Hi everyone!

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:

His blog can be found here:

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!


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A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work:
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here:
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  1. Peter It’s always good to here what inspired a writer to write( it’s a hard job and I would not want to do it). yes as a reader i agree a dull story line is a pet pev. Also as a reader i started out in science fiction field Jack Vance being one of them (odd for a teenage girl but my Father was into scifi including the soft stuff ie Anne mccaffrey . But westerns mainly in the romance section is now the favored read. Cheers rosheen

  2. Welcome Peter! I am glad to see you here at the Junction. 🙂
    I have all of your Rogue Lawman series….I just love them!!! Just curious…is there anything new in the works for Gideon Hawk? I hope so.
    Your new books look very interesting too, I am definately going to check them out.
    Keep up the great work Peter!!

  3. Thanks for the warm welcome. Good to be here amongst all the petticoats!

    Rosheen, I think Jack Vance is about the best writer out there in any genre. I forgot to mention Ray Bradbury. His books meant the world to me when I first started reading. I read them all up to a few years ago. I also forgot to mention Karl Edward Wagner. To me, next to Robert E. Howard, he’s kind of Dark Fantasy. I love his Kane books.

    Tammy, I’m thrilled you’ve enjoyed the Gideon Hawk books. I’m hoping to write another one this summer. I have a proposal in with Berkley to write one called AN AXE TO GRIND, so we’ll see. He’s a wild character, very dark but fun to write…


  4. I have got to read Dust of the Damned! It sounds like great fun. Of course the traditional western looks good as well.

  5. Hi Peter,

    So glad your at Petticoats and Pistols today. I had to go over to Amazon and get DUST OF THE DAMNED this morning; it looks like a super read!

  6. You just made a new fan, Peter. As a former teacher who still has occasional nightmares about the job, I can sympathize. If your books are as much fun as your comments, I’m on board.

  7. Welcome Peter and nice to meet you. I can’t say I have read your books before but after reading this post I will be looking for them. They sound really good so must check them out.

  8. Hey, Pete,
    Glad you are here with us today at Wildflower Junction. I have to tell you (and I porbably have told you this before) THE ROMANTICS is my favorite of yours–LOVE THAT BOOK and it is on my “keeper” shelf–I don’t loan it out to anyone, ever. I just tell them they need to buy it. I’m going to trot over to Amazon here in a bit and upload Dust to my Kindle. Thanks again so much for being with us — I enjoyed your interview answers!STAY AWESOME, PETE!

  9. Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Pete. Your books sound terrific. I’m always intrigued at the many places the western genre can go. Did you read the Abe Lincoln vam
    Ire slayer book? It was great fun. Best wishes for tons of sales.

  10. I have a two questions for Peter. Were you at all drawn to write in the western genre by western television and movies? And if so who are some of your favorite actors in the western genre?

  11. Peter–I enjoyed this post very much. As to your books, the one about the werewolves will have to be someone else’s read…I am such a chicken, I can’t read, nor write, anything very scary. Oh, I can write a gunfight and let men get killed off…but some half human creeping about…I have to close my eyes. But your Jed Strange book sounds wonderful!

    Teaching–I taught high school science, and I loved my kids and I loved teaching. But I know how you must have felt. There’s not a more miserable person on the face of the earth than a teacher who hates teaching. So, good for you that you quit to write westerns. Now, we’re all better off for it, because anyone who writes Westerns..and Western romance, like I do…can’t be all bad.
    Omniscient writing. Oh, I’ll back you up on that every step of the way! I hate it, but if a writer writes in this manner, most often they cannot be taught otherwise. Hate it. I like real POVs.

    I glad to meet you–I recognized your name from somewhere. Good luck with your continued success.

  12. It’s great to be so welcomed by so many nice women. Most of the women in my history have tossed me out just ahead of my boots!

    Glad you liked THE ROMANTICS, Cheryl. Tanya, I haven’t read that Lincoln-vampire killer book but it’s on my list. Looks right up my alley.

    Yeah, a lot of great western movies and tv series spawned my interest in the genre. I of course loved GUNSMOKE and HIGH CHAPARRAL and of course LANCER! James Stacy was my favorite actor back then, and I liked Wayne Maunder and Andrew Duggan a lot, too. For movies I loved the spaghettis the most–all of Clint’s and the Sabada movies in particular. I can still remember the smell of the hot oil and hear the popcorn popping those nights my dad would take my to our little theater in my hometown of Napoleon, North Dakota. A couple of my friends and I nearly busted a gut laughing at the Trinity flicks, as well. We really loved those. I have to say my favorite western flick is by “the other Sergio,” though–Sergio Corbucci. It’s called THE GREAT SILENCE. Celia, skip this one! It’s very dark and violent–the hero is a mute–but it’s my favorite of all of them. (But then I tend to be a little strange…)

    I have to credit my uncle Hank with starting me out reading western paperbacks. He was at my grandmother’s house in Rugby, ND, one summer and he slipped me two books to go down to the Rexall Drug Store and buy us each a western. I got him a Louis L’Amour and me–because I loved the dark, moody cover–FORT STARVATION by Frank Gruber. That was the first oater I ever read, and have continued reading them all my life, just now reading COMANCHE VENGEANCE by Richard Jessup, who is one of my favorite top western scribes. (He also wrote CINCINATTI KID made into the movie with Steve McQueen.)


  13. Hi Pete, I’m dragging up the rear a little bit today in welcoming you to the Junction. Your werewolf book sounds really interesting. I may have to give that a try. I like different things. Different is good. Cookie cutter books get to be tiresome reading.

    Have you ever read anything by Jory Sherman or Dusty Richards? Both are acquaintances of mine and I admire their work.

    I wish you lots of success with your books.

  14. Charlene,

    I’ve written two screenplays, .45-Caliber based on my first book, and THE ROMANTICS. Both are “in development” but .45 is closer as it’s in the hands of four different production companies and they tend to make it up in Canada. I just sent in a script rewrite, as a matter of fact. But we’ll see what happens. There’s a lot that has to go right…


  15. I can’t believe that in my list of favorite writers I didn’t add the one of my adopted “ma,” Kit Prate. She wrote my favorite western novel of all time–JASON KILKENNY’S GUN back in the 80’s, and it’s recently been reprinted. I guess I was just thinking of “dead people,” and that’s why I didn’t mention her. But Kit’s alive and kicking ass and taking names, believe me. Everywhere she goes and in everything she writes. And her prose is incredibly evocative and just plain brilliant. If I were to teach a writing class, I’d use her work. All of her stuff is great, and you can find it at the website for Western Trail Blazer, where most of her stuff has been reprinted. She wrote a great “saucy” western, too, and I think it’s the best adult oater ever written–HOT NIGHT IN PURGATORY. So, if you’re tastes run to the hot and sweaty, I can’t recommend that one more. But Kit is truly a great writer, and I reread her stuff and marvel and her finesse with language and characterizations all the time. She writes very honestly and adeptly about family relationships in her westerns. Please check out JASON KILKENNY. I know you’ll love it.

    Kit makes great Christmas fudge, too….

    I really can’t believe I didn’t mention her first. Sorry, Ma! Please, no pistol-whippin’. I just can’t take any more!

    Another name is Wayne Dundee. He’s a great writer who made a name for himself in the 80’s writing hardboiled mystery fiction and he’s writing some of the best westerns currently out there. All of his are good but I recommend starting with DISMAL RIVER. Wonderful, colorful, fast-paced writing with terrific characters and characterizations.


  16. Hi Pete! It’s always cool to learn about another author’s process and motivations. Had to smile at the analogy about the little boy playing cavalry and getting called to supper by his mom! Thanks for visiting P&P and best wishes for your continued success!

  17. I loved the wild and wonderful premise for Dust of the Damned. I’m trying to imagine Abe Lincoln calling in the werewolves.
    I like westerns whether they’re straight up with no chaser or with a bit of romance or paranormal elements.
    Funny you mentioned authors with backstory. I struggle with it myself.
    I wish you continued success, Pete.

  18. Hey Pete,

    Loved Bad Wind Blowing and just got Dust of the Damned this week from Barnes and Noble. Can’t wait to start it. Just as soon as I finish Kit’s Jason Kilkenny’s Gun. Now my question is — when am I getting more Lou Prophet? Char

  19. He, Pete, just got my Kindle edition of Dust. Started reading it today and I must say it looks to be quite a ride. Two chapters in and I don’t want to put it down.

  20. Sarah, in the sequel (not written or even sold yet) ole Abe is a vampire! I’m gonna have fun with that.

    Carolyn, I’m thrilled you’re enjoying it so far. When I was writing it I kept waking up thinking I was hearing wolves running through the ravine below my house here in this little canyon in Colorado. It really was eerie. The semi- and un-concsciousness are strange things, and we writers tap into it every day!

    Char, the next Lou Prophet book is THE DEVIL’S LAUGHTER and it’ll be out in May. I’ll send you one!

    Thanks to you all. This is a classy bunch, and I’ve felt at home here amongst all you writers and readers. Write, read, dream, and live hard, and let the devil take the hindmost!

    pete B.

  21. Hi Cheryl and Pete,
    Great interview.

    Pete, it was nice to meet you and learn more about you and your books.

    I enjoyed your tale, Bad Wind Blowing. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down.

    I love westerns, but throw in legends and the paranormal and you have a new fan. 🙂 I must read Dust of the Damned.

    I wish you the best success!

  22. Okay, Pete, another box of fudge is on the way!

    As usual, I’m a day late and two dollars short (inflation, you know); long day at court in Madison.

    Fun to see you and Cheryl here at the site; and the other ladies as well. Am springing for a Kindle Fire so I can “get with it” (last book store in Portage just closed); and will be downloading like crazy.

    Of course, as an author’s adopted “Ma”, fudge and cookie maker, you’d think I’d get a lot more freebies in hardcopy…

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