I’ve always loved vampires…books, movies, TV shows (who didn’t watch the original Dark Shadows!) but it was an Irish writer who took my love of the undead to a new level. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s short story “Carmilla” opened up a new world that ushered in a change in my life. When my mentor professor suggested I read the story as I was trying to narrow down the subject of my Master’s thesis, I thought it was just another vampire story. How wrong I was. Not only was it written 25 years before Dracula but the feature of the story was a female vampire. It was even more interesting because “Carmilla” wasn’t just a woman, she was a lesbian. Considering the story was written in 1872, it was fascinating for a whole bunch of reasons. I was off and rolling on researching my thesis. My focus was set.
It worked out great too. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the research and the writing of the thesis but once finished, approved, and submitted, it was subsequently nominated for outstanding thesis of the year. A thesis on a vampire story. A thesis on a lesbian vampire story. The stuff of dreams for any paranormal buff.
It continued to work it’s magic. Some years later I wrote a novel featuring a lesbian vampire as the hero of the story. It was a joy to write. Incredibly freeing and personally gratifying. At first no one was interested. Sure, they all liked the storyline and liked my writing style, but…there was always a but. Until I met Radclyffe at Bold Strokes Books. I figured it would be a bust there too because of the parallel straight love story in the novel and I was wrong. Crimson Vengeance my tribute to my Master’s Thesis and Le Fanu’s progressive vampire story came out in 2011. I found a home with Bold Strokes Books and have never looked back.
All it took was one little Irish vampire story written 130+ years ago to set me on a vampire path that makes me smile every single day. Yeah, it’s good to be Irish even if it’s just for a day.