In Hawken, you're definitely channeling a Weird Western vibe with hallucinatory corpses. What sort of strangeness can readers expect from the book?
A sense of strangeness and mystery is something that permeates the entire story. We wanted to create this full tilt, amped-up adventure tale, but to take certain western stereotypes and conventions and twist them inside out. Just when the reader feels comfortable and think they have something figured out we turn them upside down and give them a shakedown. By conscious design, everything isn't spelled out from the onset. Readers learn more about Hawken, his vendetta, and the people connected with him as the series proceeds. The challenge and fun part for us is constructing it in a way so that the reader is engrossed and involved in the story and wants to learn more.
Ben Truman: One of our core ideas for Hawken was to send this old bastard through the strangest corners of the wild west. We've created a unique cast of characters that reach far back into his past-living and dead. Kit Hawken has lived a long, eventful life. He's killed a lot of people and there is the promise of an ever increasing body count in the future.We've created a unique cast of characters that reach far back into his past-living and dead. Kit Hawken has lived a long, eventful life. He's killed a lot of people and the promise of an ever increasing body count in the future. As a result, he sees these hallucinatory corpses - the gruesome specters of every person that he has ever killed.
The ghosts aren't arbitrary. He can only see the phantoms of people whose deaths he's personally responsible for. As a result, his relationship with them is...complex.
They are bound to him and his quest, but they aren't necessarily there to help. They know his weaknesses, his flaws and his fears and seem to try to find loopholes that will allow them to manipulate or mislead Hawken. At least, they try to.When his quest for revenge is over - whether he lives or dies, wins or loses – it seems that the ghosts will be free from him. They never miss a chance to remind him of that fact.As the story progresses, it becomes clear Hawken was scalped, tortured and left for dead by the men who he once worked for, the Tucson Ring. However, are the ghosts something that brought back with him from the other side after his brush with death, or simply illusions hatched in a brain that was exposed and boiled by the Sonoran sun? We leave that answer less clear.