I’m pleased to report that I’ve received a contract for my latest Black Horse Western, entitled All Must Die.
This one is a Cassidy Yates tale. One of the side-effects of publishing my early books on Kindle was noticing that I hadn’t written about Cassidy since 2011’s Sheriff Without a Star, so I thought it was about time I found out what he’s been up to.
This was one of those stories where the title came first and in this case the working title was All Men Must Die. I had the novel finished and ready to go off to the publisher when an advert caught my eye in the corner of a webpage advertising Game of Thrones with the catchy slogan of 'All Men Must Die'. I groaned and changed the title, although perhaps in retrospect I shouldn’t have done, as I’d guess George RR Martin got that phrase from the same source I did, namely Hamlet and the phrase ‘All that lives must die’.
I’ve slipped Shakespeare into a western before, but that was in The Miracle of Santa Maria where Thaddeus T. Thackenbacker the Third, the West’s greatest living thespian, performed his cowboy version of Romeo and Juliet. I enjoyed myself writing stuff like ‘Romeo, Romeo, where in tarnation art thou?’ but I thought it was about time I made amends for that and Hamlet does have a lot of quotable lines. So I started with the intention of rewriting Hamlet as a western.
Thankfully common sense prevailed and I gave up on this self-indulgent idea very quickly, but even so I still felt an urge to get the ‘what a piece of work is man’ speech into the story. Although admittedly that probably has more to do with the fact it was used in the final scene of Lindsay Anderson’s Britannia Hospital rather than for any love of the Bard.
Anyhow, All Must Die will be my 31st BHW and it should appear around Spring 2015.