Why independent publishing? Because it’s authentic. Because I want full creative control of my writing and how it is presented to the world. Because I don’t want to compromise my vision for the sake of focus groups and target demographics. Because writing, like all art, is ultimately a relationship between the author and the reader and I want that relationship to be based on truth. Yes, it’s harder and yes the risks are higher, but so is the payoff. If you aren’t willing to take a chance on yourself, invest in yourself and your writing, why should readers? In this day and age, when social media makes it easier than ever to connect, the more important question is why would anyone choose traditional publishing and give up so much in the process? #PoweredbyIndie, #BetOnYourself – Clark Hays
We are excited to be part of an amazing group of paranormal authors who have joined forces to raise money for, well, wait for it, BLOOD! 20% of all royalties earned during the month of October will be donated to the American Red Cross or Canadian Blood Services.
Joining us today from the pages of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection is Lenny, a survivalist and improvised weapons expert with some peculiar political views. He’s the long-time friend of Tucker and has, by necessity, become an expert in making weapons capable of dispatching the undead.
Hello Lenny, welcome. What did you bring with you today? This? It’s a reverse surveillance tracker I made out of an old cassette recorder, a GPS unit and an electric toothbrush. I want to be able to monitor whoever it is monitoring this conversation to find out where they are broadcasting from.
Lenny, is fair to say you are a conspiracy theorist? Not really, no. “Theorist” implies that it’s hypothetical. There’s nothing in doubt here. I prefer to think of myself as a conspiracy realist.
Can you describe a few of the plots you think are real? You’d like that, wouldn’t you?
Pardon me? I mean, you’re part of the mainstream media. You’re in on it. You have your role to play, keeping us distracted and uninformed, and you’re doing a great job by the way, but I know you’re in on it. You’re all in on it.
What is “it,” exactly? Only the single largest transfer of wealth since the 19th century rise of the robber barons.
And the wealth is being transferred to … ? You are really going to make me say it, aren’t you? Off planet.
All good things must, eventually, come to an end — including vampires. Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have penned the fourth and last book in The Cowboy and the Vampire series. “The Last Sunset” brings a close to the tale of Lizzie, Tucker and the rest of the gang with a finale that will leave you covered in blood and begging for more. It’s sexy, it’s funny, it’s scary, and it will get your heart jumping like a pickup truck on an old county road. Read the full review.
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….
This was drawn by “kandygraphics” from Sri Lanka.
“With a unique take on vampires, The Last Sunset is a stellar conclusion to a fantastic series with choice elements from romance, paranormal, horror, and westerns. It grabs readers from the first page and never lets go. Even for new readers, Hays and McFall’s story is captivating, the characters are vibrant, the world lived-in, and the mythology uniquely engaging.
“The Last Sunset is the fourth book in The Cowboy and the Vampire series. This time around, everything Tucker holds dear is once again threatened. A sinister cult obsessed with death ruthlessly hound vampires while recruiting lost humans in the hopes of taking over the world. Tucker’s lost love Lizzie serves a vampire queen attempting to civilize her tribe into honoring the rules and hunting only when necessary. The cult, Lizzie and her kind, and Tucker all collide in LonePine with the fate of the world in the balance. In a refreshing twist on the standard vampire lore, vampires experience death every dawn and are separated from their bodies until nightfall brings their spiritual form back to the corporeal.” >> Read the full five-star review at INDIE REVIEW #lastsunset
It’s just past midnight in the middle of nowhere. A battered old blue pickup truck is parked haphazardly, abandoned, by the side of a deserted highway. The engine is running and the driver’s door is thrown open. The headlights are on but fading fast, barely able to light up the barbed wire fence and the sagebrush beyond. Just beyond that, where the night seems even darker, something moves in the shadows. Inside the empty truck, the radio is blaring. The song, crackling with static: Hank Williams, “Your Cheating Heart.”
The soundtrack to true terror is classic country. Classic country from the 1950s and 1960s has the raw, heartbroken emotion of bone-deep despair that makes the blood run cold. The people of LonePine, Wyoming, like in most small towns in the slowly dying American West, know about heartbreak and economic despair. And ever since the undead showed up, they know about terror too. That’s probably why every pickup truck radio, every jukebox in every saloon, and every portable radio is belting out classic country while the rest of the world has moved on. Read the rest of this entry »
This contest is now concluded!
A big thank you to our readers! Enter now to win a signed copy of the fourth and final book of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection! 5 copies of The Last Sunset, a book Kirkus Reviews called “provocatively sensual, existential and outstandingly entertaining!” The East Oregonian newspaper said “It will get your heart jumping like a pick-up truck on an old county road.” Enter the giveaway here!
1. You write in a relatively unknown genre you call Western Gothic. What is it? Western Gothic is a style of fiction that transplants the moody, death-obsessed themes of classic gothic fiction (think Castle of Otranto or, of course, Dracula) to the wide open, inspiring vistas of the modern west (Riders of the Purple Sage or All the Pretty Horses).
Western Gothic exists in the negative space between dark and light. Gothic fiction uses the darkness–the creepy atmosphere, curious, obsessive behavior and morbid thoughts–to focus on the light, providing the perfect backdrop to illuminate the best in people: the desire to overcome death, to hope and to love.Westerns, ironically, use the light to set off the dark, weaving stories of good men pushed to the limits by the cruelty and avarice of others (usually tyrannical land owners) or the blind apathy of nature. Western Gothic lives in the borderlands between the two worlds, a forever twilight of gray nights and last sunsets. To put it in contemporary terms, it’s Longmire meets Preacher.
We suspect we may have unintentionally invented the genre with The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection, a series of four books set in the modern rural west and featuring sexy, brooding vampires bent on world domination. Since the first book’s publication in 1999, we’re happy to see a few others trying out the genre.
2. Why Western Gothic and when did you first start writing in the genre?
We love writing in the Western Gothic genre because we get to explore huge,archetypal themes about human consciousness, love and death, AND we get to move our characters across stunning natural landscapes with deconstructed shootouts and heart-pounding action. Add in the quirky humor natural to small towns and along-suffering cowdog with the soul of a poet–and some pretty steamy undead erotica–and we hope it makes for an unforgettable reading experience. Read the rest of this entry »
The reviews for The Last Sunset are rolling in….
“A rollicking ride, passionate, powerfully compelling.”
“The stakes are higher than ever in the latest chapter of this outstandingly entertaining series.”
“A finale that will leave you covered in blood and begging for more.”
“A terrific, original piece of vampire lore. It’s never a dull moment in Lone Pine, sometimes it’s scary, and sometimes it’s downright heart-wrenching. This final volume is no exception.”
“This is a fantastic and slightly off-beat series and I’m sad this is the last one and we’re saying goodbye to these guys.”
“Longmire meets Preacher!”
“These two authors nail every detail about ranch life, horses, and probably Vampires, perfectly.”
From the back cover:
Take one long, last look at LonePine, Wyoming, population 438. It’s been two years since the vampires quit the quirky little town and things are mostly back to normal — broken dreams and never enough whiskey. But that’s about to go to hell.
Hold on tight for a midnight showdown when a psychotic religious order takes the entire town hostage — including Tucker’s long-lost brother — to lure Lizzie from her frozen exile in Russia. The mad monks know Lizzie’s murder will strand the ruling vampire elite in a disembodied afterlife so the cult can impose their twisted beliefs on the living and undead alike. It’s a rip-roarin’ stampede as a cowboy and a vampire try to round up the shattered pieces of their unusual romance.
With the fate of the world on the line yet again, can Tucker and Lizzie put aside their broken hearts to face one last sunset together?
Slap leather or reach for the sky.
Click here to buy The Last Sunset