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Dark Western Trilogy May 1, 2019

Posted by bobv451 in e-books, Haiti, history, New Mexico, outlaws, weird westerns, westerns, Wild West, writing.
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It’s been a long time since I dropped a few lines here. Release of a boxed set of my (as Jackson Lowry) dark westerns for a bargain price (!) prompted me to pass along the official release blurb and to urge you to spend a buck and get all creeped out!

OFFICIAL BLURB FOR PUNISHED: A DARK WESTERN BOXED SET

BOOK ONE: UNDEAD
The day the Yankees came and took everything from wealthy landowner Vincent Bayonne was a day he’d never forget—how could he live with the uncertainty of not knowing what happened to his wife and children? Forced to watch as his plantation was burned to the ground by one of the slaves, Bayonne has sunk to the bottom of the barrel. A drunkard who has only his consuming hatred to sustain him, he makes his way from Louisiana to San Francisco, barely managing to survive on the Barbary Coast.
Just when he thinks he has nothing to live for, he discovers that William Sherman, the former slave who torched his home, is alive and well—and Sherman bears a hatred for his former master to match Bayonne’s. When Sherman bests Bayonne in a fight, the once-wealthy Southerner wakes up in a coffin, prepared for a fate he could never have imagined.
Hatred fuels Bayonne’s survival, but Sherman has cursed his nemesis with powerful voodoo magic that dooms him to an eternity of only half-living in the twilight existence of a zombie. Can an old Chinaman provide the answers Bayonne needs to survive in the world of the UNDEAD?

BOOK TWO: NAVAJO WITCHES
Vincent Bayonne has gone from wealthy Louisiana plantation owner to penniless drunk in a very short time. But that’s not all. William Sherman, the ex-slave who put the torch to Bayonne’s beloved plantation, Dark Oaks, has done the unspeakable. Sherman, a voodoo priest, has placed a curse on Bayonne and made him one of the undead—living, but not truly alive.
The elusive Dr. Glencannon is the only man who can stave off the sense-dulling effects of the curse with his elixir—but Bayonne is always one step behind him. A young Navajo boy tells Bayonne his uncle, Begay, can help—but for a price—killing the skinwalker that has been terrorizing the Navajo people.
Though Bayonne resents having to hunt the supernatural shapeshifter, there is no choice for him. For Begay, true to his word, concocts a potion that holds the zombie traits at bay and allows Bayonne to do what he must do—including hunting the skinwalker.
As Bayonne stalks the skinwalker, he makes a surprising discovery. Will he be able to kill the beast? And can he make it back to New Orleans in time to meet the Queen of the Cape when William Sherman comes ashore?

BOOK THREE: BAYOU VOODOO
Hanged twice, but still . . . undead.
Vincent Bayonne’s luck may have run out at last. The former plantation owner must find William, the freed slave who placed the zombie curse on him, if he wants to avoid the unholy fate of a living death. To reach William in New Orleans, he makes his perilous way across the untamed American frontier while escaping from US Army patrols, dodging lawmen and railroad detectives after the reward on his head, and trying not to get killed by those who hate him because of his cruel rule over Dark Oaks Plantation.
Bayonne’s quest for revenge is now a fight for sheer survival. The medicine he needs to hold back the slow coarsening of his body and mind, turning him into a zombie, is long gone. His only hope is to find William, and to do that he must first get Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, to befriend him. His only allies are a beautiful woman from his past and his own incredible strength while under the curse. With the choice of becoming totally undead or begging those he hates most for aid, Bayonne plunges into the darkest recesses of black magic, hoping for a cure—and redemption.

Check it out (and the other fine fictional tidbits at Sundown Press:

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Semi-Weird April 9, 2017

Posted by bobv451 in business, fantasy, Haiti, movies & TV, outlaws, westerns, Wild West, writing.
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Weird westerns are like zebras, either black with white stripes or white with black stripes, depending on your viewpoint. Is it weird, ie horror oriented? Or is a western, complete with western tropes? Mixing the two requires some kind of a decision. Mostly, when I write weird westerns, I go with the western basis and the horror/fantastical added on top of it.

Considering the interests of the readership (is it western or is it horror?) I have chosen poorly going the way I have. Western readers don’t seem to like much outside the traditional. Horror readers are more eclectic in their tastes, and a western setting can be reshaped into Victorian or even Gothic. I tried a trilogy, which I quite like both in concept and execution, with the voodoo element causing the western protagonist all kinds of trouble. Marketed to western readers, it hasn’t done well at all.

Punished was called semi-weird by one reviewer because it isn’t the usual stew pot of weird (like Penny Dreadful with Frankenstein’s monster, vampires, witchcraft and about everything else in the supernatural arsenal). I stuck with one menace. A not very nice protagonist is cursed by a voodoo practitioner and slowly turns into a zombie. To lift the curse he has to cross country from San Francisco to New Orleans. Along the way the very people he hates most are the only ones who can help him hold the curse at bay. As a zombie he is old school, not George Romero brain-eating, shambling or hyperzombie.

Poor Vincente has lost everything and now deals with Navajo shaman, Chinese herbalists and reluctant black voodoo mama loi. But at its core, this is a western dealing with outlaws, riverboats and all the usual, including cavalry, hanging judges and snake oil salesman. I enjoyed writing the three books but if I had them to do over, I’d go the route of western romances (romance base, western setting). Undead, Navajo Witches and Bayou Voodoo would be horrific stories set in the West.

Undead

Punished 01

A Different Use for VIPub February 12, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in Haiti, inventions, VIPub, writing.
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The print world will never go away, and this is a wonderful example. But this is certainly a nontraditional publication and shows how disasters such as Haiti can bring about innovative uses for technology. If you haven’t come across the Espresso Book Machine, go to YouTube and hunt down a demo video such as this one. Literally print-on-demand. Literally print as you watch.

Such technology could put traditional bookstores out of business. The only need for bookstore inventory would be as an example. You see a book you want, it’s printed in front of your eyes. Stock clerks become less in demand than techs to keep the machine running and supplied with ink and paper.

I have books available through the entire network of EBM–all the Zumaya Otherworld titles, including Alien Death Fleet are. The only EBM I know of “nearby” is in the new Orleans Public Library. Units are spread worldwide. Lightning Source also uses this for titles such as Scott Phillips’ Unsafe on Any Screen.

But the use of the EBM to publish necessary documents for Haitian aid workers kicks up the use of print-on-demand to a new level. A traditional publisher would be working on this, oh, next year.

POD we must.