Astute readers have noticed that I seem to be wrapping everything up. What then, of fan-favorite character and ex-Amish occult detective Levi Stoltzfus?
Levi first appeared in Ghost Walk, the sequel to Dark Hollow. His story was then continued in A Gathering of Crows and the novella The Witching Tree. (An alternate reality version of Levi appears in Clickers vs. Zombies). With each subsequent story, Levi seems to get himself into more and more trouble with the forces of both Heaven and Hell as he straddles the uncomfortable line between hero and anti-hero — determined to be a force for good even if he must resort to evil to accomplish those goals. But with the climax of The Witching Tree, and his apparent damnation almost a certainty, many readers have been asking me, “What happens next? How’s he going to get out of this one? And when are we going to find out the rest of his back story?”
Levi will next appear in a novella called The Last of the Albatwitches, to be published in hardcover as part of this year’s Maelstrom set (which will also include hardcovers of the uncut edition of The Rising and a new novel by F. Paul Wilson and Sarah Pinborough called A Necessary End).
That will lead into an as-yet-untitled novella for Bad Moon Books, the plot of which takes Levi to Cleveland (the only person whom I’ve told the plot to is pre-reader Mark ‘Dezm’ Sylva, and that’s only because he was in the hotel room with me in Cleveland when I got the idea).
That will lead into a third novella, also still untitled, to be published by Cemetery Dance.
Then, all of these will lead into one final novel called Bad Ground, in which Levi goes home, and all of his back story — and his final fate — will be revealed.
(And yes, for those of you who don’t buy limited edition hardcovers, I do plan on collecting the four Levi novellas into a book-length volume — but that won’t happen for several years, so if you just can’t wait, The Witching Tree appears in Is There A Demon In You, and copies are still available).
Many long-time readers assume that Levi is one of The Seven (a disparate group of characters who will make humanity’s last stand, rumored throughout all of my novels). He isn’t. But his precursor, Nelson LeHorn, is. As well as Frankie from The Rising and City of the Dead. And Teddy Garnett from Earthworm Gods. And Tony Genova (from the Clickers series and various short stories). And The Exit from short stories “I Am An Exit” and “This Is Not An Exit”. So now you know five of the seven.