Showing posts with label Derrick Ferguson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Derrick Ferguson. Show all posts

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Secret Origin of Diamondback: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

This may take us a while so if you want to go get yourself a snack and a nice cold beverage before we start, go right on ahead. I'll wait. Matter of fact, think I'll go grab myself a Coke and a sandwich as well. See you back here in ten.



You back? Solid. Get comfy and we'll get started.

The Secret Origin of Diamondback begins with my desire to write what I have since come to describe as an “Urban Western.” Which simply means that everybody drives cars and uses automatic weapons instead of riding nags and firing six-shooters. But with some industrious rewriting, “It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time” could be told as a straight-up western. Matter of fact, there's a lot of Sergio Leone's “A Fistful of Dollars” in the DNA of my story. But the concept of a mysterious stranger who comes to a town ruled by warring criminal gangs and by pitting the gangs against each other through cunning, ruthless manipulation comes out the winner goes back further than that. There's Akira Kurosawa's “Yojimbo” from 1961 which many believe was inspired by Dashiell Hammett's classic “Red Harvest” written in 1929. “Red Harvest” also generally considered to have inspired Walter Hill's “Last Man Standing” which is basically “Yojimbo” set during Prohibition. “Lucky Number Slevin” and “Sukiyaki Western Django.”




Okay, so you get the basic idea, right? I had this idea to tell a western in modern-day drag. Not a terribly original idea, I agree, but one that I wanted to do and that's all I need to get me going. The only criteria I have for any project I take on is that it excites and intrigues me. I have to live with the characters and invest a lot of time in them and the story I'm telling and life is too short to spend it writing about about characters I don't care about. So, I conceived the story of Diamondback as one spanning three novels that was intended to be a further homage to Sergio Leone's “Dollars” Trilogy:

Diamondback I: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
Diamondback II: And The Devil Will Drag You Under
Diamondback III: Once Upon A Time In Denbrook

Only one novel got published, the first one:


It sold about as well as ice makers in Norway. Which kinda left me bummed out. I dunno why it didn't sell. Maybe because Diamondback Vogel was a completely different protagonist from Dillon, which is the character that most people associated me with. The philosophy of the concept behind the Diamondback character is simple and can be summed up in these lyrics from Billy Preston's “Will It Go Round In Circles?”:

I've got a story ain't got no moral,
Let the bad guy win every once in a while

Which is exactly what Diamondback Vogel is and I make it very clear: he is a bad guy, a right proper villain. In fact, it can be said that everybody in that first novel is a bad guy. I did that on purpose as I wanted to see if I could write a novel where every single character was a low-down, no-good unrepentant, unapologetic mean-ass bastard or bitch and still make the story entertaining and fun. The (very) few people who did read It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time let me know that I did succeed in that as they enjoyed it tremendously. But at that time (we're talking around 2008 or '09) I considered the book to be a failure, put away my ideas for the trilogy and moved on.

So why am I now revisiting Diamondback and rewriting the first book with an eye to completing the trilogy at last? Ten more years of experience and confidence helps, lemme tell you. I recently re-read the book in one sitting and saw where I could improve upon the story, expand some scenes, increase the level of characterization and action. It short, I could write a better book.

And I did write a book where every single character it was a low-down, no-good unrepentant, unapologetic mean-ass bastard or bitch and that one sold a bit better and everybody who's read it has indeed described it as entertaining and fun. I'm talking about my homage (some would say outright theft) to Hammer horror films:


I could also restore some stuff I had originally written but was persuaded to take out. The original version of It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time had a lot more violence, some pretty racy sex scenes and harsher, rougher language. But by taking all that out it meant that it wasn't the story it wanted to be. It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time wanted to be raunchy, profane, deliriously violent and madcap in its exploitation sleaze and I had taken all that away from the book and on that level, it deserved to fail. Because it wasn't the story it was supposed to be.

But if we're good and faithful, we sometimes get a second chance and so I'm going to take another crack at Diamondback: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time. And you'll be able to accompany me on the rewrite as I intend to present the story in serialized form, just as it was originally presented long ago on the much beloved Frontier original fiction website. Details will be on my Patreon page if you're interested (and I hope you are) but if you're not, that's okay as well. We'll still be friends.

As always, I thank you for your kind attention and your tolerance in putting up with my ramblings and as always I urge you to keep track of what I'm doing both here and over at Usimi Dero which I where I spend much of my Facebook time. You can also friend me at my personal Facebook page. I'm a pretty friendly guy.


Peace!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

In Which I Get Smacked Around

Tommy Hancock interviewed me for his online magazine BIBLIORATI and I think it's a pretty good one that you can read and enjoy HERE.






Sunday, December 27, 2015

Everything You Wanted To Know About Derrick Ferguson But Were Afraid To Ask (Well, Not Quite But It's A Catchy Title, No?)

The effervescent New Pulp writer D. Alan Lewis was good enough to interview me for his blog. See, sometimes the tables get turned. It's a pretty good interview if I do say so myself and you can find it here

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just In Case You Missed It The First Time Around...

...I was interviewed by the writer A.K. Kuykendall over at his blog The Kuykendall Post. You can find the interview HERE. Read, enjoy and thank you.


Friday, December 2, 2011

How The West Was Weird: Campfire Tales

Originally only available as a giveaway with purchase of How the West Was Weird, Vol. 2, the e-book CAMPFIRE TALES is now available at Amazon.com (for those of you with Kindles) and Smashwords.com (for those of you with any other kind of e-reader. This book includes 4 weird western short stories by Russ Anderson, Derrick Ferguson, Joel Jenkins, and Joshua M. Reynolds. For 99 cents, it's a steal!

Four astounding novellas combining the western with sci-fi and horror.  This new addition to Pulpwork Press's best-selling HOW THE WEST WAS WEIRD series includes:

MR. BRASS AND THE CRIMSON SKIES OF KANSAS by Josh Reynolds. The robot Pinkerton is all that stands between President Teddy Roosevelt and an attack by sky pirates and Mr. Hyde.

HELL'S OWN by Russ Anderson. Zombies overrun a small western town, and the town's lone sheriff is the only one that's armed. Will anyone survive?

THE TALE OF THE BARON'S TRIBUTE by Derrick Ferguson. When a foe from Sebastian Red's past attacks him through his friends, Sebastian must undo the damage done to his loved ones and do battle with a foe who is, for once, in every way his equal.

GUNMEN OF THE HOLLOW EARTH by Joel Jenkins. Lone Crow, Doc Holliday, and Morgan Earp lead the surviving members of the Wild Bunch into a lost world at the center of the Earth, running afoul of dinosaurs, a tribe of barbarian women, and a posse of silver-hungry banditos who have followed them from the surface world.

So what are you waiting for?  Get on over to Amazon.com and get yourself a copy!