You write in a relatively unknown genre you call Western Gothic. What is it?
Western Gothic is a style of fiction that transplants the moody, death-obsessed themes of classic gothic fiction (think Castle of Otranto or, of course, Dracula) to the wide open, inspiring vistas of the modern west (Riders of the Purple Sage or All the Pretty Horses). Western Gothic exists in the negative space between dark and light. Gothic fiction uses the darkness–the creepy atmosphere, curious, obsessive behavior and morbid thoughts–to focus on the light, providing the perfect backdrop to illuminate the best in people: the desire to overcome death, to hope and to love.Westerns, ironically, use the light to set off the dark, weaving stories of good men pushed to the limits by the cruelty and avarice of others (usually tyrannical land owners) or the blind apathy of nature. Western Gothic lives in the borderlands between the two worlds, a forever twilight of gray nights and last sunsets. To put it in contemporary terms, it’s Longmire meets Preacher.
We suspect we may have unintentionally invented the genre with The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection, a series of four books set in the modern rural west and featuring sexy, brooding vampires bent on world domination. Since the first book’s publication in 1999, we’re happy to see a few others trying out the genre.
How is this genre different from “Weird West?”
Weird Westerns transplant occult elements to the Old West–the genre has existed for decades, and is most often associated with the golden age of pulp paperbacks. Weird Westerns reached their apogee (in our opinion) with the cool and spooky Jonah Hex comics of the 70s. Western Steampunk is a more recent energetic offspring and heir to the crown.
Why specifically did you choose to write about cowboys and vampires?
The draw for us, as writers, was the many angles offered in these two archetypes,allowing us to dig down into the bedrock of an “opposites attract”romantic storyline. Tucker is a hard-luck cowboy from tiny LonePine, Wyoming,just trying to scrape together enough cash to keep himself in whiskey and keep his overly sensitive dog Rex in kibble. Read the rest of this entry »