The Young Coyote Cal

Well, this sure is a nice surprise. My Coyote Cal origin story "Boom Town" will be featured on the cover of Plasma Frequency's next issue! The artist is Laura Givens, and she did a mighty fine job of capturing the essence of the tale in a single frame.

See that little guy with the big knife? That's Calvin, a scrappy orphan destined for greatness. The phantom figure is... Well, you'll have to read the story to find out. It should be available next month.

In three years of being published, I've never had a story make the cover, and I've always wondered what it would be like to see an artist's rendering of my characters. It's kind of surreal -- in a good way.

Seven of my Coyote Cal weird westerns have been accepted for publication so far, but "Boom Town" is the first that goes all the way back to Cal's birth and his Tarzan/Mowgli-like childhood. The latest issue of Big Pulp Magazine includes "Harbinger of Arroyo Seco," another origin story; but this time, Cal's a teenager in love with an older woman. And he meets Big Yap for the very first time. That scene was a whole lot of fun to write!

Have you delved into your characters' origin stories? Or do you already know the backstory before you begin? I enjoy getting to know my characters as I go along, and I look forward to learning more about Coyote Cal in the many adventures yet to come.