Friday, July 12, 2013

Paranormal Week: Gothic Roots

Posted by: Evey Brett
Since I have a Gothic e-book out on Sunday, it seemed appropriate to point out that Paranormal Romance has Gothic roots. There's a nifty infographic here about the history of Paranormal Romance and how it started way back in the 1700's with Horace Walpole. Gothic novels usually combined elements of horror (such as a monster or a family curse) and romance (cue moody, secretive hero and vulnerable heroine.) Dracula is probably the most well-known, though of course there is Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera and others.

And then women started taking over the genre, and we had books like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Rebecca, with the interesting turn that all three explore how women are trapped in the home and subjected to male patriarchy, themes that are popular today with all the kick-ass, take-no-prisoners female heroes

Though lately, paranormal romance has lost much of the horror element--i.e., vampires aren't scary any more--and taken on fantasy creatures like elves and fairies and those with supernatural powers from magical to psychic abilities. Monsters aren't the enemy, they're the love interest and/or the protagonist.

As for me, I rather like the darker elements. I don't have a monster in my book--it leans more toward the occult, but it does have the requisite moody lord, an innocent heroine (well, hero in my case) and a mysterious servant who is more than he seems. It's set in 1780's Whitby, England, home of the famous Whitby Abbey and St. Mary's church, which features prominently in Dracula.

So, hooray for Gothic Roots! And now I'm going to go home and watch this boxed set of 100 classic horror movies, which includes a number of Gothic tales. It's research, you know. Even Attack of the Giant Gila Monster. Though, really, I just had to watch that one since we found one at work the other night. Normal, not giant. :>)

What's your favorite Gothic book and/or movie?

Coming Sunday, 7/14...Saints and Madmen from Amber Allure!

When tragedy leaves his family nears destitution, farm boy Cadmon—named after the famed saint and poet—has no choice but to accept a position with Lord Vance, the so-called Mad Lord of Whitby, posing for paintings…nude.

After contracting an illness during his travels, Lord Vance was left both impotent and prey to fits of madness and now lives vicariously through painting handsome subjects. Cadmon is shy at first, but his affection for his lordship quickly grows and he regales his master with tales of erotic, recurring dreams.

Lord Vance’s servant Tamar, a handsome Batavian slave gifted in the healing arts, attempts to hide the enormity of his master’s affliction until the night Cadmon stumbles onto the truth linking his dreams and Lord Vance’s madness. Passion flares between the three of them but is shattered when Cadmon discovers he was hired under false pretenses.

Heartbroken, Cadmon seeks refuge in the ruins of Whitby Abbey. There, haunted by the memories of both saints and madmen, he must find the strength to offer his body and risk his sanity to save the men he loves.


  1. This sounds terrific, Evey. I love moody lords. And moody lords + farm boys?? :D

  2. Oh, and I forgot to answer the question! It's hard to pick a favorite, but I've always loved Wuthering Heights.

    For movies, I love Ken Russell's deliciously weird Gothic. (And then there's Olivier's Heathcliff in the movie version of Wuthering Heights! ~swoon~)

  3. What a great post! Nice to find your blog, and I'm excited to hear about your new book, too :)


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