Category Archives: Novel

Staccato House- latest novel published

Staccato House Lulu

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my latest novel, Staccato House. It is available to buy at Amazon as a paperback here:
and also in Kindle format here:

I started writing Staccato House a long time ago- as far back as 2004. The basic premise initially was about a central male character who was taken to a stately mansion and where various entertainments and staged theatre were being acted out for his benefit- while secretly he was being manipulated and could not trust a single person he met there. Just as those he encountered were ‘puppets’, so was he. The antagonist was the sinister ‘puppet master’ who was behind it all.

As the story and plot evolved over the years, I added ‘thriller’ genre elements rather than surreal ‘fantasy’ elements- for example the link to organised crime with a loan shark; I also introduced references to popular conspiracy theories and the occult, so it became an allusive piece of ‘weird fiction’.

I completed a novella version of Staccato House in 2011 which was short-listed for Contact Publishing’s Page Turner prize for thriller fiction, before I adapted it into a novel. I suppose there are three main influences on this book: The novel The Magus by John Fowles; the film Eyes Wide Shut directed by Stanley Kubrick; and the website Vigilant Citizen with its periodic updates and explanations of popular conspiracy theories and secret cults. It’s unlike Fowles’ novel or Kubrick’s film but nevertheless these shaped what Staccato House became. While being my own original work (the essential plot and the novella version was written in 2011 even before I discovered the Vigilant Citizen website, for example)- it would be impossible to deny these influences and inspiration, primarily in terms of these themes: secret societies and hidden cults, a narrator or central character manipulated by unknown mysterious forces.

On a surface level, Staccato House is about a freelance journalist who stumbles across a mystery, and when he investigates further, his life spirals out of control. The reader can enjoy the story and take it at face value as an occult thriller and mystery/psychological novel, and an entertainment.

It’s important at this stage to state that Staccato House is a work of fiction, based entirely on the imagination of the author, but that the ‘logic’ or ‘structure’ that is behind the workings of the plot, derives from numerous urban myths, conspiracy theories, and arcane occult knowledge that can be found in libraries or on the Internet. That’s not to say they are universal truths- esoteric lore and arcane knowledge does not tend to be studied in schools or taken too seriously by most people, and such ideas or beliefs have of course not gone unchallenged. Staccato House is a novel that includes some of those concepts as plot elements. If you’re interested in reading further for a richer understanding of my novel, then let me introduce some of them. Should this pique your interest, then here is a list should you wish to delve deeper- although it is not exhaustive by any means-but please do not assume the author subscribes to any of them, or is himself part of any such ‘secret organisation’! I found these ideas and theories intriguing and simply used them to enrich the details of my fictional novel:

First, the very famous example of the ‘Illuminati conspiracy’: and

The Illuminati and the ‘Mothers of Darkness’; also the so-called ‘Mothers of Darkness’ castle, the Chateau des Amerois in Belgium: I borrowed the name ‘Amerois’ and slightly altered it for the name of a character in my novel.

The Monarch and MK-Ultra conspiracy theories: and

The Kabbalah (discussed in my previous post):

These will give you the main background, but here are more obscure references and allusions in Staccato House and links for starting points for reading further should you wish:


The Eleusian Mysteries=

The Green Dragon Society of Japan=

Adrenochrome (drug)=

Baphomet/ Goat’s Head of Mendes=

Enochian Magic=

The phrase ‘Ordo ad Chao/Order out of chaos’, the slogan of the 33rd degree of Freemasonry=

The phrase ‘As above, so below’=

Cultural hegemony=


The Sacred Book of Liber Primus/ the ‘Cicada’ internet conspiracy/hoax=

Also a reference to the usage of the word ‘cicada’=

The ‘Nephalim’ or ‘Nephilim’, various spellings=

Antonin Artaud and ‘The Theatre of Cruelty’=

The central character in my novel is a ‘Gemini’=

“Weaving Spiders Come Not Here”, a quote from Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ and motto of the Bohemian Grove=

The Denver International Airport conspiracy theories and mysteries=

“Energy never dies”- a scientific principle as well as spiritualist=

The Double-headed eagle in Freemasonry=

O.T.O, or Ordo Templi Orientis and link to Aleister Crowley=

The Georgia Guidestones=

The Alchemical process of transformation=

Khabarovsk war crimes trials=

A few additional links as starting points about Nazi Germany, the Thule and Vril Societies and Nazi research into the occult=


The Kabbalah

As part of the background research for my new book Staccato House, I undertook a great deal of research into the occult, and into conspiracy theories which related to occult knowledge and traditions. I was very interested in weaving these themes into my story (a work of fiction, of course). There is a great deal of esoteric and arcane knowledge which is available out there, but is rarely ever formally studied- this made it intriguing as a sideline hobby to explore while I was working on the plot elements of Staccato House and in the process of writing my novel.
Central to much of Western occult theory is the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah, or Cabala is synonymous with Hermeticism or Hermetic occult magic. Our word in English, ‘cabal‘ which means a secret organised group of people, derives from this name. The Cabala was Jewish-Babylonian ‘magic’, according to occultists. It began to get widespread notice in Europe after the Enlightenment period. The Great Pyramid according to the occult is a symbol of the Cabalistic Tree of Life- the branches of the tree form the four streams or lines to the base of the pyramid. Here are some pictorial representations of the ‘Kabbalah’:
Albero_della_Vita_di_Davide_Tonatogolden key tunedkabbalahtreelifekabbtree
Here are various definitions and explanations of the ‘Kabbalah’ according to online sources:
The Jewish-mystic explanation of the Kabbalah:
This is the introduction to the Kabbalah as explained by the official Kabbalah Centre, a form of New Age-spiritual enlightenment:
The Christian-occult versions of the Kabbalah explained in detail here:
Occult description of the Kabbalah and its meaning/use:
Here is the dark conspiracy-theorist explanation of the importance of the Kabbalah to various popular conspiracy theories allegedly involving the Freemasons and Illuminati:

The Pirate Princess (2010 novel)

"The Descent" by Alena Mana

“The Descent” by Alena Mana

Where you can buy The Pirate Princess:

Lulu (hard print copy):

Amazon Kindle (ebook for Kindle version):

Smashwords (ebook version):

The Pirate Princess is a much shorter novel than Copper Moon Rising, almost a novella, and was written during intervals between 2006 and 2010. It’s a straight-forward fantasy adventure tale, and I suppose it can be categorised as young adult fiction. Pirates were a popular theme during this period, perhaps due to the success of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films. The Pirate Princess is set in a fictional unknown fantasy world, in a region that has geographical and cultural aspects similar to Arabia, the Mediterranean and Caribbean locations in centuries past. My main sources of inspiration for this novel were not only the aforementioned films, but also popular pirate tales and mythology. I was always fascinated by tales of famous pirates Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Bartholomew Roberts and seedy Port Royal, harbour of buccaneers. It was Bartholomew Roberts who established the ‘Pirate code’:

  • ·        Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment. He shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and shall use them at pleasure unless a scarcity may make it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted.
  • ·        Every man shall be called fairly in turn by the list on board of prizes, because over and above their proper share, they are allowed a shift of clothes. But if they defraud the company to the value of even one dollar in plate, jewels or money, they shall be marooned. If any man rob another he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.
  • ·        None shall game for money either with dice or cards.
  • ·        The lights and candles should be put out at eight at night, and if any of the crew desire to drink after that hour they shall sit upon the open deck without lights.
  • ·        Each man shall keep his piece, cutlass and pistols at all times clean and ready for action.
  • ·        No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man shall be found seducing any of the latter sex and carrying her to sea in disguise he shall suffer death.
  • ·        He that shall desert the ship or his quarters in time of battle shall be punished by death or marooning.
  • ·        None shall strike another on board the ship, but every man’s quarrel shall be ended on shore by sword or pistol in this manner. At the word of command from the quartermaster, each man being previously placed back to back, shall turn and fire immediately. If any man do not, the quartermaster shall knock the piece out of his hand. If both miss their aim they shall take to their cutlasses, and he that draw the first blood shall be declared the victor.
  • ·        No man shall talk of breaking up their way of living till each has a share of 1,000. Every man who shall become a cripple or lose a limb in the service shall have 800 pieces of eight from the common stock and for lesser hurts proportionately.
  • ·        The captain and the quartermaster shall each receive two shares of a prize, the master gunner and boatswain, one and one half shares, all other officers one and one quarter, and private gentlemen of fortune one share each.
  • ·        The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favour only.
"The Ship" by Alena Mana

“The Ship” by Alena Mana

Of course classic pirate literature such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island was an influence and also it is worth mentioning that stories in The Arabian Nights were an inspiration for aspects of this novel. The novel’s premise- mirroring Copper Moon Rising to a degree- concerns two royal children, a Princess Ayesha and her brother Prince Karagan, escaping from their palace when it is ransacked by an invading imperial army. They escape from their kingdom to the seas, and what follows is effectively a rite-of-passage adventure. I don’t wish to give much more away about the plot of this book- only to say that I have a plans to write a sequel to in which Ayesha’s ultimate fate and that of many more characters will be revealed. The sequel will be, hopefully, a vast epic fantasy adventure aimed at an adult readership.