Monday, June 16, 2014
Author Interview : The Cowboy and the Vampire: Rough Trails and Shallow Graves by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
Little Blurb about yourself:
1. Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
It must have been something both our mother’s ate while we were in the womb because each one of us came out spewing words. Clark cut his teeth on cowboy poetry, inspired by the majestic and seemingly endless mountain ranges surrounding him during his Montana cattle ranch childhood. Kathleen, on the other hand, turned her words toward the microscopic and found post-womb inspiration in geology. Although, now in hindsight, we can say we were both inspired by the natural landscape, especially the American west. This reverence plays out in a big way in the setting of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection.
2. How long did it take you to write (title of book you're promoting)?
It took us about a year to write The Cowboy and the Vampire: Rough Trails and Shallow Graves. We’re getting better. We published book one — The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance — in 1999 and it was more than a decade before we finished book two, The Cowboy and the Vampire: Blood and Whiskey. We’re epic procrastinators. We could probably write faster, but it takes a surprising amount of time for a married couple writing together to argue about plot, character and commas. Well, the arguing is only half of it; it takes time to make up too (the fun part). In the end, however, we think the fussing about the writing makes the book considerably stronger.
3. While writing how many times do you go back and rewrite a plot?
The plot itself stay relatively constant. But we rewrite individual scenes dozens of times. However, by this time, in book three, the characters are well-established and they often write their own scenes, in a way, oddly. It’s clear how they will behave and so it becomes easier to write their actions and words.
4. You run into a bookstore, where do you go first?
Clark makes a beeline for the latest graphic novels and then heads for non-fiction, often history-based. Kathleen peruses the new literary fiction releases and then ambles toward the science shelf.
5. How many books in a month do you tend to read?
On average, we each probably read three books a month.
6. In all the books you've read. Who is your most favorite character and why?
That’s tough and changes daily! For Kathleen, today, it’s detective Jack Daniels in the series by J.A. Konrath. For Clark, it’s Corporal Louis Barthas, a World War One trench soldier whose journals were recently rediscovered and translated into English in a book called Poilu.
7. State 5 random facts about yourself.
Clark: Loves clouds; is a discriminating whiskey aficionado; hates the sounds that flip flops make; once accidentally shot himself in the leg and bled all over his sky-blue tuxedo on the way to the prom; collects antique knives.
Kathleen: Loves rocks; hates the Muppets; can’t understand people who speak with British accents; has musical anhedonia; wears only black (occasionally gray).
8. Your favorite Genre?
Western Gothic, of course!
9. What are you currently reading?
Kathleen has just started The Jack Daniels series by J.A. Konrath after finishing Ignorance: How it Drives Science by Stuart Firestein (kind of a literary whiplash there!)
Clark is working through The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman (yes, it’s helping).
10. What is the best book you've read?
For Kathleen, it’s Anna Karenina by Tolstoy; For Clark, its Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. There’s an unexpected connection there. Check out Jared Diamond to discover it.
11. Any new projects coming up?
Yes! We are working on book four of The Cowboy and Vampire Collection. We’ve promised our readers that we will quickly resolve the “issue” that occurs between Tucker and Lizzie at the end of book three. Right now, we are naming a new evil character. Any ideas for evil sounding names?
Here’s your chance to market your book. Describe it. And why readers should pick it up?
The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection is a beautiful, dark love story, like life itself. And, we’re told, all of the books will make you laugh out loud!
Where you can find Clark and Kathleen:
Goodreads: Clark Hays or Kathleen McFall
Rough Trails and Shallow Graves
The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection
Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Western Romance
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
Date of Publication: May 5, 2014
Number of pages: 358
Word Count: 82,900
Cover Artist: Aaron Perkins
Say goodbye to LonePine, Wyoming, a typical small town in the American west with typical small town problems — romantic intrigues, warm beer and vampires.
When Lizzie goes missing on their wedding night, Tucker is forced to team up with his bloodthirsty Russian nemesis to find answers. Crashing through cowboy country, the vampire spirit world and wrecked salmon canneries, they confront an evil more ancient than even the undead — human greed — twisting science into something terrible.
Can there be a happily-ever-after for a cowboy and vampire, or is their unusual love just a delusion? Time to cowboy up.
This is the third book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection.
Available at Amazon
Reviews of the first two books….
Introducing racial issues isn’t the only adjustment the authors have made to the vampire mythos, but it’s more than just the details that set this series apart. Rather, it’s the way the authors utilize those details to create meaningful conflicts and world-altering choices for the characters...the book is first and foremost a thriller, upping the ante in every chapter as bullets fly and relationships strain under the weight of old loyalties and new revelations…with strong writing, funny characters (no irony is lost on one vampiress who takes to sporting a “Future Farmers of America” jacket) and plenty of action, it’s hard to fault the authors for keeping the focus on a story this riveting. ~ Kirkus Reviews
As a vampire novel, The Cowboy and the Vampire is sure to satisfy Dracula fans’ expectations. However, this book has a little something extra to offer readers. A little something that harkens back to the days when man fought against the wild in the name of civilization. Hays and McFall have succeeded in mixing the Western genre tropes with the Gothic conventions to create a zany grey romance.
~ Writastic Thoughts from the Thinking Realm
One of the weirdest stories I have ever read. It’s right up there with Neil Gaiman’s man-swallowing woman parts and talking tents. Instead, here we have rocket-launching, womb-sucking, Bible-bending, non-pointy-toothed vampires. And love. And cowboys. Depending on what you are looking for, that might be a good thing. If I had to liken this book to a movie, it would either be to Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, or maybe more appropriately, Quentin Tarantino’s From Dusk to Dawn.
~ The Avid Reader
The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance is one of the funniest and most engaging books I have read in a long time. Jam-packed with adventure, vampires, true love, and a cast of characters you will not soon forget, you find yourself turning the pages thinking, “What more could possibly happen to these two?” And then, you find out. I never imagined the melding of a contemporary western and a paranormal romance could ever be so seamless or so much fun.
~ Bitten by Books
A choice and very much recommended read, not to be missed. Relationships are tumultuous when they may only last a few decades, but when they last eternity, it can get more difficult. “Blood and Whiskey” is a novel of adventure, horror, and cowboys as a follow up to previous novel ‘The Cowboy and the Vampire’, as couple Tucker and Lizzie retreat to a tiny town to of LonePine, hoping to settle down, but the reality of the Vampires on their trail may make that an impossibility. A riveting read that explores many concepts on top of the intrigue of vampires in the lawless lands of the west, “Blood and Whiskey” is a choice and very much recommended read, not to be missed. ~ Midwest Book Review, Micah Andrew, Reviewer
If you’re looking for a combination of sex, blood and Western romance, pour yourself a shot of the good stuff and settle in for a wickedly good read.
~ Renee Struthers, Eastern Oregonian Newspaper
About the Authors:
Between the two of them, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have worked in writing jobs ranging from cowboy-poet to energy journalist to restaurant reviewer to university press officer. After they met, their writing career took center stage when they wrote the first book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection as a test for marriage. They passed. Clark and Kathleen now live in Portland, Oregon.