When book critics gather around the campfire to list the names of the best Texas authors of contemporary Westerns, one name jumps out among the usual suspects of Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurty, and Elmer Kelton: James Carlos Blake. Fourteen years ago we even went so far so to dub Blake “the next Cormac McCarthy,” based largely on his 1997 novel In the Rogue Blood, a dark, brooding book about brothers fighting on opposing sides of the Mexican-American War that was likened to Blood Meridian and went on to win a Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
He’s tried to live down the accolade ever since. “That was embarrassing as hell,” said Blake by phone from his home outside of Tucson. “No serious writer likes to be compared, but it’s nice to be compared