I’m researching as I’m writing, which is quite normal for me. The first chapter is almost finished and I’m hunting for the right paranormal element to fit in the book. With Australian (Virgin Jackson – the ranger) and North American (Nate Sixkiller – the cowboy) protagonists, it’s a delicate balance of mythologies. The book is set in Australia but Nate is here because one of the supernatural creatures from his cultural mythos is lose in our place.

I’m really attracted to the idea of the collision of  culturally opposed mythological creatures. How does their interaction affect their integrity, and those of the humans around them? Which myth has more weight? They might sound like strange questions, but the strength of a myth is in the hands of the writer, and the writer is a conduit for what gone before, and what might be. I expect the myths to wage war inside me as they seek supremacy. Or maybe they’ll just get on fine!

In searching for what I want, I encountered Debbie Harry’s version of Ghost Rider’s in the Sky, which I just had to include on my playlist. Her voice is so haunting (though I could do without the tinny music accompanient), and it lifted me to another place – just what I wanted.

One chapter down (about ten pages) but with lots of blank spaces for pertinent dialogue to be inserted when I’m more sure of the story arc. Back with chapter two news soon, as we meet our other hero, Nate Sixkiller.

I have a working title of Peacemaker for the cowpunk, named after the 1873 Peacemaker pistol – the gun that won the west. My two main characters are named (Virgin Jackson and Nate Sixkiller), the premise is in place and I’ve written several pages. It’s a go-go!

There’s something equally exhilarating and terrifying about starting a new novel. Strange thoughts run through your head. Can I do this?What will it be like? Countered by the sense of  liberation at creating something from scratch. Freefall into the page. For the first time since I began writing full time, I’m thinking of writing about the novel journey. Join me if you like. It could be slow and painful or not?

I’m looking for information on lawman Sam Sixkiller and this is all I’ve been able to find so far:

– One of the most outstanding members of the Longhorse Police in Indian Territory , Sixkiller was born in the Going Snake District (now Adair County) of the Cherokee Nation in 1842.  At the age of 19, he joined a Union Indian artillery company, commanded by his father, 1st Lt. Redbird Sixkiller, during the Civil War. In 1875, Sixkiller was appointed high sheriff of theCherokee Nation and warden of the National Penitentiary.

Sam SixkillerFive years later, in February, 1880, Sixkiller became the first captain of the United States Indian Police headquartered at Muskogee, Indian Territory . He also held a U.S. Deputy Marshal’scommission that allowed him to pursue these outlaws out of Indian Territory into Texas , Kansas,Missouri and Arkansas, as well as being a special agent for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad, which gave him access to any railroad property in pursuit of any bandit. With forty men under his command, tasked with policing Muskogee, one of the most dangerous towns in the Wild West, Sixkiller and his men dealt with bootleggers, cattle rustlers, murderers, train robbers, and all manner of lawless characters (smurched from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-lawmenlist-s.html).

If anyone can point me in the right direction, I’d be most grateful.


davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 





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