Song of the Canyon Kid is my second novel and my first full-blown comedy. My previous works were the road rage novel Red Asphalt, a true travel tale called Please Hold Thumbs and my movie memoir In the Dark.
This one is a total cartoon. The main character is a singing cowboy. What is the last book you hummed? The characters are intentionally over-the-top and the entire tone is a sweet parody, an homage to the B-movies westerns of yesteryear. And in full disclosure, it's also a novelization. I based this novel on my comic melodramatic play entitled Song of the Lone Prairie or Poem on the Range. Prairie debuted in 1987 at the late, great Pollardville Palace Showboat Theater in Stockton, California, a production I also directed.
Pollardville was a magical place. We had the theater that specialized in melodrama and vaudeville. On the same property was a western ghost town that housed movie sets from the William Wyler film The Big Country. This is where we'd get paid to play cowboy on the weekends, duties that included robbing the train, engaging in fisticuffs and shooting it out with fellow gunslingers at High Noon. Pollardville was the birthplace of The Canyon Kid.
I realize the stigma of a novelization, but I felt creatively stagnated and needed an writing exercise to get myself in gear. Digging through my old writings, I came across his script for Lone Prairie. a melodrama I consider to be the culmination of everythin I learned at Pollardville. Adapting it into novel form came fairly easy, fleshing ot the characters and transposing the stage direction into prose. Soon, it took on a life of its own and I was hooked.
I loved revisiting my old characters like Nastassia Kinky and her brother Two Gun Boris, the fastest gun this side of the Ukraine. I also made The Kid's horse, Thunder, more of a supporting character. And the love story is something I never I thought I was capable of pulling off, but I feel like I did.
Overall I had a blast with this, the most fun I've had with a project since I wrote the original back in the '80's. Song of the Canyon Kid has given me back the joy of writing. By returning to my roots, I found that in order to move forward, sometimes you can go home home again.
For more info on Song of the Lone Prairie or my other works, please visit my website at: www.scottcherney.com
Be it ever so hostile, there's no place like home.
When a straight-shooting, guitar-strumming singing cowboy known as The Canyon Kid returns to Dirt Clod, Missouri, he finds his hometown in ruins due to the machinations of a corrupt "hanging judge" named Basil Kadaver. With the help of his co-horts, a slinky seductress named Nastassia Kinky, owner of The Golden Goulash Saloon, and her brother, Two Gun Boris, the Judge has the town in his tyrannical grip and is beginning to squeeze. To make matters worse for The Kid, he also discovers that his childhood sweetheart, Darla Darling, is engaged to his sworn enemy, a desperado nicknamed "The Bushwhacker" who is now the town sheriff. How is The Canyon Kid going to save the day, let alone croon a few tunes, with a noose around his neck?
Song of the Canyon Kid is a wild and wooly western comedy romance that'll put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. It may even make you say "Yee-haw!"
For more info and to read an excerpt from Song of the Canyon Kid, visit my website at www.scottcherney.com