WELCOME, CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL, AUTHORS OF BLOOD AND WHISKEY
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Writing together, especially romances, can make for strange jealousies.
By: Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
In 1999, we came up with a radical plan to save our romance: write together. We had just reunited after an epic break up that required a several-year cooling off period. When a not-so-chance meeting rekindled the flames, we decided to channel some of the excess passion into a joint creative project to hopefully avoid total combustion.
The Cowboy and the Vampire: A Darkly Romantic Mystery (Midnight Ink, 2010) — and a newly entangled romance — was the result. This May, we finished our second book, Blood and Whiskey, and we learned something important: our characters lead far more romantic lives than we do.
Of course, they’re also dealing with murderous vampire hordes, cold-blooded killers straight out of the old west, biblical prophecies, undead race wars and the care and feeding of an overly-sensitive dog-cow-dog named Rex. But even with all of that, and even setting aside the fact they are from very different worlds — she needs human blood to live, he’s more of whiskey drinker — Tucker and Lizzie have a romance for the ages.
It may be petty, but we’re kind of jealous.
And not just of the main characters. Elita, the fierce, sexy vampire warrior sworn to protect Lizzie, has seduced her way through half the undead world and left a trail of drained human bodies — stone cold dead but with smiles on their faces — stretching back thousands of years. In Blood and Whiskey, she finds herself sandwiched happily between a handsome Russian vampire, Rurik, and his supermodel human consort, Virote.
Us? Well, we find ourselves sandwiched between deadlines.
Early on, we figured that when romantic partners wrote together, it would involve far more reclining on satin sheets, sipping champagne and whispering sweet plotlines to one another. The truth is far less, well, romantic. Here’s what a typical exchange between us sounds like (names changed to protect the not-so-innocent):
Chuck: Did you finish your chapter yet?
Cathy: Almost, did you finish yours?
Chuck: I need about two hundred more words and a better description of the thing.
Cathy: What thing?
Chuck: The thing. In the mountains. With Elita.
Cathy: Oh yeah. I forgot about that. Should we talk about the next chapters?
Etc., until bed time.
Compare that to a scene from Blood and Whiskey featuring Tucker and Lizzie:
“Do you ever, you know, take a look when I’m dead? Does it turn you on to have a naked corpse next to you?”
“Woman, don’t be gross.”
“I’d probably take a peek. I mean, I do anyway, at least when you are sleeping. What’s the difference? It’s perfectly natural.” She nipped at his neck playfully.
“It’s un-natural. That’s why they call you un-dead.”
“Is what I’m feeling now, un-horny?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s the pregnancy hormones getting you all riled up.”
She unbuttoned her shirt and slipped his hand under, molding it around her breast and they both sighed. “You sure you haven’t felt me up when I’m cold and dead? I wouldn’t mind. And I wouldn’t know it if you, you know, did stuff to me.”
“No. I mean, yeah, I’m sure. I’d like to do stuff to you now though.”
“I like that idea.”
Is it any wonder we’re a little jealous?
Still, just in case it sounds like we’re complaining, we don’t write all the time. And the passion we channel into our characters has to come from somewhere.
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