Thursday, October 20, 2011
I’ve been really surprised and pleased by the response to “That Damned Coyote Hill”. In its first week, it got as high as #23 (very briefly!) over at Amazon.UK’s short horror story sub-category, and in the States made it up to #44. And the reviews have been positive right across the board. Not bad for something that was put together on the fly, huh?
I didn’t have a master plan about Hawthorne, the anti-hero of the story, when I started. I just wanted to do a mysterious, taciturn and bad-ass protagonist, an uncomplicated character that exists solely to dole out brutal punishment to wrong-doers. I gave him the ugly cross-shaped scar on his forehead without knowing how he got it (I know NOW, though, no worries). I decided he wasn’t a lawman or a bounty hunter or a gunfighter. He was instead a force of nature.
I borrowed his name from another character I tried to make a go of as a series hero, Grey Hawthorne (wrote two stories about THAT Hawthorne, both published at The Nautilus Engine). No, it’s not the same guy. Maybe this new Hawthorne is the other one’s uncle or something. Or maybe they just exist in two different worlds. It doesn’t matter.
But anyway, in the week since “That Damned Coyote Hill”, I’ve had occasion to think about his future. He has an origin of sorts now, although it’ll be a long time before I tell that one, I think, as it really isn’t important. I’m about half-way through his next adventure, tentatively titled “Long Black Train”, and have another two or three taking shape in my head. What will the readers learn about the mysterious avenger Hawthorne in these new stories? Very little, actually. But the bad guys, victimizers, killers, rapists… they’ll learn what it feels like to be on the other side of the equation.
And there will be no shortage of bizarre creatures and supernatural evil.
Thanks, everyone, for giving me the chance to write this stuff. And if you really dig Hawthorne, tell a friend.