Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is the official release day for Stamps, Vamps & Tramps, edited by Shannon Robinson — a Three Little Words anthology from Evil Girlfriend Media. I’m beyond thrilled to have a story included alongside those from so many amazing authors, and it was a privilege to work with such a fine editor.
The anthology is, of course, built around stories about tattoos, vampires, and tramps (of any definition). I particularly enjoyed working a tiny postage stamp into my story to max out the theme with two types of stamp, two types of vamp, and two types of tramp… and I apparently wasn’t the only author thinking that way — I was absurdly pleased to see a mention of postage in Sandra Kasturi‘s “Mungo the Vampire” as well (one of the funniest vampire stories I’ve ever read).
There are so many excellent stories in this anthology (again, I’m just awed to be in such fine company), it’s hard to pick and choose between them, so I’ll just mention a few more favourites.
The opening story, “Easy Mark” by Rachel Caine, is outstanding, as one might expect, with a unique yet traditional take on vampires and a deeper look at good and evil and humanity in the context of hobos and the Great Depression. Second up, Barbara A. Barnett‘s “The Whole of His History” is much less traditional in its take on vampires, but equally moving — a story about outcasts and a longing to live without secrets. In “Follow Me”, Christine Morgan held my attention with her protagonist, a strong and intelligent prostitute named Euterpe, and a rich setting in ancient Athens. I particularly enjoyed “A Virgin Hand Disarm’d” by Mary A. Turzillo for the gradually revealed identity of Will, since I’m a bit of a sucker for origin/explanation/identity stories about… him. I also loved “Summer Night in Durham” by Cat Rambo for its unexpected and utterly perfect ending. Finally, the closing story — Gemma Files’ “His Face, All Red” — engaged me and drew me along with suspenseful action and vividly unique characters.
There’s some occasional gritty language sprinkled throughout the anthology, and a few sexual encounters (to be expected in a book of stories about vampires, really), but if you’re the sort of reader who gets freaked out by that, you’re probably not interested in reading about non-sparkly vampires anyway. Fair warning.
My story “From the Heart” is third from the end of the anthology. You could say it’s got some grit going on — it involves a boozy stripper, a coffee-slinging hipster, a homeless ex-programmer, a lost corset, and… you get the idea. I kept coming back to the idea of “judge not, lest ye be judged”, and the story just grew from there.
The anthology as a whole is definitely worth reading, and I hope “From the Heart” plays a small part in that. Happy reading!