We find out later that the events of the Prelude took place outside Rochester, a smaller city south of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the night before the events of the first chapter. As the Prelude opens, though, no times or places are given – just the woods, at night, under a full moon.
I like the Prelude a lot but whether or not the way I wrote it was a good idea remains to be seen. As one friend commented, it’s very “dark and stormy,” almost drifting into Dennis Wheatley territory. The reason I wrote it that way was to show a sort of “passing of the torch” from the last generation of occult fiction that tended toward turgid cliche to a newer, I suppose hipper, vision of how an occult novel could work. In order to accomplish this the writing voice shifts dramatically between the Prelude and the first chapter.