Queries and conundrums

Well, as I’m sitting here struggling within myself for something to write down in this blog post, I realize something rather alarming: I have nothing to say. How irksome.

In the wake of that first realization something else occurs to me. Will anyone even read it if I do write something down? I certainly hope so.

The result of this and other pressing thoughts on my mind is that I’ve come to what I hope is a suitable compromise. Here’s the query letter I’m currently working on for BEYOND THE WASTELAND. It’s already written, and if no one reads it then nothing will have change my situation.


Jonas Arthur lived the life of a gunrunner, perhaps the most successful outlaw west of Dodgetown. But when he picked up the pieces of a dead friend’s life, and ran an unfinished heist, his plans went awry. Instead of the Drenditch Express Coach steaming down the rails at Little Puretill, a demon-train went by with a whisper of the wind in the prairie grass. Now Jonas finds himself on a journey that will take him beyond the wasteland, beyond the very world that he knows, to find the meaning of the coach-train.


Jonas is following the rails west in the path of the train, hellbent on catching it up. In Drayton Camp he is reluctantly joined in his pursuit by his rival, Kid Darkfinger – an unlikely companion, but one who has heard the cry of the coach-train. They find themselves at war with mutual foes when Darkfinger saves Jonas from a hanging. But, united by a common enemy and the call of the train, and they leave Drayton on the run together. They head west, over the Sundry Hills and into the wastelands beyond – the True Frontier, as it is called – where the test of time and a fractured world only serves to drive them forward. Though the walking dead, desert-raiders, the cruel bite of the wasteland itself, and much fouler entities vie to impede their progress, they are driven on by the memory of the coach-train.


But beyond the wasteland waits a new test. In the Gallidros Vale war is brewing as the armies of the vast, dark and powerful empire of Babylon descend on Jericho City. In the thousands have come goblins and darkmen at the will of their overlord who desires only one thing: to overcome the world of men. The rails end at Jericho. The journey ends there too. If the city cannot be held, the train will be lost, and the truth along with it. But when the end is in sight, Darkfinger falls afoul of the poison of the darklings. Now all things hang in the balance – the train, the city, and Darkfinger’s very life. If they cannot make it to Jericho, all will be lost.


Complete at 67,000 words, BEYOND THE WASTELAND is a western fantasy novel set against a hard western frontier, heathery mountains, and everything in between. It brings together two worlds: the ways of the gunfighter and those of the swordsman, welded at the seams by the darker corners of a world not so unlike our own, a world that wants hope. With gunfights and epic battles, it will take you to the end of the last page on a quest for the coach-train!