I got hooked on vampires early. Sometimes I’m compelled to write about them. Recently I released Madam Vampire: Shifters in Ripper’s London. It’s an ebook containing my short stories Animals of London and Wolf Calls. The stories feature a bisexual vampire running a brothel in London during Jack the Ripper’s bloody reign. Her encounters with a werewolf put her business at risk. Rated 18 + because I have a dirty mind.
I relate to being an outsider. And to intense hunger. Violent urges. Covert expressions of sexuality. Deviance. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was hot stuff for its day. The TV show Dark Shadows imprinted on me. Le Fanu’s Carmilla remains one of my favorite vampire tales — and I read every one of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint Germain books. I read most of Anne Rice’s books, too. The ones that stuck with me most were her early historical novels, Cry to Heaven and The Feast of All Saints that don’t have any vampires in them. I like that she broke new ground in depicting MM vampire relationships.
I’ve been fascinated with the Jack the Ripper case since I was a kid. Can’t seem to turn away from instances of terror and sudden death, speculations about the killer’s mind and motives. Unsolved crimes exert a greater hold than the solved ones. And there’s so much that’s dirty and repressed in that era. The Ripper’s existence drew attention to Whitechapel and the grim, human horrors there. It all still haunts me.
If you’re curious about Victorian sexuality, take a look at The Pearl. No vampires, but about every kink you can imagine.
Excerpt from Madam Vampire
Lizette didn’t care what we did, but made a pretense of being the most adult of us all. Her devotion included unquestioning acceptance of our eccentricities. She turned away anyone who came by during the day.
Candlelight gave her flaxen curls a halo, yet she shone on her own. The week the Ripper’s reign began, I saw that gold light around her when she collapsed on the walk from hunger. I brought the angel home. She fit with us. She honed her mind on our library, and added youth and playfulness to this old place.
Lizette met my regard and smiled. “You gave me the life of a princess, so don’t rile Theo too much. I couldn’t bear to go back to the cribs, or be cut up by that monster.”
“I’ll behave.” I wouldn’t, but it pleased her to hear it. Few whores in London lived in such fine houses, and I didn’t want her fretting about being turned out into the Ripper’s streets.
“Jack the Ripper knifed another one, and carved out her breasts and kidneys.” She said, meeting my mind as she often did.
“I read the reports, and I listened to doxies talking near the pubs.” Unlike the others left butchered outside, he killed this prostitute in a room. He left her parts on the nightstand. The newspapers counted five women as Ripper victims between 31st August and that day, 9th November 1888. “You’re safe here with us.” I wanted her brief life to remain free of fear or hunger, the poor dandelion.