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Published on Wednesday, July 2, 2014

An Interview with

Daniel J. Kirk


The Western Online: Can you describe your story for our readers?

Daniel J. Kirk: Western Ending is a short story collection of rugged characters, ones searching for an understanding of life in the wild west. There are outlaws who want redemption and heroes who want a safer world.

TWO: How is your story one that would interest the readers of The Western Online?

DJK: The Collection of six short stories: WESTERN ENDING features two stories previously published on The Western Online, JUSTICE IS SILENT and MAD DOG DONALDSON. The other four continue a similar approach to a character driven western tales.

TWO: What motivates the protagonist in your story? What is he trying to prove?

DJK: The main thing that motives all the characters in this collection are their own code for what is right and what is wrong. Each of them wants a better life, whether that means robbing a train, provoking a war, putting away a criminal or starting life over with a new name. These are the moments that define whether or not each character will be able to move forward with the life they want.

TWO: How would you define the term "Western" and what does it mean to you?

DJK: The Western is fantasy. It is a chance to look back to a world where there was a sense of lawlessness in humanity that man had to try and make sense of, setting up his own code of ethics. It was the promise of real freedom, the chance to start from the ground up, and also the corruption of that dream as freedoms would be encroached upon by men of lesser codes. It is the battle of Good and Evil.


TWO: What draws you to writing Westerns?

DJK: I'm a big fan of Western Movies, I find writing new westerns to be incredibly hard since so many great stories have been told. I am far more prolific in other genres but I feel a greater sense of accomplishment when I complete a western that I feel offers a new take. I also just like imagining the tough men and women who want something more than what they have, and I like imagining trying to protect what they do have.

TWO: What writers have influenced you the most?

DJK: Richard Matheson, who wrote a few westerns, is who influences me the most. He seems to aim at suspense and character rather than descriptions, his stories are fast and engaging and that's all I could hope to accomplish.

TWO: What is your favorite Western, either novel or movie? Why?

DJK: That's tricky. Rio Bravo is probably my favorite overall because of John Wayne and how he handles the drunk Dean Martin. I like that bond that they have, where Wayne is willing to kick his butt and give him a chance to succeed at the same time. I also love the suspense of knowing they will be attacked for doing what they know is right and they are prepared to face that danger.

TWO: If you could go back in time and meet one famous person in the Old West, who would it be and why?

DJK: I wouldn't want to meet any of the famous outlaws, I don't always rub people the right way and would probably be dead in the street somewhere. Perhaps it would be wise to meet Levi Strauss and get in on the blue jean business.

TWO:What are you plans for the future? Are you working on a sequel?

DJK: I have a fantasy novel, The Forgotten Princess coming out that deals with a lot of the similar codes I'm fascinated with in the Western Genre. I will likely be writing more Western short stories in attempt of another release but these stories took me about 4 years to accumulate.



Daniel J. Kirk is one of the co-founders of The Horrors of Church Hill series. He is also the author of over 100 short stories including science fiction, westerns, and the detective genre. He is currently writing the ongoing series of urban fantasy, The Hatchback Woman.


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