Looking back on it, I think Wesley Quaid was created in my subconscious the first time I watched the Clint Eastwood movie, Unforgiven. The ending gave me chills and goose bumps.
Until that time, the majority of my experience both in reading and in my writing had always been of the hero, who wore the white hat and the villain, who wore the black hat. There was no middle ground.
I'd tried to get that particular antihero character onto paper ever since, but for whatever reason, I could never make it work. He's had different names over the years, but I never felt right about him, so none of those early stories were ever published. I couldn't make him work until I started writing OUTLAW.
I began writing that particular story about two years ago and got stuck. I was inspired partly by a personal event and wanted to put that into a story, but about halfway through it became evident that wouldn't work, not with Wesley Quaid. He had his own story to tell.
Because I agree with Robert B. Parker that writer's block is just another word for lazy, I figured that since I was stuck on this story, I could write a series of short stories with the characters from OUTLAW as a way to get to know them better. Thus Wesley Quaid came to life.
The first short story he appeared in was "Pack of Wolves" that was published in Issue 1 of Pulp Modern. I've had a total of seven Wesley Quaid stories published and they have served several purposes.
First, they are all back story to the novella and that allowed me to write OUTLAW without working in flashback to explain who the characters were since they were already established.
Secondly, I was able to get to know Wes a lot better and once I'd accomplished that, I was able to go back and finish OUTLAW, even though it was no longer my story that I was telling, it was Wesley's. However, I think that personal event aspect of it is what finally allowed me to create Wesley Quaid. I had to put part of myself into the character.
So I hope you like ole Wes. I've got a lot more planned for him now that OUTLAW has been released, or perhaps I should say that he's got a lot more planned for me. OUTLAW is available for the Kindle for $0.99, but if you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow it for free.
The outlaw Wesley Quaid wants to put the past behind him and start his life anew in another place where no one has ever heard of him. When a mysterious woman he once knew resurfaces, Wesley discovers that a man can't run from his past anymore than he can run from the kind of man he has become.