The “Gothic Western” SHADOWLAND by David E. Read was recently released by Western Trail Blazer. Here’s a description:
As the ancient evils from the Old World planted new roots in the United States and her western territories, so also arrived those who had vowed to fight these abominations wherever they were discovered. Common outlaws and gunmen were no match for lawman John Angel, who had spent many lifetimes seeking out death and delivering swift justice to those unholy creatures that sought refuge in the deep shadows. Demons, vampyres, witch ... all were very real, and dealing with each came with its own set of do's and don'ts.
David has agreed to answer a few questions for us today about his new book…
Can you tell us about some of your previous writing projects?
Although I have been writing for the past 30 some odd years, only in the past 12 years have I been applying my craft in the direction of a vocation as opposed to a hobby.
My first exposure to writing was working on a full length science fiction screenplay and, although it was never produced, the development process left a permanent mark on me. Afterwards, I went on to write numerous story treatments, short film scripts and full length screenplays. Novel writing began a short time afterwards with the development of my first of three Star Trek novels as well as a handful of other Sci-Fi manuscripts.
What attracted you to the western genre?
Introduction to the western genre came when I was asked to work on a series of short western films which were later produced into the movie 1870 Texas. I had always been an avid reader of Louis L'Amour and the early works of Clive Cussler and Tony Hillerman, and found it an easy transition from Sci-Fi into westerns. My first crossover occurred when I was asked to write an eight hour post Civil War Sci-Fi cable miniseries concerning a battle between the Cherokee Nation and a race of aliens who had been trapped on earth. Close Encounters of the Old West was the final product.
After a series of both fiction and nonfiction western novel adaptations for the screen, I finally settled on the direction I would peruse as a writer. I enjoyed the history of the west and knew that where I wanted to work, but I also knew that, with the resurgence of the western film industry, the field would be crowded with excellent books from excellent writers, most of which not only had their foot in the publishing door far longer than me, but were in fact in the proverbial room.
What led you to write a Gothic western? Will you do more?
Growing up in the 50's and 60's, I remember many a Saturday evening huddling under the covers while I watched our black and white TV which offered me my first glimpse into the horror film industry. Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula... but also great western series such as Have Gun Will Travel, Wanted Dead or Alive, Gunsmoke and Death Valley Days. Sights and sounds to tempt the imagination of a young boy. Seeds that would remain dormant until I began my writing profession.
The Gothic western was the perfect place for me to go and apply my skills and wit. It allowed me exposure to the history of the American West as well as the ability to move within the shadows of its underbelly. After all, who doesn't like a thrilling story about good battling evil, especially if it involves demons and vampyres.
My first Gothic novel, Shadowland, which occurs in the early 1870's, lays the groundwork for a continuing storyline as well as an introduction for my two major characters, John Angel and Sam Walker. Both lawmen are woven throughout the other three novels, as are some of the peculiar folks and creatures they come in contact with. The second novel, Salt Creek, is in the final stages of editing. The third and fourth novels in the series are in various stages of creation.