eSpec Books interviews Liz Colter, author of “Sundown” from The Weird Wild West edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw.
eSB: What is your favorite western movie and why?
LC: I don’t think I could choose between my two favorites, Unforgiven and 3:10 to Yuma. I love them for the same reasons; both movies are well-written, well-acted, and are fabulous character studies. In fact, those two movies rank not only as favorite westerns but are among my all-time favorite movies, period.
eSB: What is your favorite spec fic/western mash-up?
LC: Daniel Craig was great in Cowboys and Aliens. Serenity, though, is my perennial favorite. It takes place in space instead of the old west, so may not strictly qualify as a Weird Western, but it definitely has that spec fic/western mash-up thing going for it. Not that mashing spec fic and westerns is a new concept either – I mean, who could forget Yul Brynner in Westworld?
eSB: Can you tell us anything about your story for The Weird Wild West?
LC: Not much if I want to avoid spoilers, except that I wanted to write something unexpected. Westerns often follow a common plot arc. I decided to mess with that. I liked the result enough that I may even have some additional “Sundown” stories yet to write.
eSB: How do you research to capture that western feel?
LC: I sort-of live it. Hubby is a Texan and an ex-cowboy. He’s full of stories of things like riding into Mexico when he was young and working on remote cattle ranches all the way from Texas up to Canada. As far as my personal experience, I farmed for about five years with my team of draft horses, and my husband and I still own and ride trail horses. And if I ever needed historical facts, my brother has written and published an entire series of non-fiction books on the old west.
eSB: Have you had any weird western experiences of your own? Please tell us about it.
LC: Weird experiences, check. Western experiences, check. Sadly no weird western experiences yet.
eSB: Which Wild West archetype (Gambler, Outlaw, Saloon Girl, School Marm, Railroad Man, Pioneer, Cowboy, Lawman or Indian) would you chose to be and why?
LC: Guess it would have to be Cowboy what with the riding, ranching, and farming experience I mentioned. There were some fabulously independent and interesting women who fit the archetype (far more than just the few famous ones) from pioneers to gun-wielding, pants-wearing cowboys, but I think I’d have to choose your basic Rowdy Yates (Rawhide) or Dan Evans (3:10 to Yuma) cowboy. Something so poignant about that hard-working, hard-luck classic cowboy.
eSB: What are some of your own works readers can look for?
LC: Some of my short stories in anthologies include Writers of the Future, Volume 30, Athena’s Daughters 2 from Silence in the Library, and Fae from World Weaver Press. Magazine publications include Galaxy’s Edge Magazine (issue 13) and Urban Fantasy Magazine (August, 2015).
eSB: What projects of your own do you have coming up?
LC: I have two fantasy novels currently under consideration and a third nearly completed. They run the gamut from epic fantasy to urban fantasy to weird fantasy. The weird fantasy is the current project, as I find my work drifting further toward the fringes with every new project.
eSB: How can readers find out more about you?
LC: My website can be found at http://www.lizcolter.com/ where I have a list of published works and an occasionally updated blog.
SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00IMTZ9DO
Blog Address: http://www.lizcolter.com/blog
The Weird Wild West
edited by Misty Massey, Emily Lavin Leverett, and Margaret S. McGraw
The untamed frontier is a challenge, a test of character, a proving ground for the soul. It’s a place where pioneers rewrite their future, or end their days…for better or worse. In the spirit of Bret Maverick, Cat Ballou, Kwai Chang Caine, and James West, The Weird Wild West blends western grit with the magical and mysterious unknown that waits beyond the next horizon.
With thrilling stories by Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin and Larry N. Martin, John Hartness, RS Belcher, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Misty Massey, James R. Tuck, Robert E. Waters, David Sherman, Tonia Brown, Liz Colter, Scott C. Hungerfold, Frances Rowat, Ken Schrader, Bryan C.P. Steele, Wendy N. Wagner, and a bonus story by New York Times bestselling-author Faith Hunter, you’ve hit the Mother Lode!