My first blog post here was about a novel I started, Calamity Island. The setting was influenced by some of the coast along The Great Ocean Road in Australia, where I spent time with my brother, Jason, after not seeing him for a couple years.
Calamity has not been a calamity, but it’s been a real struggle for me to simply right. I was trying some new techniques, and attempting to push my imagination beyond its limits. Maybe in doing that, I lost the gritty realism I need to have as a foundation for my fiction.
I’ve set the book aside from now, and, after a suggestion from a friend, have started a western. Cowboys, Indians, guys in black hats, whores, horses, and a lot of fun. I won’t say anything further, as I don’t want to jinx it as I may have done with Calamity Island, but I am hopeful.
I had read that the western was a dead genre. After further research, it’s simply not true. It’s popular—not as popular as many genres, but your job isn’t to chase trends, it’s to delivery good stories told in the best way you can. If you do that, you’ll find your readers—again, I hope.
So we’re leaving horror houses and sci-fi wastelands for open country, where simple, hard men fought against nature and themselves, building what would become the American west.