Often wearing a rancher hat and boots in cities big and small where he has claimed residence as journalist, Joseph Treviño considers himself a cowboy at heart. As a reporter, crime, dangerous cults and immigration have been part of his beats for many daily newspapers from Los Angeles to Dallas. That is why it is no surprise he mixes all that up in his first novel.

A western horror, “The Wolftress” is a genre-smashing story inspired by a real woman accused of witchcraft but fictionalized into a modern tale of terror involving black magic, werewolves, American and Mexican cowboys, all set in a beautiful mountainous region of the Mexican state of Jalisco.

The novel is based on Ana María García a.k.a. “La Lobera” (the Wolftress), an obscure but true historical figure of Spanish 17th Century history. La Lobera was a woman hailing from the town of Posada de Llanes, Asturias who, according to the archives of the Spanish Inquisition, caused terror in several parts of Asturias–she allegedly commanded a group of wolves to attack at will.The Inquisition sentenced her for being a witch and a Satanist but La Lobera was freed after taking some Christianity courses. After that, Ana María disappeared.

A fan of horror movies and novels since his childhood (especially those about werewolves),Treviño felt inspired by the Wolftress’ story and the lingering mystery of her fading into history.He asked himself: “What if La Lobera fled to avoid possible reprisals from the Inquisition and other enemies? What if she migrated to a destination in the Americas that appealed to some Northern Spaniards: Mexico?” He learned that a rural region in western Mexico, Los Altos de Jalisco, somewhat resembled Asturias and attracted many Spaniards intent on keeping much of their traditions. This region serves as the setting of “The Wolftress,” where the enigmatic woman reappears in the third millennium in defiance of the passage of time and ready to impose a new world order ruled by her and her diabolical army.

A horror-western novel to the core, “The Wolftress” is the first novel by journalist-turned-novelist Treviño. Even before it went to print, the novel has generated interest to turn it into a possible film.

Actor Eduardo Yáñez

Eduardo Yáñez, the Mexican superstar who is based in Hollywood and has starred in telenovelas like “Destilando Amor” and Hollywood movies like “The Punisher” has some praise for Treviño’s book. “A truly original and terrifying novel,” Yáñez said about The Wolftress. “It has reinvented the werewolf legend by taking it back to its real roots.”

Treviño returned recently from a promotional tour for “The Wolftress” in Rome and northern Spain, generating coverage in major European media for the book. The author also retraced part of the footsteps of La Lobera in Asturias, Los Picos de Europa (The Peaks of Europe), Oviedo, Spain and the beautiful green trails of Asturias and the holy sites of Covadonga, as well as the witch mountains of northern Spain.

Treviño says he wrote the book stylistically influenced by novelists like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien and Taylor Caldwell. He adds “The Wolftress” is a full-tilt horror western, fast-paced book that reads like an old school, 1980s horror pulp.

While other writers have taken the werewolf to the realm of the fantasy genre, Treviño chose to go back to the true roots of the legend. No werewolf pretty boys here like in some recent books or movies, according to the author. Instead, it’s a true novel that is as honest as jab to the jaw, he adds. “The real werewolves of history were pure terror. ‘The Wolftress’ tries to bring back the lycanthropy legends with all their in your face glory,” Treviño says. “Werewolves are unapologetic. ‘The Wolftress’ tries to show them as they truly are.”

San Miguel El Alto, Jalisco.

Based in Mexico, in the region known as Los Altos de Jalisco, one of the most gorgeous places in North America, “The Wolftress” tells the story of Peter Crane, a young college student who wants to become a real working cowboy. For that he travels to Mexico, where he finds work in an isolated town in the mountains of Los Altos de Jalisco.

Under the command of “El Rural” (The Ranger), an ex old west-style cop-turned-rancher, Crane and a group of Mexican and American cowboys face the horror that terrorizes the mysterious town of San Miguel de la Sierra.

The book is available in print on eBay and digitally on Amazon and Kindle. A Spanish-language version is also available.

Author Joseph Treviño

Joseph Treviño is an American journalist. He is the recipient of many awards for his journalistic and investigative work. He has worked for important dailies like the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly and the Dallas Morning News.

A California native, Treviño has covered the crime beat in some of the most violent cities in the world, covering famous shootouts and high-profile crime cases. He has probed dangerous sects and done many investigations.

A veteran of the Gulf War, he served with the 10th Mountain Division. Treviño currently lives in Southern Arizona with his wife, Cristina.