Guest Author Day/Week: Kathryn Smith gets taken by the RipperThursday, November 1, 2007 19:20
Recently Lawson reviewedÂ Taken by the Night (Thanks, Lawson!). She didn’t like Ivy, which I’m cool with. I figured Ivy would be one of those heroines that some like and some don’t. She can be abrasive, and she’s a bit spoiled, and somewhat jaded. I have to admit to really liking her. But of course, how could I not when I created her? I really like the fact that that she has a very practical attitude about sex. Growing up in a brothel will do that to you. Her opinion of men isn’t awful, but there’s very little romance in it. She thinks men are rather base and not terribly trustworthy. Of course, Saint doesn’t do anything to change that opinion, not at first.
Ivy is a photographer, not unheard of for women in 1899. But in addition to portraits, Ivy likes to take naughty photographs. In fact, she displays them at a show in the book. Saint appreciates her talent.Â
I think Ivy’s openness is what I loved most. Writing paranormal has allowed me to go a little ‘further’ than straight historicals ever did. Or maybe it’s just because reader tastes are changing, but I loved writing a heroine who can know about sex, have had sex, and ‘sell’ sex in her photographs. It was also great fun writing about women who literally sell their bodies. I don’t think I tried to sugar-coat the business of prostitution, but I tried not to make a big deal out of it either. The brothel is part of Ivy’s life, and is an every-day thing for her. It’s her world, and she has no illusions or desire to climb out of that world. She has a very comfortable life, and the vampires that own the brothel make sure everyone is well looked after.
Taken by the Night also has an aspect of Victorian history that fascinates me — Jack the Ripper. The case of ‘Saucy Jack’ fit very nicely with my plot — so nicely that I couldn’t ignore it! When I realized that Jack had five ‘official’ victims I knew I had to use that in the book. Five dead prostitutes for five vampires…ah, there’s a plot there!Â Â I consider Taken by the Night my Victorian Underworld book, and now that I’ve delved into that world, I’m hoping to go there again. No lords, no ladies — just men and women who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty. I love it.
What are some of your favorite aspects of history? And what eras/events would you like to see in historical novels? And hey — just how do you feel about paranormal historical romances anyway?