It’s time to let the cat out of the bag.
We stalwart guardians of literary excellence here at Western Fictioneers have been cooking up a secret for readers, for months now. We’ve dropped a hint here and there, but given few real details. Now we are unveiling our project, and there is no more need for our members to keep mum.
WF is producing a new series of western novels, under the umbrella title Wolf Creek. The series gets its name from its setting, the fictional 1870s town of Wolf Creek, Kansas. The first installment, Bloody Trail, will be released on September 1, with a new volume to follow every three or four months.
Well and good, you say. But there are plenty of western series out there, some of them darn good. What sets this one apart?
We can honestly say, Wolf Creek is not like any western series you have ever read. Every WF author involved in the project has created one or two “main characters” from whose perspective they will write, making this a large ensemble effort. This type of venture has been tried before in other genres –especially in “shared universe” science fiction series, the most successful of which was the 1980s Thieves’ World books. But it has not, to our knowledge, been tried with a western –and certainly not on this scale, or in this particular manner.
Our series is not going to be comprised of anthologies, like those sci-fi series were; our books will be collaborative novels. Each one will feature five or six authors, who will write chapters framed around their specific characters (some of whom are very much good guys –and some of whom are very much not.)
The idea for this series came about last fall, when we were tossing around ideas about what our next WF anthology could be. Someone suggested a collaborative novel, and from there we thought: why not make it a whole series of collaborative novels? Since then, however, I have realized that the earliest seeds were planted at our very first WF organizing meeting, in Knoxville in 2010. Several of us were discussing the popular western video game Red Dead: Redemption, and how we might go about pitching an idea to publishers about an anthology of short stories set in that universe. That idea never got off the ground, but we have come up with something better. We have created our own fictional world, that we can all play in –at the same time! And believe me, we have some exciting, action-filled stories coming up for you.
While we are all awaiting the actual release of volume one, we have prepared a special Wolf Creek website where you can get some details about our town and the people in it, and find news about upcoming volumes. You can find it here: http://wolfcreekkansas.yolasite.com/
You’re going to love this.
Troy D. Smith
Department of History
Tennessee Tech University
Tennessee Tech University