When I first sat down at my desk (or writing cave, as I like to call it) to eagerly type the first few lines of Bloodrush, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I was taking a step too far. I wondered whether I was making a mistake. Perhaps I had even gone a little bonkers.
I mean, western fantasy? Weird west? What an odd mix-up, right? Surely an author who has focused so heavily on medieval epic fantasy, on snow and rain and tundra, should stick to what he knows? Not gunfights and saloons and whiskey. Just stick with Farden in Emaneska.
Well, for the entire first chapter, such thoughts bounced around my head, making me doubt the direction I was heading. But Bloodrush kept unfolding and unravelling beneath my keystrokes. With every paragraph, more ideas worked themselves out of the woodwork. The curtains of doubt were drawn back, and I was left excited and determined. What had seemed like a bit of a gamble started to look like a gold mine.
Simply put, I would argue that western fantasy, or weird west, is possibly one of the best genre blends this market has seen. Now that I’ve written Bloodrush, I can tell you that the two halves of this particular blend dovetail quite effortlessly, and the tropes of each correlate with each other very curiously indeed. It’s a match that brings out the best in both, and yet offers, as far as I’m concerned, almost endless opportunities. The stories of the wild west are as rich and wild as the myths of Europe, and that’s what I quickly grasped when diving into Bloodrush.
Now that it’s released, I’m hooked. Hell, I was hooked at around chapter 3. I’m now planning an epic cycle of books, not just limited to Bloodrush and the Scarlet Star Trilogy. Western fantasy/weird west has bitten me hard, and I’m intending to write a lot more of it. I think we’ve only just scratched the surface of it. I know I have, and despite the few notable examples like The Dark Tower by Stephen King, or The Soldier Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb, it’s in its infant stages. We definitely need more in the market, and I for one am going to get stuck in.
So, to whet your dusty whistle (so to speak), if you’re a fan of western fantasy or weird west books, you’ll be pleased to hear I’ll be working hard on the rest of the Scarlet Star Trilogy over the next few months. I’ll be sharing a lot of it here on the blog as well as on Twitter and Facebook, so do stay tuned. After that, I think a few standalones will follow, set in the world of Bloodrush. I’ll also be dabbling with some short stories too.
All in all, I think the world is ready for western fantasy, and that it might just be the next big thing. I’m excited to keep writing it, and hope you’re excited to keep reading. Here’s to blending genres!
Take it easy,