Today, we have a guest post by the wonderful Misty Massey...
From the high seas to the high plains...
Most people know that I love to play at pirates. I write about them, I dress up like them, I occasionally talk like them (although it takes a shot or three of rum to get the accent just right!) In fact, Tera and I met because of our shared love of the outlaws of the oceans. Pirates are cool.
But gunslingers are pretty cool, too.
I know that real pirates and gunslingers are dangerous criminals who hurt people for a living (and sometimes just for the entertainment of it), so that's not the kind I mean. I'm talking about the kind who live in fantasy stories. Sometimes they're bad guys with hearts of gold, and sometimes they're badly misused heroes who need to find their way back to the sun again. But stories about outlaws, whether in ships or on horseback, are full of thrills, chills and derring-do. These are characters who fight through the fear to accomplish whatever they've set their minds to do. Some of the best Western movies are about men who live on the wrong side of the law – A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad and The Ugly, or They Call Me Trinity. So we have strong characters to begin with...why not throw a little magic at them and see how they react? I'm sure the Man With No Name would have liked access to a spell that made him invulnerable to bullets (would have saved a lot of time at the end of the movie, don't you think?)
Both the Golden Age of Piracy and the Wild West period were very short, historically speaking. And that makes the people of those times even more interesting, since their like were not around for long. It's much the same as the idea of magic being wiped out by the Industrial Revolution and its fondness for cold iron. At the end of a day of sorting books for transit between libraries, washing clothes, making beds and cooking dinner, it's refreshing to dive into a story that takes me away from my mundane life onto a journey across a dusty plain under a hot sun. I can't be a gunslinger in today's reality, but I sure can pretend.
We'd love you to join us in backing The Tales of the Weird Wild West Kickstarter. We have stories lined up from wonderful authors like Jonathan Maberry, R S Belcher, Tonia Brown, Diana Pharaoh Francis, John Hartness, Gail Martin, James Tuck, and me! If we can manage to fund to our stretch goal amount, we have more great authors lined up for a second volume of stories – Faith Hunter, Laura Anne Gilman, Devon Monk, Charles Gannon, Nicole Givens Kurtz, Barb Hendee and more! There are neat pledge rewards and stretch goals available. And if we manage to fund successfully, we'll be opening up four submissions to an open call, so you might make it into the book your own self. But this only happens if you help us out. Please visit our Kickstarter page, and make a pledge. Then go to Facebook and Twitter and tell your friends to pledge, too.
Thanks, y'all! I look forward to bringing you all sorts of wonderful stories of a West that never was!