Derek asked me for another guest bloggery attempt in order to celebrate the fact that my latest book is finally out on Amazon (US only so far). Or perhaps it was because he is out of ideas for blog posts himself. Or too busy writing about people with weird names. Or whatever. As I wasn’t sure what to write about, he suggested I might explain how I got the idea for my latest book. Which might turn out to be a trifle embarrassing.
Because what I did was to put a vampire on a hospital ship in the middle of the First World War. I might be tempted to explain it away by the fact that it’s the ideal place to be if you are a vampire: lots of blood and no way for your prey to get away. But the fact is, I have a faintly glorious past, no, rather a faint past, as a writer of nautical fiction, so I couldn’t do without boats whatever I’d write. And I have been a bit intrigued by the paranormal romance genre lately. So I decided to combine the two things. And of course there’s always the hope that vampires would sell a bit better than gunboat captains of 1808 getting involved with female spies.
But of course I could not make it too easy for myself. So my heroine, Antonia Correlli, isn’t just a vampire. She also is a succubus. That means she is endowed with some special magic, for example the ability to sustain sunlight and heal humans. But in order to keep this ability she needs to feed on human emotions. On their passion, their sexual arousal as well as on blood.
Here, the confined space of the hospital ship becomes a double edged sword. Because as well as her human prey being unable to escape her, there is only a limited number of them and sooner or later Antonia won’t be able to protect her secret. When certain mysterious things happen aboard the vessel, her curiosity makes her less cautious. And there is the captain, who seems to have some magic of his own.
This is the setting for “The Gripsholm Mystery” which is now out on Amazon.com as a paperback. A Kindle edition is available as well as other ebook formats through Smashwords.
About The Gripsholm Mystery
Antonia Correlli has lived for 600 years. She’s a vampire with special abilities which let her live amongst humans undetected. For the most part. In 1915 the First World War is raging through Europe and new, frightful weapons bring suffering and pain to the men who fight it. While using her cunning and her magic on a hospital ship in the Mediterranean Antonia discovers mysterious things aboard. And she develops dangerous feelings for her captain. Solving the mystery, she discovers once again that humans can’t be trusted and that immortality has its price.
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: lulu.com (October 5, 2010)