for coming to help me in my soup kitchen today, Madeleine! May I take your hat and coat? It is seasonably chilly outside I know but warm enough here in the bakery.
Thank you so much for inviting me on this lovely day. And the smell in here is delicious.
Now, why don’t you have a seat by the fire here, how was your trip from your own dimension?
Traffic was horrendous as usual. Too many vehicles, steam-powered and otherwise, clogging the roads, but it was worth it just to be here with you today.
Splendid! And have you brought along some soup to share with us?
I actually don’t care for making soup, but I do love to bake! Which is why I brought along my version of Congo Bars. Though in some places they are referred to as Blondies. They are a type of chocolate chip cookie bar if you’re not familiar with them.
I’d be happy to share the Congo Bar recipe. What I do differently is add semi-sweet chips, bittersweet chips, and butterscotch chips. Use either Ghirardelli’s or Guittard for the chocolate chips and Nestle’s for the butterscotch. Quality matters.
11 TBSP unsalted melted butter, cool
2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup semi, 3/4 cup bitter, 3/4 cup butterscotch chips (This is an imprecise amount, but close enough)
Oven temp 325 degrees.
Butter or spray 13 x 9 baking pan.
Mix butter, sugar and eggs making sure to break up any lumps. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and add to sugar mixture until blended. Add chips, mix until blended.
Spread evenly into pan. Bake 30-35 minutes if in metal pan. Longer if glass. Check at 30 minutes with toothpick to see if it comes out clean. Top should be light golden brown and edges a medium golden brown. Not too dark or it will be to hard and dry.
Cool for at least 45 minutes before cutting.
My goodness! What a treat – the orphans are going to be so excited! (Although I will just ask them to keep an extra vigilant look out in case The Good folk come and catch us with all this sugar and chocolate!) Now while that is baking nicely, why don’t you tell us all a little more about your web comic Boston Metaphysical Society?
The story of the original six issue mini-series is about an ex-Pinkerton detective, a spirit photographer, and a genius scientist who battle supernatural forces in late 1800s Boston. Our latest story, The Scourge of the Mechanical Men is a standalone continuation of the series featuring Granville Woods and Nikola Tesla.
It sounds marvelous! Have you brought some copies with you to show the orphans?
I most certainly have. J
They look marvelous! Now I do have some experience of the paranormal myself – afterall one of my closest friends is a ghost, but I’m guessing that the paranormal events your characters investigate are far more disturbing than a bad tempered Wight grumbling about his literary disturbances?
Just a bit. They deal with wraiths, demons, ghosts, and the occasional man-made beastie. While we were in production for the original series, I wrote a series of short stories and novellas which I put into an anthology called, Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude. Those stories range from straight steampunk (Steampunk Rat and The Clockwork Man) to gothic/paranormal (The Secret of Kage House) to supernatural (The Demons of Liberty Row). Steampunk Rat has been the fan favorite so far.
It all sounds terribly exciting! Rather makes me long for my own days of high adventure… although perhaps not just now, my rheumatism is playing up a little this morning. What with the damp… so tell me dear, what inspired these fantastical tales? Are they semi-autobiographical?
I’m afraid not. They are tales from my imagination though I do integrate historical figures into the story like Bell, Edison, Tesla, and Houdini. And even Granville Woods was a contemporary of Tesla’s and an inventor himself.
As an independent comics creator I suppose you have had to develop a vast array of skills and expertise beyond the obvious, is there any advice you would give to aspiring creators who are just starting out on that journey?
Arg, yes. Hone your marketing and sales skills, as well as embrace time management. Social media is important, but so is making time to create. Also, try to find a mentor. I was lucky enough to have had three mentors who educated me on the comics business and helped me be a better comic writer. Mentors are invaluable.
Marvelous advice … Ah now the kettle is boiling, what is your ‘poison’ dear and how do you take it?
Tea. Black, please.
There you are. Now then, do you have any works in progress or new releases that we can get excited about?
My goodness, yes. I just sent off the script to my artist, Gwynn Tavares, for the new Boston Metaphysical Society story called The Spirit of Rebellion. It is also a standalone continuation of the original series and will be on Kickstarter in early 2019.
My first novel, Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets, was just released. The novel takes place five years before the start of the original graphic novel mini-series. You can purchase it here: https://goo.gl/wWV8Nz
I also have two Boston Metaphysical short stories that will be published in 2019 by two different publishers, and I’m currently writing a four issue comic mini-series for Evoluzione Publishing called Kasai: The Homecoming. Issue #1 was just released and Issue #2 will be on Kickstarter in November 2018.
And in the meantime where can we purchase your wonderful comics and support your future endeavours?
Boston Metaphysical Society: The Complete Series and The Scourge of the Mechanical Men can be purchased at: https://www.storenvy.com/products/23967879-boston-metaphysical-society-trade-paperback-and-the-scourge-of-the-mechanica
Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude – https://www.amazon.com/Boston-Metaphysical-Society-Prelude-Collection/dp/0988312182/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=67YXBQ9G28JXPNPP1C32
Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets – https://goo.gl/wWV8Nz
Fabulous! Well thank you so much for coming to help out in the soup kitchen today, Madeleine, it’s been wonderful to chat with you and I must say that soup smells delicious. I think it must be about ready and the little urchins have their rosy noses pushed up against the glass in anticipation so shall we start dishing it up?
Thank you so much for inviting me. I’ve had so much fun! Let’s do it again soon.
Definately! Thankyou everyone for joining us in the soup kitchen today, do join me next week when I shall be cooking up something devilishly delightful for the spooky season!
Blessings on your brew my dears!