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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

Today I have the pleasure of having the wonderful
writing team of Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall.

Details for their giveaways will follow their post.

Thanks for being here today!!!



Paranormal Romance: Vampires, Ghosts and Werewolves Optional

Writing fiction together and staying in love for more than a decade leads us to the inescapable conclusion that all romances are paranormal.

Paranormal (from the Greek for “beyond”) is a term typically applied to experiences that lie outside normal experiences or current scientific explanation. Lately, the word is often paired up with “romance” to characterize a kind of fiction that features elements of the supernatural. (Shameless plug: A perfect example is The Cowboy and the Vampire). As paranormal romance authors, we love the depth, intrigue and sensuality of these Gothic elements, but lately we’ve been wondering if the title is a bit misleading.
What romance isn’t paranormal?

For anyone lucky enough to experience a romantic attraction, it’s anything but normal. It makes your heart do funny things like skip beats or speed up, it makes you weak in the knees, it makes you do crazy stunts, and it physically hurts you when you’re not with the person you love. Romantic relationships almost by definition are beyond “normal.” Even though scientists may perfectly understand what’s causing all the various chemical and physiological reactions, they will likely never understand why the body goes haywire when certain pairs of eyes meet across the room.

We are still caught up in a paranormal romance some 15 years after our eyes first met across the stainless steel counter at a busy vegetarian restaurant. It was Kathleen’s first day as a waitress and Clark was working as a sous-chef in the kitchen. There above the rosemary chicken and Hungarian mushroom soup, our eyes met, our souls collided and our poor bodies experienced all sorts of unexpected reactions from floods of endorphins to swarms of stomach butterflies. Obviously, paranormal forces were at work. We never stood a chance.

Even though it took a few tries, and several years, to get all of that energy under control and focused into a relationship, being together today still feels like something way, way beyond normal.
And writing helps.

We write together as a team. The Cowboy and the Vampire came out of the recognition that there was something magical about our relationship. Two creative people from opposite worlds — Kathleen was born and raised in the heart of Washington, DC, Clark in the wide open spaces of Montana — with vastly different backgrounds (Clark grew up hunting and reading Louis L’Amour, Kathleen grew up marching in protests and reading Susan Sontag) coming together in a passionate cataclysm …

The clash of cultures love story at the heart of our own relationship carried over into The Cowboy and the Vampire. A good old boy, Tucker, falls for an ambitious city girl, Lizzie, who just happens to be a Vampire (even though she doesn’t know it yet). Even though they have nothing in common, the “paranormal” part of their romance gives them the power and conviction to face down all odds, including a horde of evil Vampires bent on their destruction.

Surviving against all odds and in spite of the natural tendency for things to degrade and decay is what any romance is about.

It’s not all roses and poetry and swirling supernatural energies for us. We have our share of “normal” fights. For example, Clark readily admits to flossing too loudly and vigorously. Kathleen has a low tolerance for loud, vigorous flossing. After many ridiculous fights, Clark now flosses in the hall and that entire sequence made it into the sequel we are currently working on, Blood and Whiskey as Tucker and Lizzie come to grips with their new life:

“All I really want is to have our baby and grow old with you and fight about stupid stuff like why you floss so goddamn loudly. But that’s not going to happen, is it? I can’t grow old, I can’t have a normal life, I can’t not kill people and the only possible solution I can think of is to just take my own life and be done with it. Is that what you want?”

Her fury subsided and she focused on the French fries suffocating under a congealing mass of brown gravy, stabbing them angrily with a fork. The silence stretched on between them until Tucker took a deep breath. “I really floss too loud?”

She choked out a sound that was half laughter and half anguish. “Yes, you do. It sounds likes you’re playing the fucking violin with your teeth. But I don’t care. I mean, I do care, it drives me batshit, but those are the kinds of things I want to fight about, not all of these huge, ridiculous things impossible things like how do I keep the Serpents from killing off humans and who do I feed on to stay alive without feeling like a sadistic freak. Mostly I can’t bear it that you think I’m some kind of monster.”
Flossing aside, we are happy to be part of a relationship that exists far beyond the normal. It’s a paranormal relationship, but aren’t they all?

About the book:
The Cowboy and the Vampirehttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=sb04e-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0738721611 brings together two of the most iconic characters — cowboys and vampires — and crashes them together in a story about love, culture clash and, of course, evil plans to take over the world. We’ve thrown in a healthy dose of laugh-out-loud humor, a rich portrayal of life in the modern West and fresh new take on the Vampire myth (religion meets evolutionary biology).

One of our favorite scenes from The Cowboy and the Vampire:
This scene takes place after a VERY romantic interlude high in the mountains just before the Vampires show up and ruin everything. Tucker convinces Lizzie to go skinny dipping and the water is much colder than expected:
She let out a blood-curdling shriek and sprinted buck naked for the house, narrowly missing Dad’s truck as he clattered up over the hill. If she was embarrassed she chose not to show it, just kept on running until she hit the cabin and slammed the door closed behind her.
Dad got out and hitched up his pants. “Bet that water’s cold.”
I pulled on my pants and boots and nodded my head. “Yep.
What the hell are you doing up here?”
“Tucker, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your trailer burned down.”
“What? Are you sure?”
“I think I know what a burnt trailer looks like.”
“Everything?” I asked, and he nodded.
We walked to the cabin and found Lizzie inside, fully dressed, wrapped in a blanket and sitting by the fire holding a cup of tea.
She looked at me hard. “You said it wasn’t cold. Jump in, you said. Invigorating, you said.”
“Tucker always did have a strange sense of humor,” Dad said, pouring himself a cup of coffee from the pot as I pulled on a flannel shirt.
“I wonder who I got that from?” I asked.
“Tucker’s trailer burned down,” Dad repeated to Lizzie.
“What?” Lizzie asked.
“Am I that hard to understand? It burned down. Ain’t nothing left. Coffee’s a tad bitter.”
“That’s the only coffee I got. Did Roy come out?” Roy was the fire chief in LonePine. He was also the brand inspector, justice of the peace, and sold vitamins mail order. Dad nodded a confirmation.
“What’d he say?” I asked.
“He said it looked like your trailer burned down.”

The Cowboy and the Vampire
By Clark Hays 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

Book trailer on youtube:

Reviews:

While mashing up all the stereotypical plot elements of Paranormal Vampire and Contemporary Western Romance, THE COWBOY AND THE VAMPIRE delivers unremitting fun, and a damn good read. --Diana Troldahl, Freshfiction.com

"The Cowboy and the Vampire" ... combined their interests - Hays grew up on a ranch, McFall was curious about religion and history - and was an experiment to see whether they could live and work together. --Jeff Baker, The Oregonian

...husband and wife writing duo Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall has succeeded in writing a unique story among all the vampire books that are out there today. --Bertena Varney, examiner.com

I enjoyed The Cowboy and the Vampire; the quirky characters, the new mythology of vampires, and the focus upon the uncertainty between evil and good. --Joanne L. -- LuxuryReading.com

The vampires in this book are Hays and McFall's own version and have an interesting link to early Christianity ... Some are good, some are less good, and some are joyfully bad. --Book Lovers Inc.


About the authors:
Kathleen McFall was born and raised in Washington, DC, and her experiences there, from protests and riots to hanging out in the corridors of the Supreme Court and wandering around the Capitol, filled her sense of place with history and granite. A geologist by training, she excelled in technical writing, translating complex scientific papers into engaging articles. Those skills are now focused on paranormal fiction. An avid reader, she spends every spare moment working with Clark Hays on their next book Blood and Whiskey.
Clark Hays was born in Texas and grew up mostly in Scotland and then Montana on a working ranch doing all the expected cowboy things — riding, roping, hunting and branding cattle. The majestic landscape and the solitude (the nearest neighbor was five miles away, the nearest town – 2,500 people – was 30 miles away) provided a constant source of inspiration, very little distractions and a chance to really be alone with his thoughts. In this solitude, he found his calling — writing — early. He’s currently working on Blood and Whiskey with Kathleen McFall.

Follow us on Twitter: @cowboyvamp

And check out the novella Red Winter, by Clark Hays, edited by Kathleen McFall, released exclusively as an e-book in August. What happens when the first Vampire makes it to the Old West in 1890?

 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

Winners will be chosen from all of those who enter via the form,

leave comments at tour stops for bonus entries

you can also enter at each tour stop
link to form:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDRzb09JejgzbXA5VmZYd0x5RWZSaFE6MQ


Good luck to everyone!!!


Thanks again for stopping today, Clark and Kathleen!!

2 comments:

  1. I love both scenes described in the post - laugh out loud funny!

    Still thinking about all romances being paranormal....

    kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Karen! Maybe we should amend that to say the "best" romances are paranormal.

    ReplyDelete