Today it is my absolute pleasure to welcome Tom Williams to my blog to tell us about the link between tango and vampires and their connection to his new book Something Wicked. So, without further ado, here’s Tom
“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”
Bram Stoker fans will recognise the quote but tango aficionados might reasonably think that it applies to them more than to Dracula’s wolves.
You can dance tango by the Seine on a weekend afternoon but it is more often associated with midnight tango joints. The Golden Age of tango ran from around the mid-Thirties to the early Fifties and many of the best places to dance date from then or even earlier. Inevitably, a lot of the buildings have seen better days. So, for me, tango is associated with darkness and fading grandeur.
Despite the flaking plaster and the worn fabric on the chairs, an old tango salon comes to glamourous life as the dancers arrive, the women in their elegant dresses, the men at least (more or less) eschewing chinos and jeans and a surprising number in suits.
I have danced a lot in Buenos Aires, famous not only for its tango halls but for its cemeteries – vast necropolises where the dead can enjoy many of the comforts of the living. Streets full of miniature houses (and some not so miniature) provide a comfortable place to spend eternity .
But what if the dead are only resting, ready to leave their mausoleums as evening falls and join the whirling throng dancing through the night?
That idea lay behind Something Wicked, my second urban fantasy novel featuring tango dancers and vampires.
The story is set in London around a splendidly decaying ballroom (now sadly no longer with us) and Brompton cemetery, which may not be as splendid as some of the famous Buenos Aires cemeteries but which has its fair share of mausoleums and (importantly for the story) a substantial crypt.
My vampires have the traditional dislike of sunlight but are otherwise more like you and me than most of the legends that have grown up around them. “What are they all up to anyway?” asks one of the human characters in Something Wicked. “Why do you and your kind travel to and fro?” replies the vampire. “Business to do, friends to see, ceremonies to attend. We aren’t so very different to you.”
There is the little business of drinking blood, though. Generally the vampires try to keep their hematophagy discreet, taking a little now and then where it will hardly be noticed. As one of the vampires explains:
“There are people who will sell their blood quite cheerfully. Some are happy to let us have it freely. They seem to get some sort of sexual thrill from it.” His lips curled in distaste. “Then, at a pinch, there is animal blood.”
Every now and then, though, something goes wrong. People die very publicly and then the vampires have their own ways of tidying away the mess.
When the mess includes a peer of the realm, though, the police can’t be kept out of things entirely. The public must be reassured. But how reassuring will it be to discover that we are living alongside a substantial vampire sub-culture? Is this a crime that is better left unsolved?
Welcome to the most unusual police procedural novel of 2021.
Something Wicked: not your usual stake out.
Tom Williams used to write books for business. Now he writes novels set in the 19th century and books about vampires that are generally described as fiction but which are often more realistic than the business books. The stories have given him the excuse to travel to Argentina, Egypt and Borneo and call it research.
Tom lives in London. His main interest is avoiding doing any honest work and this leaves him with time to ski, skate and dance tango, all of which he does quite well. In between he reads old books and spends far too much time looking at ancient weaponry.
Want to know more?
Tom’s blogs appear regularly on his website, https://tomwilliamsauthor.co.uk where you can also find details of all his books. You can follow him on Twitter as @TomCW99 or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTomWilliams).