So without further ado,welcome, Paula!!

Why I Write Demon Westerns (The Allure of the Dystopian Genre)

By Paula Altenburg

I’m often asked why I chose to write a dystopian demon western series like The Demon Outlaws, and the answer is somewhat complex.

So here goes.

The Demon’s Daughter, the first book in the series, is a difficult one to categorize. I had two characters in mind when I started it, and everything else grew from there. The story definitely developed around Hunter and Airie, who are both characters I love a lot.

I believe every writer has a talent for specific storytelling elements. The lucky ones are good at a number of them, but most have an area that really shines for them, or that they happen to love crafting. For me, it’s characterization.

(Stay with me. There’s a point somewhere, I promise.)

In my personal reading I don’t have a category preference, although there are a few I wouldn’t read twice. The quality of the writing is usually the deciding factor for me. If I had to categorize myself as a reader, however, I’d be inclined to say fantasy, but my definition of fantasy tends to be broad because my imagination is fairly active.

It doesn’t take much for me to get a story idea based on a “What if” scenario.  A friend once told me she thought the inside of my head must be an interesting place.

(We’re getting to it.)

I’ve heard people say, and I tend to agree, that there’s a fine line between historical fiction and fantasy. There’s a reason you can’t cite an historical romance as a resource in a research paper on customs and mannerisms. There are so many details about historicals that are difficult to prove or verify, and the reader has to rely on the author’s interpretation. This is fiction. I have a degree in Anthropology, and one of the first things I learned is that when you study the past you often have to make comparisons between cultures, or do re-enactments, to figure out what an object might have been used for.  Even then, you’re making an educated guess.

Medieval fantasy is a prime example of this. It allows writers to take what’s known about a period in time that has very little substantive evidence to back it up, and make their best educated guesses as to how that evidence can be incorporated into a story.

(Now I’m bringing it home.)

But dystopia… Oh, how I love it. I do a lot of research, but I never let the facts stand in my way. I can take information from whatever time period I like, move it to the future, set off a disaster or two, and really start to mix things up. Throw in some paranormal elements, and I’m in writer and reader fantasy heaven.

Dystopia proved to be my genre long before I’d ever even heard of it. It contains elements of everything I love. I love history, and I love using my imagination. I love creating characters, and they determine their own story. Their story influences the setting. If the setting is real for the characters, then it’s real for me.

The Demon’s Daughter came about because I wondered what would happen if a bounty hunter was hired by a mortal enemy to bring a mutual enemy to justice. But what if the bounty hunter has a conscience and the mutual enemy is an innocent? What if Immortals invaded the Earth? What if they took over the West?

The Demon’s Daughter was a lot of fun to write.  I really hope readers enjoy this first book in the Demon Outlaws series.


Twitter: @PaulaAltenburg


  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled Select (March 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 162061037X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620610374

Book Description

Publication Date: March 26, 2013 | Series: Demon Outlaws
Hunter is the only man capable of killing the demons that left the
world in ruins. But when he’s hired by a notorious priestess to bring
a thief to justice, the Demon Slayer gets more than he bargains for.Airie was raised in an abandoned temple as a priestess’s daughter,
having no idea of her true origins. In a time when any half-breed
spawn of a demon is despised by mortal and immortal alike, not knowing
the truth is the only thing keeping her safe.Forced to flee her home in the wake of disaster and discovery of who
she is, Airie must place her trust in a man who believes she should
never have been born. And when a demon uprising threatens lives he has
sworn to protect, Hunter has to make a choice: abandon Airie to an
uncertain fate, or overcome his own personal demons and love her for
who she truly is.



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