Weird West Author Spotlight: B. L. Blankenship

Welcome, B. L.!

About Western Horror Author B. L. Blankenship

As a WESTERN HORROR AUTHOR, my books take place between 1700-1930, usually leaning more towards 1850-1900. The three pillars of Western Horror (i.e., that are conducive with the mindset and aura of the time) are: (#1) GOD IS JUDGE. (#2) PEOPLE ARE CRUEL. (#3) THE DEVIL IS REAL. …So basically, if Western Horror was music it’d be Johnny Cash.

I am currently the only writer who fences myself into a subgenre as a “WESTERN HORROR AUTHOR.” Beyond consistently writing and selling extraordinarily violent quality books, my aim it to tie the subgenre closer together to raise awareness of its vastness to readers at large.

Learn more about B. L.: https://linktr.ee/WesternHorror.

Watch authors B. L. Blankenship, Chuck Buda and Joe R. Lansdale discuss Western Horror


Authors B. L. Blankenship, Joe Lansdale and Chuck Buda stepped into the Labyrinth for an intriguing chat about life, the West, history, monsters in lit, the elements of good writing, genre writing vs. “authentic” crafting, a brief survey of Western cinema, and the societal realities of life in the West.

Interview with B. L. Blankenship

Tell us about yourself – what is something readers would be surprised to find out? 

***DISCLAIMER: If you’re offended by anything, don’t read my books. They’re vile, ghastly, and horrific. I try to warn people. The cover art does that & so does the warning labels on the back, but people keep coming back. If you like horror films with the level of violence found in: Green Inferno, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Martyrs (French film), Wrong Turn, I Spit On Your Grave – my stuff is more on that end, but even more so. That’s why the people who love it tell me that they love it.***

What is it about the Weird West genre that draws you to it? What are your favorite aspects or examples of this Under-appreciated genre? 

I adore history and specifically much of the 19th century. It also makes it easy to show how cruel people were during the American Civil War, which by all standards was horribly misnamed (if you understand that a Civil War would imply that the CSA wanted to take over the country rather than secede like the colonist did from the British in 1776). I tend to focus on the worst sort of things.

What inspireS you to write Your stories?

I overthink everything, ergo this answer is really comprehensive. The nexus of my Western Horror world is (what will be) “GOD WALKS THE DARK HILLS Book I-VI.” It deals with both the natural and supernatural, the horrors of war, wickedness of men, and the supernatural. Whereas I’m very avant-garde, a historian, and it serves to build tension – most of my protagonists are Confederates. The lead character in the series is Reginald Beauregard Valencia, a congolese negro who was sold into slavery, emancipated by a kindly hearted Spaniard from New Orleans. That said, there are a lot of major characters with detailed origin stories.

Beyond that, I have a collection of short stories, multiple short stories of mine are featured within an anthology, and a novella. Every few months more books come out. If you’re not into the exceedingly violent stuff, I have a side thing (a serial) that is entitled: “ABRAHAM LINCOLN BURNS IN HELL.” A few issues are out. It’s about John Wilkes Booth travelling to alternate Earths to assassinate different tyrannical variants of Abraham Lincoln. Characters from different 19th Century Public Domain book get planted in these different worlds. Unlike the sweeping 3rd person narratives that fill my Western Horror stories, these are written more like Sherlock Holmes (made up of journal entries and such).

If you were living in the Weird West, what kind of character would you be?

A clergyman and exorcist. Probably because of films, people tend to think of exorcists as being Catholic, whereas statistically an extremely high percentage are Holy Ghost filled Pentecostals. I’d be more on that end of the church spectrum (no snakes though), that’s a faction all to itself. [Technically, the Pentecostal movement was started by Baptists and Methodists after people started being healed and such. They were thrown out of their organizations, started their own churches, only to have hard-nosed traditionalists burn them down and such. That was in the very early 1900s, if that helps paint a picture of what lead to the early 20th century Christian Revival. *On the other end of that, Spiritualism (fortune tellers, etc.) became bigger after the Civil War due to all of these people losing loved ones and looking for hope.]

Are there any other writing projects you’re working on?

I’m currently finishing “The Brightness of His Coming: God Walks The Dark Hills Book IV.” After that, I’ll take a break for a while & before the years end I look to write/publish “Abraham Lincoln Burns in Hell Issue #3.” Next year I’m spearheading my second anthology which is entitled “Shut Up & Bleed: Western Horror Anthology.” Likewise, I have two stand alone novellas that I’m planning. Then finally, I plan to write and release the epic dual novel “God Walks The Dark Hills Book V-VI,” thus finishing the series.

What are you reading right now? 

Melinda West Monster Gunslinger (Digital), Bouquet of Viscera (Paperback), Northern Wolf (Audible.com), KJV Bible w/ Super Giant Print (i.e., I always read the Bible).

Favorite weird west movie/book/comic/etc. and why?

MOVIE RECOMMENDATIONS: Brimstone, Never Grow Old, The Nightingale, The Wind, The Keeping Room, A Man For Hanging

FAVORITE WESTERN HORROR BOOK: Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian or An Evening of Redness in The West

FAVORITE WEIRD WEST/WESTERN HORROR VIDEO GAME: Red Dead Redemption 2

WEIRD WEST/WESTERN HORROR TURN-BASED GAME: The Deadlands (i.e. like Dungeons & Dragons, but Weird West)

Anything else you’d like to add about writing or the Weird West?

Yes, Weird West is expansive. Western Horror is a subsect of its subgenre. It’s not necessarily bound by geography, but a time and tone. One of the ODD WORLD games is Weird West, but it’s not on Earth. Alternate histories can be Weird West. By definition Weird West is fiction, so most anything goes. The reason why it’s “Weird” is because it’s not a “Traditional Western,” so Science Fiction, Supernatural, Fantasy, Space Westerns, Acid Westerns, Electric Westerns, and so forth all fit into the Weird West.

That said, when I say that I write WESTERN HORROR, that means it’s 19th century toned. Otherwise, I’d call it Space-Western Horror (i.e., Futuristic), Noir-Western Horror (1920s), or Neo-Western Horror (Modern)…A lot of times you can get around that by the word “Weird,” but still, I’d personally use those headings, if I didn’t have a book within the bounds of the 19th century, or at least that feel. FYI: My favorite Neo-Western is “No Country for Old Men.” My favorite Space Western is “Cowboy Bebop” (i.e., both the anime & live action Netflix adaptation; just to be clear).

Learn more about Author B. L. Blankenship and His Horror Western Tales:

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