Friday, January 14, 2011

Enchanted: An Interview with Gothic Romance Author Carole Gill

The extraordinarily gifted Carole Gill

It's not often a writer comes along and gets this Knight excited about vampire novels.  Let's face it, I'm a huge fan of Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton and since many authors have chosen to soften the sexy predators by making them light walking pretty people with fangs, I tend to lose interest.  However, I'm please to announce that anything I pick up that's written by Carole Gill seduces me back to the vampire tales I grew to love.  So when Carole agreed to give Knight Chills an interview, I jumped for joy.

This gifted writer as two contributions which have proved to be extremely popular with the Knight Chills readers.  When you're done reading this interview you can read her amazing tales, Memoir and The Song, which by the way, was tied for story of the year on Knight Chills in 2010. 

Without further ado. I give you the great Carole Gill.

A former Manhattanite, Carole Gill resides in England with her husband and two lunatic Parson Russell Terriers. 

In 2000 she was selected by North West Playwrights of England for further development but found she preferred fiction writing.

Carole writes dark horror and sci-fi and is widely published in horror and sci-fi anthologies.

The House on Blackstone Moor is her first book and has just been published by Vamplit Publishing. 
It is available from Smashwords now and will be in paperback early in 2011.

Carole is at work on her second novel for Vamplit. The story is a very different vampire love story and is tentatively entitled Passionata.

Tell us about your latest book. 

The House on Blackstone Moor published by Vamplit Publishing is a tale of vampirism, madness, obsession and devil worship set in 19th century England. Integral to the plot is the taboo subject of the central character Rose’s abusive childhood and how a father's unnatural love for his child changed her life and her fate forever.

Rose Baines, only survivor of the bloody carnage of her family’s murder, perpetrated by her incestuous, suicidal father, survives her imprisonment in an infamous madhouse only to be given a position as governess at Blackstone House, a house built on accursed moorland. Nothing is as it seems and those who make the house on Blackstone Moor their home have hideous secrets, but the most hideous secret of all is kept hidden away in the cellar.

There are demons and fallen angels and a glimpse into hell itself for Rose, but there is also love from one who is damned, however it comes at a terrible cost.

This is not paranormal romance with racy bits. As my publisher, Gaynor Stenson of Vamplit Publishing says, ‘this is gothic romance in its truest form. A novel that even Mrs. Radcliffe might have gasped at whilst reading and that Matthew Lewis could have been shocked by.’

How did you get started as a writer?

There were two phases. The writing surfaced quite unexpectedly when I was 8 years old and wrote about a Martian invasion of earth. I continued to write but then life got in the way as it often does. 

My second cycle of writing began in 2000 after a marriage break up and after the death of my mother. 

I joined a writer’s workshop under the amazing leadership of Clive Hopwood here in England. Clive is an author and playwright who is devoted to teaching the craft. He encouraged me to try anything which I did.

I was selected by North West Playwrights of England for further development but found I preferred fiction writing.

I remarried and it is because of my husband’s kind support and belief in me that I started sending out stories seriously in 2009.

All but one was accepted and that one was re-submitted and became story of the month for a different publication! 

I wrote constantly—whether I submitted or not. It is only in writing that our style and technique matures I believe. Having said that there are highs and lows and great challenges, but why not take up any challenge? 

Who knows what can be achieved?

What’s a typical day like for you?

Typical day: husband leaves for work and I take our two dogs out and then write until he comes home.

I have to promote my novel now and it’s tougher than the writing was!

There’s promotion, networking plus writing. I am working on my second novel for Vamplit which is to be released later this year. 

To summarize I spend 90 percent of my time writing a day (weekends too) and 10 percent on household chores. I have a very understanding husband!

What do you like most about reading and writing?

Reading takes me out of myself. It is an adventure to be treasured. Open a book and you step into another world. Reading is the greatest of escapes. It is also of great benefit to writers as they can see how others’ work.

With regard to my writing:

I can write of worlds and people that move me. I enjoy depicting the monsters that dwell among us for there are such beings. And they tend to be quite human. I think sadly my first marriage shaped my writing.

Also, I love history and enjoy stepping back into other worlds and times.

As for contemporary settings, those tend to be depicted in my short stories. Horror and sci-fi are my favorites  to write. Sci-fi and horror blend well together because sci-fi has the element of the unknown within it, thus it is natural for horror to be present. 

I enjoy depicting good vs. evil. Supernatural and human evil are very interesting to write about as I have done in my novel because in my opinion human evil can give supernatural evil a run for its money anytime!

Which author influenced you the most? 

Daphne du Maurier did. I read Rebecca when I was 12 and my best friend and I used to read passages aloud. 

It had the greatest influence on me bar none. From the opening line: "Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again..." 

Those few words sweep the reader right into the novel because we want to know where this place is and why it was dreamt about. And who is this narrator? What happened and so on. 

In short, we are hooked!

      And then you have the story of a young woman who becomes wife to the enigmatic Max and goes to live in Manderley but is detested by the evil housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. We ask why, what is behind that hatred?

    We must find out! That, in my opinion, is a book to be devoured!

I love so many of du Maurier’s books, yes they most definitely shaped my writing.

Tell us 3 interesting things about you. 

I went to acting school
I’d live in the past if I could.
Worry is my middle name sometimes.

Would you say you write specifically for one genre and if not, what’s your favorite genre to write?

Yes horror and gothic romance is my thing. I want to take gothic romance where it has never gone before. I think for today’s reader it must have darker themes and far bolder storylines while retaining the majesty of the gothic narrative. 

Best and worst part of being a writer?

Best is the sense of accomplishment when your work is published or even when it is completed! 

The worst aspects are the tremendous ups and down that I know many writers go through, myself among them.

It is a hugely difficult thing to write, you work in utter isolation. Yes there is networking but basically you work alone. You start out with one blank page and even when you fill it, there is the next and the next. The trick is not to ever be intimidated but to extrapolate from your mind your ideas for stories and characters.

And despite the isolation and the various setbacks, you go on because you must, because it’s in you to write.

Advice to writers?

One thing I would advise is not to spend too much time away from your writing. Social networks are fun and they can be great for networking too, but they will be there later when you finish your writing for the day.

Interesting story about writing

An interesting story about writing? Hmmm. Well, truthfully I felt a let-down after I completed my novel! I guess it was because I had worked on it for so long and then it was gone and I had to focus on other things.

 I read many authors refer to that as ‘post novel depression’ which I think is      not only apt but hysterical. It helps to think of it that way. It made me smile and that helped!

I am full steam ahead now for I have plunged myself into the world of writing to be published and there is no turning back. 

The seas are calm and the weather good, but I am ready for any storm and so should any writer be!

Thank you Carole Gill for an inspiring, revealing, and wonderful interview.  Best of luck to you and I look forward to reading more of your work.  To purchase Carole's book at Smashwords click on the book cover or here. You may visit her blog here.

© Copyright Carole Gill 2011. All rights reserved. 
Carole Gill has granted Knight Chills non-exclusive rights to display this work.
© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved. 
A Knight Chills author interview.


  1. This was a very interesting read Carole:)I feel I know you in some ways (even though we've never met)but,this brought me a little closer.:)

    I find it refreshing that you seem to have broached taboo subjects with your writing. Stephen King does this at times and I always celebrate when he does:) It opens the doorways for the rest to be brave enough to follow and push the envelope:)

    Kudo's gal for what you've done...and for writing a darn good interview!:)


  2. thanks, Lo!
    that means a lot to me. I just think good vs evil in all its many forms needs to be brought into the horror genre.
    I know what you mean about knowing someone. I feel the same way.
    Nomar asked such probing questions, that's what made it so interesting for me.
    Thanks again!

  3. Carole..I not only find you fascinating, but a great inspiration. I feel very fortunate that our paths have crossed. Best of luck to you always.

  4. oh thank you, Andriana! I'm glad too. And I see in you a huge talent, and I mean that.
    You will see, my friend.

    And thanks again Nomar!

  5. This was a wonderful interview! Such great advice. I'm now a new fan. :) And, I am now absolutely intrigued by The House on Blackstone Moor. Sounds like my kind of book. I will have to check it out!

  6. Oh yay, someone is bringing scary back. I don't care for the glittery vamps either. It's alsmost like they're superheroes these days. Hmmm...

    Carole, I wish you all success and enjoyed reading your interview. I love writing in the gothic style, so look forward to reading your book.

  7. didn't see your two comments!
    Mytressa thank you so much! that means so much to me! I can't tell you!

    And M Pax! wow! oh yeah, scary is back and it's here to stay! Thank you very, very much for your kind words!


  8. Great interview. The book sounds like it has so much depth to it. My wife and I are looking forward to March.