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Monday, March 24, 2014

Guest Post: Not Just A Zombie Story by Tim Marquitz

When myself, Joe Martin, and Kenny Soward sat down to create the Dead West series, we had a very simple framework for the story we wanted to tell: zombies in a Wild West setting. That alone was enough to get us excited and ready to work, but if you know any of us you’re probably shaking your head and laughing. Why? Because you’d know damn well we couldn’t possibly leave it at that. No, we had to sit down and rationalize everything we were doing, examine everything remotely similar that had come before, and completely reconstruct our simple idea, renovate it and add on, a hut turned into a metropolis.

We ended up dumping a mixed bag of characters who were guaranteed to create sparks once they were thrown together. From pure blood Indians to half-breeds to railroad bosses and ex-Civil War soldiers, women, and ex-slaves, and reverends, there was simply no way for there not to be bad blood and ulterior motives galore within the dynamic we’d laid out. The best part of that, though, these folks needed each other to survive despite their differences. We built from that.

It started out small, our concept of zombies not being some mass, out of control contagion. We sat down and gave them a purpose, a reason to be up and walking about. In doing so we opened up the door to a whole new angle on the whys and hows and whatnots. A mystical angle. Our zombies don’t just wander the land on instinct, assuaging a need to feed, but they are driven by a malicious, malevolent man who uses them to further his own interests. And once we had that piece of the puzzle, we couldn’t just have some run of the mill bad guy out seeking some simple score. No, robbery or revenge or plain murder wasn’t enough of a drive for a compelling villain given the scale we were building up, so we reached back in time again, the entire story built on a framework of real history. There we found our answer.

The Chinese people play such an important part in the life of the old west, specifically the railroad where our story takes place, it was an easy leap for us to delve into that world, that mythology. The old Kung Fu series helped. We ended up creating a Daoist/Taoist monk whose backstory and life had run afoul of the natural ways, a strange sense of necromancy warping his morality. A need for ultimate power driving him on.

And once we opened that door, it only took another couple more steps for us to add a Lovecraftian feel to the story, great mystical powers and distorted creatures brought into the world, chaos and insanity following in their wake. Now picture our rogue’s gallery of characters caught in the middle of an undead uprising and being hunted by a necromantic sorcerer who’ll go to any length to get what he’s after.

And all that is blended into a brutal and dark story line that’s all action and drama. That’s what the Dead West series is all about.

Official Author website 
Order The Ten Thousand Things HERE
Order Those Poor, Poor Bastards HERE 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Armageddon Bound 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Resurrection 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of At The Gates and Betrayal 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Echoes Of The Past 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Beyond The Veil
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Best Of Enemies 
Read Fantasy Book Critic’s review of From Hell 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Manifesto:UF
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Fading Light
Read Fantasy Book Critic interview with Tim Marquitz
Read Qwillery's interview with Tim Marquitz, J. M. Martin & Kenny Soward

Author Information: Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squad series, the Blood War Trilogy, and the Dead West series, as well as several standalone books, and numerous anthology appearances including Triumph Over Tragedy, Corrupts Absolutely?, Demonic Dolls, and the upcoming Neverland’s Library, and No Place Like Home.

The Editor in Chief of Ragnarok Publications, Tim most recently compiled and edited Kaiju Rising (with Nick Sharps) and the Angelic Knight Press anthologies, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous and Manifesto: UF.


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