The Crimson Crimes by Patricia K. McCarthy
Launch date: 11 October (event details to follow; will take place in Ottawa)
Format: Paperback, Ebook, 308 pages
It’s the dead of night in the dead of winter, and bodies have been found, stacked ceiling-high, in a hillside cave in Ottawa’s Strathcona Park; necks pierced, blood drained – the usual. The city is gripped by a dusk-till-dawn curfew. The press, police and public have whipped each other into a glorious panic over someone or something called the “Vampire Undertaker.” Well, when did a silly curfew ever shut down the kitchen party at the Crimson house? Bring beer, bring smokes, but please bring yourself to meet The Vampires (there are at least four of them) and their quirky human pals. We can take turns feeding the baby vampire, stalling the cops when they come knocking, and tripping out on that time-dream machine up in the bedroom. You’ve got to love people who know how to make their own fun!
Tell us about
the best piece of fan mail you ever received. What made it so special?
I was deeply touched when one fan set aside time to write me a letter, thanking me for my vampire erotica fiction, advising how my characters and the depictions of sex brought her closer to her partner, especially because she read my novels aloud to her husband and was infused with an intense desire to ravage him. This was music to my ears. Reading is generally a one-on-one affair between reader and book. You enter into the private world the writer creates. We are not necessarily accustomed to sharing our innermost thoughts (yes, we even withhold them from partners). And yet, a writer should be able to freely express the innermost thoughts of their characters like they were their own. Writing believably always helps. Granted, graphic sex can be taken to Herculean proportions, sometimes coming across as unrealistic (50 Shades is a fine example – her virginal character achieves orgasm during her first sexual encounter and this so upset one friend that she wanted to punch the character in the face; it’s a worthwhile lesson for a writer to take away). Admittedly, I am guilty of sometimes going over the top. But vampires give writers the freedom to make them super-human, which for me is the essence of a vampire. Our blood-sucking superstars have been the darlings of the literary world for a reason - they connect with the human experience on a visceral level, delving into consumption and love, the pursuit of power and youth. The only other fictional character to receive as much attention as the vampire is Sherlock Holmes. That said, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn’t write the original Sherlock to be a drop-dead gorgeous hunk. If he had, his prose would have had to include deliberate physical window dressing to render him sexy. Perhaps it is no coincidence that recent screen treatments of Sherlock have ‘sexified’ his image in order that he will appeal to a wider female and male audience. We are seeing how this trend from page to screen is racking up impressive profits.