The story of the story of Rence Corness
If you’ve read the newly-released anthology, “Soul of the Universe”, you’ll know that it features a new story of mine: a Western yarn. Now, I’d never considered writing a Western before, although I can tell you that Anthology Club has a possible Western-themed Anthology lined up, so I certainly will revisit ‘cowpokes’ and ‘injuns’ again.
So what inspired me to enter the strange new world (to me) of the cowboy? Last year I was gripped, along with (although later than) most of the rest of you, by the stonkingly good telly series Breaking Bad. The final episode featured the song ‘El Paso’ by Marty Robbins. Chasing down this earworm on YouTube, I stumbled across Rex Wells singing “Blood on the Saddle”. Something about the song spoke to me. Who was the unnamed cowboy, and how did he come to be lying on the ground ‘all covered in gore’? The song’s explanation that a horse had trodden on his head seemed patently ridiculous.
OK, so maybe (so my thoughts went) the singer reporting the event was trying to cover something nasty up. But what could that be? It didn’t take me long to work out an alternative, far more interesting explanation. Now I needed a setting that was slightly askew from normal Western tales, to match the invented event. Two things led me to set the tale above the snowline – the first was my love of the film Jeremiah Johnson, the second was the evocative image of hot blood splashed on stark white snow. Of course, once I had snow, I had to have the Crow, and not only for reasons of rhyme. Looking into the Crow led me to Pine Leaf – that’s her, over on the left there – and everything else slotted into place.
All of the main parts of the story, therefore, led from thoughts originally sparked by listening to this song. Which is the whole raison d’etre of the anthology, after all. Buy the book in these places: Amazon UK, Amazon US or Smashwords.