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The Last Ride

Wild Boys: A Peculiar Western Novel will end its run on April 1st, 2024. I am proud of the story that landed me a small publisher in Beau to Beau Publishing back in 2012, which I was with until 2016. The story was always like Young Guns, if it were a gay film. It was my response to Brokeback Mountain not being a true western—one with gunfights, outlaws, and the Wild West. Wild Boys began as a short screenplay, and I turned it into a book manuscript. Fast-paced and scrappy, it sealed a deal. Beau to Beau wanted more and turned my two books from Wasteland Press, Dark Lands and Where the Road Roams, into new editions with romance-style covers. The material did not fit the genre, but it was cool to get them published by a non-vanity press. The more I was excited about was writing two sequels back then, in the summer of 2012. I dove into Jake’s Tail and Trail’s End with earnestness.


Wild Boys plays out from Dusty’s point of view. He is on a quest for revenge and falls for a cowboy, Jake. Vengeance is stronger, and he uses him to infiltrate the gang that did him wrong. Jake’s Tale takes on Jake’s point of view in believing that Dusty may be dead, but he has to find him anyway with the help of a cowboy, Frank. The third and final one, Trail’s End, delves into reunions, double crosses, and revenge in the final ride of the Wild Boys. When I started Punk Fiction in 2017, I took the series and combined it. Violent and gay, the story of the Wild Boys is a one-of-a-kind novel.


My regrets are having the subtitle, A Peculiar Western Novel, as part of the ISBN title. That was a rookie mistake. Another was getting pigeonholed into romance when my writing is a bit more dark and twisted. It worked fine with The Trouble with Furries but created a nightmare with my horror novel, Escape from Dolphin Street. This unevenness followed me into self-publishing. I found it hard to market Punk Fiction, as I wrote both horror and gay material. I even sold more when I broke Wild Boys up into a series again with shirtless cowboy covers in 2021. The market likes it when things are simple, basically one thing or another.


I think I understand it a little bit better now, all these years later. It is kind of like when I worked in the film industry years ago. I was excited to do extra work and also do (PA) production assistant work. I made cards saying I was willing to work both sides of the camera, and I got a lot of flak for that. I was flatly told to choose sides. I still do not believe that in my heart.


What I do believe is that I have to market better and start with a new foundation. First, I have to burn it all down to rise out of the ashes. Do not get me wrong, as I am grateful for my gay western and for everything I have learned on this writing journey. I am just ready to try it in a new way.


DS


Dusty's Revenge
Dusty's Revenge

Jake's Tale
Jake's Tale

Trail's End
Trail's End

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