Tag Archives: environment

Spaghetti Westerns #newbook

Time for another post about my newest publication. This one is a solo title, and was inspired by the Spaghetti Westerns of my youth. Inspired by, because it can’t actually be a western in the swamps of the American South. It’s also a post apocalyptic environment, so it was inspired by the spirit of these films.

To be honest with you, my elders all hated these films. They weren’t big on plot, spent an inordinate amount of time on long stares and minutia, and a lot of the dialog was a sequence of grunts. My family were more the John Wayne side of things than the Clint Eastwood side of things. I kind of enjoyed both versions, but tended to keep that quiet.

Spaghetti Westerns were full of stupid things, too. Things like who might have insulted a mule. You guys know I love my stupid things. Making a suit of plate armor to head into a gunfight was stupid, unless it actually worked.

I plunked my story into a post apocalyptic world. If there’s a little armor going on, it’s perfectly acceptable. People do stupid things, like a man who’s obsessed with improving the pipe organ at his church, or a kid who just wants to cruise for chicks if he only had a car.

Mine is a story of vengeance, a vendetta to be fulfilled, vigilante justice if you like. I admit to rewatching things like Hannie Caulder, and yes, Once Upon a Time in the West as I wrote it. I listened to Ennio Morricone on my headphones as I typed. I hope I did them justice, but also told my own tale in the spirit of what’s come before.

How about you guys? Do you ever look for inspiration in the work of others? Maybe you’re more Spielberg or Hitchcock in your stories. I find inspiration in everything and everywhere. You never know what I’m going to be motivated by.

I hope some of you (all of you) are tempted to check out Once Upon a Time in the Swamp. I’d appreciate anything you can do to spread the word, and even reviews help the world go ’round.

Blurb: Mari and her husband opted for a simple life as farmers. It’s been decades since the world tore itself apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor and family against each other. They were happy in this re-emerging world, until disaster struck.

Mari sets out on a solo quest to avenge the deaths of her family and loss of everything she holds dear. She’s ill equipped for the task, but seems to have time on her hands. Time alone in the wilderness to deal with her personal demons along the way.

She is helped by a few sympathetic elders and a couple of animal companions with lessons Mari can use if she pays attention. Can Mari find justice for her family?

Set in a post apocalyptic, Gulf Coast world, this is a story for fans of the old Spaghetti Westerns.

Get your copy right here https://mybook.to/OnceUponTimeSwamp


Filed under Writing

How do you like your apocalypse?

I have a question for all of you. I have a storyboard going, and it’s been growing like crazy. It’s probably going to get bumped up on my list.

Right now it’s just a loose collection of index cards with cool ideas to use in the story. There is a plot, and a smidgen of character arc. I also have a Pinterest board that I’ve been saving visuals in.

The story is going to be post-apocalyptic fiction. As I dwell on my setting, I have a lot of ways to take this, so: How do you like your apocalypse?

The question is two-fold. There is a when factor as well as a why factor. I’ll take them in that order.


• During

• Right after

• Moderately after

• Generations after

There are advantages and disadvantages here. During gives you all the madness as an obstacle to deal with. That can also be a disadvantage, because maybe your plot doesn’t involve the zombie horde. I’ve also already published something that had a “far after” vibe to it, so that isn’t likely to happen again. (Ref: The Yak Guy Project.)

I’m leaning toward moderately after. The disaster is over, looting has already happened, but some gleaning of items is still possible. Any gangs of looters have long since shot each other. Doesn’t mean criminals aren’t around, but not the mob mentality of the initial disaster.

Still, the question is for you as I talk my way through this. Consider the timeframe in your suggestions.


• Disease

• Zombies

• War

• Pollution

• Asteroid impact

• Evolution

• Climate change

• Famine

• AI takeover

• Aliens

• Who cares?

I won’t break these down individually for the sake of space. Suffice it to say, while I love zombies, I’ve kind of walked that path. I’m leaning toward the “Who Cares” option and just plunking the story down in the leftover environment. Readers would probably get pissed if I didn’t glance off the cause in some fashion.

Again, the question is for you today. Consider why in your responses.

I have the whole concept set in swamp country. (Haven’t seen anyone do that yet.) I want to have some scrounging possible, but also bartering, and shops where the better scrounged goods can be purchased. I’m looking for a return to horse power, and I mean the kind with hooves. This probably eliminates robots and aliens from the mix.

I’ve already researched the possibility of naturalized species, invasive species, native species, and more. Alligators and rattlesnakes are a cinch for this tale. Add in the python problem, a few wild hogs, and it sounds like a great place to drop a story. Then there are the crazy weather disasters along the southern coast, and I have plans for some of that, too.

Back to the question of the day: How do you like your apocalypse?

In other news, I dabbled on my task list today. Trimmed the peach tree until the battery died on the Sawsall, finish it tomorrow. Bought the book I want to read, and worked my way through the formatting of Viral Blues. Sent an email detailing issues. I never cracked HMS Lanternfish, and I regret that. I kind of got sidetracked by this post.


Filed under Writing