The random—and not so random—musings of a quirky Regency romance writer.
No one with that many people in her head can possibly be normal...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

For the Love of Gothic Romance

I began my love of romances with Victoria Holt, one of the queens of romantic suspense/Gothic romance. I devoured her books as a pre-teen/teenager and after I married, collected them. (To be totally, frighteningly honest, I collect all printings of Victoria Holt books, not just a copy of each title. Freaky weird, right?) 

After reading every Victoria Holt at least once (some more), I can honestly say my favorite will forever be On the Night of the Seventh Moon, but The Spring of the Tiger (pictured here) is my second favorite. 

Besides Victoria Holt (who also wrote as Jean Plaidy and Philippa Carr), I adored the Zebra Gothic line that was out several years ago. Does anyone remember those? I have a respectable pile of them. 

Of the Zebra Gothics authors, Clara Wimberly is one of my favorites. The first book I read by her was The Ghostly Screams of Stormhaven (pictured here). (I am a HUGE fan of these old Gothic covers: scary, dark house/castle in the background; frightened girl running from said house, her face contorted with terror. I LOVE IT!!!) Stormhaven is one of those books that I will never forget.

And I can't forget to mention Madeleine Brent and Carola Salisbury as favorite Gothic authors. The thing that ties these two authors inextricably together (other than a phenomenal storytelling ability) is that they're both men. Yup. Men.

Brent's Moonraker's Bride made me laugh, cry, cheer, and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Fabulous!

Salisbury's Winter Bride had the most shocking twist at the end. Even now, years since I've read it, I shiver thinking about it. 

In my own writing, I've always been influenced by the classic Gothic themes even though I tend to shy away from the actual ghosts and the "innocent" heroine. My heroines are a little less perfect than the ones in so many Gothics, or most romances, for that matter. 

While going through some of the books I wrote, I realized that one of my earliest ones—one that will probably never see publication—ends in quite a Gothic manner, complete with crazy woman leaping from—or falling from—a high window. Wow. Almost makes me wanna dig it back out and tweak it a bit. Maybe I will. Maybe I'll post it as a free read.

All that aside, if you are a fan of Gothic romance/romantic suspense, there is a group on Goodreads you should check out: Gothicked (Gothic Novel Lovers). It's a friendly group with chats about popular Gothic authors as well as lesser known ones. There are also Gothic giveaways on the Gothicked blog.

That's all for now (sorry for the super long post). Until next time, happy reading, writing, and blogging!! 

*For those of my blog readers who prefer "clean" romances, Victoria Holt is totally clean and all the Clara Wimberly Gothics I've read (5-6) are also clean. Madeleine Brent and Carola Salisbury also qualify as clean romance but a few of them can be a bit violent. 
**Book title links go to Amazon. (And yes, if you make a purchase through any of these links, I'll get a commission. That doesn't mean you have to.)
***No, I haven't been paid to love any of these authors/books. No, I do not personally know the authors (I wish!). No, I have not been paid by the Gothicked group mods and no, I am not one of the Gothicked group mods.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin