Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Historical Paranormal Horror Fiction Author Carole Gill and Her Latest Novel, The House on Blackstone Moor

Scribal Love Welcomes Carole Gill

Carole Gill is an author of horror and sci-fi. Her newest work The House on Blackstone Moor is available from Vamplit Publishing.

So where do you hail?  Where are you from?

I am from New York City, Manhattan to be exact. But I reside in England through marriage. 

What inspired you to write this book?

A great deal actually! I read that the gothic romance novel had fallen out of favor. That bothered me because I have always been in love with the gothic narrative. For example, who can surpass Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca with its opening: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley?”

If we think of Rebecca we remember the storyline with Mrs. Danvers and I think many of us suspect there might have been an allusion to lesbianism between Mrs. Danvers and her former mistress. I say this because I feel that would explain Mrs. Danver's murderous hatred of her new mistress.

I feel if published today, that would have been made clearer, not so much to make it graphic but to at least explain it through characterization.

This is something I fervently believe in. I want to bring new readers into the gothic romantic fold and I feel the only way to achieve that is to make the stories far darker and bolder.
I think that there must be far darker themes and much bolder storylines to achieve this. 

I don't mean paranormal romance with 'racy bits.' I mean books written in the style of Daphne DuMaurier and the Brontes and other similar authors that have themes within them that would never have been acceptable in years gone by.

This is my inspiration!

Do you have a specific writing style? What is the name of your latest book?  And how did you come up with the title?

My publisher says my fiction is edgy. I like the sound of that! I write dark horror both in gothic narrative and for contemporary pieces I write it clipped, dark and brutal (but without needless gore)!

The House on Blackstone Moor.  I had that title in mind before I wrote anything down!

I just pictured a great house that stood on desolate, haunted moorland. And then I began to envision those who dwelt within the grim stone walls! In short, I began to have my story!

What is The House on Blackstone Moor about?

Its themes are vampirism, madness, obsession and devil worship in 19th Century England.
It tells the story of a young woman who survives her family's carnage. They have been murdered by her suicidal incestuous father.

She finds herself in a madhouse and then, fragile and damaged though she is, she arrives at Blackstone House where she finds horrifying evil. Yet she finds love too--but it comes at a price, the loss of her soul.

There are wider issues here that I felt were crucial. Those who are damned might be damned I felt through no fault of their own.

Further, I bring in fate strongly.  It is, I am assured, never predictable!

What are your current projects?
I am working on a sequel to The House on Blackstone Moor.

I have been hearing so much from readers telling me they can’t forget the characters that I have been in talks with my publisher.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this sequel because I couldn’t get the characters out of my head either!

What books have influenced your life most?

Ah this is fun! Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
These books have the strongest stories possible. They tell of evil and insanity--there are twists and turns and characters that are unforgettable. They shaped my writing and gave me the greatest gifts imaginable: my inspiration!

Did you find the idea of having your work published for others to read intimidating?  If yes, why?  If no, why not? 

Well in a way. I mean it's like taking one's clothes off for the doctor! We bare our soul; our writing is from our deepest depths, it tells our secrets sometimes, our ponderings--perhaps even our fantasies!

Certainly it did. But as I began to know what Gaynor Stenson of Vamplit Publishing was like, I was no longer fearful. She is the most inspiring person to work with that I have ever known.

She believes in her authors and she makes us want to do our very best.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would have to say Daphne DuMaurier. I can still remember back to the first time I heard of her and I read Rebecca. My best friend and I used to discuss it. The novel swept me away into a world I still inhabit (well, not all the time)!

What books are you reading now?

Dracula and All Quiet on the Home Front: An Oral History of Life in Britain During World War One by Richard Van Emden and about to start Strange Meeting by Susan Hill  

What are your current projects?

I am working on the storyline for my next book for Vamplit it is tentatively entitled, Passionata and it is going to be a very different take on a vampire love story set during and after World War 1. It is full of surprises!

Do you find that international audiences are different from your home or native country's audience? 

I don't think so. I think a good story with full-bodied characters have universal appeal. I think really people basically are touched by pretty similar things: love, hate, horror, terror, healing, longing and so on.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes because whatever else, it is all I want to fill up my time doing now. 
It is so much a part of me; the answer must be, YES!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Truthfully? No, nothing at all. I am a seat of the pants writer. Anything I wanted to change I've already changed.

I believe entirely in Stephen King's pronouncement that the plot should be kept under house arrest.

The story evolved on its own because the characters basically were allowed to do as they wished. So the answer is no.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Not really although I can remember back to performing little plays for friends as a child.
I know I wrote my first story (science fiction) when I was eight and my teacher got very excited as did my parents.

Within a few years my dad was calling me Edgarina Allan Poe because of the dark, grim stuff I wrote. My mother went to see my teacher and was told to let it all come out. They did but kept a wary eye on me!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Of course, the entire writing process is deeply challenging. I would sometimes worry that something would not be resolved but then I was led through it by my characters. I find if I write out what the problem is I can solve it pretty quickly.

The challenge for me is to write as I do, without a basic outline. It is very scary sometimes but deeply exciting!

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that it's very hard to write a book! I think I learned HOW to write a book which is very important, how to carry on and remain relatively normal when it seems increasingly difficult!

I learned to just stay with it and to finish it and to THEN go back and polish it as much as it needed to be.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes! I read somewhere that 'the best book never completed is not as good as the worst book ever finished.'

That is the most important thing for a writer to understand. Writing in general is difficult, we get inspired--we feel great but then we don't when the doubts come!

The important thing is to finish your project! Stay with it; see where it can go--how it can evolve. Try not to go from one thing to another and another.

Most importantly, develop on your own, at your own pace. Writing is a learning experience, whatever accomplishments there may be, we can always learn something new: better technique and better ways of planning our stories and expressing ourselves, it is, in my opinion, an unending process of growth!

Great News!!  "Due to massive reader response to The House on Blackstone Moor I am working on the sequel.  It will be out later this year."- Carole Gill

Thanks Carole for Dropping by!

You can find Carole on the web at:


  1. Great interview! I definitely think it's time for a reprisal of good Gothic romance. I love the dark and the cerebral, the beautiful meshed with the psychological, the monster within the human condition. Your book will definitely be among my TBR list!

  2. Thank you so much for having me on here, Clare. It was an honor to be here.
    The questions were very thought-provoking, indeed! You made me think!
    I am very proud to have been asked, and the feedback I'm getting is excellent (for your interview questions).
    Again, many thanks!


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