It's been a week since my Kickstarter campaign went live, and I have two backers who pledged $5.00 each, so a big thank you to Lukas Schmoelz and Mark Adam Thomas! I still have a long way to go, though, so be sure to tell all your Weird Western fan about this project!
The idea for Hungry as a Wolf started much the same way it's prequel Sheep's Clothing
started: I wanted to re-imagine a classic horror monster that's been
nearly done to death. Last time around, it was vampires, and I read Dracula
for the first time in a while to get some measure of where literary
vampires came from, and I also researched vampire myths from all over
the world to see what their folklore roots were. (Fun fact: Every single culture
has a vampire myth, including the Native Americans. Cool huh?) This
time, I decided to try tackling zombies. Unfortunately, literary
inspirations were kind of thin, and no two zombie movie franchises
seemed to follow the same "rules" (on purpose, I imagine). So, once
again, I delved into folklore to see where they originated.
again, Native American mythology came through for me, supplying the
Ojibwe myth of the Wendigo. The Wendigo (depending on who you ask)
either used to be a human who ate human flesh and turned into a monster,
or is a sort of demon that possesses humans and drives them to a frenzy
of insatiable hunger, especially for human flesh. This could easily be
mapped onto the template of a sort of insane fast zombie. If they were
smart zombies on top of that... Bwahahaha. For extra horror bonus
points, Hungry as a Wolf is set in 1875, not too long after that little thing with the Donner Party (researched that, too).
for the fun part: Wolf Cowrie, the hero, is half-Sioux. The Sioux
weren't exactly on friendly terms with the Ojibwe in 1875 (when this
book takes place). Also, by chance, I wanted to set this story in the
Dakota Territory. I discovered that the Black Hills were Sioux holy
ground... and also the scene of a gold rush. I was already giggling
madly by this point, seeing at least three sub-conflicts that would be
running alongside the flesh-eaters. Add to that a thread left over from Sheep's Clothing--whereby Wolf is still recovering from a personal tragedy--and this is one heck of an elaborate character arc for him.
Honestly, with so much material to work from, there's no way I could not write this story! More on this next week as the campaign continues!