Erik Testerman is a Marine Corps grunt, a competitive shooter, and an admirer of fine arms and armaments. He lives in the mountains of North Carolina with his lovely wife, two rambunctious children, and a slobbery English Mastiff.
About the West of Prehistoric series
Wild West meets Lost World in these action-adventure westerns filled with ferocious dinosaurs, savage apes, evil men, reformed outlaws, an obnoxious horse, and a splash of romance thrown in for good measure. Danger and treachery surround the hero, who must rely on his own savagery, cunning, and skills with guns to stay alive.
Interview with Erik Testerman
Tell us about yourself – what is something readers would be surprised to find out?
I’m a shooter. I’ve shot competitively for years and absolutely love firearms, gun culture, and learning/shooting as much as possible. In the Marine Corps, I was a Sergeant in the Infantry Reserves with four Expert shooter badges and a survivor of the famed ‘Mountain Survival School’ in Bridgeport, California where I lost 31 lbs in three weeks and ate everything from bugs to roasted prairie dogs caught in snares. (I wrote an article on this experience which was shared on SurvivalBlog.com). I enlisted because I love weaponry, tactics, and the desire for adventure and deployments. The deployments, unfortunately, never came. But the discipline and strengthening of body and mind has stayed with me ever since.
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?
Like most of us drawn to western stories, I grew up on Louis L’amour novels. I’ve read almost everything he’s written, and there is something about the west that draws me to it. To the point where after college, my goal was to head to Cody, Wyoming to be a Peace Officer! But the Wild West, there’s some sort of alure to it. It’s a wild frontier genre, where it’s man vs beast/wild/monsters/other men… You have little or no backup, you’re on your own. It’s your wits and cunning vs everything else. You either survived or died. Depending on the story, there’s very little in between those two options. (Although I have read a few really good ones where the other options are quite intriguing!) But it’s a rough, brutal place filled with beauty and wonder. And to an extent, for America, the Wild West is as close to mythology as we can get. It’s our heritage, it’s our ethos, our standard of both masculinity and femininity that we should strive to live up to.
What inspired you to write this story?
Kindle Unlimited. I bought a subscription and had a hard time finding anything that I liked. My wife challenged me to write my own and I did. Naively, I thought I’d have it finished within six months. Instead, it took 18 months to complete. When it came to the subject matter, I fell back on things that I love and always wanted to see more of. Cowboys and Dinosaurs. I wanted to write the sort of book that I’d want to read. But I also wanted it to be something I wouldn’t be embarrassed of when my kids read it, so I kept it rated PG-13. No sex, no F-bombs, just good ole fashion basic swearing and lots of action!
If you were living in the Weird West, what kind of character would you be?
I dunno. But if life and westerns have taught me anything, it’s that you can never be armed enough or savage enough when facing down a posse of bad hombres. So, I’d probably be the guy packing two pistols, a knife, a rifle, a derringer, and brass knuckles. And like the main character of West of Prehistoric, I’d be morally ambiguous. Shooting someone in the back may not be socially acceptable, but it gets the job done with minimum fuss.
Are there any other writing projects you’re working on?
I’m working on the fifth book to my West of Prehistoric series, it’s a redemption story arc for one of the main characters in the series who always deserved a bit more of a story and background to be revealed. It’s a great way for me to expand the universe I’ve created, tell another story from a different perspective, and dive deep into one of the more interesting characters. I’m really looking forward to it, and my readers are going to be in for quite the ride! Aside from that, I’ve a WWII, Pacific island, sea monsters book that I’m going to tell from both a US Marines perspective and a Japanese POW. The outline is completed, the first 5,000 words have been written, it’s just percolating as I work on the more pressing manuscript first. It’s going to be awesome, pristine beaches, Marines, sea monsters, M1 Garands, Thompsons, and flame throwers! What FUN!
Learn more about Author Erik Testerman and His Weird West Tales:
If you enjoyed this profile, sign up for Arcane Saloon, the Weird West Fiction newsletter, to receive future author spotlights and other related news!
Check out this #WeirdWest author profile at @WeirdWestFic!Tweet