Today Author Carole Gill is on my blog. She’s in the vampire anthology, Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories that is on Amazon. Click here to view the ebook. I’d like to welcome her. Take it away, Carole.
Meet Carole Gill -
“I’ve always written but life, as it often does, got in the way and I turned back to writing some years ago. In 2000 I was selected by North West Playwrights of England for further development but found I preferred writing fiction (novels and short stories). I write dark gothic horror with romantic elements. I want to put the bite in gothic romance and knock the starch out of it. Most crucially of all because I write vampire fiction, I portray my vampires as VAMPIRES, yes they may be capable of love but it is tortured love. They are not happy little fairies prancing about enchanted forests. They do not inhabit a pleasant world, if they are good it is because “they do less evil than themselves.”
The Fourth Bride (story and excerpt) appears in Vampires Romance to Rippers an Anthology of Tasty Stories. I was delighted to have my story appear in this anthology of vampire stories. I’m in great company and proud to be; when author and publisher, Scarlette D’ Noire, asked me if I’d like to have a story in her anthology, I was thrilled.
My story is based on my novel, The Fourth Bride which is Book Four in The Blackstone Vampires Series. It tells the tale of a young woman destined to become Dracula’s fourth bride.
“He always wanted me. I was his for my entire life and did not know it. Or perhaps I did in my dreams. Dreams going back so far I could almost recall his voice speaking to me of undying love … or was it life…”
After her young husband’s sudden death, she finds herself summoned by Dracula. Arriving at his castle, she is greeted by him.
“If I was expecting a servant, I did not see one. Instead, I saw a distinguished looking man, tall and clean shaven but for a white moustache. He was holding a lamp. “Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own free will!” He didn’t move, not until I stepped inside whereupon he moved toward me, his hand reaching for mine. “Miss Dia.”
Suddenly, I noticed his eyes. There flashed a fearful light there, but only for a moment. “I am Dracula,” he said. “And I have waited for this moment for so long.”
Dracula has three other wives. She is there to become a sister to them, each of them, their master’s lover. They are to love and feed off one another. They are to live for feeding and pleasure.
“The night was endless it seemed and if there was pain that pain would soon disappear to have pleasure replace it. Fathomless pleasure, the joy unending for it was the beginning of the ritual of the blood.
Love the blood he whispered. The joy is in the blood….the passion is in the blood….endless life is in the blood….!”
And so it is. When writing the story (based on the novel) it was my intention to keep Dracula exactly as Bram Stoker wrote him. This is the darkest romantic vampire fiction you will read. Once under Dracula’s control, Dia becomes the Fourth Bride willingly. There is nothing she would not do to serve her master.
“I would kill for him and die for him. I was his fourth bride.”
The novel is the last book in The Blackstone Vampires Series but never say never!
The Series is dark vampire fiction. It is Gothic and frightening. My vampires are cursed creatures. I just signed with Creativia and they are revising and publishing the Series.
The House on Blackstone Moor, Book One:
“They say my father was mad, so corrupted by evil and tainted by sin that he did what he did. I came home to find them all dead; their throats savagely cut. My sisters only five and eight were gone as well as my brother who was twelve. My mother too lay butchered in her marriage bed. The bed her children were born in…”
After young Rose Baines discovers the savage murders of her family by her mad, incestuous father, she is plunged into a nightmare of hell and incarcerated in two madhouses. In time, she is helped to obtain a position as governess at Blackstone House. Nothing is as it seems for Blackstone House, and its inhabitants have numerous secrets. Amid the unimaginable horror there is love – which comes at a terrible price.
Unholy Testament – The Beginnings, Book Two
The day Eco first laid eyes on Rose Baines was the day she discovered her family’s savage butchery at the hands of her mad, incestuous father.
“I saw you leave the house that day, Rose. That terrible day you discovered your family butchered. I saw you…”
Eco, realizing he has fallen in love with her, pens a confession documenting all of his sins committed in the course of his immortal existence. His one request is that Rose reads his confession.
From Ancient Egyptian vampire cults to Roman vampire brothels to The Dark Ages, between The Crusades and The Black Death of 1348, to his meeting with the child murderer and Satanist Gilles de Rais, and concluding with his wicked affair with the Blood Countess herself, Erzebat Bathory, Unholy Testament will take you through historical times. The pages are filled with debauchery, vice and murder – yet there is also something Eco swears to be love.
The story continues in Unholy Testament – Full Circle, Book Three and The Fourth Bride, Book Four, out soon!
Excerpt from The Fourth Bride:
This is Dracula telling his fourth bride what happened following his creation:
“I found myself walking along the road when suddenly I heard coaches bounding up from nowhere. My body tingled with excitement. I knew what I wished. I would lay waste to those inside the coaches!
They were a wedding party. I drained the men to death and went to inspect the women. Those who were old or ugly, I drained to death. But when I came upon three beautiful maids, I knew I would ravish them.
“Please, they begged. We are sisters…”
I was not deterred, wild as I was in my desires, and soon had each one. And when they lay nearly senseless I began to feed… but because of their beauty I did not drain them. Instead, I turned them, making each a vampire.
When they were undead they seemed even more beautiful and alluring. I stripped them and took each again, there beside the drained corpses of their families and drivers. How they howled and cried out with pleasure!Their names were Verona, Aleera and Marishka…”
The sisters! It was true! That was how he had come to know them. I moved so quickly, I knocked the journal to the floor. The door flew open and Dracula appeared. “Now you know the truth of the sisters…”
I said I did and I pleaded with him saying I could not read further. He walked toward me and, taking my hands and kissing them, he asked me to please finish reading. “You will know all there is to know,” he said. “Then you will really be my bride.”
What inspired you to write your first book?
I read that Gothic romance was considered passé. That was really the spark that got me to begin the book. I thought why not write something that would never have been published before. In other words there was a lot of darkness in Jane Eyre, but I think had the novel been written today, we’d have known a lot more about Bertha Mason and what I think is implied sexuality—possibly nymphomania concerning her.
Also, Wuthering Heights would have gone much further and answered a lot of questions about Cathy and Heathcliff’s relationship: justwhat was it?!
Rebecca too—Mrs. Danvers seemed tooobsessed with Rebecca that should have been spelled out. I’m sure the results would have been fascinating!
So that was the inspiration. Those great old gothic romance covers of the past that promised so much but never livedup to our expectations of horrific secrets being revealed…that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to horrify and thrill readers!
How did you come up with the title?
I was thinking of a rudimentary story. Of characters who were damned through no fault of their own. That was at the core of it. The title just followed. I pictured a grand looking house on desolate moorland. I live near the Yorkshire moors and they can look pretty bleak even in summer. Well, I saw a house on those moors, in my novel, the moors were haunted and always had been by evil and demonic forces.The House on Blackstone Moor just came to me!
What would you say makes your vampires unique to the paranormal genre?
My vampires are complex, tortured beings. Some are evil some are not. They recall their living lives and are haunted by them.
In being multi-layered beings, they are full of emotions: sadness, hate and lust, to mention a few—they might long for the past, wishing to be what they were but knowing that is impossible. That, I find, creates great conflict.
I always saw in Dracula the opportunity to explore what his living life had been about. In my novel, The Fourth Bride, I give him a damned good reason (I think) for wanting to go to London! He wants to start a vampire army because of something he saw, something he cannot forget.
Vampires, for me, have secrets we cannot fathom. Which one of us would not want to know what those secrets are?!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I want readers to know that The Fourth Bride does not present Dracula in a dumbed down way. He is an evil demon. Tortured yes, capable of twisted love, perhaps, but he is a vampire, a clever, discerning evil vampire who calls hell home. He has no scruples, no compassion for any being. He exists for feeding and for pleasure; sexual pleasure is paramount to him. His wives are the same and if his fourth wife was an innocent young girl summoned to him onher honeymoon, she becomes a corrupt, evil creature—yet because I like my vampires to becomplex; she is capable of love and regret.
What motivates you to write?
One thing followed another. The more I began to write seriously for publication, the greater the intensity of the motivation.Now it has become my addiction. I must write. I can take breaks (few and far between) but I have to write. My laptop is never far from me and that goes for vacations and holidays—it’s a part of me.
Motivation and inspiration are similar things. We are motivated because we are inspired. Inspiration can come from so many things. It’s all around me. I can think of something under the shower, taking a walk—reading a book, watching a film.Ideas are always coming, pieces of stories—fragments of tales yet to be told.What we do with them and how we do it, is what makes the story!
Who is your most popular character? Why do your readers like or dislike this character?
I would say Eco is. Eco appears in all four novels. He is the son of a fallen angel and human mother. He is a highly intelligent demon vampire and because he is and can recognize truth, he is mad.
One reviewer said, “‘he was mad and delightfully so.”
Eco is featured in Unholy Testament – The Beginnings and in Unholy Testament – Full Circle. Those books contain the confessions of all the sins committed in the course of his immortal existence. He has penned them for the woman he professes to love. They are pretty hair-raising confessions.
One reviewer said. “Is it possible to feel sympathy for a devious, evil creature like Eco? He is doomed from the start and acts from pure self-interest but somehow, Carole Gill gives this incredibly flawed character a deeper dimension. There were times I truly felt sorry for him, while hating him the next moment…”
He is popular because he is so complex. Eco is my favorite and a lot of my readers’ favorite character too!
Just a note here, as Victoria has kindly invited me to guest post again when all four books are out, I am saving some of her wonderful questions to answer then!
Thank you so much, Victoria!