Interview with Chris Mullen, Author of Dead Land

25 Jan 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Dead Land?

I felt that it was time to jump from Young Adult fiction to Contemporary Western adult fiction, aiming to reach a wider variety of readers with a series full of action, adventure, and mystery. The characters are relatable, yet individually captivating and genuine in their roles, each with a unique perspective on today’s world—though some personalities do not align with my way of thinking. But such is real life.

After driving RR170 from Terlingua to Presidio in the spring of 2023, I realized that West Texas, with its beautiful, rugged, and dangerous landscape was the perfect setting for my Cass Callahan series, starting with “Dead Land”.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Dead Land, what would they be?

Cass – If “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi and “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor were combined in one awesome anthem, it would bleed of Cass Callahan.

Raven – “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I like reading action/adventure novels, but moreover, I enjoy reading authors I have met or worked with over the past few years. I am always down for anything by Jonathan Maberry, Craig Johnson, or W. Michael Gear & Kathleen O’Neal Gear.

Reading these authors is always entertaining, but it also helps me improve and refine my own writing style. I always pick up new techniques, vocabulary, and ways to structure scenes—all while immersed in an excellent story.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Ridin’ With the Pack (Wolfpack Publishing Anthology), Athena Unleashed (W. Michael Gear), Hell and Back (Craig Johnson), Hollow Out the Dark (Jame Wade), Cave 13 (Jonathan Maberry), and Firestorm (Taylor Moore).

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Riding along with Cass throughout the book was a blast, but the opening sequence really stands out for me: In a frantic race against time, Detective Cass Calahan battles overwhelming fear, guilt, and a sense of helplessness while rushing to avert a potential tragedy at home, illustrating the intense psychological impact of personal crisis on even the most trained individuals.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

My writing routine involves wearing my ROWDY baseball hat and headphones with the ‘Rain on Tent’ background noise. I also have specific tables at a handful of local restaurants and businesses where I write daily—but only if those spots are available.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

It’s the actions a person takes and the lengths to which one will go to do right by others that define them.


Chris Mullen is the author of the new book Dead Land: A Contemporary Western Mystery Series (Cass Callahan Book 1)

Connect with Chris Mullen

Author Site



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