August 23, 2013


by C. Margery Kempe

We are focused on obsessions this week. I’m afraid mine are all a bit strange and not really in keeping with our sexy romance ambiance. One of my biggest obsessions is the Manchester band The Fall, which I’ve written about one or two times or maybe lots. I have taken lots of titles from the music for my noir stories and other projects — not romance so far, but they’re not much on the sexy end of the spectrum. More the cranky end. Great lyrics and the band leader is so sui generis that if you look up iconoclast in the dictionary, it’s got Mark E. Smith’s face.


Speaking of noir, that’s another obsession. Femmes fatales and laconic PIs, gloomy streets and smoldering cigarettes: I love it all. I write a lot of it too, as well as read it. Love the films and the novels. While it tends to be thought of a ‘masculine’ sort of genre, there are some great female practitioners like Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy Hughes and Elizabeth Sanxay Holding. I’m off to Bouchercon next month (as is fellow blogger Liz Everly) and I’ll be talking about pulp and noir as well as promoting a couple of collections I edited (these!).

What else? At the moment me and a certain 8 year old are both obsessed with Plants vs. Zombies 2. I’m not much of a gamer, but the original game was so much fun and so adorable, how could I resist. And they were putting out video updates that ramped up the anticipation with tantalising details. There’s a time travel theme, so you go from ancient Egypt to the Pirate heyday and finally to the Old West. There are even more hilarious zombies and crazy flowers: my current favourite is the Snapdragon who shoots flames.

Classic British Comedy has been an obsession of mine since childhood and the funniest man who ever drew breath is still my icon above all others. A lot of Americans don’t know who Peter Cook is by name, but Princess Bride fans at least know him for his pronunciation of “Mawwiage!” He was clever, sharp, handsome and so very witty. I modeled my dapper villain in the first Chastity Flame novel after him. Here’s one of my favourite bits:

And of course, my one real obsession is always always always writing. I write under four different names in several different genres (sometimes all at the same time, d’oh!), but I’m pretty much always writing or thinking about writing as Ionesco would say. That’s my obsession that all the others fuel!

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  • Post authorLizEverly

    British comedy, yes! That’s one of my things, too. Hope that we can meet up at Bouchercon. My panel is the same time as yours–always happens! Grrrr.

    Reply to LizEverly
    • Post authorcmkempe

      I don’t believe it! That’s crazy. Well, the Weird Noir Carnival is Fri at 130pm, so drop by then if you can. We’ll find some time to meet up!

      Reply to cmkempe
      • Post authorLizEverly

        I’ll try to get there! After all these years, it will be great to meet you. 😉

        Reply to LizEverly
    • Post authormadelineiva

      Love noir, love British comedy — my british comedy obsessions are with Steve Coogan and Hugh Laurie.

      Reply to madelineiva
      • Post authorcmkempe

        Hugh Laurie is best with Stephen Fry.

        Reply to cmkempe

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