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Rough Trails and Shallow Graves by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall‏

Between the two of them, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have worked in writing jobs ranging from cowboy-poet to energy journalist to restaurant reviewer to university press officer. After they met, their writing career took center stage when they wrote the first book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection as a test for marriage. They passed. Clark and Kathleen now live in Portland, Oregon.

@cowboyvamp (Twitter)
@cowboyvampire (Instagram)

Say goodbye to LonePine, Wyoming, a typical small town in the American west with typical small town problems — romantic intrigues, warm beer and vampires.

When Lizzie goes missing on their wedding night, Tucker is forced to team up with his bloodthirsty Russian nemesis to find answers. Crashing through cowboy country, the vampire spirit world and wrecked salmon canneries, they confront an evil more ancient than even the undead — human greed — twisting science into something terrible.

Can there be a happily-ever-after for a cowboy and vampire, or is their unusual love just a delusion? Time to cowboy up.

This is the third book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection.

Available at Amazon

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Love, and probably just a bit of sadomasochism. This is the third book we’ve written together and apparently our relationship requires tons of creative work, long hours and lots of arguing.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
It took us about a year to write The Cowboy and the Vampire: Rough Trails and Shallow Graves. We’re getting better. We published book one — The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Very Unusual Romance — in 1999 and it was more than a decade before we finished book two, The Cowboy and the Vampire: Blood and Whiskey. We’re epic procrastinators.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Two things really stand out: one is getting feedback from readers that the writing really moved them, resonated with them deeply. That’s magic. We also love those moments of kinetic creative output when everything clicks and the words are flowing out faster than you can write or type, each one of them exactly what you want and coming from some place that seems almost otherworldly. All the rest of it — the discipline, the marketing, the editing — is kind of hard and pretty boring. It helps that we can work together to share the load. Oops, spoiler alert for the next question.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Anything that is not literally creative writing can get tedious — editing, proofing (it’s insane how typos continue to pop up after like, literally, 10,000 read-throughs), marketing. Marketing has to be the worst though. There are so many great books out there and not enough ways for authors or small presses to reach readers, not without draining your bank account at least. That’s why sites like yours are so damn important for indie authors. And we are constantly thinking about other ways to reach people on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Goodreads and standing on the corner shouting through a bullhorn…whatever.

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
There’s a long list of crazy, creative, cool people we’d love to hack for a day, but I think we’d both be most interested in switching places with each other. We have such wildly, jarringly different brains and filters and ways of looking at the world; getting to swap for 24 hours and experience things as the other person would no doubt supercharge our writing and bring us even closer together. Or drive us both instantly mad. There would have to be an ironclad “no funny business” rule, though, because that would be weird.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
We verified this: it’s a jar of exorbitantly expensive pickled beets. Thanks for the reminder. We’re totally putting those on our salad tomorrow.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
We’ve got at least one more book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection that will follow the romantic trajectory of Tucker and Lizzie. We’ve also talked about spinning off some of our vampires, like fan favorite Elita, into their own novels set in different eras, but first we have a new series to debut. We introduced a new character in book three, Wilhelmina “Wil” Clarion — Tucker’s cousin, who is getting her own detective series set in our current hometown of Portland, Ore. Book one of the new series is nearing the finish line and we hope to kill, dismember and bury our tendency to procrastinate in order to release it by the end of the year.