Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Cowboy and the Vampire Review, Interview and Giveaway

The Cowboy and the Vampire

By Clark Hayes and Kathleen McFall

Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: MIDNIGHT INK Release Date: October 8, 2010
ISBN-10: 0738721611
ISBN-13: 978-0738721613

Reporter Lizzie Vaughan doesn’t realize it, but she has 2,000 years of royal Vampiric blood coursing through her veins. Neither she nor Tucker, her cowboy lover, has any idea that Julius, the leader of the undead, has a diabolical plan to reign over darkness for all eternity—with Lizzie at his side.

Lizzie battles for her life—and her soul—as she and Tucker find themselves caught up in a vampire war, pursued by hordes of Julius’ maniacal, bloodthirsty followers.

Who will be left standing when the sun rises?

“Deliciously dark.”—BOOKLIST

Learn more at and

My Thoughts:

I have to say I was not at all sure what I was getting myself into when I read this book, the title of the book kinda made me stop and go hhmmm, I wonder what this will be like, but like the old saying goes "don't judge a book by it's cover".  I was shocked into silence while reading this book, I could not believe a book with this title had me mesmerized to the point that I could not put it down. Now I know what your thinking, your all thinking "Oh Nattie, how could a book about a Vampire and a Cowboy possibly be any good, what is he her snack" LOL.  All I can say is please trust me, I haven't steered you wrong yet (at least I hope I haven't) :)

This is probably the most original story for a Vampire book that I have ever read.  The characters were well played out and all worked together to make a wonderful story.  Tucker (the cowboy), well I just love Tucker, he doesn't hold back and calls it like he see's it, with his cowboy twang, horse (Snort), dog (Rex), ranch, his father and friend Lenny.  Now Lenny, his character is a little out of the ordinary, he's paranoid of everything and the only member of the LonePine militia and makes the most eccentric weapons anyone's seen, I really liked Lenny, he made me laugh and I would love to see more of his character.  Lizzie, poor Lizzie, she and Tucker really did fit well together, her character whined a little more than I liked for a main character, but I had to stop and remember if I had been turned into a vampire against my will and had to fight for my life every step of the way I'd whine a bit often as well. Lizzie's character was (even with the whining) a strong hot tempered at times, willing to go through anything if it meant she was with Tucker.

All the rest of the character's you cant help but adore, well except Julius (he's the bad guy) but even for him you have to feel a little bit of pity for him.  Elita, I didn't like her at all in the beginning of the story, but she has this tendency of growing on you, and by the end of the book you almost like her lol.  I would really like to see more of her character as well. Lazarus (yes the real Lazarus) Satan himself, I liked as well.  All of them really fit together and made this a great story.  I really hope there is a second book.  I highly recommend this book, it was the most surprising read I have had the pleasure of picking up. This book has made me laugh, gasp with disbelief, made me smile, and couldn't stop thinking about it when I couldn't read it.  It has suspense, some horror, some mystery, with some romance in the mix. I really hope ya'll (that's my cowgirl twang) lol pick up a copy of this book it is well worth the read, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I had the pleasure of doing an interview with the Authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall a husband and wife team.  Clark and Kathleen I welcome you to the Purple Jelly Bean Chair Reviews, thank you for visiting and talking with me today, also don't forget to fill out for the giveaway,  Giveaways include 1 signed first edition of the original publication from 1999 and 5 signed copies 
of the current paperback edition Open to US Shipping

What is your name and where do you call home? 
Hi, I’m Kathleen McFall and I call Portland, Ore., home, but I was born and raised in the heart of Washington, DC.
Hi, I’m Clark Hays and I also call Portland home. I was born in Texas, lived in Alaska and Scotland and then grew up on a ranch in Montana raised by wolves (I wish!).

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
Our most recent book is The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Darkly Romantic Mystery. It’s a love story with plenty of humor, Gothic chills and action. Sparks fly and blood flows when worlds collide.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
Tucker: “I’ve been living alone for a pretty long time, so falling in love with Lizzie — a city girl — caught me off guard. She’s a Vampire too, did I mention that? I mean, she wasn’t when we first met. Apparently there’s a whole mess of blood suckers who would love to get their undead hands on her. They’ll have to go through me first. Me and my dog Rex.”

Lizzie: “This has been a weird year. Falling for a cowboy is so out of character for me. My article about the Last Cowboy got rave reviews, but then I was kidnapped and killed. I got over the being dead part, but now I’ve got the whole Vampire thing to deal with and a bunch of crazies chasing after me. Dying sucks. Dying every morning sucks even more. I’m so thankful I have Tucker watching over me during the daylight.”

Elita: “I’m bored. If I don’t get out of the god-forsaken hellhole that is LonePine, Wyoming, soon, someone dies. Horribly and slowly.”

Dad: “I hate Vampires. ‘Cept for Lizzie. She’s something special. No surprise she’s their queen. And if she can put up with my boy, she’s pretty tough too.”

Lenny: “I didn’t even believe in Vampires until, you know, recent events unfolded. I believe in them now, but I’m pretty sure the government created them in a secret lab in the 50s.”

Julius: “The era of the human is over. They shall be consigned to their natural role as ambulatory blood bags to support our superior race. I shall rule over them and my kind, once I have Elizabeth Vaughn — or her blood at least — under my control.”

Lazarus: “I’ve been alive for more than 2,000 years —­ raised by the hand of the messiah himself — and spent much of that time battling my old friend Julius to preserve good in the world. After all that time, I still think HoHos might be the single best creation of the human world. They are chocolate cakes with an irresistible cream filling.”

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
We are hard at work on Blood and Whiskey, the first in a trilogy that picks up where The Cowboy and the Vampire leaves off. It’s set in LonePine and features intrigues in the Vampire world stretching across the globe and across centuries, a band of actual cowboy Vampires, a blood farm and, of course, Rex —  Tucker’s long-suffering and overly-sensitive dog.

At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer?
Clark: In fourth grade, I distinctly remember getting a rush from hearing my stories read out loud and noting the response, the laughter and (mostly) groans, from my classmates. I was hooked.

Kathleen: I think I always knew, but never fully committed until after I spent ten years being a geologist. That led to science writing, which eventually led me to fiction.  

What or who inspired you to write?
Clark: I was an avid reader from the moment I could make sense of words. I owe that to mom and dad for reading to me, and encouraging me to read, as a child. Growing up on a ranch in Montana, surrounded by silence, I read everything I could get my hands on including, not surprisingly, a lot of western fiction. All of that reading provided fertile ground for creative writing.

Kathleen: I’ve always been shy, especially while growing up, and I escaped from my timidity by immersing myself completely in stories, getting to know the characters as if they were my own friends. Early on, I was oddly attracted only to the classics — from Austen, Tolstoy, Turgenev — and the power these writers had over me was complete, inspiring me to follow their lead.

When you start to write a new novel, what is the process for you, do you start with a small idea and when you sit to write is that when the story starts to flow, or, before you start to write do you already have the whole story worked out?
When we first wrote The Cowboy and the Vampire ten years ago, we used it as a vehicle to test our rekindled relationship. It was a wonderful and romantic process, but probably a little more chaotic than our current writing process. For the first go round, the evolution of our relationship drove the story almost as much as we did. At heart, it’s a love story about what happens when opposites attract, fall in love and then face the expected challenges of a new relationship. Of course, in the book, that challenge was a bloodthirsty army of Vampires.

The book was rereleased a decade later in 2010 (thanks Twilight!) and since then we’ve gotten a lot better at working together. For the book we’re currently writing, Blood and Whiskey, we sketched out the entire plotline in advance. We were on a road trip to Ashland, Ore., for a book fair and told ourselves the story as we drove.
From the resulting roadmap, we were able to write several chapters and then we revisit the roadmap, make adjustments, and keep rolling. The process helped us finish a strong first draft in about six months, even though we both have significant day jobs in communications.

When you write, do you write from start to finish, or in the middle, or at the end first?
Our process is mostly linear. We may skip ahead by a few chapters, but only if we know exactly what our characters need to be doing to move the plot along.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?
Absolutely. Several of the characters in The Cowboy and the Vampire are based on friends and family, including Lenny, the weapons-improvising conspiracy theory-loving survivalist. We’re both veteran people watchers, spending our spare time (there’s not much of it these days) cataloguing character traits to use for our characters.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why? 
We joke about the problem of absorbing the styles of other authors — the literary tofu paradigm — so we don’t read much genre fiction while we’re working. But we are insatiable readers.

Clark reads mostly nonfiction — he’s currently reading Sand: The Never-Ending Story (Welland) and was blown away by The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival (Vaillant).

Kathleen reads mostly fiction from around the world. She’s reading a series of thrillers set in Iceland by Arnaldur Indridason. She considers all the books of John Le Carre to be an inspiration.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
Clark: I would like to have met Sartre (his Nausea remains one of my favorites) and H.P. Lovecraft (to find out if he really knew something about the other side or was just incredibly creative). At a book expo when The Cowboy and the Vampire first came out, I had a chance to meet Patrick Macnee who had just written a book about his experiences on The Avengers. I wouldn’t put him in the category of “author” — like, say, Victor Hugo — but I grew up watching The Avengers and I was completely dumbstruck when it was my turn to get him to sign a copy.

Kathleen: I’d like to meet any of the great 19th century Russian writers. Tolstoy would be cool to talk to, but Dostoyevsky would probably be up for a night out drinking and gambling.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
All three! We love our hard cover books, especially some of our rare books like a first edition Bram Stoker and a first edition of Heyday of a Wizard. They are substantial and serious. We love paperbacks too, because they are easy to carry around and not as expensive — and also because The Cowboy and the Vampire is one! And we are growing to love ebooks. We just got a Kindle, and an iPad, and love the idea of carrying hundreds (thousands?) of books on one compact device. Both The Cowboy and the Vampire and Red Winter, a new novella from Clark (featuring cowboy and Vampires in LonePine circa 1890) are available in eBook format. With so many options, so many ways to connect with readers, it’s an exciting time to be an author. 

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?
The Cowboy and the Vampire was published in 1999 by Llewellyn. It was rereleased in 2010 by Midnight Ink, an imprint of Llewellyn. We are excited by the rapid changes in the publishing industry and are embracing the “indie author” movement. Red Winter is the first of many books to be published under our own imprint, Pumpjack Press. 

Have you ever read a book more than once?
Clark: I’ve read Les Miserables more than once and I have lots of books I’d like to read again, but can’t seem to find the time. More importantly, I have several books in my stacks that I keep meaning to read — starting even — but haven’t finished yet like Being and Nothingness (Sartre) and Porius (John Cowper Powys).

Kathleen: Never completely or intentionally. I sample books I’ve read before, for memorable passages. Once or twice, I’ve forgotten that I’ve already read something already, so yeah, in that case I guess I have almost read a book more than once. My memory catches up usually the first chapter when I meet up with all my “old friends.”

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?
We both enjoy reading so much, and letting our brains fill in the visuals, that even movies we love — from Blade Runner to Anna Karenina to Apocalypse Now — seem more like a standalone work of art based on a similar theme. It’s like the difference between listening to a symphony and seeing a painting capturing that artist’s interpretation of the music. Two wildly different forms of art organized around common themes.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (electronic/paperback/hardcover)? 
Clark: Cruelty: Human Evil and the Human Brain by Kathleen E. Taylor in hardcover.

Kathleen: Giraffe by Jonathan Ledgard

What is the best advice that you can give to aspiring writers?
Fall in love with and marry another writer! That way, you can always count on emotional support to pursue your calling and cross pollination of creative ideas. Short of that: tenacity. Aspiring writers should know that this is a great time to be writing with so many channels to get published and no gatekeepers. But that also means readers call the shots. So you have to be exacting — no mistakes — and open to feedback. It’s a long and arduous process to take that first flush of creativity and turn it into something that will sell. Writers today have to be half creative genius, half ruthless proof reader and half savvy marketer. Luckily, you don’t have to be good with numbers.

Cats or dogs?
We love both. Our dog Rex was such a profound influence in our lives that he made it into our book as a main character. We also love cats and it is likely that Silver — the best cat in the world — will make it into our next book.

Where can your readers follow you? 

Our Facebook page:

Twitter: @cowboyvamp

Kathleen’s author page
Clark’s author page
Smashwords: Pumpjack Press 

Book trailer:


  1. Another interesting, enlightening and enjoyable interview - thank you! My question today is about pet peeves. What are your pet peeves? Do Tucker and Lizzie have pet peeves they want to share? Thanks!

  2. Hi Karen. Kathleen has some odd pet peeves: intermissions during plays, muppets (yep, seriously) and loud flossing. Clark's pet peeves are more mainstream: inattentive drivers, loud talkers and "chit chat."

    As for Tucker, we would imagine his pet peeves might include clueless city folks and angry Vampires. And warm beer. Lizzie would probably be peeved by never having enough time to read, lack of decent wine in LonePine and of course angry Vampires.

    Hmmm, "angry vampires" -- maybe there's an iPhone game in there somewhere?

  3. Cowboys and vampires - my two favorite things:) Really love the cover and great interview! I love that you've based some of your characters on family and friends. Do you have an anticipated date of release for the second book in the trilogy?

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Great cover interview and review !!! A question I always ask an author for an interview is if they have based any of there characters on people tey know and normally its a little here and there its always fun !! What do they think have you told them lol !!! Look forward to reading your book, I am from the land down under but have a friends birthday coming up in the Us she would love this book, she to loves cowboys and vampires !!! ;) thanks for the fab giveaway !!


  5. Hi Katrina! Australia is on our short list of places we MUST visit soon. When we get the "international literary domination -- errr -- publicity tour lined up, we'll be sure to include the land down under. As for your question, the friends most closely modeled in the book know, for sure. The others just have to guess. We were joking yesterday that the people in our lives who irritate us the most will likely end up as victims in the next book! Cheers!

  6. Thanks Karen I had fun writing it, its such an awesome book, I hope you get a chance to read it. :) good luck.

    @yadkny love the cowboys and vampires, who wouldnt love them both in the same book :) good luck

    @Katrina, thanks Kat, good question, good luck with the giveaway. :)

  7. Seems you loved it as much as I did!
    I whole heartedly agree with your review, this book is great, and beautifully written!

    As you loved it, maybe you might wanna drop by at my The Cowboy and the Vampire Weekend?

    New follower, too. :)