Wednesday, March 05, 2008

More on Gothics

I was interested to read Fenella and Melinda's posts on the Gothic, since I've written some Gothic romances. My first one, Harstairs House, was half way between a historical romance and a Gothic, since I didn't know how my readers - or my publishers! - would feel about me writing a Gothic.

It starts when Susannah inherits a mysterious house. When she arrives, she finds that the house has a tenant, in the shape of the devastatingly attractive Oliver. But Oliver has secrets, and so does the house, and Susannah must uncover them all if she is to find out what is going on at Harstairs House.

The different covers are from the different editions. Top left is the hardback cover and top right is the large print. Bottom left is the audio book and bottom right is the paperback.

Most of them emphasise the house, which is set on the wild Cornish coast, but the paperback cover focuses on the heroine and the house's interior. The room is exactly as I described it, and I love the way the artist has caught the glow of candlelight.

Luckily, readers liked the book and so I went on to write a full-blown Gothic, Stormcrow Castle - I always let readers know if the book is a Gothic by the title, which has some sort of building in it if the book is a Gothic.

In Stormcrow Castle, Helena doesn't inherit a house, but the book opens with her approaching the forbidding Stormcrow Castle where her aunt is a housekeeper. But her aunt is missing, and so Helena has to find out what happened to her.

I loved the Gothic romances of Victoria Holt and I think my Gothics will appeal to the people who like those books. Stormcrow Castle includes some of my favourite Gothic elements such as dour servants, a forbidding hero and a masked ball. It is out in hardback and is also newly out in large print. Large print books can be ordered from bookshops and bought online from Amazon etc. and don't forget, your local library will keep a good selection of large print books and will be able to get it for you if they don't keep it in stock.

You can find reviews and extracts on my website at by clicking here


Anonymous said...

The setting is always very important in Gothics, and you always seem to catch the mood, Amanda. Perhaps Gothics are gaining in popularity again!

Melinda Hammond

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juliemt said...

I've always loved reading Gothic romances and it would be fabulous if they came back into fashion!

I read Stormcrow Castle and thorughly enjoyed it and I must go over to Amazon and get Harstairs House as it looks fabulous.


Anonymous said...

Jane said...

The covers are tremendously atmospheric and really appealing.
I wasn't sure what Gothic actually meant, but your description has clarified it for me. I'd love to see these stories become more popular. Perhaps you will be in the vanguard of a revival!

Anonymous said...

We're hosting a Gothic romance theme day at the CN Readers Loop (April 24) if anyone wants to come. :) We're still scheduling authors as a matter of fact.