We’ve sent authors Clark and Kathleen on a road trip to celebrate the completion of the last book in The Cowboy and Vampire Collection. Let the copy editing, cover design and other details commence while they wander. Follow along on the road trip on twitter @cowboyvamp!
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 »
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 5000-acre 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. Breaking: Pumpjack Press will publish a collection of columns. Look for Dear Cowboy: Advice from the dying American West in late 2015. #cowboylove
Learn from the mistakes, and tiny, inappropriate victories, of a guerrilla book marketing campaign
Not too long ago, Kathleen and I launched an experimental marketing campaign called #50DaysofFiverr. We wanted to tap into the staggering wealth of creative talent available on Fiverr.com and use the experience as a springboard to build our brand and raise awareness about our books. Fiverr is a platform that allows you to contract with artists and designers and all manner of creative folks from around the world — it’s like the Star Wars cantina for creativity — for a starting price of $5.
Need an original sketch? Five bucks. A video of an Italian dude ironing his shirts and reading your script? Five bucks. An original rap song? Five bucks. A cartoon? Well, you can probably see where this is going. As broke thrifty indie authors constantly looking for a marketing edge, we were entranced. The idea behind 50 Days of Fiverr was simple: purchase 50 gigs (that’s the hip, cool way they talk about products) — from art to video testimonials — and run them for 50 days straight on our “big three” social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Read the rest of this entry »
Riveting, wickedly funny, existential, brilliantly written, authentically western …
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. Riveting. – Kirkus Reviews
One of the funniest and most engaging series I have read in a long time. – Bitten by Books
Pour yourself a shot of the good stuff and settle in for a wickedly good read. – The Eastern Oregonian
Unremitting fun, and a damn good read. – Fresh Fiction
Go ahead. You’re trying not to laugh at the title. Let it out! It’s funny and so is the book; sly and adult. – SF Site Featured Review
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
A choice and very much recommended read, not to be missed. – Midwest Book Review
From Writastic Thoughts from the Thinking Realm: Zany Grey!
“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.” Read more of this review
From The Avid Reader
“This is 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.” Read more of this review
If you need ANOTHER reason to check out the latest issue of Gothic Beauty Magazine, the first book of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection is is reviewed in it: “…an exciting and engaging read,” and “It’s an interesting, and somewhat comical contrast — watching cowboy Tucker and his dad face off against a smooth and sexy clan of vampires.” They get it…
A reader crafted this “album cover” for the The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection, imagining the story as a collection of songs. What songs would they be? What type of music? Country western maybe, the real stuff, of course. Whisky-throated. Or maybe Industrial Trance with a lot of whistling. Tell us what you think.
This was drawn by “kandygraphics” from Sri Lanka.
Proud! Pumpjack Press is pleased to announce that The Cowboy and the Vampire: Rough Trails and Shallow Graves by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall has been named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Here’s an excerpt of the Kirkus review of the third book in this Gothic western series:
“With pulse-pounding action, ongoing intrigue over the fate of vampire-kind, and the tumultuous struggles of Tucker and Lizzie’s love story, Hays and McFall once again deliver a thoroughly entertaining novel for readers to sink their teeth into.”
“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.