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Friday, December 2, 2011


Cowboy or Vampire?

Use this handy field guide to distinguish between these two unique species and prevent potentially fatal mix ups.

As the coauthors of The Cowboy and the Vampire, we have developed extensive expertise when it comes to these two species. We want to share our knowledge with you, readers of For the Love of Reading, so you have the very latest information available. Think of this as a field guide to help you quickly spot the difference between Cowboys and Vampires to avoid confusion that could prove terminal.

First, as little bit about the species.

The North American Cowboy (Barbarus self-sufficicus) is a relatively new species evolving in the beautiful, challenging environment of the America West in the mid-1800s. Known for their rugged self-sufficiency, limited vocabulary and hardy musculature, the Cowboy flourished until the early 1900s when, due to a combination of shrinking habitat and encroaching civilization, their numbers began to shrink precipitously. The Cowboy still exists in pockets throughout the Americas, though their future is far from certain. It’s worth noting that some modern scholars believe many of the notable characteristics of the Cowboy— rugged individualism, self-sufficiency, strength, etc. — can be found in various cultures throughout the world. Including Finland.

By contrast, the reclusive Vampire (Nocturnes terrriblis) has thrived, albeit in limited numbers, for thousands of years in virtually all cultures and climates. Sunshine-averse, the Vampire can most often be found skulking about in drafty old castles or near cemeteries. Vampires need the blood of humans to survive and have evolved as a cunning super predator able to easily manipulate their prey through a combination of superior intellect, sexual prowess and possibly mesmeric power.

To help ensure quick and accurate identification of the two species, we have prepared a list of common characteristics to help you spot the difference between Cowboys and Vampires:

  • Cowboys are often up at sunrise, ready to do a full day’s work. Vampires are nowhere to be seen in the daylight and avoid any kind of work.
  • Cowboys are tanned and strong from all of that work, with broad shoulders and rough hands. Vampires are pale, their skin is smooth and they look weak; that is not the case.
  • Cowboys are generally laconic, silent most of the time, and when they do speak, it is from the heart. Vampires are forever talking, enchanted by the sound of their own voices and forever trying to manipulate their victims into surrendering to their will.
  • Cowboys drink whiskey. Vampires drink blood; occasionally, they also drink very old, very expensive whiskey.   
  • Cowboys wear cowboy hats and boots. Vampires favor formal eveningwear and occasionally capes.
  • Cowboys often have stubble on their masculine jaws. Except for lustrous heads of usually very dark hair, Vampires are generally hairless and often androgynous in appearance.
  • Cowboys sleep on bedrolls under the stars. Vampires sleep in coffins in hidden rooms away from the sunlight.
  • Cowboys like steaks. Vampires hate stakes.
  • Cowboys enjoy slow dances that end with a chaste kiss. Vampires enjoy old fashioned waltzes that end with a crimson embrace.
  • Cowboys favor horses and pick-up trucks. Vampires favor horse drawn carriages, and occasionally hearses.
  • Cowboys are handy with six shooters and lassos. Vampires prefer shackles and sharp knives.
We hope these will help clarify some of the confusion around identifying Cowboys and Vampires. If you happen to spot one in the wild and you are unsure which species you have encountered, stay calm and try to remember these guidelines; it may be helpful to print them out and carry them with you. If you find a Cowboy, just act naturally and don’t make any sudden moves. They tend to spook very easily and you could scare them off. If it is a Vampire, well, good luck. Chances are you won’t survive the encounter. Whatever you do, don’t play dead; that only works for bears and it just makes Vampires angry. And don’t run; that makes them angry too. Your best bet is to beg and plead for your life while you fashion a wooden stake. Wait until they are close and then skewer them.

Note: Astute readers will notice we are only describing the males of the species. While Cowgirls and Vampiresses are indeed common in the wild, at least in some areas, our research on the two is ongoing and as yet incomplete. Initial data suggests they are by far the more powerful gender of the two species and should be approached with caution and respect. And flowers.

About the authors:

Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall have been researching the secret lives of Cowboys and Vampires since the publication of their first book The Cowboy and the Vampire: a very unusual romance. They are hard at work on the sequel, Blood and Whiskey, which will be released in early 2012. You can find more of their insights into these unique species by:

Read my 5 STAR Review of The Cowboy and The Vampire
part of Day 1 of The Cowboy and The Vampire Weekend!

On Saturday Day 2, Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall drop by for an Interview about "The Cowboy and The Vampire", the Sequel "Blood and Whiskey", writing and what you never knew about Tuker and Lizzie before this!

And you definitely don't want to miss Day 3, the Signed copy of "The Cowboy and The Vampire" Giveaway tomorrow, Sunday 4th!

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