I am so thrilled to have Janis Flores here today at Gothicked. She is an author of classic gothic romances, and she's going to talk a bit about her work and the genre as well as her new novel.
First: thank you, Lisa, for giving me this opportunity to write about one of my favorite genres.
The first book I wrote was a Gothic romantic suspense called HAWKSHEAD. I wrote it because I was really into Gothics at the time and thought: I could do this! So I started writing and couldn’t stop. HAWKSHEAD was the result.
Gothics—those set in the late 1880s—are still my favorites. I love that time period—beautiful women in long dresses (although I wouldn’t want to live then—just the thought of tight corsets and all those petticoats, not to mention the dozens of buttons on both dresses and shoes—makes me shudder), with the men in top hats and dinner jackets, or jodhpurs and polished boots. Oh, so romantic!
I also love the idea of fancy carriages and high-stepping, matched horses. And the manners! No matter what was going on inside or underneath, people were so polite to each other. (Well, the “upper crust” was; those who had to work for a living didn’t have the time or energy to watch their manners).
No matter in which genre I write, my heroes are always tall and handsome, with lean bodies and strong jaws, and of course those smoldering eyes hiding dark secrets—including how they got that facial scar that makes them even more mysterious! They’re always the brooding type, so well-dressed, with those impeccable manners.
And my heroines are always “feisty” (although I dislike that particular word and prefer “fiery”), their tempers matching their long auburn hair and their green eyes flashing when they’re angry—until the hero tips her head up to kiss her.
Another reason I like that time period is that heroes and heroines waited for intimacy. I believe that a stolen kiss, a touch, a whispered word heightens the anticipation for both them and the reader. And when the time comes—usually off stage, or even beyond the end of the book, they don’t have sex, they make love.
I haven’t written Gothics for a while. I left that genre for historical romance, then family saga, and finally for contemporary mainstream, which I write now. The pace of the contemporary story is faster because our real lives are faster. At some point maybe I’ll go back to writing Gothics—at least one or two. Like the characters and the time period, I can slow down a little and luxuriate in writing a story that has clouds covering the moon, and dark shapes that whisper in the night, and a heroine—always a heroine—roaming the shadowed castle while carrying a candle whose light blows out just when the villain is about to be revealed. What fun!
I can’t leave without mentioning my newest book—an ebook called Sweeter Than Wine, published by Musa Publishing, Sweeter Than Wine
It’s not a Gothic, although Jake is the brooding type, haunted by a past he can’t forget as he throws himself into dangerous search and rescues with his gallant search dog, Mano. And Terra is feisty, haunted by a past she can’t remember as she tries to rescue her family’s nearly 100-year-old winery from bankruptcy. The two come together when it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want her to succeed. Someone with… murder in mind.
Meanwhile, I wish you good reading whatever type of book you choose.