At the end of the sixties, Paul B. Crimson fought in the war that USA waged against Viet Nam. During the three years he stayed on, he learnt how to kill and how to abuse drugs. He also kept diaries of everything he experienced, and which he later concentrated into a manuscript.
On his return to USA this manuscript of his was accepted by a publisher and had an astonishing reception. Living off the royalties, however, he slipped into the habits acquired overseas. Eventually his editor convinced him to start writing a follow-up to his success and cleaning up his act by moving to a small town in Maine.
Crimson started writing his second novel with no clear idea how it would end. By fusing keen observations of people in tranquil Harbor with notes from his editor and his soldiering past in Vietnam, he launched The Ship – a terrifying scenario of snowstorms, survival and soul searching. Then Crimson’s unstableness provoked events to spin out of control, while he let his work in progress mirror his perceptions of them.
This astonishing compilation of the documents Paul Crimson left behind shows how he was manipulated, how war memories provoked him to be insane and – despite all – the creative process he went through writing this terrible novel.
This is a multi-layered narrative about manipulation, the impacts of war and the creative process. Only months before his own death, Crimson’s editor handed over all unpublished documents in this strange affair to Kim Ekemar. His compelling compilation – replete with ice and fire, chilling violence and searing psychological drama – explores the complex boundaries of reality and human experience.
Click on the link below to read sample chapters …
The Crimson Blueprints
“A tortured author meets a tragic end. In this novel within a novel, Ekemar tells multiple stories. An editor, who helped Paul Crimson publish his successful first novel based on his experiences in the Vietnam War, gets the author’s papers after his untimely death from a drug overdose. Crimson’s life and work rewind via his diaries and chapters of his unpublished second novel, The Ship. The novelist moves to the tiny coastal village of Harbor, Maine, to escape a dissolute life in Las Vegas and buckle down to writing his second novel. In The Ship, three Arctic researchers get stuck in a blizzard after their van breaks down but find their way to an icebound ship nearby. The seven men on board turn out to be a horde of degenerate rogues. They kill one researcher and rape and murder another. The third, Corey Ferguson, escapes after the unmagnificent seven have knocked each other off. Ferguson’s rescued but wrongly accused and convicted of murdering his fellow researchers. Back in Maine, Crimson falls in love with his married landlady, Inocencia, a Colombian immigrant, but discovers she’s having an affair with her neighbor. Flashing back to the mayhem of the Vietnam War, Crimson kills the couple, but Inocencia’s brother Xavier, a cocaine dealer, is wrongfully convicted of the crime. After Crimson dies of a drug overdose in Miami at age 25, his guilt becomes clear to his editor through his diaries. But the innocent Xavier has already died in prison. Richly textured, this novel evokes a smothering, claustrophobic atmosphere of evil and events spinning out of control in all its settings. Crimson’s three lives—his past in Vietnam, his present in Maine, and his fictional world in the Arctic—create a revealing portrait of a tortured soul. This novel delivers a spooky and readable yarn.”
– Kirkus Reviews