Back in March I was headed home from training in Atlanta, much the same as last night. I got a message from PC3, one of the owners of Death’s Head Press. He wondered if I would be interested in writing a horror western for a series of novellas. I froze. Immediately, I said no because I am not really one to write horror. He understood and I sat back in the taxi and stared out the window.
Suddenly my mind was filled the skeleton of a story. I could see the dust on the trail as a group of men led a cattle drive from Texas to Abilene Kansas. But I saw something else as well. A small town in the middle of nowhere. And something out in the darkness. A creature I had always wanted to write but never found the setting. And a character from my novel that I had ideas on expanding. It clicked. I was seeing scenes in my head as the taxi driver screamed at the idiots on the road.
All in all it took me maybe 3 minutes to respond back and say I was in. That night I wrote the intro. The next few days were spent researching cattle drives, profanity in the era, guns and rifles, and asking my writer friends if I could kill them possibly somewhere on the trail.
It was top secret. Not a whisper. I wrote out 57k in under a month. All while bursting at the seams to talk about it. Because it is good. Damn good. I don’t go around bragging about my writing because we both know I don’t really see it that way. But this one is special. My first western. My first real horror. But wrapped around the core of my writing style. I approached it more like writing poetry. Dwelled on the little things a little to add color. Created a cast of 40 some characters based on friends. And then I systematically began to paint the ground red.
Now, DHP has lifted the vow of silence. And I am free to share that my novella (damn near a novel in length), Hunger on the Chisholm Trail, will be unleashed early next year. I couldn’t be more excited about it either. And I’m not riding out alone. There are eight of us preparing to unleash our own brands of hell. Chris Miller, Kenzie Jennings, Wile E Young, Chad Miller, Christine Morgan, PC3, Cody Higgins, and myself are hitting the ground running.
I hope you join us. It’s gonna be fun. And maybe a little bloody as well.
Hugs and Sloppy Wet Kisses