March 21, 2011

Gothic Romance: Do You Have a Secret?

After years of reading and now months of writing gothic romance, I have a theory that the genre is all about secrets and how love grows or dies in the context of those secrets. Perhaps the power of secrets is even more frightening than ghosts or spooky old houses.

So what kinds of secrets might one find in a gothic romance novel? Surprisingly, the secrets in these novels are the same kind people keep in real life. I have never felt a need to write urban fantasy or world build because there is so much to write about in this world-- so many hidden things to discover or uncover.

In two of my novels, one coming out in May and a work in progress, the secrets spun out from true stories I heard. Yes, people really do find underground tunnels, or secret love children documented in a long forgotten trunk, or even items related to a past “curse.” Heroes sometimes hide pasts they are ashamed of, and heroines run from knowing their hidden heritages. In fact, in my own family, secrets and stories that don't quite add up whisper in dark corners. They beckon to me and maybe to you as well. 

So, do you like secrets? How do you see them playing a role in gothic romance or the romance genre in general as well as in “real life?”

Lisa Greer is an adjunct English instructor and writing tutor. Her debut novel, Magnolian, is a contemporary gothic romance released in March and available from BookStrand in e-book format (print comes out in June). It is currently on the BookStrand bestseller list at #23:

About Magnolian:

When her father dies, college dropout Lillian Mullins steels herself for a future of nothing special in Pittsburgh. An invitation to Magnolian holds promise, but nightmares, ghosts, and murder threaten to derail her attempt to get a life.

Lillian heads to the South, leaving Donovan Ross, an angsty potential lover, behind. After she finds her mother's old journal at Magnolian and learns a shocking secret, Lillian resolves to find out what happened nearly forty years ago to her mother's African American lover, Samson Jones. Mysterious accidents and threats make her wonder whom she can trust: her enigmatic distant cousin Willoughby Tate, who is running his father's gubernatorial campaign, her Aunt Lorelei, who warns of a dire future, the ghost who beckons her in the night, or her father's voice in the recurring dream that will not let Lillian rest.

Find Lisa on her website:
Facebook: Lisa Greer Author
Gothicked (a gothic romance review blog):


marybelle said...

Gothic Romance: I am unfamiliar but ready to begin.

Lisa Greer said...

Hi, Marybelle, gothic romance is my favorite. I hope you'll check my novel out. Thanks for stopping by. :)

Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Lisa. Chiming in late to welcome you to my blog. The story sounds interesting. I'm not into Gothic either, but mainly because I haven't read any of late. I'm old enough, cough, cough, to remember Dark Shadows. It was an interesting stories.

Lisa Greer said...

I just watched some of the Dark Shadows set, Anna Kathryn. :) I like the Barnabas Collins character. Thanks for having me on the blog!

Skhye said...

Awesome theory. Thanks for sharing it. And your book's blurb makes you appear an expert in juggling secrets. ;)