Weird West Author Spotlight: Richard Beauchamp

Welcome, Richard!

Richard Beauchamp has been writing and publishing dark fiction since 2017. His stories have been published in many critically acclaimed anthologies including “Negative Space: An Anthology of Survival Horror” by Dark Peninsula Press, the “Night Terrors” Series by Scare Street Publications, and most recently, “SNAFU: Dead or Alive” By Cohesion Press. His debut fiction collection “Black Tongue & Other Anomalies” was a nominee for the 2022 Splatterpunk Awards–Best Fiction Collection. 

About “The Battle for Halloway Pass”

In “The Battle For Halloway Pass,” The Agents Of The Free State, an eclectic group of bounty hunters, are summoned to the small Colorado mining town of Halloway Pass after intercepting a distressing telegram. Expecting violence and depravity of a human nature, the squad of men, comprised of a Texas ranger, an ex-army brigadier general, an Apache warrior, and a Canadian trapper, must use their combined talents to survive the horrendous onslaught of nightmarish creatures emanating from Bear Mountain. With the help of some strong Apache magic and a powerful shaman, the four men must confront the heart of ultimate evil, an ancient demon known only as “The Chiwa’ee.”

About the anthology SNAFU: Dead or Alive:
The West has always been the wild borderlands of civilization. The new frontier, where laws often fall far by the wayside. Where the unknown ranges through the desert, and myth is shown as reality in the dense wooded areas and the plains. Enter, the gunslinger, the soldier, the bounty hunter, all out to make their name or their fortune while marching to the beat of their own drum. Follow the stories of the hunter and the hunted, action all the way, as 18 writers unleash their own twisted versions of what can happen when humans enter the realm of legends and monsters, armed with whatever weapons they bring to the battle.
Welcome to SNAFU: Dead or Alive. Welcome to Western Hell.

Interview with Richard

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

Well, besides writing fiction, I moonlight as an audio engineer and record producer, among other things in the audio field. I’ve composed soundtracks and done foley work/sound effects for a few indie video games, produced countless albums with bands from the tri-state area in which I live, and have been known to write music for TV shows and commercials. 

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? 

For me, it’s the juxtaposition of the old western settings and the contemporary flavorings of weird fiction. I love writers such as Jack London and Cormac McCarthy, whose tales of stoic men doing (sometimes horrifying things) against rugged, dust covered backdrops always appealed to me. Seeing how new writers approach these old stomping grounds and infuse them with unique perspectives from weird horror, via cosmic, Lovecraftian and everything in between has always captivated me. 

What inspired you to write this story?

Well, this being a western themed anthology for SNAFU, I knew there had to be a lot of action and combat. Aside from those two stipulations, there were two things that made me want to write “The Battle For Halloway Pass”: First, I’ve always been entranced by Native American lore and how many gods, elemental and otherwise, there are for every nation and tribe across the continent. Second, I really wanted to subvert the old school “Cowboys Vs. Indians” trope you see in a lot of spaghetti westerns and more traditional western fiction and turn that on its head. I wanted to see what would happen if you put all that outdated discriminatory thinking aside and combined the strongest, most badass warriors from all walks of life, and pin them against something that’s supposedly unstoppable.

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

Hopefully, a good one. Someone whose sense of morals and ethics is as strong as the whiskey he drinks. Someone you could count on to get things done. Also, being quick on the draw. Judging from what I’ve read and watched, that seems like a crucial skill to have. 

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

Several, actually. I’m currently writing a werewolf-themed western horror short for an upcoming cryptid based western horror anthology, and when I’m not working on that, I’ve been editing and proofreading the (hopefully final) draft of a novel set in the civil war, which may or may not have vampires in it. 

What are you reading right now? 

Two books currently: Ronald Malfi’s Ghost Written and Blood Kin by Ronald Kelly. 

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

Book wise, probably Deadman’s Road by Joe R Lansdale. It’s like if someone took the show Deadwood, threw in some Lovecraftian monstrosities and added in Tarantino levels of gore, written in Lansdale’s sharp witted prose. 

Movie wise, I would have to say Bone Tomahawk. It’s one of the few true “Horror Western” movies I’ve seen, and man, is it brutal. 

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

As someone whose been newly blooded into the weird western genre publication-wise and have only recently done a deep dive into consuming weird western media, I don’t think I’m in a position to offer any advice or perspective on the matter. I will say however to dig deep and take chances on authors you’ve never heard of when it comes to the Weird Western genre. I’ve only recently uncovered several talented authors, many of which stake their claim in the “Splatter Western” and “Weird Western” tracts of fiction and whose work is woefully underrepresented. With it being such a newly minted sub-genre, you’re going to find a lot of so called “indie authors” whose work you may have only heard of through word of mouth. Read them. There’s so much undiscovered talent out there. 

Learn more about Author Richard Beauchamp and His Stories:

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