Altering the course of history: What if Bonnie and Clyde survived?

“An exciting ride, with tight corners, narrow escapes and real romantic heat between Bonnie and Clyde. Outlaws become patriots in this imaginative, suspenseful what-if story." Kirkus Reviews

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The story highlights the real-life turmoil of the 1930s—shadowy intrigue, plenty of suspects and enough behind-the-scenes and under-the-covers action to keep the narrative sizzling.”

“Crisply written, well-researched, thoroughly entertaining.”

“A Depression-era tale timely with reflections on wealthy fat cats and a rigged economic system that still ring true.”

The Texas Ranger looked up at Sal, a mixture of fear, respect and revulsion in his eyes.

“Let's pretend for a minute it wasn't Bonnie and Clyde in that ambush," he said. "Why? Why would it be different people in that car?”
“How would I know?" Sal asked. "I work for the government. I trust that the government has my best interests at heart. I follow orders. You didn't.”

“I won't be quiet about this unless you can tell me why anyone would try to save them murdering outlaws,” he said. 

“If they were still alive, I would tell you that everyone has a purpose in life, and perhaps they are fulfilling theirs. And if they were still alive, I would tell you that you don't use good dogs to guard the junkyard, you use the meanest goddamn dogs you can get a collar around,” Sal said. 

“Exceptional! A fantastic story.”

“Loved, loved it! Hated to finish it!!”

“The perfect escape.”

“This story deeply touched me.”

Bonnie and Clyde are saving democracy, one bank robbery at a time.

Bonnie and Clyde are saving democracy, one bank robbery at a time.

Book 1: Resurrection Road—The Return of Bonnie and Clyde

Who wants to kill the president? 

The story begins in 1984 when a reporter gets a tip to meet an old woman at a Texas cemetery. Cradling an antique rifle and standing over a freshly dug grave, the woman claims to be Bonnie Parker, 75 years old, there to bury the love of her life—who has just died—Clyde Barrow.  

Impossible, says the reporter. The murdering duo died 50 years ago. 

But the woman insists it wasn't Bonnie and Clyde who were ambushed and killed on that fateful day on a county road near Sailes, Louisiana in 1934. Instead, the outlaws were kidnapped, forced into a covert life and given a desperate mission—save President Roosevelt from an assassination plot financed by industrialist fat cats determined to sink the progressive New Deal policies. 

The thrilling story cuts back and forth between the modern era where the shocked reporter begins to investigate the potential scoop-of-the-century, and the dangerous undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde, as they are thrust into a fight to defend the working class against corporate greed during America's Great Depression.

“Sex, danger and intrigue, with just the right dose of cheeky humor.”

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Book 2: Dam Nation—The Redemption of Bonnie and Clyde

Can Hoover Dam be saved?

The year is 1935 and the Great Depression has America in a death grip of poverty, unemployment and starvation. But the New Deal is rekindling hope, with federally funded infrastructure projects, like Hoover Dam, putting people back to work. Set to harness the mighty Colorado River for electricity and irrigation, the dam is an engineering marvel and symbol of American can-do spirit. 

So, why is someone trying to blow it up? 

When an informant on the construction site is murdered, Bonnie and Clyde—spared from their gruesome deaths and forced into a covert life working for the government—are given their second assignment: stop the bomb and protect the thousands of laborers and families in the company town.

It's their most dangerous mission yet: working for a living. 

Can the notorious lovers put aside their criminal ways long enough to find out who wants to extinguish the American dream, and hopefully reclaim a shred of redemption along the way? 

“A rollicking good read.”

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The Kirkus Reviews interview of authors Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

What made Bonnie and Clyde interesting to you as characters?

Bonnie and Clyde were the ultimate rebels without a cause. They were young, broke, wildly in love, and, courtesy of a bank-robbing spree, they lashed out against a rigged economic system destined to grind them into dust. For a short while, until it all went bad, people struggling through the Great Depression lived vicariously through Bonnie and Clyde. We built on that, creating an alternate reality in which the charismatic outlaw lovers had a chance to atone for their crimes by becoming defenders of the working class.

What do you feel makes your alternative timeline relevant for today?

The 1930s were characterized by unprecedented income and wealth inequality, homelessness, and poverty. Sound familiar? We see a role today for storytelling to remind readers that during the 1930s, the government reined in the more destructive aspects of capitalism with innovative policies and worker protections. We want to inspire people to demand similar solutions to our current economic challenges.

Read the full interview here Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall take on the publishing industry


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Review quotes (in order of appearance) from East Oregonian, Kirkus Reviews, Midwest Book Review, Kirkus Reviews, Reader, Reader, Oregonian, Midwest Book Review