You may have noticed this blog’s recent lowered activity. Nothing new since early August, with only a handful of new posts since the beginning of summer. What is the deal, you may ask.
Where is your latest needless fan theory? Where is my latest exhaustive Batman dissection? How have you still not reacted to the most recent Bond film? Have you finally tired of comparing the 2016 election to your favorite action movies?
The answer to these questions is simple: I have been busy with other projects. One project, in particular: The Moonborn, an e-novel I will be self-publishing this November.
I have also been busy with another project: Wildcat, a short story I wrote years ago that I finally decided to dust off and self-publish. Here is its cover, created by artist Dusty Conley:
I wrote this story as a student at Denison University, and I think it’s the first thing I ever wrote that I still take pride in today.
For your benefit, here are a few insights into the inspirations for it:
Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson’s Eli Cash’s Wildcat
In the 2001 film The Royal Tenenbaums, Owen Wilson plays Eli Cash, a writer who fancies himself a genius. Some of the best humor in the film comes from Cash’s writing and his novels, Wildcat and Old Custer.
An excerpt from Cash’s Old Custer:
The crickets and the rust-beetles scuttled among the nettles of the sage thicket. “Vámonos, amigos,” he whispered, and threw the busted leather flintcraw over the loose weave of the saddlecock. And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight.
This short story began as a self-assigned exercise: what would Eli Cash write?
The Works of Carlos Castaneda
In 1968, Carlos Castaneda published the book The Teaching of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. I’m going to be more vague about how this book inspired my Wildcat, so as to avoid spoilers, but I’ll say that Wildcat is a fictional exploration of some of the same concepts in Castaneda’s work.
(You may also note that I’ve previously mentioned Carlos Castaneda on this blog, as his writing inspired True Detective.)
My Favorite Westerns and Fantasy Stories
Something you may or may not know, based on this blog, is that the Western is perhaps my favorite genre of film. While I would never claim that Wildcat is on the same level of prestige as the following, here are some of my favorite works that may have inspired it on some level:
- Neil Gaiman’s American Gods
- Cormac McCarthy’s novels and films
- Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead
Why am I telling you all of this?
I’m not normally one to believe that writers should over-explain themselves. I also don’t mean for this to come across as self-congratulatory. But in the case of Wildcat, I wrote it largely as an homage to some of my favorite works, and as a recommendation for you to check those works out in addition to mine.
If you’re interested in reading it, you can get Wildcat here for 99 cents. Please note, before you buy, that it is a short story. I don’t want anyone to be disappointed by its length.
And finally, I’ll put in one more plug for my debut novel: in November, I’ll be publishing The Moonborn, a science fiction adventure set on the Moon. To sum The Moonborn up: it’s Moby-Dick, on the Moon, with robots instead of whales. Buckle your spacebelts, folks, because it’s coming out in less than two months!