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Tag Archives: Rebecca York

(n) Gothic romance (a romance that deals with desolate and mysterious and grotesque events) — from the Princeton University website

My introduction to Gothic romance was in high school, where I first read Jane Eyre and got sucked in by all the classic Gothic romance elements: a romantic but dangerous setting, an innocent and vulnerable heroine, a hero with Secrets. Later (having gone to an all-girl Catholic school) I also read Rebecca, a more modern Gothic that fascinated me and many of my classmates.

I suspect a lot of Gothic romance authors have been inspired by Jane Eyre, but Charlotte Bronte was by no means the founder of the genre. During the Regency, readers enjoyed Gothic romances such as those published by the Minerva Press. It was Ann Radcliffe who made them popular with examples like The Mysteries of Udolpho, which inspired much of the foolish behavior of Catherine, the heroine of Northanger Abbey. Although Jane Austen poked fun at Gothics, I suspect she enjoyed reading some of them herself. BTW I find this cover for Northanger Abbey very funny!

Gothics can go awry. I think the concept of the TSTL (Too Stupid to Live) heroine arose with romances in which the heroine runs off in her nightie, holding nothing but a candle, to investigate an eerie sound in the attic or cellar where dire events are suspected to have occurred.

I still like Gothic romance and I happily suspend disbelief to follow the characters into situations that are wildly unlikely in real life. I played with some of these elements in my recent reissue, SAVING LORD VERWOOD. I haven’t read many recent historicals like this (though I’m admittedly way behind in my reading) but dark paranormals provide the same thrill. A well-written romance with Gothic elements is like a piece of luscious chocolate. Who cares if it’s good for you?

Do you enjoy romance with Gothic elements? What are some of your favorites, classic or modern?

I’ll be giving away 5 Kindle or Nook copies of SAVING LORD VERWOOD to commenters chosen at random. If you win, you can also nominate a friend to receive a free copy. Void where prohibited. You must be over 18. No purchase necessary. Post your comment by midnight EST on January 13. I will post an announcement on Saturday, January 14, so please check back to see if you have won.


I’m doing a few booksignings over the next few weekends and I wanted to ask you what makes a good booksigning, from both sides of the table.
I signed recently at the New Jersey RWA Literacy Bookfair which was a lot of fun. I sat next to Colleen Gleason, one of the authors for Bespelling Jane Austen. We had chocolate. We had bookmarks, magnets, coverflats and big grins on our faces. We had great tottering piles of books and signs with our names on them that tended to fall over.

I’m happy to report that the piles of books did become slightly smaller as time went on and I had time to wander around, admire others’ covers, and even buy a couple of books myself.

So what makes a good signing? First, you have to sell books. Second, you need to know where the bathroom is because, particularly in bookstores, people always ask. You must have things around other than the books, because even if people throw out the bookmarks as soon as they get home, the subliminal message of buy my books for all your friends, pay off my daughter’s college loans, and vote Democrat has imprinted on their brains. In another post I’ll tell you how to design the subliminal message.

I like to do group signings because if a customer approaches you can ask them what they like to read and engage them in conversation, which is the best possible thing you can do. If they don’t read books like yours, you can refer them to the other writers at the table, and they may buy yours anyway. I find I do better at engaging a customer by standing up, smiling, and offering chocolate. I’ve even walked around the bookstore and chatted to people who are browsing and invited them to the table. For me the worst possible scenario is the single lonely writer sitting behind a pile of books and occasionally directing someone to the bathroom.

If I go to a signing I like to feel that I have shared a few seconds or moments exclusively with the writer(s) and that I’m not part of some sort of signing conveyor belt.

I’m signing this Saturday at Borders, Bowie MD, from 2:00–4:00 pm at a Halloween signing. I shall wear special earrings. My partners in crime are Rebecca York, Pamela Palmer, and Catherine Asaro. Members of my local RWA® chapter will appear as costumed minions to herd people over to the table and the store staff will also dress up.

Also the multitalented Catherine Asaro will perform songs from the companion CD to her latest release Diamond Star.

I hope if you’re in the area you’ll drop by. It should be a lot of fun.

What have been your good booksigning experiences? Your worst?

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