About the Book
Two centuries after the fall of civilization, Rancid Mahoney is commissioned by Gunther Ostrander: purveyor of opportunity and Head Prospector of New Canterton, a mining settlement located in what was once, but long forgotten as, the heart of the American Northwest. Mahoney is tasked with scouring the land in an attempt to locate Blackheart Mountain: the source of “Blackvein”, the heavily romanticized miracle mineral rumored to be able to enhance the human body’s ability to heal, effectively defeating death itself.
About the Author
Dave Matthes was born and raised in Swedesboro, New Jersey. He has attended various colleges for computer engineering, automotive science and criminal justice-like degrees, though he is mostly self-educated in the subjects of World History, Philosophy, Political Science and Spirituality. During the day, he works as a service technician and system installer for the restaurant industry. He is a writer of prose and story-driven poetry and is the author of autobiographical books “The Slut Always Rides Shotgun”, its sequel “The Passive Aggressors”, his post-apocalyptic western series: “The Two Revolvers Saga”, and “The Mire Man Trilogy”. Dave presently lives in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania with his wife Sarah and their cat Hank.
Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book What is it about?
The story takes place around two-hundred years following the fall of civilization and society has crumbled into a state reminiscent of 1800’s North America. “Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain” is the chronological first book in a planned six-book series: The Two Revolvers Saga.
Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
Anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic science fiction blended with westerns, adventure stories, or grand epic scale sagas that take place over a multiple decade span.
Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?
I’m a huge fan of James Wade and his novel “All Things Left Wild”. McCarthy’s “The Road” has been a personal favorite of mine since I read it in college. I enjoy stories that have detailed and flawed characters, and those particular two books excel at that.
Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?
Just keep writing, it doesn’t all have to be perfect and in all likelihood it never will. Read. Read. Read. Study history, depending on the genre you’re writing. And READ.
Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website or a way to be contacted?
Qn 6: Although set two decades before the events of Mercy, can you help set the scene for readers who may have missed the novella?
Originally, “Mercy” was written as a standalone novella, but is now the chronologically third book in The Two Revolvers Saga. It can still be read on its own before any of the other books in the Saga, and in a way serves as a bridge between Books 1 and 2, and Books 5 and 6. “Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain”, being the chronologically first book in the series will introduce readers to the main character Rancid Mahoney in a way that will shed light on how he turned out to be the grizzled apathetic gun-for-hire that he is in “Mercy”.
Qn 7: Tell us more about Rancid Mahoney, how would readers relate to him?
In “Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain”, Mahoney is in his mid-twenties, and while well-seasoned in the art of surviving the post-apocalyptic wasteland around him, he still has much to learn in the ways of morality.
Qn 8: What can readers expect to discover in this post-apocalyptic world. Is it more like Mad Max or more along the lines of Fallout?
Mad Max and Fallout definitely had an influence while writing the books of The Two Revolvers Saga, but I don’t think my story leans too much in either direction. The setting is a little more realistic and somewhat inspired by real history. The are no bombastic action set pieces like in Mad Max, but there is plenty of melancholy to be found in the way someone might feel while exploring the various wastelands in the Fallout games. There is plenty of war to get lost in, and bloody battles, particularly in the first two books of the Saga, but you won’t find cars racing across the desert or a talking tree begging to be killed. I want the reader to form their own feelings and vision while reading these books, but in my own head, the story feels like an arc in which Clint Eastwood might take part in.
Qn 9: You have written other books that are of different genres, how did you find writing Leave My Ashes on Blackheart Mountain compared to your other books?
I find exploring other genres refreshing. I’ve written many books that may or may not feel the same in terms of theme or genre, but nothing like “Blackheart Mountain”, which is a big part as to why I decided to write an entire Saga consisting of six books (for now). The Two Revolvers Saga blends western and post-apocalyptic science fiction, and is unlike anything I’ve ever written.
Qn 10: What’s next? Do you have any plans for more books?
I’ve just finished the first draft of the chronologically second book in The Two Revolvers Saga, “Legend of the Horizon Vengeance”, which is due to be released on November 29th of this year. After that, I’ll move on to working on Books 4, 5, and 6 in the saga.