1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? What were some of your first steps toward making your dream a reality? How would you say most of your stories are conceived? Dreams? Research? Experience?
I don’t think I ever knew I wanted to be a writer. It just happened. I wrote a sci-fi story when I was 8 but that was understandable as both my parents were sci-fi fans. From then on, I continued to write. But somewhere along the line, I went into horror. However, I was also reading Daphne du Maurier and the Brontes.
The first adult books I read were Rebecca, Jane Eyre and later a string of Gothic Romance novels by authors such as Victoria Holt and Dorothy Eden.
I liked them in particular because there was, along with the romance, mystery and something dark; especially with Dorothy Eden.
As much as I loved those books, I wanted them to be darker. I didn’t want things to be implied but spelled out. I wanted to know more about Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers. What was with those two? I found there to be implied lesbianism, well—heck! If that was the case, I wanted it spelled out. Of course, at the time there were constraints on such themes, but not anymore! That’s why I can write what I like!
As for making dreams a reality, that happened after I returned to writing. Life got in the way as it does. I went back to it though and began to submit stories which were rejected. Hey! But I was learning what to do and how to do it. I was learning my craft.
At one point my husband said to go for it, to write full time and see what happened. It was difficult for us financially, but I did. This was in 2009.
By late 2010 my first novel, The House on Blackstone Moor was published. I went on to write three more novels in The Blackstone Vampires Series.
I’m currently finishing up my eighth book. My publisher is Creativia by the way.
How are my stories conceived? I get ideas from everywhere. Any experience can stimulate a writer to be inspired. Also, I love history and write historically based horror. But as I am a byproduct of all that has gone before in my life, my love of Gothic Romance also lurks. So what I produce in my fiction is horror and Gothic/Paranormal Romance combined!
I also feel what I write. I become my character. Well, having studied acting many years ago and The Method, that’s understandable. It certainly helped me to write my first novel, and I’m so used to becoming the people I write about, I rarely think about it!
2. Your books sound right up my alley, Carole. I’ll have to get my hands on them soon. What 3 things would you like readers to know about you?
I’d like them to know my books come from my heart.
I want readers to know I want to take them away from their reality and transport them into my fiction. Leave the world behind, my friends and come with me!
Also, I want them to take something away with them. I remember reading books that changed the way I thought or opened up other worlds for me. I think that can be done even with supernatural themes and beings.
3. I feel the same way. I read to escape, and I want to offer that to my readers. What are you doing when you’re not writing? Day job? Health concerns or caring for family?
First of all, I write six days a week when I am seriously into a book. When I get crazy from that (usually takes a few months) my husband takes me away with doggies for a break. J We do this a few times a year.
I don’t have a day job. In the past few years my walking has become very limited so I don’t walk much at all. I have pain but never at the laptop! I don’t mind really, I am used to this limitation and escape into my fiction.
I’d like to say though, that I have the best, most considerate husband in the world. With his support and my little doggies watching my moods and looking worried if they think I’m upset, well—what else do I need?
I have wonderful grown stepchildren and grandchildren. My granddaughter, Charlie gave me the most wonderful book about vampires for Christmas. She introduced me to some great kids shows on tv about vampires, too. I have thought of writing YA because of this, but will see.
4. Don’t get me started on the wonders and blessings of having the love of our pets. In my opinion, they are some of God’s greatest gifts. How would you describe your writing style, process, and space? I’d love to see a snapshot of your space if you have one, but if not, don’t let that stop you from answering the question ;-)
As for work space, my husband fixed up a great office for me which I don’t use! I prefer to write in the kitchen. Everything’s there—the living room is close by and so are coffee and food! J
Writing style varies. That is, I write one way for dark horror and another for my dark paranormal romantic fiction. It is just how I write. It’s natural too, for me. I think of my writing always as the narrative. That is, the voice. The voice for a horror novel about cannibalistic clowns (Circus of Horrors) is going to be different from a vampire recalling her living life and her undead existence (Justine: Into the Blood).
The writing process happens with regularity. A discipline evolves and that is how it all happens. Muses are thoroughly undependable and love to goof off. They cannot be counted on, ever. The writer must do all the work, from inspiration to character development to tying it all in until it’s finished.
Somerset Maugham said there were three secrets to writing but unfortunately no one knows what they are. I’d say that’s about the size of it.
5. LOL. So true. I think that’s one reason so many writers refer to this as a “journey.” Tell us more about your books. Genre, titles, any favorite characters? What can we look forward to from you in the near future? WIP’s, upcoming releases?
I write dark paranormal romance and dark horror. I have one finished 4-novel series out now. The Blackstone Vampires consists of:
The House on Blackstone Moor
Unholy Testament – The Beginnings
Unholy Testament – Full Circle
The Fourth Bride (of Dracula)
Justine: Into the Blood is Book 1 in the Blood and Passion Series. Carole Gill’s House of Horrors and Circus of Horrors are also available.
UPCOMING RELEASE: is a novel of The Blood Countess, Erzsebat Bathory. Title:
I Bathory, Queen of Blood.
Aside from doing extensive research about her, I have read novels about her in which she is almost always watered down. Not so in my novel. She is the monster she was in life.
When I began the novel, I found it a challenge to write about someone so horrible, but I found a way in. In becoming her, I give her the motivation for what she did. She was a sexual sadist, I think we can all agree on that. I just give her reasons for being that way.
The novel spans centuries as she is raised from death by a vampire who cannot fathom her evil and falls in love with her. She, now in undeath, eventually accepts that love and responds. If she and her lover, Anton have hopes that she will be less of a monster now, they are wrong. Rages set her off based on jealousy (as they always have).
Her story carries on into present day when she and Anton operate blood clubs. Vampirism has been made legal, post-World War 2. But sadly, Bathory slides back into rages every so often. Anton will either accept this or he won’t.
Her character is complex there are so many facets to Erzebat Bathory. I believe there always were.
As far as favorite characters go, my favorite character has always been Eco, the demon spawn, featured in Unholy Testament – The Beginnings and Unholy Testament Full Circle, Books 2 and 3 of the Blackstone Vampires Series.
He is an intelligent demon, driven mad by this knowledge that he backs a losing side basically. His obsession with Eve Darton, mistress of Blackstone House is a study in twisted love as is his self-confessed love of Rose Baines, Blackstone Series heroine. She is the reason he has compiled a journal confessing all his sins (his unholy testament).
I will say though that now, having finished (doing final draft) I Bathory, Queen of Blood, Bathory is fast becoming my favorite character. I know her so well because I am her. I won’t go out and kill anyone, but I know the way she thinks.
My next book will be Book 2 in the Blood and Passion Series, Anat, Blood Princess. This book tells of an Ancient Egyptian Princess who committed the worst sin by falling in love with a slave. His punishment is castration. She will not live without him and commits suicide, only to be raised up by an evil sorcerer.
6. Is there a common thread in your books? How do your values show up in your writing? Jungian philosophy? What do you want readers to take from your writing?
Common thread? I’d say our ability to deal with fate and whatever consequences befall human beings and vampires, is my common thread at least in my series, and in Bathory. Vampires are complex beings. I seek to give them pasts and futures. I want readers to know them completely. They are monsters, but they are sad monsters.
Jung is interesting to consider as motivation is crucial in my writing. It always has been. Carefully consider a character’s motivation will give you the story.
As for psychic energy--that is the force in all of us that motivates us to do what we do. It works (as I see it) in humans and non-humans. And basically, I want readers to take away something newly discovered from my fiction. I want them to appreciate all beings, even supernatural ones have feelings, just as we do.
7. What are some of your favorite writing tools and resources?
My laptop and the internet. The internet for information and also to order books I need for my research.
8. What are some things you know now about writing and being an author that you wish someone had told you at the very beginning?
How tough marketing is. The aspect that I like in fact love, is blogging. I used to just blog, I still do—about publishing, writing—film reviews—but then I started to blog about my own fiction. I announce when my books are on offer. I publish excerpts very often, generous ones, too on my blog.
I just enjoy engaging readers through my blog. I get a lot of hits so I know people are reading what I post. I get over 22k hits a month (most months). I sometimes, will put up an entire short story from a collection too, usually holiday time.
My author page on Facebook is a great source for finding out what’s going on with my writing. Links to blog posts are up there and I blog a few times a week.
I think I rambled. Sorry—but I will tie it all up and make it relevant to the question by saying, marketing is tough. If I had been warned of this—in truth, I don’t think it would have changed anything. I love to write. It is a big part of my life. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t write. So heck, I’d write no matter what I had been told.
9. Actually, I think everything you just said is relevant, Carole, and yes, marketing is indeed hard. What lifts your spirits when you’re discouraged?
My dogs. They pull me right up. They watch my expressions to see how I look if they sense I’m upset. My dog, Indy is even worse—he gets very upset if I raise my voice an octave. I might be talking about how happy I am or how funny something was and he tries to comfort me. He’s like my mother! Yes, my dogs lift me up all the time. And as far as good, sound advice, my husband is there for that.
10. Sounds like a wonderfully supportive husband J My dogs provided comfort me as well. I haven’t had one since the passing of my 14 year old Dobie-Coonhound last October, but I plan to find another one soon. Other than writing, what’s your passion?
Animals. I love them. I am very caught up right now in the movement to ban trophy hunting. I hate it. For one thing, it has nothing to do with hunting. It is just about killing and collecting a body part. If that isn’t creepy and weird, I’d like to know what is. It’s got to stop.
Let me say, I am not only concerned about animals but all the vulnerable beings in the world. Life is difficult for the vulnerable and it shouldn’t be.
11. We are of the same mind on that subject, Carole. Most of my charity donations go to animal rights campaigns, i.e., banning the murders of trusting, loving horses for their meat as they jump and scream in shocked terror, and hunting, IMO, is NOT a sport; how can it be a sport when one’s opponent doesn’t have a fighting chance? I could go on and on but, back to the interview…Not limited to writing, what do you believe are some of your greatest accomplishments so far?
My first marriage was a nightmare. When it was over, I cared for my totally disabled mother until her death 12 years later. She had become gradually disabled following the untimely death of my father many years before. Still, she functioned and was amazing and optimistic.
When she needed help, a nursing home was out. She wouldn’t have wanted it and neither would I have. Her last years were as pleasant as I could have made them. We lived near the seaside and she enjoyed getting out. It was very difficult for me over time as she had gained a great deal of weight. We never had a motorized chair.
When she died, I felt lost. I had put my own life on hold for so long, I didn’t know what to do. However, between working full-time then and joining an amazing writer’s workshop, I turned back to writing. I met my husband two years later.
Life is about change and accepting along with the good, a lot of obstacles. We either learn to deal with everything or we suffer. I try to keep to that. As for caring for my mother, I do consider that I did the right thing, the only thing I could have done. So that is an accomplishment.
12. You have me in tears now, but I’m also smiling. That is one of the most meaningful accomplishments I can imagine, Carole. What tips can you offer towards building and maintaining a strong support system as a writer?
Okay. Let’s see. It’s like friendship. You have to be willing to give support to others in your craft. Even if you just message someone in order to be in touch, it’s important. Writing is a pretty solitary, isolating existence sometimes. You cannot do it alone. You need to know other writers, others like yourself. You have to discuss things. Sometimes a good rant is helpful.
I find my online friends who write are the most helpful. People who become part of your support system will just come along. When they do, be grateful as you support them back.
13. Again, very true J For the adventurous, write a descriptive 4-line poem. Here are the guidelines (guidelines are for inspirational purposes only. You’re welcome to freestyle):
Writes, Worries, Daydreams
Seeks World Change
Stalk Carole. She likes it!
Carole Gill lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two lunatic Parson Russell Terriers. She turned back to writing some years ago. She writes paranormal romance and horror combined. Her acclaimed 4-novel series, The Blackstone Vampires is a case in point.
eBook Festival of Words 2014:
Best Horror: The House on Blackstone Moor and
Best Villain: Eco
Top 10 Books - 2013 –
The House on Blackstone Moor
Aoife Marie Sheridan - ALL THINGS FANTASY
Publisher, Ultimate Fantasy Books
92 Horror authors you need to read right now!
Carole Gill - The Blackstone Vampires Series. ~Charlotte Books Examiner,
Justine: Into The Blood is Book One, Blood and Passion Series is on sale at Amazon.
Book Two, Anat: Blood Princess follows.
I, Bathory, Queen of Blood, a novel about the Blood Countess Erzsebat Bathory is due to be released in the summer.
For dark horror fans there is Carole Gill's House of Horrors and the novel, Circus of Horrors.
In 2000 she was selected by Northwest Playwrights of England for further development. Short stories and novels were what she preferred to write.
Her short story, The Devil's Work is being broadcast web and television in the Fragments of Fear Program in 2015.
Thirsty for more? Come party with us as we celebrate the release of "Tease To Please" and you'll have a chance to chat with Carole and ask her questions!