I recently interviewed author Peter Brandvold
about his upcoming book, his first official Weird Western. He is best known for his numerous Western novels for Berkley and the DC Comics mini-series Bat Lash : Guns and Roses
PG: Can you describe your upcoming novel due to be published January 2012.
PB: DUST OF THE DAMNED is the book I’ve wanted to write for a long
time but my main publisher, Berkley, didn’t want to see anything
“weird” by way of westerns till now. I think True Blood and other
things vampire kind of whet their appetites. DUST is what some would
call a “paranormal” western but what I call a “weird” western. In
other words it’s a traditional western with “weird” or “paranormal”
The two main characters are werewolf-hunter, Uriah Zane,
and the beautiful Deputy U.S. Marshal, Angel Coffin. They’re on the
trail of the “Hell’s Angels”–a nasty group of werewolves whom Abraham
Lincoln commissioned to help win the Civil War.
The agreement was that after they did their jobs, the Hell’s Angels
would head back to eastern Europe and behave themselves. Instead,
they headed to the American West…and now they’re on the trail of the
werewolf equivalent of the Holy Grail–a hidden treasure that will
help them conquer humanity and take over the earth. The “Angels” are
led by a beautiful Mexican witch and her pet dragon. Zane and Coffin
and Jesse James–yep, Jesse’s a ghoul-hunter, too–are hot on their
PG: What attracted you to the Weird Western genre as you are best known for writing in the classic western format.
PB: I’ve loved anything “weird” my entire life. I love the original
Jonah Hex comics and the EC comics and horror novels of all shapes and
sizes, especially Richard Laymon, and I’ve long been a fan of the
Hammer horror flicks of the 60′s and 70′s. Until recently, we really
haven’t seen much “weird” enter the western genre, however, and I
thought it was time. Oh, I have to mention Jeff Marriotte’s great
weird western comic series DESPERADOES, which I read when it first
came out. I really loved that. DUST is sort of that in prose form.
PG: One of your published books, “Bad Wind Blowing” is a Weird Western which you label a “paranormal western.” Was this your introduction writing for this genre?
PB: Yes, BAD WIND BLOWING was my first weird western, though the only
weird element is an ancient Indian demon preying on a remote Colorado
river canyon. I had a great time doing that and tried to get Berkley
to publish it but they rejected it because of the paranormal aspects.
But DUST is FILLED with weirdness, and they seemed to really like that
idea, so how things change, I reckon… But I would like to write a
whole series about my two main BAD WIND characters, Clay Carmody and
Claudine Bridger. They were great fun to write, just as Uriah Zane
and Angel Coffin are.
PG: Are you planning more Weird Western titles?
PB: I’m definitely going to continue writing weird westerns. If DUST
doesn’t fly–it’s all about the sales numbers, you know–I’ll
self-publish them. Weirdness is in my veins.
Interview copyright Paul Green 2011.