Origin Stories

I don't always know everything about my characters when I first meet them. Sure, I have a general sense of who they are, but I get to know them better as they move through their story arcs. In the process, they reveal themselves a little at a time.

Coyote Cal and Big Yap have been riding with me for a long while—over twenty years, to be exact. As a kid, I enjoyed listening to old radio westerns: The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, The Six-Shooter. When family friends moved out of state, I started writing a serial of sorts called Trouble on the Range, which I snail-mailed to them in monthly installments. Coyote Cal and Big Yap were the stars of the show, even though I'd never written anything about them before. They arrived on the scene fully formed as "those famous storybook cowboys."

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FMHHIVA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00FMHHIVA&linkCode=as2&tag=inmere0c-20
Five weird western tales make up The Coyote Cal Adventure Series, and there are sure to be more stories in the future that take place during our hero's adult years. But lately I've been delving into Cal's backstory when he was just a boy with his entire future ahead of him. (Think Young Indiana Jones with River Phoenix, not Sean Patrick Flanery.)

"Boom Town," published by Plasma Frequency Magazine a year ago, takes the reader to a point early in Cal's origin story. Just a boy, Calvin and his trusty coyote must stand up to a wicked man dead set on destroying an entire town—as well as an evil spirit with plans for young Cal's future. "Boom Town" is  now available from Amazon.

There are plenty more Coyote Cal weird westerns on the way—maybe even a novel. Cal and Yap have stuck with me this far, and I see a long trail of adventure stretching out ahead of us. You're more than welcome to come along for the ride.

Happy trails to you, until we meet again...

18 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Milo! It's cool when we can write about a character who has been with us a long time.

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  2. Yeehaw! Congratulations. :) I do love weird westerns.

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  3. Yeehaw - LOL! Congrats, Milo. Weird Western tales - I like the weird part.

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  4. This sounds delightful! Nothing's better than the creepy and weird. While researching my A-Z "Hauntings" theme, I included a number of western ghost towns in the mix. (Sorry I'm not paying attention to my usual blog-friends this month. A-Z commenting is too taxing...)

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  5. Milo, mixing in the ghostly with the Old West is a fun idea. I was drawn to it myself. It's fun to have a jig-saw puzzle of your character and slipping in a new piece that your unconscious mind seems to have had already in mind, isn't it? Best of sales with Coyote Cal and cast!

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  6. Usually I'm not that much of a western fan, but this book sounds like it's been written with so much passion that I'd like to give it a try.

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  7. I'm a fan of Coyote Cal and your weird westerns, Milo, and they never fail to entertain me. Best of Luck with Boom Town. From western to space (Capt'n Quasar), seems like a natural progression to me.

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  8. Congratulations! I've only read a few westerns, including a couple of Zane Grey's, but your stories sound like a great way for me to get back into them.

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  9. Your weird western sounds entertaining! I'll have to check it out.

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  10. I do enjoy your Coyote Cal westerns, which you probably don't know, played a part in the inspiration to write The Witch's Hollows - and while there was some western to it, of course my horror side took that theme a different direction.

    Cheers to the characters success and may there be many more!

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  11. As a writer, I enjoy not knowing everything about my character at the start, and getting to know them as the story progresses (just as the reader does). It also adds some mystery:)

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  12. Congrats, Milo!

    Like you, I don't know everything about my characters. I've found a lot of details, especially about minor characters, toward the end of the editing process. Origin stories can be fun as well, although with my fantasy works, I tend to find new stories within the world but with different characters.

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  13. Congratulations!! I so love the names Coyote Cal and Yap.

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  14. I love the fact that you're creating stories with recurring characters, Milo. I know a lot of other pro writers do this too. Very smart,

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  15. It MUST be fun to go back and get to know your characters better, especially when you've been writing them for a long time. I love this :)

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  16. Congratulations! Great that you bringing your characters back!

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  17. There is something really fascinating about discovering characters along the way. Especially when they do something you didn't expect, and then you have to re-plan huge chunks of the story because of that. I had that happen in the second novel I wrote, and I remember just sitting there, staring at what I'd written, knowing it was right but also wondering how I hadn't know that about the character before. Oi!

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  18. Congrats, Milo! I'm a fan of Cal and his adventures, and I love that he's been with you for so long. That's awesome.

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