Carole Gill lives in Yorkshire with her second husband (the normal one) and two lunatic Parson Russell Terriers. As for her writing, she doesn’t know what shaped it or started her off, but she did start writing quite young. She wrote her first story (sci-fi) in the fourth grade. She continued to write but life got in the way as it does sometimes.
She turned back to writing some years ago when she was selected by North West Playwrights of England for further development. It was a wonderful experience.
Her Blackstone Vampires Series books are now available in an omnibus. It’s vampire fiction at its darkest.
Suzanne Church: Your bio states that your “longer fiction is historically based.” What’s so appealing about the past? Is it because the gothic vampire esthetic is so hauntingly beautiful?
Carole Gill: I find the past extremely interesting. I have always loved history and enjoy doing research. Also, I happen to think vampires are very much at home in the past. It seems to be the right setting for me to place them. Some inhabit crypts and abandoned churches but they may also be found in other places. I see them strolling along gaslit streets, staying in the best hotels—generally they prefer small hotels with sea views.
I often have them recalling the times in which they lived. I do it because they tell me to. I have written about them existing throughout time. You see, I try to tell their stories. Also, I enjoy placing them in various time periods to see how they cope. I want to know how they functioned through the Black Death what with all those sick people. Where did they get their sustenance from?
SC: You’re in the middle of a 52 story challenge. How do you find time to write a short story every week?
CG: It’s not easy! There is no time at all, really. But I make time. I write those stories by inspiration. That might come from an old murder case I recall or perhaps my own feelings about something. I tend to make notes and the story evolves from there. Usually I will write it up on Sunday from some sketchy notes.
Many of them are darkly comic, with contemporary settings. I’ve even stepped out of my horror in a few of them! I am amazed with what I’ve been writing sometimes. And really, as far as not having time goes, that sort of pressure makes me come up with something!
The collection of short stories from the challenge will be published by Creativia next year.
SC: Describe two aspects about living in Wakefield that’ve influenced your prose.
CG: We have also lived near Huddersfield which is not that far from Haworth. I’ve been to the Bronte Parsonage many times and have walked on the moors they walked on. I’ve seen the ruins at Top Withens that it is said Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights might be based on.
There is history all around me in England. That is my greatest influence; castles and moors, ghost tales—and myths. Howling winds, driving rain—not pleasant but boy, can I come up with a story when I hear the wind in the chimney!
SC: If your characters were real people, which one would you choose to interview first on your blog. Why?
CG: OMG! Without a doubt, Eco! Eco is a demon. He is my very favorite character. Eco features in two novels, Unholy Testament – The Beginnings and Unholy Testament – Full Circle. He is highly intelligent and as he would tell you himself, he was driven mad because he is. Eco doesn’t delude himself.
This short story inspired the two novels Eco features in.
Eco is capable of vicious evil and outrage. Yet, he can understand and perhaps even feel (for however briefly) compassion. He claims to have loved—I think as far as he is capable, he has loved. Readers can decide that for themselves, though.
Yes, Eco–! Without a doubt or any hesitation, I would love to interview Eco!
SC: Do you feel as though women writing in horror bring a different perspective to the fiction table?
CG: Yes, I do. Women bring in more emotion and thought. I’m not talking about paranormal romance, I’m talking about horror. Women, can and do, write horror that is horrifying and dark with other elements as well. Anne Rice certainly has done it. She’s gone beyond nasty, ugly vampires, to giving us vampires that recall living lives—she’s written about vampire children. What is more tragic or thought provoking than that?
SC: What are you working on now?
CG: At this very moment–! While I am typing the answers to your very interesting questions, I am going over my latest novel which begins a new series. It begins at the court of Marie Antoinette, travelling onto harems and freak shows in Europe and Morocco as well as a sultan’s palace. It is much more romantic than my previous books, yet it has its darkness.
There is a lot of passion and love along with aristocrats behaving very badly (I love doing that)! The ones in France get punished and the ones in England don’t. 🙂
The next book in the series begins in Ancient Egypt and tells of a forbidden love affair.
CG: If you take Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and you add the dark and haunted world of Edgar Allan Poe, along with some inspiration from Anne Rice and the thoughtful prose of Somerset Maugham, you will peer into my soul. You will hear me cry, “That is where my inspiration comes from!”
They are my icons—they live in my head and make my heart beat as it does. I am happy to worship them from afar. All I wish to do is be inspired by them and continue to write what I write.
SC: For the following flash questions, try to answer with the first idea that pops into your head.
Imagine a prison of eternal misery. Is it hot or cold?
CG: It is twilight in the icy terrain of the Antarctic
SC: Vampires or Werewolves?
CG: I prefer vampires but I see werewolves as tragic as vampires. I think they should have an affinity—as they are both damned.
SC: If you were only allowed to read ONE book more than once in your lifetime, what book would you choose?
CG: Wuthering Heights.
SC: Stickers on your laptop or pure out-of-the-box plain?
CG: Doggie pics! 🙂
SC: Biscuits or scones with tea?
SC: Music while writing, or total silence? And if you chose music, name three inspirations.
CG: No music while writing, total silence is best for me.
SC: Thanks for participating in this blog tour!
CG: So welcome, thank you for having me, Suzanne!