Peter Brandvold is the author of Dust of the Damned, a western with supernatural elements that looks totally cool and unique. The premise has me so hooked that I invited Peter to drop by the virtual offices to tell us more about this January release.
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Peter Brandvold] I am the reincarnation of Pierre Louys in the 48-year-old body of a beer-swilling, pulp- and comic book-writing redneck from North Dakota. When I’m not writing comics, traditional western novels or weird western novels, I enjoy stalking Bigfoot and alien spacecraft in the mountains around Fort Collins, Colorado.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about your book, Dust of the Damned?
[Peter Brandvold] It’s really hard to describe it. It’s a weird western but I don’t think it’s like any weird western that’s ever been written before. It has many traditional western elements but it has many of the weird elements you’d find in H. Ryder Haggard or any of those great writers whose yarns appeared in Weird Tales back in the 30s. On the other hand, it’s also sort of a western True Blood. But in my weird west besides vampires and werewolves (my ghoul-hunting hero, Uriah Zane, is a werewolf himself) there are witches and dragons and even hobgobblins, which my western characters call "hobgobbies." The basic premise is the West haunted by these supernatural creatures, including the werewolves called the Hell’s Angels that Abe Lincoln hired to end the Civil War at Gettysburg. The werewolves didn’t go back home to Europe after their work was done. They came West to wreak holy havoc. Uriah Zane and his partner, Deputy U.S. Marshal Angel Coffin, whose father is a vampire, are hot on their trail…
[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Peter Brandvold] I was drinking a lot of PBR in the mountains around Buena Vista, Colorado last summer, while fishing and reading C. L. Moore, and that’s how this all came about. And that’s the Lord’s own truth!
[Manga Maniac Café] What have you learned about yourself through your characters?
[Peter Brandvold] That I should be incarcerated. Well, really, I’m not sure what I’ve learned, if anything. I do know I love to write, and these characters are more real to me at times that the living, breathing people I know. I’d rather write about them than mix with the real thing. Yeah, I’m odd.
[Manga Maniac Café] Which of your characters are you most like?
[Peter Brandvold] Well, I’d like to say the studly werewolf and ghoul-hunter Uriah Zane. Unfortunately, if I were to be struck by lightning for not telling the truth, I’d probably have to say I’m most like Doc Evans in my Ben Stillman novels. He’s the town’s drunk, whore-mongering doctor though I don’t know a thing about medicine. There you have it. Don’t judge me!
[Manga Maniac Café] Why were you compelled to write a western with werewolves, and was this project more difficult to work on than a traditional western?
[Peter Brandvold] DUST is the book I’ve always wanted to write. No, it wasn’t difficult. It was fun as hell. I’m a big fan of sci-fi and horror as well as pulp-style westerns like those penned by my favorite western writer, the long-dead H.A. DeRosso. But I love Karl Edward Wagner and Robert E. Howard and C.L. Moore and Leigh Brackett and Henry Kuttner…Manley Wade Wellman…all of those great pulp masters. I great up on Tarzan and John Carter and sci-fi shows, and writing this weird stuff is actually more to my liking than traditional westerns. I love being able to completely blow the lid off a genre, and that’s what I do in DUST.
[Manga Maniac Café] Which of your books is your personal favorite and why?
[Peter Brandvold] Well, DUST. Because it’s my first weird western and I hope it’s the beginning of a very long, long series of books about Uriah Zane and Angel Coffin.
[Manga Maniac Café] Can you describe a typical day in the life of Peter Brandvold?
[Peter Brandvold] Not without getting arrested. No…really, it’s pretty dull. I write. Then I take my mountain bike out to think and dream or I hike with my dogs, and write some more. Sometimes I drive the ole Ford into town for grub and hooch, but mostly I just hang out in my old house in my little canyon with my two old curs, and I write. At night, I drink PBR and watch westerns or reruns of Star Trek. (The first one.) Then I go to sleep and wake up and do it all over again.
[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Peter Brandvold] THE OCTOBER COUNTRY by Ray Bradbury!
[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Peter Brandvold] Riding my mountain bike up Red Stone Canyon and thinking about the next chapter I’m going to write, though sitting on my deck on a crisp autumn night and watching the Rocky Mountain sun go down is right up there, too.
[Manga Maniac Café] Thanks!
You can learn more about Peter by visiting his website.
You can pre-order Dust of the Damned from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the handy widget below.