Featured Interview With Carole Gill
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised in Manhattan, but have lived most of my life in the U.K. I live in Yorkshire with my husband and two mad terriers. I love Yorkshire–the moors, the historic towns and villages, the castles.
Haworth is a wonderful place to visit, especially the parsonage where the Brontes lived and wrote and the moors they walked upon.
Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, it is said got her inspiration from an old ruin, Top Withens, which you can still see today on the Haworth Moors.
My inspiration for my first novel, the first in The Blackstone Vampires Series, The House on Blackstone Moor, was inspired by those same moors. Perhaps not by those ruins, though–those I shall leave for Miss Bronte for I would never claim them. The moorland is something else. As I did picture a grand looking house built upon them; a house completely out of place on such grim and lonely moorland. When I peopled that house, I began to write my novel.
If you come to England, please visit West Yorkshire and the village of Haworth and be sure to walk down the old streets toward the moor. Close your eyes and perhaps you will feel yourself being led to Top Withens. Is that a dog barking near you? And that woman–is she really there? Could it be Emily with her dog, Keeper, or is it just your imagination? Who can say? If there are spirits about the place, perhaps you will find Cathy and Heathcliff as well. I am certain they are all there and always will be.
Haunted moors, history–old legends, vampires and all things gothic–those are all facets of my longer fiction and of myself as well.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I grew up with books. I played with books before I could read. When I was a toddler, I’d knock them out of my parents’ bookcase (the two lower shelves). As a child I slept with a book, not a toy.
My father took me for my first library card. I remember him saying someday I would have an adult card. I couldn’t wait!
Books were important to them and they taught me to appreciate reading. They had the works of Edgar Allan Poe and those I began reading in grade school. That’s actually the time I started to write, but my first stories were not horror they were science fiction. I wrote two when I was eight, something about Mars invading. The other story was about a child falling into a large globe and inside was outer space.
The sci-fi isn’t surprising as both of my parents were sci-fi fanatics.
I wrote a lot of gothic style poetry—probably trying to emulate Poe. When I turned eleven I was onto Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, Jane Eyre followed and Wuthering Heights followed that. I was dreamy, if I could have stepped inside of those books to dwell them forever I would have. But then again writing is the next best thing. I realized that in my mid teen years. I began writing then and I haven’t really stopped.
Now I create my own dark worlds of menace with the promise of love—the characters live in my head and are part of my soul. It is easy to give them life.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite authors to read–I’d have to say Daphne Du Maurier and Charlotte Bronte. If the second Mrs. De Winter was dreaming she went to Manderley, so was I. If Jane Eyre was in love with Edward Rochester and wanted to know why he was troubled, so did I want to know!
Those books and authors are still favorites—I do enjoy other authors as well, Susan Hill, Henry James, Stephen King, Richard Matheson—those are particular favorite authors.
My favorite genre is horror and suspense. But I love history, too! So if it can be blended together, I am delighted. Perhaps that’s why I write historically based horror in my longer fiction.
With regard to inspiration–I am deeply introspective. I always have been. Stories and characters that go deep into themselves is what I enjoy reading. Take Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. She created a character that is believable, a vampire with a past, with feelings of love and regret. I found that amazing. That had the single, most profound effect on me when I read it.
I love the deeply disturbed characters that Ruth Rendell comes up with in her dark psychological novels. These are apart from the Inspector Wexford works. Her characters live and breathe—there is pathos and irony there. Her work amazes and inspires me too.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
The Fourth Bride is the fourth book in The Blackstone Vampires Series. It took me about six months to write, although I had researched it before.
The film by Coppola, Bram Stoker’s Dracula inspired me. The being that is Dracula in that film is what intrigued me the most. I saw a sexy, romantic male with a past; with tragedy and a living life full of horror. I noted the successful blending of horror with sex, of one who can be both a lover and a demon.
I knew I would write about another bride, one no one knew about. And so I did.
The Fourth Bride is a novel about Dracula and about a child cursed by him to become his bride. It is full of passion and darkness but that is how I see Dracula and his brides. Dia is brought to his castle as if in a dream.
During her entire life she thought she was dreaming of a man calling her forth. She realizes too late it was Dracula. It is a darkly romantic tale filled with passion and lust. The world of the undead is not anything you can walk away from. There is immortality there but there are tradeoffs, being a predatory creature that subsists on blood isn’t easily dealt with. The vampire’s first year or so of existence is fraught with great difficulty.
Menace is all around. Dia sees Jonathan Harker arrive and watches as the other brides move in on him. Van Helsing and his vampire destroyers come as Dia tries to hide. A destroyer falls in love with her though because he doesn’t see hell’s taint on her.
There is a great deal of romance. This was the most romantic of the Blackstone novels. I hope readers will love its haunting story and its characters.
Two characters in the story appear in my next series. I have just finished that novel by the way!
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