Cheryl Pierson here! I want to introduce you to a very special guest, a good friend of mine who writes some fantastic western adventures, Peter Brandvold! Pete has been gracious enough to take time from his busy schedule to answer a few interview questions for us and will be poking his head in every once in a while today to read and answer comments and questions. He’s got a couple of new releases to tell us about today as well as some insight as to how he got started writing and a few of his pet peeves.
How did you start your writing career?
I hated teaching so much so it was either writing or suicide the way Yukio Mishima did it–seppuku.
Tell us about your current release.
I have two current releases–a paranormal or “weird” western, DUST OF THE DAMNED, and a traditional western under my pen name Frank Leslie–THE LAST RIDE OF JED STRANGE. DUST is a werewolf western in which two ghoul-hunting bounty hunters, Uriah Zane and Angel Coffin, go after the Hell’s Angels–a pack of werewolves brought into the U.S. by Abe Lincoln to win the Civil War at Gettysburg. The Angels were supposed to go home when the job was done, but it seems you can’t trust a werewolf farther than you could throw your fattest aunt uphill against a cyclone. They came west and caused all kinds of trouble. A beautiful Mexican witch and necromancer is leading them across the Arizona desert in search of the werewolf-equivalent of the holy grail. (Jesse James makes an appearance as a ghoul-hunter, as well, because in my messed-up West there’s more money in hunting down vampires, aka, “swillers,” and hobgobbies and werewolves than there is in train robbing!)
JED STRANGE is about one of my series characters, young Colter Farrow, who wears the ‘S’ mark of Sapinero on his cheek–branded there by the vile Bill Rondo. In this one, he’s on the run in Mexico with a young girl, Bethel Strange, who’s looking for her outlaw father who was last seen running guns in the Sonora Desert.
Who is your favorite author?
I have tons of favorite authors, and the list moves around a lot. I like Leigh Brackett and C.L. Moore a lot–sci-fi writers from the pulp days. And I also like the fantasy novels of Jack Vance. For western writers I like Gordon D. Shirreffs, Richard Jessup, Luke Short, Lewis B. Patten, and H.A. DeRosso.
Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?
The students I hated teaching.
Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
My dogs have always been here for me. (Actually, my ex-wife taught me a lot by her incredibly gifted editing, but if you tell her I said that I’ll deny it and call you a raving lunatic!)
What was your first sale as an author?
ONCE A MARSHAL back in ’98. It was about the aging lawman Ben Stillman, whose career was cut short when a drunk whore shot him in the back by accident. Sigh. But Ben got himself dusted off and went back to work to solve the murder of his old hide-hunting pard, Milk River Bill Harmon. I really like that book. I wish someone would reprint it.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
Editing. I really hate editing. I like to just keep moving forward. Going back to polish is like when you’re a little kid out playing cavalry and you got dead Injuns all around and only a few more to go and your mom calls you in for supper.
What are your pet peeves as a writer? As a reader?
As a writer, it’s editing. As a reader, it’s dull writing. Writers today seem more preoccupied with telling back stories than front stories–i.e, keeping things rolling. I mean, they’ll start a book off with, “Jessica gripped the gun in her fist and walked into the saloon. She’d just ridden into Dodge City that morning and found her father hanging from a gallows. That really miffed her, so the first thing she did was…” Know what I mean? The art of bringing all that stuff in through action and dialogue is an art and most writers today do it about as well as I can dance. Omniscient narrators should be killed en masse all over the writing world. There, I said it, and I don’t care if I hang for it!
Who are your books published with?
Berkley and Signet. At one time, Forge. They’ve been good to me.
You can order Pete’s books from his awesome website: www.peterbrandvold.com
His blog can be found here: http://peterbrandvold.blogspot.com
Here’s a link to a fantastic review for DUST OF THE DAMNED:
Pete, thank you so much for being our guest today and giving us these personal glimpses into your career and how you got started writing. You’ve written so many wonderful action packed westerns, my new kindle is going to be loaded down. These latest two additions to your credits look absolutely wonderful. Again, thanks for being our guest today, and we hope you’ll come back again in the future!