I am so excited to share with you all this interview with Kyle Robert Shultz, author of the Beaumont & Beasley series and the Crockett & Crane series. Even more excited about his latest bookish news.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Kyle Robert Shultz’s stuff, do it now! It’s so much fun, especially if you love fairy tales that have been turned inside out and upside down with a colorful cast of larger-than-life characters.
So without further ado:
Welcome Kyle! I have to admit. When I first saw your books at Realm Makers several years ago, I knew I had to check them out. I had been looking for fairytale, detectives, etc for my research on my next project. I was so blown away by the larger-than-life characters, their crazy adventures, and how you turned the fairytales on their heads and our world inside-out. Your books are so much fun and intense. I love them. So I am so excited to have you on my blog to help celebrate the release of Deadwood!
Thank you so much! I’m happy to be here. 😀
Let’s dive in, shall we? But where to start?!
Perhaps at the beginning….no…not THAT beginning, but…your story world. How did you build the Afterverse? Was it premeditated or did/do you build as needed? Could you give us a glimpse into your process?
Basically, The Beast of Talesend (my first published book) is the cornerstone of the Afterverse, because the whole world in its current form was built around that particular story and its characters. Before that, I tried writing iterations of the story in which the world and various “hard” rules of magic came first, but these were much too stilted, with the characters just going from point A to point B without having their own personality and agency. I always try to put characters first, especially now that my readers have come to know them well. It would be irresponsible for me to have my characters make certain choices or act in a certain way just to serve a particular plot outcome. I do outline, but I try to leave enough room for surprises as I go along.
Your style is fresh and fun. We never know what we are going to expect. How do you go about incorporating age old stories we are familiar with to fresh, crazy new ones?
Thank you! Usually, I read the earliest versions of the story, which are sometimes quite different from the most popular renditions, and I brainstorm ways in which the given legend, myth, fairy tale, etc. could fit into the Afterverse as a historical event. Ideally, I like to try to tie it in with the mythology I’ve already established so that the world feels more cohesive. I also ask myself, “What loose ends might this story have left behind?” For example, a magical item that was never destroyed, or a magical being who isn’t dead yet. That helps me to come up with something for my characters to deal with in whatever era of the Afterverse I’m writing in. Combining research with my own mythology and characters helps me to generate original ideas.
I love how interconnected your Crockett & Crane series and Beaumont & Beasley series are. One does not have to read both to love them, but when one reads all of them, it’s like a treasure hunt! How do you keep track of all the little details, the referencing of characters, events, timelines, etc?
Up until now, I’ve been using a Scrivener file to keep notes on mythology, character backstories, and so on, but I’m gradually transitioning to the new WorldAnvil service because I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. I also have a program called Aeon Timeline which I’ve used to create a massive timeline file for the Afterverse, with dates for the major events of the various stories. Scapple is another piece of software that I’ve found very useful for mind mapping.
Which story idea came first, Beaumont & Beasley or Crockett & Crane?
Beaumont and Beasley. Crockett and Crane came to me not long afterward, though. Originally, they weren’t set in the same universe, but I decided it would be more fun to merge them together.
I’ve always thought about combining westerns and fantasy, two of my childhood favorites. Can you tell us a little bit about Crockett & Crane’s world and how it differs from Beaumont & Beasley’s world?
Beaumont and Beasley mainly takes place in the United Kingdom of Camelot, the Afterverse’s equivalent of England where magic-users and monsters usually keep to the shadows. Belief in magic among the general public was all but stamped out over the centuries. Magic in this part of the Afterverse is done by stringing together runes to create spells. In Neverica, where Crockett and Crane is set, magic and monsters have been common knowledge since the early settlers arrived. Runes don’t work in Neverica, so magic here involves mixing ingredients taken from magical creatures (fur, teeth, eggshells, etc.) to make potions. Because history unfolded differently in the Afterverse than it did in our world, most people in Camelot aren’t aware that Neverica exists. In short, magical stuff in Camelot is more controlled and mysterious, while magic in Neverica is wilder and freer.
Also, please do combine westerns and fantasy, because I want there to be more authors doing this so that Amazon finally gives us our own subcategory. 😀
Haha, we shall see!
In Horseman, we meet Todd Crane, Amy Crockett, Julio, Meg, and an assortment of fun characters who go up against the Headless Horseman who is terrorizing the wild, wild west of Neverica. Will we see them again in Deadwood? What are they up against this time? Will we see any romantic involvement between certain characters???
All the main characters from Horseman return in Deadwood. In this book, they’re facing a dark magical entity that’s controlling a small town in the West…an entity connected to the tale of Pinocchio. However, this isn’t the only threat in store for them. Todd has to deal with a very personal menace linked to his own troubled past. One of the villains from Horseman is still around and has an old score to settle with one of the Crockett and Crane gang. As for romantic involvement, you’ll definitely see that, though things may not play out precisely how you’d expect…
What’s next for Crockett & Crane? Do you have more stories planned for this setting in the Afterverse?
Definitely. Westenra, Book 3 of Crockett and Crane, is already “in production” and is coming along nicely. It will wrap up some lingering loose ends from Book 1. After that, I intend for the books in this series to be a little less arc-focused and more stand-alone. I can’t say anything about Book 4 just yet, but Book 5 will be set in Secordia, the Afterverse’s version of Canada. Because a Canadian historical fantasy novel just has to be a thing.
Do you plan to take another slice from history and create another series? What is your favorite time period?
I’d like to delve deeper into the Revolutionary War era touched on in Horseman. I have a Patreon story with Ichabod Crane as a main character planned for August; if that’s well-received, I’ll consider extending it into a series at some point. The Blackfire series, which had a sort of “pilot episode” in The Hound of Duville and Other Stories (Beaumont and Beasley Book 4) will be released in the near future, and will take place in 1816 Talesend (Afterverse London). Also, while it’s not historical, I’m planning a modern-day urban fantasy series called “American Gargoyle” which takes place in “our” world but involves crossover elements and characters from the Afterverse. At the end of the day, though, my favorite time period is the idealistic, Wodehousean 1920’s era that features in Beaumont and Beasley. 😀 (I quite like the 1950’s as well, though.)
What are you working on now?
I’m neck-deep in final edits on The Geppetto Codex, Book 5 of Beaumont and Beasley, which should be released later this summer. It’s sort of a companion piece to Deadwood, since it also involves the story of Pinocchio. However, it’s Camp Nanowrimo time, and I am trying to resist the siren song of a completely new story idea…I’m not sure if I will emerge victorious.
When you are not writing, what are you doing? What kinds of animals do you have?
In my spare time, I enjoy exploring my home state of Idaho, both on foot and on horseback. I also have an interest in music and in digital art (I’m proficient in the former, but still a beginner when it comes to the latter). My family owns horses, mammoth donkeys, dogs, and sheep.
What are your favorite books, TV shows, movies?
Too many favorite books to enumerate, but at the moment I’m really enjoying the works of Janeen Ippolito, the Steel City Genie series in particular. I’m also catching up on the amazing books of H.L. Burke. Doctor Who is my favorite TV show of all time. Up to the most recent season, at least… *awkward cough* I also love Merlin and Psych. My favorite movies include Tangled, Thor: Ragnarok, and The Emperor’s New Groove.
We want to know all the things! Ha! Thank you so much for coming!
You’re very welcome! I had a great time!
It’s not the people in this town you have to watch out for.
It’s the buildings.
Monster hunter and part-time centaur Todd Crane didn’t ask to be sheriff of Deadwood. For one thing, he’s never had an easy time staying on the right side of the law. For another, he’s too busy trying to find a dangerous sorcerer who nearly destroyed the United States of Neverica.
But some men—and centaurs—have greatness thrust upon them. Not only is Todd the reluctant defender of the peace in Deadwood, he’s the only one who can thwart the schemes of a powerful magical entity manipulating the town from the shadows.
And when Todd’s past comes back to haunt him, the stakes get a lot more personal for him and his friends.
Heroes will fall. Secrets will be revealed. Everything is about to change.
Deadwood follows up on the exciting reveals at the end of Horseman to tell a story with big repercussions for the whole fictional universe of Kyle’s Afterverse novels. Together with Kyle’s next book, The Geppetto Codex (Beaumont and Beasley Book 5, coming later this summer), it unpacks a mystery that stretches across time…the true origins of Pinocchio.
Deadwood can be purchased starting today on Amazon, and read for free through Kindle Unlimited. A paperback edition is also available. Don’t forget to sign up for Kyle’s email list to be notified about his future book releases, and to get book recommendations from an actual dragon. You can also follow Kyle on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Kyle Robert Shultz developed the power of creating zany, fantastical worlds in his early teens, when he was bitten by a radioactive book. He is the author of multiple series set in the Afterverse, a parallel universe where myths, fairy tales, and classic stories are real events and part of history. He lives in self-imposed exile in the southern Idaho desert, far enough away from humanity to protect innocent lives should he lose control of his awesome ﬁctional powers and rip a hole in the space-time continuum or something.
Kyle is a Christian who believes in writing high-quality stories free from agendas, politics, and objectionable content. His stories are clean, but not remotely safe. In reading them, you assume all risks—Kyle cannot be held responsible for any damage wrought upon your emotional well-being or cardiovascular health by unforeseen plot twists. When he’s not dreaming up new ways to torture his characters and readers, Kyle enjoys singing, hiking, horseback riding, and caring for a motley collection of animals.