Day 50! Check out the 50 artworks focused on the cowboy and vampire theme here. The enormity of talent, oh yes, tons of it. With this last commissioned image from “dougmcclain” working from Canada, Clark and Kathleen have finished up the “global art attack” and now have nothing left to keep them from turning their full attention to writing Book 4 in The Cowboy and Vampire Collection. Finally! Indeed, this 50th image captures their current mindset: Bouncing into the blue sky of the western landscape, where words will hopefully flow, Rex in tow (woof!). Back soon…
A fifty-day global art attack on our books The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection! Getting close to the end…a wild ride. Check out day 42: A commissioned poster advertising the sage wisdom of the Ask-A-Cowboy column written by author Clark Hays. Get the background, artist handles and locations, and see all the 50 gigs here. #50daysofFiverr.
Writing the Range: Top Ten Cowboys Cowboys in Literature gives a perspective from authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall on what makes a successful cowboy-themed book. The authors blog about it over on their site but we’ve reposted it here too…
Cowboys are enjoying a surge of popularity, particularly in the land of romance. Right now, an explosion of popular books on Amazon feature six-pack ab-adorned cowboys with steely blue (or green) eyes, staring out from the covers seductively and with promise. They all look vaguely related, too.
While these romances are flying off the e-shelves, it’s made us think a lot about the cowboy icon. Why is this myth so persistent? Especially when, by and large, moody, gym-going cowboys without shirts never really existed? And we should know. One of us is a true-blue cowboy, albeit lately lapsed due to love, and he never looked – or acted – anything like these romantic heroes. The other one of us is a born and bred city girl (and the cause of the cowboy lapse), a doe-eyed slightly-lost-in-the frontier just shy of pretty type usually cast as the romantic heroine in the ab-adorned books.
Ever since we met, we’ve been debating these questions: What is a real cowboy and are there any characters in books that capture that essence? The answers don’t come from romances, although they are fun to read. The first thing we agreed to agree on – in order to answer the two questions – was cowboy history. Read the rest of this entry »
A review by author Erin Cole
The third installment of The Cowboy and the Vampire, Rough Trails and Shallow Graves, is dark road through love and sacrifice. The duo nature of this story rings throughout, in the hope and struggles that Lizzie and Tucker face, the evils of man vs. monster, and the quirky adventures of contrasting characters such as Elita and Lenny teaming up to save THE DAY, makes for a very fulfilling and enjoyable read. McFall and Hays know a thing or two about the harmonic nature of dark comedy and western gothic, and they share that magic in many surprising twists and turns in this book. Unlike books one and two, book three takes the reader towards a conclusion no one expected, a conclusion that after all Lizzie and Tucker managed to suffer through, was inevitable and leaves the reader pleading for more. Five stars! It’s that good. Read the full review>>
Read more reviews of The Cowboy and Vampire Collection
Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have used their limited marketing budget in an interesting way. They’ve bet it all on 50 talented (and a few eccentric) artists who work under the Fiverr gig model, and asked them to focus their creative juices on The Cowboy and the Vampire. The results? You’ll be blown away. And they’re also running a #50daysofFiver contest too, tracking retweets, facebook shares and Instagram likes for entry into a drawing at day 50 for a $50 gift certificate at the vendor.
50 days starting October 1. Check it out a www.cowboyandvampire.com.
“I am beginning to see a Tarantino movie with this series. The strength of this series is in the characters and witty dialogue…” (We agree!)
A Very Unusual Romance (Book 1): Five stars There is a very unusual twist on the origins of vampires and humans. It is a unique story. The characters are complex and unpredictable. The authors did an excellent job of writing this novel. Even though this is a dark tale, it is funny. It is much more than the standard vampire story.
Blood and Whiskey (Book 2): Four stars The best part of this series is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. In between sharing their day’s activities, characters may need to save the world, but, the attitude is hey, ‘you’ve got your problems, I’ve got mine.’ Love conquers all, or at least is the best hope at solving intractable species’ differences. Book 2 is as delightful as the first in this series as The Cowboy and the Vampire continue their romance and plan for world harmony.
Rough Trails and Shallow Graves (Book 3): Five stars This third installment in The Cowboy and the Vampire series is the best yet by far. Deviating from the usual chaos that tends to surround Lizzie, Tucker, and their cast of characters, we’re given a deeper story with a bit more tooth to it. You’re smacked in the face with tough decisions and heartache throughout the entire novel, but it only makes you pull for the characters more. Despite the darker and more serious tone of Rough Trails and Shallow Graves, you are treated to lots of laughter along the way. Elita’s usual brand of dry humor is laced throughout as well as the more in-your-face version brought along on Lenny’s heels. As nutty and over-the-top as Lenny can be, he’s long been one of my favorite characters in this series. In addition, you learn more about where the vampires go when they die during the day and I found that to be absolutely fascinating.
Advance notice: Blood and Whiskey will be on a special sale starting Sept 24.
The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection is consistently called out for its authenticity in describing the modern west and cowboy culture. That’s not a surprise, given that author Clark Hays grew up on a ranch in Montana. It’s true, cowboys do have a different way of thinking about the world, and readers are responding, wanting a taste of their own cowboy wisdom. Check out the Ask-a-Cowboy column over at the author’s website. The questions are, unsurprisingly, mostly about love in all its forms from first glance to what to do about two-timng bulls, with an occasional culinary inquiry thrown in. Enjoy!
Authors Clark and Kathleen sat down recently with Willenator’s World for an interview. Turned out to be one of their favorites. Here’s the opener and the link follows.
Earlier this year, I saw a book with a title that I could not pass up: The Cowboy and the Vampire. Reading that one book introduced me to a new series of books that I’ve read and enjoyed. I’ve written reviews for all three books on my blog, and it the series has become one of my favorite reads this year. I recently asked the authors, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall, some questions about their books. They provided some great information, and I’m happy to share those answers with you!
What’s it like working on a book together? Do you have specific roles during the process, or is it a team process from start to finish?
The creative process is weird and intense under the best of circumstances, requiring an unholy blend of vulnerability and confidence. The chaos is amplified about a thousand times when it also requires you to open up to your romantic partner, put your trust in them and still maintain the personal confidence needed to commit anything worthy to paper.
Check out the full interview here.
The detective was talking mostly to himself, because the two patrol officers — fresh-faced rookies barely out of the academy and bursting with professional pride — were staring at the carnage, their mouths hanging open like the swinging doors of an abandoned saloon.
After 20 years on the force, the detective had seen a lot, too much, but this was the worst so far. It was 10 in the morning and he needed a drink. Another drink. He scratched at the salt and pepper stubble on his cheeks and then reached under his rumpled trench coat to adjust the Colt .45 nestled in his shoulder holster. The gun had a name — Brenda — and she was always ready to dance, but this wasn’t a shooting thing. Not yet anyway. But the day was young.
Instead, he pulled out his battered notebook, flipped it open and grabbed the dusty pen jammed into his shirt pocket. He clicked it to life, dotting his tongue to start the ink flowing, and then held it like a club over the sweat-stained paper. He was probably the last cop in America who even used paper, a renegade, a rebel who couldn’t play by the rules, even if those rules made entering, storing and retrieving data so much easier.
All the whiskey and divorces and fights and nights alone came crashing down around his shoulders and he lashed out to avoid even one second of introspection. “What do you see?” he shouted at the youngest of the rookie cops, a boy in the knight blue armor of all the men who came before him, a child who picked up the badge reluctantly and only to appease his father, the cold and distant commissioner.
“I don’t know,” the boy said, shrinking back.
The detective grinned like a wolf over a lamb, revealing a row of even, white teeth — even rebels could practice good oral hygiene — and a deep-seated mean streak. “Useless. How about you toots?”
She bristled at the diminutive hurled at her from the washed-out detective, and raised her chin higher defiantly. She couldn’t know it yet, but they would be lovers before the sun came up again.
Who is dead? Read the rest of this VERY short faux-crime scene story over at OMNI MYSTERY>>
A single word, a powerful question, and a very apt title for a recent review of Rough Trails and Shallow Graves, the third book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection.
“What? That is exactly what I thought when I finished reading The Cowboy and the Vampire: Rough Trails and Shallow Graves by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall. I am completely stunned by the ending of book three in the Cowboy and the Vampire series. I have been sitting here trying to collect my thoughts because I must be in a type of book shock where the ending of the book was so unexpected that I don’t know what to think.”
Read the full review over at Willenator’s World and check out all the other great thoughts about books and such at one of our new favorite book blogs. The authors will be doing an interview at WW soon. Stay tuned!